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Old 10-16-03, 11:57 AM   #1
gonesh9
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Smelly helmets

I've been noticing a rank odor coming from my helmet lately. Seems that my sweat has been absorbed into the pads, and is re-activated each time I ride. I get to work and my head smells funny. I get home and my girlfriend exclaims, "ewe!"

How can I solve this smelly dilemma? Should I remove my helmet pads and wash them after any sweaty ride? Should I wear some sort of hood layer under the helmet? Are there better pads that don't absorb sweat?

Thanks for any help.
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Old 10-16-03, 12:16 PM   #2
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Like you said, I ususally take the pads out and wash them once I really start to notice the smell. When I'm really lazy I'll just stick the whole helmet under the sink and give it a quick rinse - it works well enough if I'm really pressed for time.
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Old 10-16-03, 02:30 PM   #3
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soak em in 70% ethanol or 90% rubbing alcohol... that should disinfect them, and help control odor.
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Old 10-16-03, 03:25 PM   #4
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This is a timely post I was starting to get some strange smells in my helmet. Hopefully his advice saves the cost of a new lid.
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Old 10-16-03, 07:34 PM   #5
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Wadding up newspaper and stufing your helmet overnight helps(I have heard)
I just bring my helmet in the shower and shampoo the pads. On some helmets they don't come out to easy.
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Old 10-16-03, 09:16 PM   #6
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I just soak the pads in water. Because sweat is basically a fact of life year-round here, I generally can't be bothered taking the time to give them a proper wash.
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Old 10-16-03, 11:20 PM   #7
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Right after a ride, I run my helmet under the kitchen faucet and rinse the pads out with warm water. Works pretty good at keeping the funkiness away.
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Old 10-17-03, 06:06 AM   #8
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I wash the pads every week.

I always wear a bandana. This keep sweat away from my face.. it also absorbs moisture/sweat, so the pads don't get that wet..
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Old 10-17-03, 07:40 AM   #9
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Since the straps pick up sweat as well as the pads, removing the pads for washing is not going to be a complete solution.

Try soaking the whole helmet in fresh water overnight and wear it until it is dry the next day. I do this for sweat soaked leather gloves and my watch with a nylon/velcro strap. It works quite well.

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Old 10-17-03, 07:44 AM   #10
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Whenever I do my laundy, I throw in my helmet pads as well.

I put them in a small mesh bag, so as to resist those shady dryer gnomes from eating them.
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Old 10-17-03, 07:48 AM   #11
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My helmet came with extra pads so if I so chose, I could take off the pads and wash them and let them dry while I wear the replacements. I commute each day so wet pads don't always have enough time to dry out before the next ride.

Having said that, I have only washed my pads once in the 3 years I've owned it, usually it rains enough that it gets washed out naturally every now and then...

If you think my helmet is smelly, you should smell my bike shoes.... I think it would have people running to the nearest fallout shelter if it ever got loose.

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Old 10-17-03, 11:17 AM   #12
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I agree with DanFromDetroit, the pads are usually only part of the problem - I wash the entire helmet each day. I just take it along when I shower.
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Old 10-17-03, 11:29 AM   #13
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Top shelf of the dishwasher...with the heated drying cycle OFF.
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Old 10-17-03, 11:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikesick
Right after a ride, I run my helmet under the kitchen faucet and rinse the pads out with warm water. Works pretty good at keeping the funkiness away.
Ditto. I actually started doing this to wash the straps (which get pretty crusty with salt) but it works well to rinse the pads too.

To "dry" the pads I just press a towel against them then let the helmet air-dry.
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Old 10-17-03, 07:15 PM   #15
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I just deal with it.
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Old 10-17-03, 07:30 PM   #16
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I've this problem, as well. But my straps are causing acne, too. Can I put the helmet in the freezer to kill bacteria like I do my rock climbing shoes? Will the material break down any?
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Old 10-17-03, 09:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
I've this problem, as well. But my straps are causing acne, too. Can I put the helmet in the freezer to kill bacteria like I do my rock climbing shoes? Will the material break down any?
I hadn't thought of that. A frozen helmet might be nice on hot summer afternoon rides! Maybe soak the pads in water before freezing?
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Old 10-17-03, 11:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sm266
I've this problem, as well. But my straps are causing acne, too. Can I put the helmet in the freezer to kill bacteria like I do my rock climbing shoes? Will the material break down any?
I recon a good blast in the micro-wave might do the trick too
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Old 10-18-03, 07:06 AM   #19
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uh... cold doesn't kill bacteria.... only boiling does. just do the alcohol thing, like i said.
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Old 10-18-03, 09:15 AM   #20
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http://missourifamilies.org/quick/fo...qa/qafs383.htm
Does freezing kill bacteria?

Freezing does not kill the organisms that cause spoilage. It halts their growth temporarily. When food becomes warm again, bacteria multiply as they do in fresh food.

It's my experience that freezing will take the smell out of sweaty climbing shoes... Maybe freezing and Lysol?
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