Few things are as important as a clean helmet. Keeping your vision clear and your gear comfortable is not only key to a great race or cross country trip, it also gives your helmet a longer lifespan. At the end of the day, some motorcycle helmet cleaner and these steps will have your gear looking like the day you bought it.
Cleaning a helmet isn’t difficult. It can be separated into these basic steps:
Gather your tools
Clean the liner
Clean the shell
Clean the visor
Blow out vents
Clean the face shield
Put it back together
Hit the trail
Tools of the Trade
While cleaning dirt and grime off a helmet may not seem like rocket science, the right tools can help maintain your gear longer and give you the deep clean you need to hit the trail. There are a few essentials, while other tools are convenient for specialized use.
You’ll need microfiber rags to get the results you’re looking for. A basic toothbrush can help you scrub corners of your helmet easily. Warm water and a cleaning agent without petroleum completes your list of must-haves. We use baby shampoo, but most non-petroleum soaps should do the trick.
It’s important to use no petroleum-based cleaning solutions. These can damage different components, leave a film or simply not clean the way you want. If it’s available, an air compressor is a great addition to your helmet-cleaning tool kit. It’s a simple way to cut down time cleaning your air vents.
Prepare Your Helmet
For best results, you’ll want to clean each component separately. You’ll learn how to clean helmet visor later, so take that off now and set it aside. Remove any high-tech upgrades from your helmet. Bluetooth speakers, microphones and cameras are all awesome add-ons, but no one should have to deal with a soggy microphone or a soapy speaker.
Next, take all your interior padding off and set it to the side. The exterior of your helmet gets a different cleaning routine than the helmet liner cleaner. Check out how your helmet pads are removed. Some liners are attached with magnets, while others use snaps, hook-and-loop or clips.
Grab a Rag
Now that your helmet is fully disassembled, the best place to start is the shell. Remember, you’re not using solvents, but a warm, wet rag will go a long way. Soak one of your clean microfiber rags in warm water and place it over your helmet, covering it.
The goal is to prepare your helmet for a good scrubbing. The warm rag will start to break up some caked-on dirt and grime so you won’t have to use as much elbow grease later on. Don’t worry about scrubbing yet; a grimy face shield can scratch if you try to scrub and scrape away the dirt.
Clean the Liner
While that soaks, fill up a bucket or sink with warm water and your soap. Scrub each piece by hand. Your liner and padding pieces are some of the most funky, sweat-soaked pieces of gear, so it’s essential that you give them a good cleaning.
Consider a helmet deodorizer. There’s nothing worse than yesterday’s sweat and dirt in your face when you’re trying to fly through a motocross track or cruise down a backcountry road.
Once you feel good about the level of clean, squeeze out all the water and let them air dry. Now that these pieces are all washed up, you’re ready to move back to the exterior of your hemet.
Clean the Shell
Now that your hemet’s shell is good and soaked, you can wipe off all that dirt and grime. Whether you’ve accumulated years of gunk or just hours of mud-filled fun, the process is basically the same.
Take off that rag you used to soak the helmet and get a new cloth wet. Wipe the entire exterior with warm water. Don’t worry about any soaps or solvents for the exterior, since they can damage the surface and cause your helmet to scratch, fade or otherwise be damaged.
If your helmet is molded with plenty of curves, crevices and unique shapes, it’s time to grab your trusty toothbrush. You don’t need the latest in toothbrush technology; just make sure it’s clean and prepared to get dirty. Scrub those difficult areas to make sure your helmet comes out clean and ready to rock.
As you’ve probably guessed, you don’t need any special techniques to learn how to clean helmet visor. Wipe off your visor with the same strategy you applied to the shell.
Clear the Vents
Here’s where your air compressor has its moment to shine. It’s easy for air vents on a motorcycle helmet to get caked with dirt, bugs and all sorts of crud. Place the nozzle of your air compressor inside the vents and blow all that debris out for clear airways.
Clean Your Face Shield
While it’s tempting to use soap for a deeper clean, you should only use warm water for cleaning your face shield. This specialized piece typically has anti-fog and UV-protective coatings, so soap can damage it and void any warranties you may have. For particularly messy days, place a warm, wet rag over your face shield and apply the same strategy as your helmet shell cleaning.
Put It All Back Together
Once every piece has completely dried, it’s time to put it all back together again. Liners, visor, electronics and your face shield should all be snapped back in place. You’re ready to ride.
How often you need to wash your helmet varies greatly depending on your riding style. If you’re bombing around a dirt race track, expect a daily washing routine. However, if you prefer something a little more clean, calm and made of concrete, you’ll enjoy longer periods between cleaning.
If you’re ready for a helmet that deserves all this love and attention, check out the best motorcycle helmets at BikeBandit.com. From affordable starter helmets to the kind of headgear worn by the pros, you’ll find the gear that’s easy to clean and easy to love.