Your motorcycle helmet has a big job to do, and high-quality ones can do it all! Not only do helmets protect you in the event of a motorcycle crash, but they also shield your face from bugs and debris, insulate your head from the weather, and can even help protect your hearing. As one of the most vital (and likely most expensive) pieces of motorcycle protective gear you’ll own, it’s important to take care of your helmet. Knowing how to properly clean and care for your helmet will not only keep things comfortable during your next motorcycle ride but at times can even extend its lifetime. Now is a perfect time to give your DOT approved helmet a little TLC!
Before getting started on your deep clean, it’s important to have the right tools for the job. You’ll need towels, a soft brush to clean small areas a towel can’t reach, a gentle non-petroleum-based cleaning agent, warm water, and if you have access, compressed air. Be sure to remove any electronics and exterior accessories from your motorcycle helmet, as well as the face shield, interior liner, and pads if possible.
Interior Motorcycle Helmet Care
The interior of your helmet comes into direct contact with your face, causing oil and sweat to build up. It’s important to regularly clean your helmet pads and liners to remove dirt and grime with gentle soap, like mild laundry detergent or baby shampoo. Wash the liner and pads on a delicate cycle or if you prefer to hand wash them, soak them in a bucket of soapy warm water and be sure to rinse them well to remove all soap residue. Let the liner and padding completely dry before placing it back into your clean motorcycle helmet. If your helmet doesn’t have a removable liner, cleaning can be a little more complicated, but still possible. Apply soap to the interior of your helmet and gently wash and rinse the padding and liner by dunking your helmet in a bucket of warm water.
Exterior Motorcycle Helmet Care
To keep the shell of your helmet in tip-top shape, start by soaking a towel in warm, soapy water to wrap around the exterior of the helmet for a few minutes. This will gently loosen dirt and debris without the need to scrub which can scratch the shell. Once debris on the shell is soft, gently rub it away with soap and water without applying too much pressure. Use a small, soft-bristled brush or toothbrush to clean vents and other areas that you can’t reach with a towel. Once your helmet is clean, wipe away any soap residue and dry the exterior with a clean towel. Apply detailing polish and wax to restore shine and add a protective coating. Wipe down your visor with a microfiber towel and warm water or a gentle plastic cleaner if necessary. Reinstall your visor if it was removed.
Do’s and Don’ts
While your motorcycle helmet is designed to take a heavy beating, it’s important to be gentle when it comes to cleaning and caring for it. Always use mild soaps and soft microfiber towels, and let warm water do most of the work loosening dirt and debris. Don’t scrub the shell or visor, and stay away from harsh chemicals or any ammonia-based cleaners that tend to break down the helmet over time. Avoid putting liners in the dryer, and always allow your helmet to completely air dry, without any heat source, before storing or using it.
It’s A Fine Line is an inclusive community of motorcycle riders advocating one common mission: zero motorcycle deaths by 2030. We want to share videos and stories about motorcycle safety, events, rides, clubs, gear and training because we believe that together we can save the lives of our friends, our families and our communities.