Washing your bike helmet. How is it done?
One of the accessories that is paid less attention to and requires more care from us is the helmet. An element that, in addition to protecting us in the event of a knock to the head, is in permanent contact with the sweat on our skin. This means that it requires regular washing if, in addition to maintaining a certain level of hygiene, we want to extend its life.
The contact area
The parts of the helmet that are in direct contact with our skin are the areas of the inner pads, its posterior or occipital adjustment structure and of course, the support straps that surround our face and neck.
These are the parts that normally require more cleaning care, as they tend to deteriorate over time and accumulate moisture and salts released by sweat.
It’s not a piece of clothing
It is clear that, even if it needs to be washed, we cannot treat a bicycle helmet as if it were a simple sweater. Its design contains plastic elements. Different conglomerates and even elements glued together, as is the case of the outer surface and the casing or matrix structure, are glued inside the very mould in which the helmet is manufactured, in what is called “In Mold” concept or technology.
This means that we have to adapt the washing process when we want to keep our helmet clean, as well as taking some precautions to do so in the least aggressive way possible for its structure.
Let’s see how to do it.
Gently clean the surface
If your route has been wet and muddy, you will most likely arrive home with the surface of the helmet dirty. This is usually a plastic casing, in a matte or lacquered finish depending on the model, but in any case, it requires a gentle wash so as not to be scratched.
To do this, it is best to clean the surface, including the visor, which in most cases is removable, with a soft sponge moistened with warm water and soap. Rub the sponge without applying too much force against the surface.
Straps, wash them more vigorously
Due to their rough surface, the straps are the element of the helmet where most dirt tends to accumulate. For that reason, this area will need to be scrubbed with a scouring pad or brush to get give them a complete clean. Apply warm water and soap (also with neutral pH) to the straps
Pads in the washing machine, but take care with them
If you are extremely careful, you can also wash the inner pads with a sponge. However, they can be cleaned in the washing machine without any problem, which is more practical for everyone, but you should always use washing programs with water at a temperature no higher than 30ºC and with neutral soaps.
Always hand dry
Once we have washed elements such as the surface and also the pads or the straps, we must always dry the helmet by hand. Never do it with a dryer or by exposing it directly to the sun, as high temperatures can affect the aesthetics and, more importantly, the strength and resistance of the structure.
It is best to dry the different parts with a soft, dry cloth. If you do this, you’ll extend the time in which you can enjoy your helmet.