How To Clean A Motorcycle Helmet
Motorcycle users, especially those who like to go for long rides will quickly realize how crucial the helmet is. With this realization also comes the knowledge that the device does get dirty really quickly.
It could be easier for someone who doesn't go for rides a lot and hence doesn't have to use the motorcycle much, but for any person who is a consistent user of the device it most certainly will get dirty quickly and will need to be worked on to regain its former appeal.
Some people surprisingly say they don't mind the smell and dirt of their helmet, but this is a very dangerous assumption to have. You never know if another person might need your helmet.
It is best to clean your helmet whenever it has gotten reasonably dirty. The process as you will soon find out isn't that complicated and could be easily completed in half an hour. And it isn't costly at all. A few basic components are enough to give you a clean and brand new looking helmet.
Cleaning The Outer Part
The process of cleaning the helmet can be divided into two. This division is to make the whole process a lot easier and more manageable. There is the outer part appropriately called the shell.
This forms the first part which will require cleaning. The next part is the inside part which is a bit more complicated and will require more attention from the owner of the helmet.
The outer part is mostly made of plastic. I am yet to come across a shell that is made from different materials. Plastic is used for the reason of shock absorbing. The shell in the process of use becomes contaminated with all kinds of dirt.
Debris of all kinds gets to stick to the outside, and with the sun acting on it as well most of this stuff dries on it and becomes very hard to remove. The general luster of the shell is also affected, and a brand new looking helmet might be tarnished and look really bad after just a few weeks of use.
When it comes to cleaning the device, the first thing one has to do is remove all removable parts. These parts include the visor. There are parts between the visor and the helmet that are very hard to reach and will be virtually impossible to reach if the visor is not removed.
The lining should also be removed bit here it must be said that there are types of liners that are not removable. These are fixed onto the helmet, and any cleaning has to be done with them on. If the lining can be removed, it should be removed.
Once this is done the shell can then be washed. There is special detergent available for these kinds of tasks, but any mild soap should do.
You should always aim to avoid the harsher kinds of soaps as these will not react well with the plastic exterior. Harsh soaps do more than just removing dirt.
They essentially attack the very substance they are meant to be cleaning, and this could affect the makeup of the helmet. With time and continuous use, the helmet fades and loses its appeal. You do not want this happening to your helmet.
If the helmet is not very dirty, the process of cleaning it could be very easy and short. A simple scrub with soapy water will be enough to clean up the device. However since the chances of hr helmet being quite dirty are high, the user ought to know how to deal with stubborn kinds of dirt.
The first strategy involves immersing the helmet in soapy water for a time. Letting it soak like this is guaranteed to remove those stubborn stains. Cleaning it then becomes a very easy thing.
The next strategy involves the use of a soft brush. The plastic construction is for the most part very sensitive and will react badly to any overly aggressive scrubbing. Using these soft kinds of brushes makes the helmet acquire cleanliness but also prevents any structural damage to the shell.
If the process of washing is followed faithfully, the device should be easy to clean and use at all times.
There are special kinds of helmets that have a glossy finish. These kinds of finishes are usually for cosmetic purposes, but it is important that a helmet with this kind of finish be maintained as it was originally.
To this effect the helmet once washed will have to be waxed. The wax used has to be of the approved kind to be used on the said helmet. This is a step that you can skip though necessary.
Cleaning The Interior
If the exterior part of the helmet is the easiest to clean then the challenge is definitely on the inside. It is the inside that will have the worst effects if the helmet is not cleaned for a long period.
The lining takes a lot of punishment from all places. Dirt accumulation is also a thing that is rarely noticed with these kinds of devices because the lining is usually dark in color.
Sweat and even outside contaminants such as dust will all combine to give the interior a very bad smell that will be totally intolerable. If there is a part of the helmet that needs a thorough cleaning, then this is it.
There are two kinds of interiors. The first is a preferable kind and is removable. Removable interiors are attached using Velcro and can be pulled out easily if they need to be washed.
The other kind of interior is that which cannot be separated from the helmet. While these kinds of interiors are not preferable, they are, however, very prevalent and a process of cleaning them up also needs to be discussed.
Cleaning A Removable Lining Is Very Easy. There Are Two Ways To Do It
It can be machine washed. This is a preferable kind of washing. The level of heat has to be got right, or the lining will end up shrinking and not fitting into the helmet.
Mild soap is still to be used, and the rotation speed has to be set at a very moderate level. Vigorous rotation is much like scrubbing the lining too hard and this as we all knows will lead to damaging of the lining. Once the lining is dry, it can be dried.
The other process involves washing by hand. Not all people have washing machines and for these people washing by hand is the easiest way. Once again gentleness has to be maintained.
The lining should be tugged gently but firmly. At this process, a lot of dirt is likely to come out, and the owner should not rest until all the grime in the lining comes out. Mild soap and only a soft brush are to be used.
Nonremovable linings need to be handled differently. You cannot use a washing machine with these kinds of liners. To wash them well the user has to get a bucket or any other large enough container with which he can hold water.
The detergent is to be put in the water, and froth should be made. The helmet should then be immersed fully into the bucket. The helmet should be allowed to soak for a while.
Washing will be a bit of a problem, but this shouldn't stop the user from trying. Gentle tugging should be applied, all the while noting the water coming out of the lining for any indication of dirt.
The process should go on until the lining runs free and clear. At this stage, the lining can be thought of as clean
Once the helmet has been fully cleaned the process that follows is the drying process. For the sake of the interior, the helmet should not be subjected to dry heat. All forms of drying that allow for direct heating should be avoided. In this category, I include all forms of heat even direct sunlight.
Direct sunlight might be too strong for the fabric to handle. You should aim for the helmet to dry properly in a shade that will minimize its exposure to direct sunlight. Removable linings are much easier to dry as they can be separated from the helmet.
These ought to be placed in shaded areas and only placed back onto the helmet once completely dry. Nonremovable helmets should also be dried in the same way. It is quite obvious that these will take longer to dry, therefore, a means of drying is needed.
You could use a circulating fan that leads to very rapid drying and doesn't harm the fabric of the interior of the helmet in any way.
These processes of followed completely will lead to the cleanest of helmets in the shortest time.