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Helmet stink!

Old 09-22-12, 07:37 PM
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Lieren
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Helmet stink!

So, I commute daily in Philly, where the summers (and springs and falls) can be succinctly described as "disgustingly hot." As a result, the lining of my helmet has taken on a certain sweaty stink that I can't figure out how to get rid of. I've already removed and washed everything that can be removed and washed, but there's a layer of padding that can't be removed and is harboring some serious stink. Does anyone have any ideas about how to rehabilitate this helmet?
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Old 09-22-12, 07:55 PM
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Use oxyclean (or equivalent), Borax, or something you trust to rid of stink. Lather it inside the helmet, rinse it (some have even said in the shower, if you're that intimate with your cycling gear), and let it air dry. Perhaps dab the liner with a towel first, to help things go quickly. Drying in the sun, if possible, will be faster.
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Old 09-22-12, 08:17 PM
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I run my helmet, pads, straps & all, through the dishwasher.
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Old 09-22-12, 08:29 PM
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Wearing a headband or beanie under my helmet has virtually eliminated odor problems. They go in the wash with my cycling stuff. I recently switched from a headband to beanie because it eliminates the helmet racing stripes in my hair.

Last year I gave my helmet a good cleaning outside in a bucket of bleach and soapy water, and haven't needed to clean it since.
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Old 09-22-12, 08:32 PM
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I'm going to wash my helmet in my beer making solutions, Oxyclean and StarSan. The Oxyclean will clean it with an overnight soak, and the Starsan should kill all the nasties that inhabit it and make it smell. It works for beer making, which needs everything to be absolutely clean and sanitized.

I won't be using my beer equipment for this. That would just be disgusting.
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Old 09-22-12, 08:36 PM
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Rip it all out and throw it. Any soft porous material in the dumptster. Now just wear the helmet commando! Problem solved.
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Old 09-22-12, 09:08 PM
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Helmet stink can't be half as bad as glove stink. I have to wash my gloves every second day.
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Old 09-22-12, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Hairy Legs View Post
Helmet stink can't be half as bad as glove stink. I have to wash my gloves every second day.
Funny how different parts really get the sweat up on different people. I got overtaken one mild morning by a very sweet looking young girl, but her shorts were absolutely soaked around the area where she was on the saddle. Everywhere else she looked normal! Bit of a turn on actually, just thinking about it.
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Old 09-23-12, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by 009jim View Post
Funny how different parts really get the sweat up on different people. I got overtaken one mild morning by a very sweet looking young girl, but her shorts were absolutely soaked around the area where she was on the saddle. Everywhere else she looked normal! Bit of a turn on actually, just thinking about it.
So when are you gonna post that .gif of the crash of the rider with front airbags again???
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Old 09-23-12, 08:26 AM
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Awesome ideas. Everything's currently soaking in a big bucket of Bac Out and then I think I'm going to try the dishwasher just because the idea amuses me.
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Old 09-23-12, 08:37 AM
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Need a better smelling head.
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Old 09-23-12, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Lieren View Post
Awesome ideas. Everything's currently soaking in a big bucket of Bac Out and then I think I'm going to try the dishwasher just because the idea amuses me.
Just for clarification, I run my helmet through the dishwasher by itself, not with a load of dishes. It comes out smelling lemony fresh.
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Old 09-23-12, 10:24 PM
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Doesn't hurt to rinse the helmet off after a ride...then let it air dry.
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Old 09-24-12, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by old's'cool View Post
Just for clarification, I run my helmet through the dishwasher by itself, not with a load of dishes. It comes out smelling lemony fresh.
It's not too hot?
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Old 09-24-12, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Lieren View Post
So, I commute daily in Philly, where the summers (and springs and falls) can be succinctly described as "disgustingly hot." As a result, the lining of my helmet has taken on a certain sweaty stink that I can't figure out how to get rid of. I've already removed and washed everything that can be removed and washed, but there's a layer of padding that can't be removed and is harboring some serious stink. Does anyone have any ideas about how to rehabilitate this helmet?
Used Fabreeze on a motorcycle helmet that had been on my head for 50,000 miles and it worked wonders.
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Old 09-24-12, 09:23 AM
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Good idea!. Dishwasher!

I'll have to try that!
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Old 09-24-12, 01:12 PM
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I'd wash it by hand - mine got totally destroyed after going through the washing machine. I just wear one of those skullcaps that makes me look like a football player/gangbanger.
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Old 09-24-12, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by umazuki View Post
I just wear one of those skullcaps that makes me look like a football player/gangbanger.
Same here. I'm bald, so it does double-duty, soaking up sweat and preventing sunburn.

Also, I haven't washed my helmet since I bought it over a year ago. I don't always wash my cycling clothes after riding, either. I just don't stink. My sweat must have some sort of anti-bacterial properties to it or something.
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Old 09-24-12, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisM2097 View Post
Also, I haven't washed my helmet since I bought it over a year ago. I don't always wash my cycling clothes after riding, either. I just don't stink. My sweat must have some sort of anti-bacterial properties to it or something.
Or you're badly congested.
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Old 09-24-12, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by dramiscram View Post
Or you're badly congested.
Nah. My wife is very candid with me - and she's told me that she's jealous of my non-stinky-ness.

I smell good...in both ways.
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Old 09-24-12, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by dramiscram View Post
It's not too hot?
Apparently not. The temperature inside the dishwasher is way less than boiling at all times. Oh, I should mention, I use the air dry, not the heated dry option!
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Old 09-24-12, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by 009jim View Post
Rip it all out and throw it. Any soft porous material in the dumptster. Now just wear the helmet commando! Problem solved.
+1

I remove all the padding, as it's the source of much of the stink. You then must wear a thin hat for comfort, plus this keeps the helmet from shifting around on your head. In winter I wear a wool hat under the helmet, and in summer I wear a headsweats (coolmax) hat or cotton bandana. I wash the hats with normal laundry.

This leaves only the helmet straps to stink - and they do. I spray them with Great Value Lysol (<half the price of real Lysol) after each ride, and I wash them occasionally in soapy water soaking in the sink, rinse, drip dry overnight.
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Old 09-24-12, 06:01 PM
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Been wearing cycling cap under helmet since I started riding in the early 1970s. Wash that when it looks dirty.
About every 6 months I throroughly scrub helmet straps; replace foam pads as necessary.
Disgustingly HOT in Philly?
Heck, here in AZ we had 72 days so far of over 100 degrees this year.
Hottest I've commuted in in Tucson was 117 degrees.
Wanna trade temps?
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Old 09-24-12, 06:36 PM
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It may be time for a new helmet. They weren't designed to last forever, if you've been using the same one for years it's probably a good time to shop for a new helmet.
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Old 09-24-12, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Lieren View Post
So, I commute daily in Philly, where the summers (and springs and falls) can be succinctly described as "disgustingly hot."
First, OP needs to gain some perspective - for example, I live in Central Florida. Second, after every hot and sweaty ride I line the inside of the helmet with a paper towel and wrap the straps with towels as well and let it dry till next day. Capillary action draws out salt and stink.
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