How To: Clean Your Motorcycle Helmet





Introduction: How To: Clean Your Motorcycle Helmet

Whether you're a new or experienced rider, chances are you're going to have a smelly/dirty helmet after all the motorcycle riding you've done. A lotta people ask how to clean lids inside and out, and although there are a lotta different methods and suggestions, I've compiled the most effective ways to do so. (Plus there wasn't a how to on this anyway, so I hope it helps)

If you own a helmet with a removable interior lining, then you pretty much have it made. You remove the lining and/or the cheekpads and throw them in the laundry machine at delicate cycle, while that is washing, you can clean the outside of the helmet with a soft cloth/towel/micro fiber and mild detergent. Moisten the soft cloth/towel/micro fiber, put a few drops of mild detergent on it, and wipe the shell gently, the detergent will do it's job with the grime/dirt/etc and after you're done, you simply wipe off with water until the detergent is gone. You'll be left with a shiny clean OIL FREE shell.

BUT for those of us with helmets that do NOT have a removable liner.. the job is a little trickier. Skin oil and sweat builds up and all the "spray cleaners" just don't quite cut it. I've tried helmet fresh and all it did was make it smell better, and I've tried Motorex Helmet Care Spray, which yielded same results, all fragrance, minimal cleaning effect (on the lining).

Follow these steps if your helmet doesn't have a removable liner and smells like poop.

Step 1:

Buy a helmet to clean if you don't already own one unless you want a how to: stitch your own head/scalp/face up thread.

Step 2:

Remove the cheekpads, breath guard, visor, etc.

Step 3:

Grab some shampoo. If it's good enough for your head, it's good enough for your helmet. Dish detergent might be a bit harsh for the interior, so avoid that.
Don't overdo it, but don't be cheap with it. If your helmet REALLY smells, then go ahead and put some more.

Step 4:

Fill with lukewarm water. I have a feeling cold and hot might be a bad idea, stay away from the extremes.

Step 5:

Rinse to agitate the excessive dust/dirt out, you don't want to dunk it in the CLEAN water and scrub with the same contaminated water.

Step 6:

NOW dunk it in and douse that mofo in cleanliness.
Get it all up in there.

Step 7:

Gently massage the lining so the shampoo works its magic.

Step 8:

Rinse out all the shampoo thoroughly.

Step 9:

Pat dry the exterior to avoid water spots and let it air dry. If you live someplace humid or extremely hot, you may want to place it in a cool DRY place with a fan blowing it or something. Look at the shine!



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    22 Discussions


    9 years ago

    This is a great Instructable, but you need to add a main image of the final project to the intro step. Please do that and leave me a message when you have so that we can publish your work. Thanks!

    fool, the inside cushion comes out, just stick it into the washer. my hjc cushioning just velcros on and has 2 snaps

    1 reply

    Are you for real? Thats a different helmet pal. Key word DIFFERENT!

    Thanks for your tips, it is very useful to me, I will teach people how to clean motorcycle helmet.

    Excellent advise. I tried this on the weekend and my Shoei came up a treat. I used Johnsons baby shampoo as I thought that it would contain less harmful ingredients.

    thank you, this article is very helpful. I better
    understand the correct way to clean helmet. seems
    to me to be careful in selecting a detergent to wash it.
    sometimes some detergent products are not good
    for the surface paint on the helmet. then what about
    the leather helmet? what a way to clean the same as
    cleaning other helmet?

    Be careful in choice of shampoos. Some detergents and shampoos leave a residue that collects dust and dirt. This is sometimes seen when light-colored carpets are shampooed; they look like hell again in just a few short weeks. What's worse, some of the residues are so tenacious that even if you use a good low-residue detergent later, they may be difficult to remove from synthetic fabrics, the kind that are used for helmet liners. Even the floor-care experts sometimes get it wrong!

    I'd stay away from any shampoo that has hair conditioners in it. Ideally, one would use a pure detergent, such as Procter and Gamble "Orvus", though that may be difficult to find, as it is typically only sold through professional channels.  A close copy may be "Mane 'n Tail" shampoo by Straight Arrow Productions, typically found in ranch and pet supply stores, although I've also seen it sold for human use in drugstores.  I use it regularly, and it seems to leave hair squeaky-clean and residue-free.

    This is cool, my lid is still new but i was thinking how to when the day comes. Is there no parts that can get damaged by water inside the lid? I will definitely do this when the summer starts then the sweating will start.
    Great advice.

    I left it on the floor and well it must have seamed like a good idea to her... its like asking why my cat thought it was a good place to sleep.

    Well I understand tha cat sleeping in it, but A helmet doesnt look like a trash can or a toilet...

    ya haha well she was 2... i had to buy a new helmet this year after a guy in a suv made a left turn from the right lane so no more vomit helmet

    Oh no! Think of the memories of the vomit helmet!
    But there is one plus side. You get to have new awesome adventures with your helmet! And it'll protect you from ignorant people!