MC Garage Video: How to Wash Your Motorcycle Helmet

Helmet smelling foul? Give it a wash! It’s easier than you think.

It's summer. That means bugs in the air and sweat on your brow, and those two things combined can leave your helmet dirty on the outside and smelling foul on the inside. When your helmet gets funky, it's time to give it a wash. Here's how.

First, pop off your visor and set it aside. Then use a sponge or a damp cloth to wipe down the exterior of your helmet. For really stubborn stuff like splattered bugs, let the crud soak and soften under a moist cloth and then wipe it off. Once the shell is clean, spray it with some polish and buff it out with a clean rag.

The faceshield deserves special attention since you don’t want to scratch it. All helmet makers warn against using cleaners with ammonia in them (that means no Windex!) since there’s a chance it might damage the visor’s hard coating. If you want to go by the book use a solution of warm water with just a drop of dish soap in it. If your visor has an anti-fog coating on the inside, stick with pure water. Then rinse it and dry it with a clean cloth, preferably a microfiber.

Now for the interior. When it gets ripe, rip it out! Most helmets these days have removable liners that snap out. And they snap out so you can wash them.

To do that, fill a container with warm water and a little bit of soap. Baby shampoo is the best stuff to use since it doesn’t leave behind any residues or aromas. Swish and squeeze those pads to get them good and clean, then rinse them with fresh water and gently squeeze them out. Then just lay them on a towel to air dry. If you’re in a hurry, a fan will help speed up the process.

Once they're dry, reinstall them. If you helmet doesn't have a removable liner, you can dunk the entire helmet in the sink and wash the liner in place. Make sure you rinse it really well. It'll take longer to dry but prop that fan up and sit tight.