how to get rid of bad smell from helmet

How to Get Rid of Bad Smell from Helmet

A stinky helmet can make your riding experience horrible, and you’ll certainly not want that. However, it may happen to you if you put on your riding helmet for long hours in hot weather. The inner padding and chin straps will get wet due to excessive sweating and that will eventually develop a bad odor inside your helmet.

Firstly, you should try to prevent this issue by frequently washing your helmet. But, if your helmet gets stinky due to any reason, then we are ready to lend a hand to you. There are a lot of remedies and strategies, by which you can get rid of bad smells from the helmet and get a clean and fresh feel each time you hit the road.

Keep in mind that there are some products that can damage the interior and effectiveness of your helmet. So, before using any method for the cleaning and maintenance of your helmet, read the owner’s manual thoroughly. Now, without any further ado, let’s dig into the tutorial given below to know which technique will be the most effective in banishing that sweaty and musty smell from your helmet.

Washing the helmet

When it comes to clean your helmet, the most basic and simple thing to do is to wash the padding of the helmet with some kind of mild detergent and warm water. Any type of mild soap will work perfectly for this job, such as dish soap or baby shampoo.

Follow the steps listed below in order to wash your helmet:

  • Firstly, mix up a little amount of shampoo with warm water in any container.
  • Take a microfiber cloth or sponge, and dip it in the solution.
  • Squeeze the cloth well to get rid of any excess water and soap, because excess water can damage the protective lining of your helmet.
  • Now, use the damp cloth for scrubbing out the interior of the helmet.
  • Repeat the process a few times with clean water to take out the soap, and that’s all you have to do.

You can also wash the inner padding by removing it from the helmet and submerging it in soapy warm water. Gently rub it back and forth by hand in the water to eliminate all the dirt and oils. Then run it under clean water to remove all the soap, squeeze it and let it dry overnight. Reinstall the padding when it is completely dried out on its own without any external heat.

However, you should keep in mind that if you wash your padding this way, it may change its size and it may not fit as snugly as before. Therefore, cleaning it by using a damp cloth will be a better way to get a helmet that will smell good and have lesser germs than before. After getting done with the interior, clean the exterior of the helmet too by wiping it off with a damp sponge or cloth.

The cleaning products you should not use

No one will ever damage or weaken their motorcycle helmet intentionally, but sadly, this is what most of the bike riders are doing unconsciously while cleaning their helmets. That’s the reason why you should not use a product that is not used for helmet cleaning, or if you are not sure about what will be the product’s reaction with your helmet’s material.

Some household cleaning products can damage your helmet that will lessen its ability to keep your head safe in a crash. For example; glass cleaners which contain ammonia, which can diminish the durability of polycarbonate. Hence, we recommend using a baby shampoo and warm water to prevent any damage.

Other helmet cleaning products

The products that will help in diminishing the bad odor from your helmet are listed below;   

1.   Bactericides and odor removing sprays

You can get a premium-quality spray manufactured by a well-known and trustworthy brand from your nearby store, or online. Some of them work pretty well in removing the stinky smell from your helmet. Although, you should check out your helmet’s label before getting any helmet spray since some helmets caution against using alcohol-based cleaners. If that’s the case with your helmet, get a deodorizer that is not alcohol-based.

Use a few applications of these deodorizers to eliminate the smell, but beware, you should not use too much to over saturate, as drying out the padding again may get difficult for you. Also, it can degrade the fabric, glue, or liner material.

2.   Fabric softener sheets

You can get them easily in any supermarket laundry-products section at a reasonable cost. They will not kill the bacteria, although, they will reduce the odor to a great extent. It is quite an affordable, and easy-to-do solution for this problem.

3.   Heavy-duty cleaners

If your helmet has got exceedingly gross and got some fungus for the reason that you left it wet for a really long time, then there come some heavy-duty helmet cleaners to deal with these major disasters. Some examples of this kind of products are; ‘Hat Cleaner’ by Charles Owen, and ‘Helmet Fresh Cleaner’ made by the brand Helmet Fresh. Remember to check the label, and also test the product on a small area before using it on the entire helmet.   

Final verdict

The most easiest way to keep your helmet odor-free and clean is to wash it more often. This way your helmet will not get stinky at all. However, if your work routine doesn’t allow you to do that, or if you fear that frequent washing will damage the helmet’s padding, then you can use any of the above-mentioned methods to get rid of the bad odor from your helmet.

If nothing works for your helmet, then you should consult a professional to get your helmet cleaned. Also, it would be better to replace your helmet with a new one every five years.