What could be simpler…
Cleaning and caring for your motorcycle helmet. Sounds easy, right?
It’s amazing how easy it is to ruin your brand-new helmet doing something so simple as cleaning it. Just go in the garage, grab a spray bottle of something and blast away. Wait, what? Don’t do it, you will most likely destroy your valued helmet. But don’t worry, cleaning your helmet is easier than you think.
Different Soaps for Different Folks
There are three basic finishes you will find on HamrHead motorcycle helmets. Shiny Gloss, Matte Black and Matte Carbon Fiber. Each one requires different care when cleaning. The Gloss finish is easily cared for with any mild spray wax that you use on your painted tank or fenders, such as carnauba or one of the ceramic coatings such as F-11. Just give it a little spritz and polish with a microfiber cloth for a like-new shine.
The Matte Black finish however should NEVER be cleaned with any type of cleaner or solvent. If you have a Matte Black Shorty or Matte Black Curve model helmet, grab yourself a bottle of Dawn from the kitchen. Put two or three drops on a wet sponge and clean the helmet to remove dirt, grease and fingerprints. Rinse with clean, cool water. Then gently pat-dry the helmet with a couple of clean Bounty Brand paper towels. Avoid scrubbing, just pat and blot dry. Do not use cheap paper towels as most of them are abrasive and may cause fine scratches.
The Matte Carbon Fiber Curve model can be cleaned the same way, with some Dawn and water. It is our most durable finish and is easy to clean and protect.
Cleaning the Inside Liner
Smallest Dot Helmets such as HamrHead are manufactured with non-removable liners. However, it is still possible to clean them and keep them fresh.
It is good practice to regularly clean the liner and not wait until it is so dirty that it cannot be cleaned. Remember that you are sweating under that lid and any hair products you use are going to get into the liner and funk it up. Try to clean it often.
Prepare a mild solution of baby shampoo and warm water. Using a soft terry cloth, soak it in the solution, wring it out a bit and wipe down the inside of the helmet until it is clean. Repeat the process a few times. It is important to let the helmet air dry, you may use a fan but NEVER use any kind of hot air such as from a hair dryer. Hot air will damage the protective crash liner. I like to leave it outside in the shade on a sunny day and let it dry naturally.
Of course, if you get in the habit of wearing a thin doo-rag, the helmet liner will last a very long time before it needs to be cleaned. It’s a lot easier to toss the doo-rag in the wash, so buy several and use them always.
Cleaning Products to Avoid
NEVER use any type of glass cleaner, ammonia, bleach or abrasive cleaners such as Comet. Never use spray waxes on matte finishes. Avoid products advertised to clean matte black surfaces such as plastic fenders or fairings as they will damage your helmet.
And NEVER use any type of solvent such as gasoline, naphtha, benzene or any other harsh chemical cleaner. Not only will they ruin the finish, but they may actually compromise the chemical integrity of the fiberglass resins and soften the helmet.
Storage when not riding
The best way to store your helmet when not riding is to keep it protected in a soft drawstring bag such as the one which came with your HamrHead Helmet, but any soft bag will do. This will protect it from moisture, bugs and dirt. Never store your helmet in direct sunlight for extended periods as it can damage both the finish and the EPS protective liner.
Never hang your helmet from your handlebars, as a 3 foot drop is enough to cause serious damage. If you store the helmet in your saddlebag, use a helmet bag and make sure that there are no sharp bracket screws or sharp edges to damage the helmet when you insert or remove it. Certain hard-shell cruiser bags are famous for this.
And that’s it!
Care for your helmet using these simple suggestions and you will get many years of riding with your great looking helmet.
Most helmets cared for in this way will last 5-8 years or more.