A helmet liner is a soft, shock-absorbing, dense foam padding inside a helmet to protect your head and absorb moisture. The liner makes a helmet comfortable to wear during long rides.
However, if you are riding your bike in hot weather, your head will get sweaty, and the inner liner will absorb all the sweat. Moreover, the dust also becomes accommodated in it after long term use.
As a result, you’ll have a stinking and filthy inner liner. So there will come a day when you’ll have to wash your helmet’s padding thoroughly to have a pleasant and odor-free ride.
Now, if your helmet has a removable liner, then washing it is not a tricky task to do. But if the liner of your helmet is non-removable, then you might be wondering how to clean non removable helmet liner. Well, it’s not that hard to wash it too. Let’s have a look at the procedure to do that.
Do's and Don'ts of helmet cleaning
If I was supposed to ask helmet wearers if they have ever intentionally weakened or damaged their motorcycle helmet, they would, of course, say no. Unfortunately, that’s precisely what many of us are doing every time we clean our helmets.
The most important thing to remember when choosing helmet cleaning products is that most of us aren’t chemists.
If a product isn’t explicitly designed for helmet cleaning, and you’re not entirely sure how the product will react with the materials used in constructing your helmet, then don’t use them.
There are numerous household cleaning products out there that can reduce a helmets’ ability to protect your head.
The biggest offender is the glass cleaner. There is barely any glass on helmets, and yet this chemical is one of the most commonly used by riders for removing bugs and fingerprints from their helmets and shields.
Unless it’s organic, glass cleaner will contain ammonia, which is known to reduce the shatterproof qualities associated with polycarbonate, which is what most of the helmets and almost all face shields are made out of.
How to clean a helmet liner?
Now let’s take a look at the cleaning process for cleaning a helmet liner.
First is the simplest method. For a helmet liner that is just musty from storage or lack of use, a spray cleaner can often do the trick, and many fabric cleaners will work.
But remember that you’re putting this material directly against your face for an extended period, then potentially adding copious amounts of sweat.
So choose a cleaner that is non-toxic, non-allergenic, and preferably not scented.
To use the cleaner, spray the helmet liner with the cleaner, then massage the cleanser into the foam with a cloth or brush. Soak up any extra cleaner with a dry towel and leave it to dry overnight.
Now you can use a small fan to speed up the drying process in high humidity environments. But avoid using compressed air. A high-pressure stream of air will stretch out the fabric and damage the foam.
How to clean Non removable liner
Some slightly older helmets and value-priced models do not have removable liners. While these are a little bit more of a hassle to clean, it’s worth it to have a fresh-smelling helmet that will wick moisture to its full potential.
- To clean this type of helmet, you’ll need a large container.
- Fill it with warm water, add some detergent for delicate clothing, like Woolite, and mix it up.
- Submerge the helmet and clean the pads.
- Work the material with your fingers or cloth until they’re clean.
- Rinse with clean water until all the detergent is removed from the fabric.
- Make sure that all the detergent is removed thoroughly from the liner.
- Pat the liner dry to remove excess water and then air dry it.
- Again you can speed up the process with a small fan, but don’t use compressed air as it might damage the liner of your freshly cleaned helmet.
How to clean Removable liner
If your helmet has gotten sweaty more than just a few times, you’ll need to do one more cleaning of a liner. Just spraying a liner with fabric cleaner will not remove the salt from the sweat deposited into the material’s cells.
A salt-packed liner is not absorbent and will be incapable of wicking sweat away from your head as it was designed.
Most modern helmets have a fully removable liner, so this task is pretty straightforward. Remove the liner component from the helmet and hand wash them with mild detergent. I recommend Woolite for a few reasons.
First, it’s very gentle, it does not contain bleach phosphates or enzymes, it’s non-acidic, and its pH is balanced. Second, it’s safe for use on all fabrics, as liners are made from many different materials. Third, Woolite won’t cause any stretching or shrinking.
This is very important for obvious reasons. Also, it’s available in small pouches. Lastly, it doesn’t contain any fabric softener, which is very important because fabric softener will negate the wicking properties. As a result, the liner will not be able to keep the sweat out of your eyes.
- To hand-wash, add a mild detergent to a container full of warm water.
- Massage the cheek pads and liner until clean, then rinse until all detergent has been removed.
- You can squeeze or pat dry your liner with a towel, but do not wring out your liner as you can damage the foam.
- Allow it to air dry, or you can use a small fan, but I do not recommend putting these items in a dryer.
EPS liner cleaning process
The EPS liner can also require some cleaning from time to time. Many people use cleaners to clean them that are way too harsh for this material.
The EPS is the main shock absorbing element of a helmet, so it’s important not to alter this material either physically or chemically. If the materials are the only thing between your head and the asphalt, then why risk it.
A microfiber cloth soaked in warm water with a small amount of detergent is all you should need.
Any EPS liner full of mold, mildew, or anything else that cannot be easily cleaned, has been chemically compromised.
This EPS liner can no longer be guaranteed to perform its duties and full potential in a crash. Therefore, it should be replaced as soon as possible.
Cleaning the shell of a helmet
If you want to avoid chemicals altogether, soak a microfiber cloth in hot water and lay it over the shell. After a few minutes, you can wipe the helmet down, and the bugs will come right off. Return the shine to the helmet by rubbing it with a terry cloth towel.