How to Clean a Motorcycle Helmet (2020) – Instruction and Video Guide

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Believe it or not, cleaning and maintaining your motorcycle helmet is nearly as important as cleaning your motorcycle itself. 

An unclean motorcycle helmet not only looks ugly, but it can cause health or even safety problems. 

In this article, we'll be talking about how you should clean your motorcycle helmet, and we'll also be going over some of the most important reasons why. 

How to Clean a Motorcycle Helmet

Before you do anything to clean your helmet, you should always take a minute to consult the owner's manual. Since different helmet manufacturers use different compounds and coatings in their helmets, yours may not be compatible with specific cleaners.

Once you have your cleaners and supplies ready (we go over which to use in the “What to Use to Clean and Polish a Motorcycle Helmet” section below), remove any pads or liners from your helmet that can come out. You can set these aside to wash in your machine or soak them in your cleaning solution along with your helmet. Then, place your helmet inside your solution to soak. 

To clean the inside of your helmet, massage it gently after it’s soaked up enough liquid, just as you would your scalp while washing your hair. Do this with your liner or pads, too. Rinse several times with clean water to wash away all soap residue until you’re satisfied that it’s clean. Now, just let it air dry.

If you want to clean the outside of your helmet, which you can do before or after the inside, take a towel soaked in your cleaning solution and lay it over the exterior of your helmet. This way, the wet towel will moisten and loosen any dirty spots on the helmet itself so you don’t have to scrub them away. 

When cleaning your motorcycle helmet, the key is to be gentle, be thorough, and take your time. Whenever possible, leave your helmet to soak rather than scrubbing with force - doing so could damage the finish or scuff various surfaces. 

While you can gently pat dry the exterior and interior of your helmet with a microfiber towel to speed the drying process, you should always allow it to air dry to completion, even if your dryer has a gentle function. Never wring out the lining of your helmet, no matter how tempting it is, and don't reassemble the liner inside your helmet until it's fully dry.

If you need visual help on how to clean your helmet thoroughly, check out the video below. It provides an in-depth look at the full cleaning process, including each step you need to take in order:

How to Clean a Motorcycle Helmet Visor

To clean your motorcycle visor, scrub it very gently with a scuff-free microfiber cloth or sponge and a polycarbonate-safe cleaning compound. If necessary, let it soak in a gentle cleaning solution to clear away grime instead of scrubbing it away. 

How to Clean Inside of a Motorcycle Helmet

To clean the inside of your helmet, soak it in your warm water-soap mixture until saturated. After that, you can use your fingers to massage the mixture into the interior of your helmet, removing any stubborn gunky areas in the process.

Cleaning the Motorcycle Helmet Liner

Your motorcycle liner can be cleaned in two ways: if your liner is removable, it can go into your washing machine on a delicate cycle. However, if it isn't, it'll need to soak in a warm water mixture with the rest of your helmet until it's fully saturated. From there, you can gently scrub it by hand and work out any problem areas, then leave it to air dry after. 

Cleaning the Sticky Stuff off a Motorcycle Helmet

If your helmet has any stubborn, sticky areas that you're having trouble with, resist the urge to scrub away or even scrape at them. Instead, wet a microfiber towel, then let it sit on the sticky areas of your helmet to loosen them up. 

If all else fails, use a gentle brush or swab to try and lift away any problem areas on your helmet, or try using a more powerful helmet cleaner to lift it out - just make sure the cleaner is safe to use with your helmet beforehand. 

How to Clean the Outside of a Motorcycle Helmet

The best way to clean the outside of a motorcycle helmet is first to saturate a microfiber towel in your soap-water mixture and then lay it over the exterior of your helmet. This will hydrate and, hopefully, dislodge any dirt and grime that's adhered to your helmet. After letting it sit like this for a while, wipe it down gently with the cloth. 

What to Use to Clean and Polish a Motorcycle Helmet

Before you can begin, you'll need to gather the cleaning items you need for your helmet. You should have most of them on hand already, but if you do need to make a trip to the store, make sure to pick up:

  1. Gentle soap, such as baby soap or very mild laundry detergent (or specially-branded helmet cleaner)

  2. Scratch-free microfiber towels and sponges

  3. Automotive polish or wax

  4. Warm water

  5. A soft-bristled toothbrush or cotton swab

  6. Silicone-based lubricant

  7. An air compressor 

A gentle mixture of soap or detergent and water is all you need to clean your entire helmet, including the liner, the shell, the visor (or windscreen), and any removable pads. However, if you desire, you can also invest in a helmet cleaner specifically made to be safe with your helmet. Be sure to double-check that your chosen cleaner is safe for each part of your helmet before using it. 

Optional Cleaners and Accessories

Resist the urge to use any aerosol-based or ammonia-based cleaners on your helmet, and stay away from window cleaners, too, no matter how "natural." These can scuff or degrade your helmet over time. If you're looking for that extra shine, in the end, you can go over everything with a gentle automotive polish or wax.

Finally, extra items like a lubricant for your visor hinge and an air compressor for blowing dust and debris out of your vent system can provide that finishing touch. However, avoid putting dryer sheets or other perfumed objects (or sprays) in your helmet, as these can leave behind chemicals and residues that could damage your helmet or impact your health. 

How Often Should I Clean My Motorcycle Helmet? 

Did you know that you're supposed to wash your bed sheets at least once per week (or even more if you have allergies or skin sensitivities)? Since your motorcycle helmet spends so much time in contact with your head, you should keep it clean just as you would your pillowcases and sheets - and that's not even taking the muddy, bug-filled exterior of your helmet into consideration!

How often you should clean the exterior of your helmet depends on where you use it. If you go off-road with it often, you may need to wash the mud off every few weeks. However, if you mainly use it in dry weather on the road, every few months may be enough. 

However, light interior cleaning should be done much more regularly, such as once every few weeks or so. How often depends on how much you wear your helmet. If your skin breaks out after wearing your helmet, you need to wash it more. Consider deep cleaning the inside of your helmet seasonally, too, such as before you store it away for the winter. 

Conclusion 

While we all have days where we're too lazy to clean our helmets properly, it's important not to underestimate how crucial it is to keep your gear clean. If you neglect things too much, your equipment can quickly develop an unpleasant feel or smell. Regardless of whether you do frequent light cleanings, deep seasonal cleanings, or both, the information we've laid out in this guide should help you get it done. 

People Also Ask

Still, have concerns about cleaning your motorcycle helmet? If so, we may be able to answer them with the frequently-asked questions below.  

Can I Use Baby Soap to Clean a Motorcycle Helmet?

Absolutely! Baby soap is one of the best things to use to clean a motorcycle helmet, as it's gentle, scuff-free, and safe to use on all of your helmet's surfaces. 

How to Keep a White Motorcycle Helmet Clean

Keeping a white motorcycle helmet clean is no small task! The only way to do it reliably is to clean it frequently - don't leave dirt and grime to sit on (or in) it for long. However, resist the urge to use bleach and other harsh chemical cleaners with it, as these will do more harm than good. 

How to Clean a Flat Black Motorcycle Helmet

A flat black motorcycle helmet is similar to a white helmet in that it shows lots of dirt and grime. The same rules apply - make sure to clean the exterior frequently and avoid using harsh cleaners.