Clean Your Helmet After Every Ride

Tip #53 from the pages of The Total Motorcycling Manual

Clean your helmet after every ride

It’s a hot summer afternoon, and you’re sweating like a sinner on judgment day. When you get home you can jump in the shower and grab a cold drink, but what about your helmet? Just toss it in the closet and it’ll start looking like a portable mushroom farm—and smell even worse. Here’s the fix.

INTERIOR Use baby shampoo to gently clean the helmet's inner lining. You know the drill: lather, rinse, repeat. Stuff a towel up inside to get most of the water out, then let dry someplace with plenty of air circulation. Some helmets feature removable liners—they make cleaning easier, and dry fast.

EXTERIOR Mild detergent only—think dish soap—and a soft washcloth. If your lid's covered with dried bugs, wet down a cloth with warm water, drape it over the helmet's shell, and let it soften the crud for a few minutes. Most modern helmets feature tough clear-coat finishes, but you might as well top it off with a quick touch of some quality car wax.

FACE SHIELD Never use anything but warm water, mild soap, and a soft cotton washcloth, and always clean the shield under lots of running water to prevent scratches. It's easier if you've removed the shield from the helmet shell. Avoid glass cleaners or any product containing ammonia—they can lift the shield's anti-scratch coating. Pat dry, and be sure to store extra shields in a soft bag.