Bad smell is the natural consequence when you don’t clean your bike helmet for a long time. You go to the shower, take the helmet there, use some cleaning agent and clean it. I know a lot of people do this. But that’s just damaging your helmet.
The only things you should use to clean your bike helmet are plain water and soap. Not just any soap; mild soap like baby soap. Bike helmets come in a lot of varieties with so many complex mechanisms. All of them are so easy to clean.
Even if you got a MIPS bike helmet, it will be so easy to clean them once you know the proper way. I have included a video so that you can do it without any confusion.
But what should be the frequency of cleaning it? Well, there is no clear cut cleaning interval. That totally depends on how frequently you use the helmet. But as a standard among bike riders, you should clean it once every 3 months.
How To Clean Bike Helmet With Water & Soap?
Every helmet comes with a manufacturer’s manual. And you will definitely find a part there explaining how to clean it. Only the manufacturer knows it best about their product. So you should follow their instructions to clean your helmet.
However, it is pretty common that we lost the manual after a few days. Then what should you do? If you lost it, you can browse the manufacturer’s website and most likely you will find a soft copy of the manual there.
But what if the manual is the in their website? Well, that’s where this guide can solve the problem. I have explained the process in a layman’s term. Just follow the guide and you will get a new helmet again!
- You should only use warm water (temperature below 25° C) to clean the helmet. Like warm water, you should use only mild soap as well. Baby soap will do.
- Most bike helmets have several removable parts. You can take advantage of it while cleaning. Try to separately clean those parts. That way you can clean each part more thoroughly.
- The pads are the most delicate part of the helmet. They get the direct touch of your head and your sweat affects them mostly than the rest of the helmet. You need to be careful while cleaning them; otherwise, you will damage them.
- Unless the pads are made of breathable materials, they will shrink while cleaning them with water. You can use the same water and mild soap solution to clean the pads and straps.
- You should replace the pads if they are beyond cleaning but you need a clean and new helmet feeling. Some foam pads become beyond washing just after a few months.
- Make sure to air dry it in an adequately ventilated area.
- Lastly, you need to clean the outer shell. Get rid of the mud or sands using microfiber and the soapy solution you made before.
Now, watch the bike helmet cleaning explainer video.
Some Don’ts Regarding Cleaning Your Bike Helmet
It’s very common and easy to make mistakes while washing your bike helmet. Here are some common mistakes and you should avoid doing these:
- Never fully submerged your helmet in the water for a prolonged period. This will damage the adhesives used in the construction of your helmet.
- Avoid using any harsh cleaning agents. They will damage the pads and other cushioning of the helmet.
- It may sound ridiculous but some people put their helmets in the washing machine, dryer, microwave to clean and dry it. Never do that!
- After cleaning, don’t try to dry it under the direct sunlight. Any form of drying other than the natural air will damage the helmet.
- Using abrasive papers or cloths may chip off the paint from the outer shell of the helmet.
Other Ways To Clean The Helmet
There are some spray products that are meant to be used for your bike helmet. Some work as a cleaner and some work as both the cleaner and deodorizer.
Some of these products are from Bennett Engineering, Charles Owen, Progold Helmet, etc. You are welcome to use any one of them. But make sure to follow their manual.
While cleaning using any of such spray products, make sure to do it in a well-ventilated area.
Usually, bike helmets last for at least 3 years and you should replace the helmet after every three years. However, if you don’t clean it at a regular interval or clean it in the wrong way – it may not last for that period. So, it’s really important you keep it clean and do it the right way.