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Thread: Helmet washing?

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    Helmet washing?

    I like to climb, which is not to say I'm good at it, just that I've sweated a whoooole lot in my helmet in the last 6+ months. The straps are stiff and crusty and the whole thing smells vaguely like a beach on a hot day. Salty and funky and a bit like a scary sea-creature from the deep depths. Rotting.

    Wash it in.... the bathtub? Dry it in... the sun?
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    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    My helmets use a one piece liner that I throw in the washing machine, but you can just as well spray it with the garden hose when you clean your bike.
    Telemachus has, indeed, sneezed.

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    Senior Member datlas's Avatar
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    Not in the dishwasher.
    Quote Originally Posted by RUOkie View Post
    never underestimate the idiocy of BF.

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    Senior Member Jakedatc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by datlas View Post
    Not in the dishwasher.
    or the washing machine

    but yea.. pull the pads off and rinse them and rinse the straps. air dry out of direct sun so it's not getting baked.
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    Senior Member Nachoman's Avatar
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    I shower with mine about about four or five times a year.
    It keeps clean and has the added bonus of protecting my head in case I slip.
    .
    .

    Two wheels good. Four wheels bad.

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    I spray mine with some general purpose household cleaner inside and out, rub/work the straps and pads as needed to dislodge dirt and stains, rinse well and air dry. I actually think you could safety wash them in a dishwasher. Nothing mysterious goes on. They just spray hot water around. The somewhat caustic (basic) cleaner shouldn't bother the plastics and synthetics. The heat of the drying cycle might be a bit much on the lower rack....

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    Senior Member cthenn's Avatar
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    Yup, take it in the shower with you, get your hair nice and sudsy with shampoo and go to town on the helmet. Shampoo works really well on helmets, gets it clean without leaving a soapy residue. You can even put your helmet on and rub it around on your head, then rinse off with it still on. Nothing tastier than a mouthful of 3 months of salty sweat!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cthenn View Post
    Yup, take it in the shower with you, get your hair nice and sudsy with shampoo and go to town on the helmet. Shampoo works really well on helmets, gets it clean without leaving a soapy residue. You can even put your helmet on and rub it around on your head, then rinse off with it still on. Nothing tastier than a mouthful of 3 months of salty sweat!
    You have to have hair to do this.

    When I ran hire bikes, I would get a bucket of water, some disinfectant used for dabbing on cuts (Dettol) and dip the helmets in there for a couple minutes, then hang out to dry.

    Now, for personal use, I have four helmets that I rotate -- they sort of match the bikes I ride -- so the build-up of stuff takes longer. I haven't washed any of them, and if they go too far into the realms of horror, then I just replace them.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

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    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    I have two helmets. I always take my helmets in the shower with me immediately after every ride, rinse, then hang up to dry. No funky/stinking helmets.
    Regards,

    Jed

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    Senior Member david58's Avatar
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    After my discovery of helmet funk, I now purchase extra foam sets when I purchase a helmet. Those sponges only clean so well - I went to replacing them.
    2011 BMC SR02; 2010 Fuji Cross Comp; n+1 on hold today, due to college tuition and a wedding. Some day, some where, over the rainbow, I will get that 29er....

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    Do you guys recommend using products like baby wipes (with no alcohol) to clean the inside of the helmet?

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    i shower with my helmet and i shampoo it when i do my hair.
    coasting, few quotes are worthy of him, and of those, even fewer printable in a family forum......quote 3alarmer

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    Another solution to slow down the funk is to wear clean bandanas under the helmet (or, if you are so disposed, proper cycling caps). The fabric soaks up the sweat quite nicely. All my current helmets have been better preserved thanks to the bandanas. So has my semi-naked scalp been protected from sunburn.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

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    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    I remove all the pads and hand wash them in a dilute solution of Woolite (which I also use on my cycling duds). I use the same solution and clean rags to clean the straps. The helmet itself gets wiped off with a solution of Simple Green and set out in the sun and wind upside down for an hour or two to dry. Never had a helmet go funky even after heavy sweating as long as I rinsed it off and dried it well. Leaving a helmet damp, in a duffle bag, in your trunk on a hot day will definitely raise a stink.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Another solution to slow down the funk is to wear clean bandanas under the helmet (or, if you are so disposed, proper cycling caps).
    Yeah, I always wear a wicking cycling cap and it does help. As far as the crusty salt buildup in the straps, I just give it a good rinsing in the sink when required. I ride in the heat and sweat quite a lot, but I've never needed more than that.
    ...Just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road. ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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    While showering I use a body pouf with shower gel, bar soap or shampoo. In the summer I might wash my helmet 2 or 3 times a week ... not so much in the winter. I can't stand crusty straps.

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    Senior Member surgeonstone's Avatar
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    Whoa buddy! New Year and already a helmet washing thread. Epic!

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    Senior Member Ice41000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Long Tom View Post
    I like to climb, which is not to say I'm good at it, just that I've sweated a whoooole lot in my helmet in the last 6+ months. The straps are stiff and crusty and the whole thing smells vaguely like a beach on a hot day. Salty and funky and a bit like a scary sea-creature from the deep depths. Rotting.

    Wash it in.... the bathtub? Dry it in... the sun?
    After (almost) every ride I just shower inside of it with just lukewarm water.
    If really sweaty and salty I spray with some soap and then shower.
    Remove pads and wash separately from time to time.

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    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    I have processes for my entire kit (and bicycle) before and after each ride. I like to air dry/hang in the sun my sweaty items after each ride (even if the item is going into the laundry after it air/sun dries. My helmet I wash in a sink similar to the way I'd wash dirty dishes if it has any salt build-up. I also wear a do-rag which helps to limit some of the salt/mineral crap.

    If weather conditions don't allow me to hang my gear on the deck to dry in the sun.... I hang them in a spare room with a ceiling fan. On occasion I've hung gear in the garage or laundry room with a box fan to dry them.

    Having extras of everything... helmets and gloves included... is key to always having clean, dry, odor free gear. Gloves I use an old diaper pin to keep the pair together and just toss in the laundry from time to time.
    Last edited by Dave Cutter; 01-02-14 at 03:38 AM.

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    Eh, from time to time, I just spray it down with a garden hose and let it dry. Seems to work...
    [insert clever quote here]

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    I have 3 helmutts which get cycled over a 2 wk period. Each goes into shower with me.
    Oldest is about 5 yrs old and has gone thru a shower every 2wks for that entire time.
    I have very salty sweat so lots of deposits - all get nice and clean in shower - I work the padding under water stream.
    Squish the water out after shower and let air dry overnight.
    oldest still have lots of life left.

    I keep sun exposure to only the riding time...
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    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
    I have 3 helmutts which get cycled over a 2 wk period. Each goes into shower with me.
    Oldest is about 5 yrs old and has gone thru a shower every 2wks for that entire time.
    I have very salty sweat so lots of deposits - all get nice and clean in shower - I work the padding under water stream.
    Squish the water out after shower and let air dry overnight.
    oldest still have lots of life left.

    I keep sun exposure to only the riding time...
    Who knew the owner of Cerberus was a 41er?
    Telemachus has, indeed, sneezed.

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    Senior Member cycledogg's Avatar
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    I rinse mine under the sink after each ride. Wipe down and then hang dry. About once a month I wax the outside shell with Pledge. Smells lemony fresh!
    Cheers
    Earn the Burn.... Reap the Gain

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    Senior Member Ricanfred's Avatar
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    1)Fill bathroom sink with warm water.
    2)Submerge helmet in water.
    3)Open drain to let sweaty water out
    4)Repeat steps 1-3 as needed
    5)Fill sink again with water and add some shampoo
    6)Submerge helmet in soapy water. Work foam pads and straps.
    7)Repeat steps 1-3 to rinse and repeat steps 5-6 if needed
    8)Let it dry overnight and enjoy a clean helmet
    2011 Trek 2.3

  25. #25
    Northern Rider nondes's Avatar
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    My helmet has its own ecosystem that digests impurities over time. I guess there's salt in there but the pads haven't got crusty yet.

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