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Washing helmet daily? Will more expensive helmets help?

Old 08-17-15, 01:52 PM
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bikecommuter13
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Washing helmet daily? Will more expensive helmets help?

My helmet smells bad due to sweat. It's a Bell helmet from costco. It's summer time now, the smell gets stronger. I have to wash it daily or every other day. Will more expensive helmets help in this situation? Will they remain fresh longer due to better ventilation?
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Old 08-17-15, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by bikecommuter13 View Post
My helmet smells bad due to sweat. It's a Bell helmet from costco. It's summer time now, the smell gets stronger. I have to wash it daily or every other day. Will more expensive helmets help in this situation? Will they remain fresh longer due to better ventilation?
There's a guy here who claims he hits the shower with his helmet on to get the sweat off. LOL!

Some of us have Bern helmets that have removable liners - washing those with (cold) laundry does the trick for them.
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Old 08-17-15, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by GovernorSilver View Post
washing those with (cold) laundry does the trick for them.
But do you wash them everyday?
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Old 08-17-15, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by bikecommuter13 View Post
But do you wash them everyday?
No, once a week with my cold laundry - not the warm one. Works for me. That pleasant detergent smell goes away after one full commute (morning and evening), then it starts to smell a bit after the 2nd commute - not as bad though as when I first figured out the smell was coming from the helmet and not from my clothes - that's after 2 months of riding before I even thought of washing the liner.

I only commute a max of twice a week anyway.

I did some Googling and saw there are other brands/models that have removable liners for washing.

Last edited by GovernorSilver; 08-17-15 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 08-17-15, 02:15 PM
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I have never washed a helmet. I can't even say mine stinks. Maybe get one with more ventilation? Or spring for something like: https://www.amazon.com/Halo-Headband-...=halo+headband
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Old 08-17-15, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by bikecommuter13 View Post
My helmet smells bad due to sweat. It's a Bell helmet from costco. It's summer time now, the smell gets stronger. I have to wash it daily or every other day. Will more expensive helmets help in this situation? Will they remain fresh longer due to better ventilation?
Which Bell helmet model?

You might not need a more expensive helmet, just one with better ventilation.

This Bell helmet



is nowhere near as well ventilated as this one:

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Old 08-17-15, 03:19 PM
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Wear a headband and rinse/wash as needed.
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Old 08-17-15, 03:27 PM
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I wear a HeadSweats Shorty do-rag and I wash it after every ride. However I seldom wash the helmet. There are times that I'll just rinse it out with a garden hose after a sweaty ride. I've also been known to spray it down with Frebreze to knock out some of the smell.
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Old 08-17-15, 04:07 PM
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I wash my bike helmet after every ride to get the sweat off . Nothing wrong with that .
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Old 08-17-15, 04:32 PM
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Eric S.
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I have a few Buff "head socks" that I wear in the Las Vegas heat. I won't say my helmet smells fresh & clean, but it doesn't stink. A shot of Febreeze or similar product after riding helps if needed.
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Old 08-17-15, 05:26 PM
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My helmet has never been washed since new. It's used daily for 8 years now and has no bad smell whatsoever.
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Old 08-17-15, 05:51 PM
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I've never washed my helmet at all with all the years I have been writing. Unless it rains, and then I wash it a lot! A quick solve is to buy something that goes on your head in between your head and your helmet. I use a cycling hat.
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Old 08-17-15, 05:57 PM
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I use the simple Pace skullcaps. I have a bunch of them. I always leave the house with a fresh one. Helmets stay clean and my hair feel much cleaner. Less sweat tin my eyes and nice on cold days. Also keeps my cold weather caps clean. And I wash my helmet maybe 3-4 times a year when I want a clean chinstrap.

I look at them like fresh underwear. It's a better day with them on.

Ben
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Old 08-17-15, 06:13 PM
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My two Helmets are Bell Brand over 8 years old, I wear a Head Rag like motorcycles wear under the helmet. Mine do not smell, I store em in a hot garage in summer, cold garage in winter.

I know they make a spray stuff called FABREEZE or something close to that. You will see the commercials on TV. Would assume you can spray it inside a helmet.
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Old 08-17-15, 06:36 PM
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Whenever I notice my helmet getting a bit funky, I throw it in the dishwasher, either with the dishes if there's room (I live and eat alone, so in that scenario I don't consider it nasty, especially as I use the sanitize option) or by itself. I dry it in the sun, and it is squeaky clean until the next ride.
This procedure no doubt accelerates the wear-out of the foam pads that interface between your cranium and the helmet proper, but these are easily replaced. The rest of the helmet seems none the worse for it. Lately, I also remove the straps and wash them separately in the laundry.
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Old 08-17-15, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by bikecommuter13 View Post
My helmet smells bad due to sweat. It's a Bell helmet from costco. It's summer time now, the smell gets stronger. I have to wash it daily or every other day. Will more expensive helmets help in this situation? Will they remain fresh longer due to better ventilation?
get a haircut
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Old 08-17-15, 09:11 PM
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Neoprene diving suits, gloves and boots can get the stink real fast and real bad. After washing with laundry detergent in cold water rinse well and then put it in a bath of Baking Soda and water and let it sit. That should get rid of the smell. Maybe because it is a cheap helmet it has some type of synthetic that is cultivating bacteria resulting in the smell.
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Old 08-17-15, 09:25 PM
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I always rinse... and yes I have walked in the shower with one on before too...
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Old 08-17-15, 11:01 PM
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My helmet has some padding in it that is attached with velcro. Remove them and wash with a bit of mild soap and warm water. The rest of the helmet doesn't get smelly. I sweat a lot and have a Halo headband and that helps too. The straps, though, get stiff from the salt in the sweat and I just rinse these off under the tap.
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Old 08-17-15, 11:15 PM
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Rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle is relatively effective on hockey equipment until I can get it in the wash. I'm sure it would probably work ok on the helmet.
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Old 08-17-15, 11:17 PM
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I used to get the funky helmet really bad. Now I wear a headsweats shorty (or similar). No more funk, at least from this end. These days a helmet without a shorty is like shoes without socks. Icky kaka poopoo.

I would warn against harsh cleansers, especially dishwashers (really?). That can degrade the materials, and why wear it if it won't do the job when you need it?
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Old 08-17-15, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by bmthom.gis View Post
I have never washed a helmet. I can't even say mine stinks. Maybe get one with more ventilation? Or spring for something like: https://www.amazon.com/Halo-Headband-...=halo+headband
+1. I rinse the salt off occasionally but it never smells. I have a fair amount of hair so my helmet doesn't contact much skin if tha makes a difference.
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Old 08-17-15, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
My helmet has never been washed since new. It's used daily for 8 years now and has no bad smell whatsoever.
I can relate to this.. maybe our heads just smell better naturally.

E: Same with my old gloves... double stitched leather palm, mesh backs. Wore 'em for about 15 years, always smelled good. My watchband on the other hand... eewww. Rather than try to wash it, I just replaced it, twice, then stopped wearing a watch. Not the best solution for a helmet, I suppose. Flip the helmet over and put it in the sun... it's thte bacteria causing the smell, not sweat I presume.

Last edited by Lil Bear; 08-18-15 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 05-20-21, 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by bikecommuter13 View Post
My helmet smells bad due to sweat. It's a Bell helmet from costco. It's summer time now, the smell gets stronger. I have to wash it daily or every other day. Will more expensive helmets help in this situation? Will they remain fresh longer due to better ventilation?
You may just be one of those people who need a new helmet more often. A lot of guys prefer to only wear smelly, used helmets because they feel custom built the first time they put them on. You can get 80% on a helmet that's been sweated in for just one year. So, maybe you should sell your smelly lid on eBay.

Personally, I prefer a lid that's been heavily used for about five years. The more it stinks, the more comfortable it is to get in and stay in, all day.
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Old 05-20-21, 08:09 AM
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Zombie post alert. Newbie getting post count up, perhaps, by responding to 6-year-dead thread?
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