Keeping a helmet clean is basic riding 101. A clean helmet not only looks good, but it’s also comfortable to wear, and preserves the overall life of the helmet. But, what’s the best way to clean a helmet? It’s simple. You need water, a few pieces of microfibre cloth and a very mild detergent.
Cleaning the outside of the helmet
You will have to clean the exterior of your helmet often as constant riding can leave a lot of bug splatter and other debris on the surface of the helmet. The best way to do so is to use a damp microfibre cloth. It is advisable that you remove the visor and the sunshield on the helmet while doing so. Cover the surface of the helmet with it and leave it for 20 minutes. This is enough time for water to soak into the hardened debris so that it loosens up. Next, flip over to the other side of the microfibre cloth and wipe the surface of the helmet gently. Do not apply to much pressure as the debris has the potential to scratch the helmet surface. Give it a couple of wipes, and then use a fresh damp microfibre cloth to given it one final wipe. You can repeat the same process separately for the sun shield.
Pro Tip: Do this immediately after every ride and you’ll find that the nastiest of bug splatter can be wiped away quite effortlessly.
Cleaning the visor
You have to be doubly careful while cleaning your visor as even one scratch can lead to it being rendered useless. Therefore, clean it separately, and ideally place it on a clean towel before you start. Spray water directly onto the shield and let it sit for 20 minutes. Take a clean microfibre cloth and wipe the surface clean. You should ideally be doing this after every ride as you don’t want the debris to harden on your visor, as it might end up scratching it.
Cleaning the inside of the helmet
This is the hardest part of cleaning a helmet, and one you don’t want to repeat often. Ideally, use a balaclava so that you have to clean it less often. There are two types of helmets. Some have a fixed liner whereas others have the option to remove it. If you fall in the former category, we suggest you look up a good helmet cleaning spray – Motul makes some nice ones – and use that to clean your helmet’s insides. This can even be used on helmets with removable liners, to delay removing and washing them. Washing liners is not that difficult but it is time consuming.
Remove the liner and the cheek pad and dunk them in tub of water with mild detergent. Something as mild as Johnson’s baby shampoo will also work. Leave them soaked for 15 minutes, and then transfer them to another tub of fresh water. Rinse them one by one - under a tap with a low to medium flow of water - and then set them out to dry. Make sure you get all the soap out, because it can act as an irritant when you wear the helmet. Drying the helmet liner and cheek pads takes time, so you will need to be patient. Don’t take shortcuts like drying them in the sun or using a hairdryer. This will harm them. Instead, place all the items on a dry towel, and if you do want to hasten the process, you can use a fan. Wash your helmet two days before you want to go ride, so that it has enough time to dry out properly.
All of these processes can be easily done at home and hardly cost any money. We suggest you take out that time as nothing beats putting your head inside a freshly cleaned helmet!