Helmets have the most critical job of protecting the skull and its contents, and the rigors of the road constantly pound it. Knowing how to clean and repair your motorcycle helmet will not only prevent you from covering your face with a grimy interior lining but will also help to prolong your helmet ‘s viability.
Cleaning the motorcycle helmet involves simple steps. First, remove the accessories and wash those then carefully clean the liner. After that, wipe the shell of the helmet, and you’ll be good to go! Apply the right cleaning materials and equipment to avoid possible scratches on the helmet surface.
Dos and Don’ts of Helmet Cleaning
Most people go about the wrong way when washing their helmets or use the wrong materials and end up doing more harm than good. However, you’ll be in fine shape if you follow those basic guidelines.
- Using gentle soaps, such as baby shampoo or laundry detergent, when washing the liner
- Using a towel soaked in warm water for a few minutes to soak and release bug guts before washing them away
- To clean your helmet, use soft, scratch-free microfiber towels
- Let the suds do the job; use an absolute minimum of pressure to clean the visors and shells to prevent scratching
- Using automotive polish (like Plexus or Honda Polish) on a gloss helmet shell
- Use cotton swabs to tidy the winds and joints
- Air dry your helmet and lining and blow it if needed with a space fan
- Secure your helmet with an auto wax coat to keep water spots, guts, and grime from being stuck
- Lubricate the moveable parts of your helmet using a silicone-based lubricant, such as you can use the visor hinge (optional).
- To cover your liner from sweat and body oils between washings, wear a liner, like a skull cap or a bandanna.
- Scrub a motorcycle helmet shell or visor, in particular, to remove stubborn bug guts
- Avoid some petroleum distillate on your helmet or solvent-based cleaner
- Using a glass cleaner or other cleaners containing ammonia on the visor. Ammonia breaks down polycarbonate lenses and reduces their quality over time
- Using rough soaps on your helmet or liner, like dish soap
- Using dryer sheets in your helmet to “freshen” it. Dryer sheets have harsh chemicals in many people and cause allergic skin reactions
- Using fabric softener or soap with fabric softener in it to clean your liner. Fabric softener avoids the use of moisture-wicking liner
- Placing your helmet liner in your dryer
When it comes to cleaning helmets, here is what you will need to do:
Place a warm, damp microfiber rag on top of your helmet and keep it there for a minimum of 30 minutes to help soften any caked-on gunk. Then, use another damp microfiber rag to gently wipe the helmet’s surface until it is clean.
Utilize a toothbrush to clean hard-to-get places. Also, after cleaning, you will need a toothbrush to apply a layer of car wax to your protective cap to help keep it clean later on.
If the liner of your helmet is not removable, you will need to wash your helmet in one go. Using a tub that is large enough to submerge your helmet in, mix some hot water and baby shampoo, and then dunk your helmet for a few minutes to allow the water and soap to reach the lining. Gently clean with a microfibre cloth, thoroughly rinse, and then let it dry.
Cleaning the Shell
First, wipe the shell gently with a clean, damp cloth. Warm water alone is normally enough, but you can use shampoo or other gentle cleansers that are not based on petroleum. When you notice some stubborn areas, remove the fabric and use a sponge or use your fingernail to rub in the outer area.
Once you have the outside clean, you can use a light wax or polish, which will not damage the helmet’s exterior. Bel-Ray’s Silicone Detailer and Protectant Spray is a good choice as it is suitable for a variety of surfaces and leaves a comfortable coating on the helmet that will make cleaning next time easier.
Cleaning your helmet regularly, particularly if it’s a quality product, will keep it in good shape for years. Products, however, deteriorate over time, no matter how careful you are with them. Because of this, you should get a new helmet every five years, though you may need one earlier if your current helmet has suffered substantial damage.
Cleaning the Liner and Pads
When you can’t remove the lining of your mask, you’ll have to place a tub or basin in your shower. Load the tub with warm water from there, and pick either a mild liquid soap, a baby shampoo, or a dish cleaner. Let it soak for a couple of minutes then continue to clean.
You’ll just want to use your hands – no hard-pressed brushes or raw washcloths. Just work the liner with your fingers, scraping at any residual grime. You can also clean the shell the same way when you are working on the liner.
Meanwhile, the pads just demand an easy wash. Just wipe it clean using your hand in the sink, but make sure to use mild soap, such as dish detergent and cold water. After rubbing the soap thoroughly, just rinse off the soap with cold water.
Now that you’ve worked to scrub your helmet clean, you want to keep it that way, right? Below are a few tips that will ensure your helmet stays in good condition. Plus, if you remember to follow these, you’re going to have to wash your helmets a lot less often too.
- Wear a skullcap under your hat or bandana. This is your first line of protection in stopping your liner from permeating sweat and body oils!
- Place a standard coat of automotive wax on your helmet shell (gloss helmets only.) It will make it much easier to remove bug guts and grime in the future.
- Keep a pack of wipes with you. Use these to clean the bug guts and other grime and dirt from the helmet before they harden.
- Never, ever clean the viewfinder! Scratching and scrubbing stuff off your viewfinder are a sure way to scratch it.
- Let the cleaner and the water do the job. Before gently wiping them away, soak bug guts with cleaner, or even just a moist, wet towel.
- Let the air out of your helmet frequently. Shoving your helmet into a bag after a day of riding will prevent sweat from evaporating and make odors worse. So, make sure to let your helmet air out after a trip overnight.
It’s not as complicated to clean your motorcycle helmet as you might think as long as you have a detailed guide. It is even simpler when you already know the dos and don’ts that will decrease stain formation and prevent bugs’ toughening.
Be sure to keep this guide in mind and make an effort to periodically clean your helmet, as illustrated in this article. This will go a long way to making sure your helmet is neither smelly nor stinky. At the same time, it prevents skin infections, particularly if you share your helmet with friends or other family members