What Can I Use to Clean a Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet?

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Full-Face helmets or full-coverage motorcycle helmets protect your face and skull while riding and can be expensive to purchase. All the mud, sweat, rain can make your helmet filthy, and wear out faster. Cleaning and maintaining it well will make it comfortable to wear and last longer and allow for better visibility.

Wearing a dirty, smelly helmet will ruin your riding experience. Regular cleaning of the exterior & interior of the motorcycle helmet is advised. It will make it long-lasting, as well.

Things you need to clean a Full-Face motorcycle helmet include warm water, mild soap, mild laundry detergent or baby shampoo, a microfiber cloth, and a toothbrush.

Cleaning the helmet becomes essential because sweat and oils build up inside the inner foam. The outside shell has a lot of dirt and bugs that need to be cleaned, as well.

The inner comfort padding and foam should be cleaned once every week if the helmet is in regular use. Keep reading to find out how you can clean both the inside and outside of a motorcycle helmet.

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What to Use to Clean a Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet and How to Clean It?


The outside shell of the helmet needs a good wipe-down after each use. A complete deep clean is necessary after every few uses. Cleaning the exterior of the helmet will prevent bugs from sticking to it and hardening on it over time. Start by taking off any electronics from the helmet, as well as the inner liner and padding.

Be careful while removing the interior, and read the helmet instructions to do it the correct way.

Microfiber rags are the best option to clean a helmet. Your rag should be completely clean. Make sure the toothbrush you use to clean the vents and other corners has soft bristles.

1. Cleaning the Exterior of The Helmet

Let’s start by cleaning the outer shell of the helmet. Remove the visor. Wet a microfiber rag in a solution of warm water and baby shampoo, mild soap, or mild laundry detergent, and cover the exterior of the helmet with it. Keep it this way for a few minutes until all the bugs and build-up start to soften up. It makes the helmet easier to clean without any damage.

Gently rub the helmet exterior to clean off everything. Then use a dry microfiber rag to wipe it dry until it gets shiny. Don’t scrub with force.

Vents can be easily cleaned using Q-Tips or any toothbrush that has soft bristles. You can also use an air compressor to clean them if needed.

2. Cleaning the Interior of the Helmet


The interior of the helmet is where all the sweat and oils are. The comfort padding and lining from the interior of a motorcycle helmet can easily be hand-washed using any mild soap. The ideal choice would be to use baby shampoo as it is very gentle.

Or you can throw them in the washing machine with some mild detergent and wash them with a delicate cycle. Make sure you put the liner and padding in a mesh pouch before putting them in the washing machine, though.

It will prevent any stretching. To wash the liner and padding by hand, fill a tub with warm water and add baby shampoo to it.

Soak and rinse the padding and lining in this solution to clean them. Wash these properly, and don’t leave any soapy residue. After this, let the liner and padding air dry. That is just about it. To speed up the drying, you can use a room fan, as well.

With helmets that don’t have a removable lining, the cleaning process is not as simple. Wash the cheek pads, as mentioned earlier. Fill up your basin with a mix of warm water and baby shampoo, and put your helmet in it.

Make sure any extra dirt is rinsed off before doing this. Gently massage the lining to clean off any accumulated dirt. You can then use the water from the showerhead to clean and rinse all the soap off.

Dry your helmet gently using a dry towel and then leave it to air dry.

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3. Cleaning the Visor. How to Clean Your Helmet Face Shield?


Remove the face shield/visor from the helmet to clean it. Some visors need to be unscrewed to be removed, while others can come off from the side. Either way, make sure to read the helmet’s instructions to remove the visor without damaging it.

Since face shields are so delicate, they are very easy to scratch. Most visors are made of polycarbonate. They can even have a special anti-scratch coating to keep the shield clear and fog-free. Cleaners loaded with chemicals can easily damage the visor.

Therefore, warm water alone will work great to clean your helmet’s face shield and keep it lasting as long as possible with the best possible visibility.

Use warm water to wet the visor, and gently rub your fingertips on it to clean. It will remove all the dirt and grime. You can even cover the visor with a damp cloth for a few minutes. This will help clean up any stubborn bugs that may have gotten stuck on it.

Once the visor is clean, use a clean microfiber cloth to gently wipe it down. For a helmet with a pin-lock shield, you can clean both sides of it. It has to be removed from the helmet to do so.

What to Avoid Using When Cleaning a Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet?


There are certain things you should avoid doing when cleaning your full-face motorcycle helmet. They can wear down your helmet & decrease its quality.

  1. Never use alcohol to clean the visor or any other part of the helmet. It is very harsh & damaging. Alcohol can also ruin the EPS liner of your helmet and will damage its protective abilities. Only use water to clean the EPS liner.
  2. Moreover, don’t use dish soap or glass cleaners to clean a motorcycle helmet. Both contain harsh chemicals.
  3. Avoid using products like Windex cleaner. They have ammonia which can cause irreversible damage to the helmet and visor.
  4. Don’t use a dirty rag to clean your helmet, as this can also cause damage to your helmet’s face shield.
  5. Never use fabric softener to clean the liners as this can render them useless.
  6. Additionally, never use a rough, abrasive cloth to scrub down the helmet.

Assemble all the pieces back together once you’re finished cleaning the helmet. Ensure that all parts have dried and there is no moisture left behind.

Final Thoughts

A great way of maintaining your motorcycle helmet is to always store it in a helmet bag. Let your helmet air out after every ride to help dry up any sweat and moisture in it. Otherwise, it will start to smell bad.

A regularly cleaned and nicely maintained helmet can last you a long while. With this guide on what you can use to clean a full-face motorcycle helmet, you are now better informed on what to do and what to avoid when cleaning your helmet.

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I've diligently categorized my motorcycle gear recommendations into all available categories, with the aim of providing you with a comprehensive analysis that showcases the absolute best options for all your needs. These items are the culmination of in-depth research, extensive testing, and personal use throughout my vast experience of 50+ years in the world of motorcycling. Besides being a passionate rider, I've held leadership positions and offered consultancy services to reputable companies in over 25 countries. To See Top Picks and the Best Prices & Places to Buy: Click Here!

Information for this article was partially sourced and researched from the following authoritative government, educational, corporate, and non-profit organizations:


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About the Author:

Michael Parrotte started his career in the motorcycle industry by importing AGV Helmets into the North American market. He was then appointed the Vice President of AGV Helmets America. In total, he worked with AGV Helmets for 25 years. He has also served as a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, Suomy Helmets, Marushin Helmets, KYT Helmets, and Sparx Helmets.

In 1985, he founded AGV Sports Group, Inc. with AGV Helmets in Valenza, Italy. For over 38 years now, the company has quietly delivered some of the best protective gear for motorcyclists in the world.

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