Motorcycle Helmet Care Tips: How to Clean and Maintain Your Motorcycle Helmet - getgearedshop

Motorcycle Helmet Care Tips: How to Clean and Maintain Your Motorcycle Helmet

Why is motorcycle helmet care important?

Out of all of the things we purchase for our motorcycle, the helmet tends to be the most precious thing that we buy. Possibly, the most expensive. Definitely, the thing we most care about.

To keep your helmet looking good and smelling sweet, you must you clean your lid and think about how you store it. Here are some tips that will make you keep it looking pristine for longer.

These motorcycle helmet care tips will extend the life of your helmet

  • Clean your helmet regularly
  • Keep the interior lining fresh
  • Carry your helmet the correct way
  • Store your helmet properly

Motorcycle helmet care: Avoid doing these things will make your helmet last longer and smell better

1. Don't stuff your motorcycle gloves inside your motorcycle helmet

When you're off the bike, whether you're stopping at the shops or parking up in your garage, it is so convenient to put your gloves inside your helmet. We all do it. Here is news: Don't do it.

Your gloves are dirty! All that will happen is that your helmet will start to get smelly. And, separately, gloves carry traces of fuel and oil, which damage the helmet's interior. So, if you ask "Why does my helmet stink?", stuffing your gloves into the helmet is part of the cause.

2. Don't use harsh chemicals to clean the inside of your helmet

Don't use anything you wouldn't want to breathe in, or that would irritate your skin. It seems obvious, but your head is home to some of your most vulnerable organs. Solvent-based or aerosol-type odour eliminators leave residues behind and will also damage the liner and foam padding. So it's best to just use dedicated helmet interior cleaning products, which are formulated for the purpose and usually water-based.

This includes avoiding the use of washing up liquid on your visor. The cleaning agents in washing up liquid and other spray cleaners affect plastics much more than you think. The consequence is that the visor becomes far moreprone to shattering. 

3. Don't use abrasive materials to clean the outside of your helmet

Do not clean your helmet with a kitchen towel or something else like an old T-shirt. Use a microfiber cloth.

Microfiber cloths are super soft and won't scratch the helmet or the visor. Another advantage of microfiber is that it picks up a multitude of its own weight in moisture, which is why they're great to clean the inside of the helmet with: Wipe out the lining and padding after applying helmet foam cleaner, and the microfibre towel will suck up the moisture and with it the dirt.

4. Don't forget to care for the lining of your helmet

Most helmets these days have a partially or fully removable lining, so it's easier to clean and freshen up. While that is not a task to be undertaken every week, regular motorcycle helmet care like that will prevent the inner padding from caking up (which is why the padding compacts over time). More on that below.

Motorcycle Helmet Care: Carry your motorcycle helmet with care

It's really tempting to carry the helmet by the chin piece, but don't. It'll break the front vent, which is not a warranty issue. Invest in a proper helmet bag, perhaps a lockable one, so you can carry it without damaging the vent or chin strap.

Motorcycle Helmet Care: Store your motorcycle helmet with even more care

Storing your helmet the wrong way is the majority source of scratches on the shell and the visor. And, it is another cause of a smelly lid. Storing the helmet with the opening pointing down keeps moisture trapped inside and eventually leads to odour.

Only store the helmet upside down with the opening pointing upwards, so it airs out between uses.

The way to do that is to use a "doughnut". That way the helmet cannot "roll", which tends to scratch the exterior, scratch the visor, or break a vent cover. In fact it is the main cause we see why you end up replacing the visor or vent covers.

If you have space to invest in proper storage for your helmet, something like this Helmet Shelf & Kit Tidy Storage is a great option.

Motorcycle helmet care tips: How to clean your motorcycle helmet

1. Deciding how often you clean your motorcycle helmet makes it easier to stay on top of it

Depending on the type of riding you do and type of helmet you wear, the exterior will take different lengths of time to become dirty. The frequency of your rides, the environment you ride in all have a bearing on how dirty your helmet gets.

If you ride off-road in an Adventure helmet, there is probably mud and dirt on your lid after every ride. If you commute through the city in a Full Face helmet, your vents are likely to get clogged quicker. If you only wear your Open Face in the height of summer on the open road, the inside of your helmet will have more sweat build-up than dirt on the outside.

2. Store your helmet with care every time you come home

If you can, keep the interior from starting to smell by always storing the helmet so it can dry out. If you are a jogger, you will do that with your trainers. So,it makes sense to do the same with your helmet. It will eliminate odour-causing bacteria and means your lid will feel fresher for longer.

3. Commit to the occasional deep clean every few months

If you are reading this, there is an 85% chance you are a bloke. Like it or not, we are not great at cleaning regimes. Despite that, it's generally a good idea to leave it no longer than 3 months to properly clean the inside and outside of your lid!

Motorcycle helmet care tips: Deep clean the interior linings to ensure the foam padding does not "shrink" over time

The foam padding in the linings compacts as it absorbs our body oils and dirt, and then loses is bounce. To make interior helmet care easier, some helmet interiors are fully removable. If you can remove the liner and padding, you can hand wash it gently. If you can't remove the interior, use a helmet cleaning foam instead.

a. Hand washing

  • Use a gentle cleaner or shampoo in a tub/sink
  • Rinse out thoroughly the cleaning agent you used
  • A microfiber cloth is best to initially dry out the lining afterwards
  • Avoid soapy cleaners as they clog the foam and cause it to compact

b. Machine washing

  • Avoid machine washing

c. Foam sprays if you can't remove the linings

  • A fast and easy way to clean and care for your helmet interior and linings is to use one of the cleaning foams. Just follow the instructions. 
  • They also leave a nice smell behind! 

How to clean motorcycle helmets: What to do between deep cleans

Between deep cleans or if your interior linings are not removable, use a product like Muc Off Foam Fresh motorcycle textile care spray, which is a mousse that you spray inside your helmet. It penetrates the lining and the padding, and you can wipe it out with a microfiber cloth, which will get all of that moisture back out and with it will take out body oils, dirt and sweat. Let it dry thoroughly overnight and you're good to go.

Motorcycle helmet care tips: Giving the helmet shell and visor some love

1. How to clean motorcycle helmets: Prep the surface to remove the worst offenders

Before you start, make sure you remove all electronics like communications systems. Initially, lay one or two wet microfiber cloths over the surface to loosen dirt and debris. If there are larger chunks of dirt, don't be tempted to scrub. Gather up the cloths gently to remove as much dirt as possible.

2. How to clean motorcycle helmets: Use motorcycle helmet & visor cleaner to clean up

It's always best to use specific helmet cleaning products to avoid damaging the finish. Don't use washing up liquid or glass cleaner, as they are too harsh and aggress plastics. The Motul M1 Helmet + Visor Cleaner spray is a great choice, as it's gentle on any surface coatings. Spray any products you're using onto your microfiber cloth first, and don't over apply.

Take note: Common household cleaners damage the visor

The visor is a delicate part of the helmet. When cleaning it you need to make sure you don't damage any manufacturing coatings or leave any scratches. If you're washing the whole visor and need to scrub a little, remember not to use anything abrasive, just microfiber. If you have a Pinlock visor fitted, be even more careful, as it's surface is really easy to scratch.

Use a dedicated cleaning set like this Muc Off Helmet Visor & Goggle Cleaning Kit. It's a neat little kit that's great for maintaining visors. Don't use washing up liquid, as it has an impact on the durability of the visor.

3. How to clean motorcycle helmets: Cleaning the vents is therapeutic, honest

Unless you go off-road a lot or do long motorway trips at speed, you may not need to go deep on cleaning the helmet vents. However, if you have access to an air compressor use it to blast away any debris such as bugs. Agitate dirt out of vents, as well as other nooks and crannies with a cotton swap or soft toothbrush. Job done.

4. How to clean motorcycle helmets: Once clean, prepare your visor for the next downpour

Once your motorcycle helmet has seen the love it needs and is clean, you'll want to protect your visor from future dirt, including rain and water marks. To prepare for the rain, use something like this Nikwax Visor Proof Spray. It's hydrophobic, which makes rain bead off the visor. It's so much easier to ride when that happens, because your vision doesn't have to be cleared by your glove.

Ideas for your motorcycle helmet care kit

So if you like these ideas, why not start off with this Muc Off Helmet Care Kit, so you get all of the things you need together with a bit of a saving. Then at least you know you've got all the bases covered. Ride safe and enjoy your new helmet.

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