Today we’re going to take a look at how to clean and maintain your motorcycle helmet to make sure it continues to look nice and new. So if you’re anything like myself you spent the entire riding season just pouring miles on your bike while the outside of your helmet looks like a bug graveyard and the interior of your helmet has been capturing all the sweat that you’ve been pouring into it on all those long rides.
So in this post what we’re going to do is we’re going to break down how to properly clean not just the exterior lid but we’re going to get into how to clean the interior as well because a lot of times that’s collected all that grease as well and you need to get those cheek pads inline or clean to make sure your helmet operates properly. Now as far as our BSD or Beard Scale Difficulty, this is going to be a one to three this is something that anyone out there can tackle using simple materials found around your home.
So before we go any further there’s a quick note here. Make sure to consult your owner’s manual before doing any cleaning or maintenance to your helmet. A lot of times certain manufacturers are going to have different UV coatings or Anti Fog coatings on the face shield and there’s a wide variety of different manufacturers out there and you want to make sure that you’re not doing anything to avoid your specific warranty.
So always just take a look at that owner’s manual and keep it handy when you’re doing this for the first time. So let’s break down what you’re going to see on the table and what you’ll need to do this job. Starting on my left-hand side I have got microfiber rags and these are going to be great to clean the exterior of your helmet because they’re not going to worry you’re not going to worry about scratching the helmet itself or the face shield.
Now they don’t have to be brand new but make sure they’re clean so if you have some laying on the house just make sure you launder those before you go and you start washing off your helmet. Next, you will see a toothbrush does not have to be oral-b but it does have to be something with soft bristles to it we’re going to use this in hard-to-reach places that those microfiber rags won’t allow you to easily clean.
Next up you’re going to see Johnson’s and Johnson’s baby shampoo, the same stuff you use to clean your hair we’re going to use to clean the interior of your helmet. You just want to make sure you’re never using a petroleum-based soap with this so it’s the reason we went with Johnson’s & Johnson’s very simple and most people have it laying around the house.
On my right hand side, this is just going to be a giant tub of warm water. Like we mentioned with the owner’s manual at the beginning you never want to use anything on your helmet that it could possibly damage it so we’re going to use warm water to clean the exterior of the helmet you’re not going to need any fancy cleaners and we’ll show you how. Now lastly we’re going to use a little bit of compressed air and we’re going to use this to clean the vent system out.
Now you never want to use canned compressed air and the reason why is you never want to go at your helmet with any type of an aerosol. An aerosol will eat away at your EPS liner and you’ll end up damaging it to the point where it’s not going to keep you safe in the event of a crash so always just steer clear of aerosols when you’re cleaning your helmet. So with all of our materials wrapped up let’s dive into the actual process of cleaning it.
Now you’ll note this is a dual sport helmet and the first thing I did was I removed the peak visor. So for any of you out there already rocking a peak or rocking a dual sport visor that’s the first step you just want to pull it off I’ve already removed mine and set it aside and the rest of you if you were rocking a full-face helmet this is pretty much what it’s going to look like.
So you want to start by removing any kind of electronic system you’ve installed first and foremost. The last thing you want to do while you’re cleaning your helmet is run the risk of damaging any kind of electronics that would be in your lid. Now to do so chances are you’re going to have to remove the internals from your helmet so for those of you that aren’t using an electronic system, this is where we’re going to pick up.
So we’re going to take all the cheek pads outward and start with the with the chin curtain where I pull it out we’re going to set all this stuff aside because we’re going to actually take a field trip over to the RevZilla kitchen we’re going to show you exactly how to wash your internals. Now for those of you out there that have never taken the internals of your helmet out before go ahead and consult that owner’s manual every manufacturer is going to be a little bit different for removing.
But in most cases you can simply pull out your cheek pads the way that I’m doing right now pull out the liner pull out the chin curtain it should be a fairly straightforward process for removing all this stuff, I got that little cord in the way. But once you pull this stuff out you’re simply going to take it set it aside and we’re going to deal with that in just one moment.
But before we do that we want to prep the actual shell of the helmet itself and all we’re going to do is we’re going to drape a warm micro microfiber rag over top of this with warm water on it and we’re just going to let that set for about 15 minutes or so while we’re cleaning the interior. So you’re going to take your microfiber rag and you’re simply going to dunk it into the warm water make sure it’s you know not completely soak but you want to just wring it out a little bit.
So it’s got a nice amount of water in there and all you’re going to do is you’re going to take this and you’re just going to drape it over your helmet. And really what we’re doing here is we’re allowing the rag to kind of dislodge any hard pressed bugs, dirt or grime that might be stuck to the helmet. The last thing you want to do is just start wiping away the helmet if some of those items are really stuck on there, you run the risk of scratching either the shell or the face shield and nobody wants that.
So while this is sitting here to soak let’s head over the kitchen and we can take a stab at cleaning that interior. So welcome to the RevZilla kitchen I really feel like I should be showing you how to slice and dice your way through Sunday supper but we are here to show you how to clean the internals of your helmet and this is because oftentimes it’s the internals that is a most neglected piece of your helmet.
So really what we’re going to do here is we’ll use a little bit of shampoo I have the Johnson’s and Johnson’s baby shampoo I’ve filled up my sink with some warm water I’ve mixed some shampoo in here and the reason we’re using shampoo it’s going to remove all the oils from your hair so this is the same stuff you would use when you’re in the shower washing your hair it does a great job of removing all the oils from the cheek pads in the liner as well.
So you want to start by just grabbing one of the cheek pads and simply submerging in the water and you’re just going to massage it back and forth. Pretend you’re washing your hair, you’re just going to rub this back and forth get all the oils all the grime out of here and don’t be afraid to you know get aggressive with this rub it against itself. Now some of you out there you’ll have removable covers for your cheek pads I recommend just washing them with the covers on.
If you’ve ever removed those cheek pads they’re kind of a pain in the butt to get back on and usually you can do the entire process with the actual liners in place. So with this one, I’ve got it nice and washed out here you just want to take the water a little bit of warm water and you want to do the same process you just want to rinse all that soap out you don’t want any soapy residue left in the cheek pad.
Don’t be afraid to use too much and then once you feel like you’ve massaged out all the water you can give it a nice squeeze and just push that water out of there and set it aside to dry. And once you have one cheek pad cleaned you’re simply going to repeat the process you move on to the next cheek pad you can get it down the water and just give it a nice massage back and forth and then just run it under some warm water make sure it’s rinsed out and then set it to the side.
Once you have this complete it’s just time to let these air dry. The one thing you don’t want to use is you don’t use any external heat you’re not going to use a hairdryer not going to use a clothes dryer and you’re certainly not going to stick these into the microwave you can damage any of the plastic parts on here.
So put them on to a nice clean towel let them air dry and come back to the next morning and this is going to be a pro tip for you I recommend completing this process the night before you plan on actually using your helmet that way you have a solid eight hours of letting your internals dry before you reinstall them into your helmet. Now speaking of reinstallation we’ve got the rest of the helmet to clean and reassemble so let’s head back over to the studio.
Alright, so we are now back in the studio after cleaning the interior the helmet is now time to clean the exterior of this shell. It’s been here for 15-20 minutes which just a warm wet cloth dislodging any dirt and grime and we’re now ready to take this off and we’re going to start with the actual cleaning process. As you can see as we just set this back in our warm water it’s a nice job of just kind of dissolving some of that locked-on dust dirt and debris.
And the first step here is we’re going to remove our face shield. Now every manufacturer is a little bit different so make sure to consult your owner’s manual if you’re not sure how to pull the face shield off or you can watch our detailed breakdown videos where we show you how to do so with the next it’s easy it snaps right off and we’re just going to set that to the side for the time being and what we’re left with is our external shell and now it’s time to clean this.
So we’re going to take our microfiber rag and remember we’re just using warm water you want to stay away from aerosols you want to stay away from any solvents and just a little bit of warm water will allow us to clean this nicely and we’re just going to go ahead and we’re just going to simply give it a nice liberal wipe down using a generous amount of water don’t be afraid to get too much water on here and you’re going to see all that dirt coming off.
And just make sure to work in all those little nooks and crannies and we’ll get to using that toothbrush in just a second and just work your way around the helmet. Work your way down make sure you’re just kind of getting any of the spots that might be trapping dirt clean and then just rinse out your microfiber rag as you’re going along.
Working our way around the back here you can see just by letting that sit for that 15 or 20 minutes did most of the work for me so there’s really not much left to do except for just wipe off any of the excess little stuck pieces that you have lodged in there. So if you do have anything that’s stuck in the vents itself you know or maybe around the gaskets this is where that toothbrush comes into play.
Just get a little bit of warm water on there and just work your way around the gaskets. Like I said for most of you street riders out there your biggest contention here is going to be bugs for you dual-sport or dirt riders that are where the dirt and the mud do have a tendency to get caked in. The other place where I noticed the dirt tends to stick is any of your vent systems especially your chin vents.
Now some of you out there will have chin vents that are removable from the inside with a little screen that you can clean this would also be a perfect time to clean those out as well. Now as I’ve worked through here most of this is looking pretty good at this point in time but there is always the possibility that you get a big fat June bug stuck up underneath your vent or for you dirt riders out there maybe these are clogged up with dirt.
So one of the tricks to get those vents clean is to use a little bit of compressed air. And like I said you never want to use any aerosol so make sure you’ve got an air compressor out in the garage and you want to set this to a low setting. You want to blow through here so hard you actually push that vent covers off we just want to dislodge anything with a quick little blast that might be lodged in there.
And that’s usually all it takes is just a little quick blast of air and that’s going to clean the vent out for you and it just helps to push any bugs or debris back out. Like I said earlier make sure when you’re doing that you do have the vents open that way it allows anything that’s lodged in to push right out. So once we have this shell cleaned you want to take a dry microfiber rag and just give it a nice little wipe down.
At any point, if you see any extra little pieces of dirt or debris this is the time to wipe them off but this helmet is starting to look pretty good nice and shiny as we have it dried off. So now it’s time to move on to the face shield. So the face shield we’ve got sitting over here we’ve already had this you know kind of soaking with that draped over the cloth in front of it and this is really the tricky process as far as you don’t want to damage your face show because these get a little bit pricey to replace.
Now like we’ve talked about in the beginning a lot of times your face shields will have special coatings either UV coating or fog or an anti-fog coating so if you have any doubts about your particular face shield just make sure to get and refer back to that owner’s manual. This would also be a great time for you pin lock customers to refresh your pin lock insert. Pull the pin lockout and just make sure to have a new fresh one handy.
So what we’re going to do is the same way we were cleaning the exterior of the helmet just a little bit of warm water and a microfiber rag and you should have no problems with this you don’t just only use any solvents or anything that could damage any of those coatings that you might have on your face shield. Looks like I got a little piece of dirt kind of stuck down right here and just a little bit of elbow grease nothing too crazy.
And like I said most of the debris should have been loosened very nicely when we had this rag draped over top. And by removing that pin lock insert it allows you to clean the inside of this as well any fingerprints or watermarks you might have you can wash these out because you are going to be replacing that pin lock insert on a nice clean visor.
So once we have this cleaned again we’re just going to take our dry microfiber rag and we’re just going to wipe this down and this is really where you’ll see if there’s any fingerprints or anything lingering behind don’t be afraid to hold it up to the light this is starting to look pretty darn good considering at how dirty this helmet it was when we started this process.
Again like I said with these dual-sport helmets they have a tendency to get pretty muddy pretty dirty and we don’t really have any scratches on here this is a great time too if you see any scrapes or scratches you know it might be time to go ahead and replace a face shield but usually you can get a pretty decent living out of a face shield by just maintaining it on a regular basis.
So the face shield is looking nice and clean we’re going to set that to the side for the time being and the last piece here before we get to reassembly is going to be for any of you folks out there that are using an internal sun shield. Now the next helmet the XT1 does have an internal sun shield and you’ll note there’s a little bit of dust on this particular one.
Most of you out there you’ll have that face shield closed so you shouldn’t really have too much going on with your internal sun visor. But if you just get a little water bottle and spray some warm water in there and then just wipe it off with that microfiber rag. Quick note one of the things you probably don’t want to do is disassemble your internal sun visor.
Now you can pull it out if you want to but 99% of the manufacturers out there make this a very difficult process and because most of you are going to be using the internal sun visor with that exterior face shield down chances are you’re not going to have to worry about doing that. So just cleaning it with it in the actual helmet itself is nine times out of ten going to be just enough to get it nice and clean for you.
So once you’ve got the face shield clean the internal sun visor is clean this shell is clean it is now time for reassembly. So we’re going to grab that internals that we had sitting over at the sink and keep in mind for you folks out there that are utilizing a comm system now would be the time to go ahead and reinstall that.
The interior is going to go back in with your main comfort liner first and then we’re going to go through I’m going to reinstall the cheek pads. Make sure that the comfort liner is nice and secure in there and then make sure the cheek pads fit in nice and secure around that they should snap into place nice and firm. If you did remove a chin curtain you can go ahead and reinstall that last.
Once you have the internals all inside there you have one final piece of the puzzle to complete your helmet here it is now time to reinstall your face shield. Now keep in mind this is going to be nice and clean so hold it from the edges you don’t want to get your grubby fingerprints all over it. For those of you out there that are utilizing a pin lock system, this would be the perfect time to reinstall a new pin lock insert.
Now for those of you out there that do not have a pin lock insert let’s get this back onto our helmet and every helmet manufacturer is going to be a little bit different some will make it easier some will make it more difficult. Next, it does a nice job of just once I line these tabs up it usually snaps right back into place for me without too much difficulty.
There we go close it up we have a nice clean helmet it looks brand-new and it is perfectly ready for us to go out and get dirty all over again. That’s the most fun part of this process getting it clean so you can get right back out there to ride.