It’s not just your bike that needs regular maintenance, but your helmet as well and in the following informative guide, we will show you the steps you need to take in order to wash your helmet professionally. After you’ve finished reading it, you may also take a quick look at some of our other articles if you wish to get the perfect men’s or women’s motorcycle helmets.
The cleaning materials you need
Motorcycle helmets see a lot of beating with time since they are meant to be used every time you ride your bike. This means that rain, mud pits, insects, heat waves, storms, and the other rigors of the road will take a toll on your helmet and proper and frequent cleaning is necessary to bring it back to looking shiny and stylish.
Before you can start washing your motorcycle helmet, it is important to make sure that you have all the cleaning materials readily available. It is also a very good idea to take a minute and read your owner’s manual to see if the helmet you have has any specifics so that you don’t do anything that could void the manufacturer’s warranty.
While people have their own preferences as to what cleaning products work better, and there are many viable alternatives, if you are not sure about which set of items to use, the list below is a very good start.
Microfiber rags are perfect for washing your helmet, especially since they also work great for cleaning the face shield. They don’t have to be new, you can use any microfiber rag you have available in your home but you need to make sure that it is clear. If the rag has dirt particles in it, it is possible for it to rough up the exterior fishing on the helmet during the washing process.
A toothbrush is also very handy – we recommend getting a cheap one with soft bristles to help you clean the nooks and crannies that the microfiber rags cannot reach. The toothbrush is particularly useful when cleaning around the face shield vents and gaskets.
The main cleaning product should not be petroleum-based which is why most motorcycle owners prefer to use baby shampoo due to its gentle nature. There is no need to get the most expensive brand since even the cheaper option should work perfectly.
Finally, you will need warm water to help you get rid of any loose dirt and dead bugs without damaging the helmet materials. An air compressor is an optional item that can help you clean helmet air vents. Do not use air from an aerosol can since it can erode the EPS liner in the helmet.
Prepare the helmet
Once you’ve gathered all the cleaning materials, you should begin to prepare the helmet to be washed. Removing all the electronics and the external accessories may seem like a basic step, but it is very often overlooked by novice riders. The first step is to take the time to remove all the internal electronic accessories such as antennas, batteries, and microphones.
If you have an off-road or dual-sport helmet that comes with a peak, it is easier for you to remove and wash it separately. You can then begin to remove the helmet’s interior. While each manufacturer may have a slightly different design, getting the internal liner and cheek pads out should only require a few strategic tugs.
Most comfort pads and liners are attached with snaps, but there are some who use magnets or a hook-and-loop material. If you are not sure which method your helmet uses, you can refer to the owner’s manual. Once you have removed the helmet’s interior main liner and cheek pads, you should place them aside and move on to the next step.
Now it is time to prepare the outer shell of the helmet. You can start by soaking a microfiber rag in warm water and drape it over the helmet. This method will help dislodge stuck-on gunk and help make it easier to clean it thoroughly later on. The damp rag should stay on the outer shell for a few minutes.
Clean the interior
While the exterior of the helmet may seem the dirtiest, it is the interior that needs to be washed most often. Hair and sebum combined with sweat can make the lining of your helmet extremely dirty.
When cleaning the lining and cheek pads, you should fill a sink or bucket with warm water and baby shampoo and then wash it as you would do any piece of clothing.
Baby shampoo is not only very gentle to the fabric but it is also designed to clean away hair oil and sweat. Once you’re done with washing the interior lining and cheek pads, you should let them air dry. It is best to start cleaning them the night before you plan on riding so that you can give them enough time to dry properly.
Move to the exterior
Once you’ve removed the wet rag you left on the helmet, you should take off the face shield and set it aside. Discard the previous wet rag and get a new wet microfiber to wipe away any leftover dirt. You should use only warm water for the exterior of the helmet to avoid damage to the paint job.
The toothbrush should be used to clean the spots that are impossible to reach with the microfiber cloth. If you find that there are dirt chunks or dead insects lodged in the vent channels of the helmet, and the toothbrush can’t get to them, you can use an air compressor to clear the pathways.
Wash the face shield and internal sun shield
Modern face shields come with a protective coating for UV protection and anti-fog properties, and you should only use warm water when washing them. Make sure you check the owner’s manual when cleaning the face shield to make sure you don’t void the warranty.
The best and easiest way to clean a motorcycle helmet face shield is to use a wet microfiber cloth and massage away any dust, smudges, or dirt. Just as with the exterior of the helmet, if the face shield is very dirty you can leave a wet rag draped over it for several minutes to help soften the dirt and make the process of cleaning it that much easier.
If you have a Pinlock face shield, you should remove the inner lens from the outer face shield so that you can wash both sides. Make sure that you pay attention when cleaning it so that you do not damage the gasket on the inner lens since it is a crucial part in the Pinlock system that will allow it to be put back together.
Some helmets come with an internal sun shield, and while it does not get as dirty as the other parts of the helmet, you should wipe it down with a microfiber towel. You don’t need to remove the sun visor to clean it.
Reassemble the helmet
With all the parts cleaned and dried, it is time to reassemble the helmet by starting with the liner and cheek pads. You can then reattach the face shield and all the other pieces that you removed prior to cleaning. If you are having problems getting the helmet reassembled, the owner’s manual should have clear instructions for your model.