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Tips for proper dirt bike helmet cleaning and maintaining

The dirt bike helmet is probably the most expensive piece of safety gear a rider owns, and it is also the most important one. While we put in a lot of time and energy cleaning and maintaining our dirt bikes because we want optimum performance from them, we are quick to forget that the same love and care can keep our safety gear in top shape. Well-maintained gear enables them to do their job properly – which is life-saving work. So, get ready to take another look at your headgear with this dirt bike helmet cleaning and maintaining guide.

When do you need to replace your dirt bike helmet?

First thing first, is your dirt bike helmet too old? No matter how little they have been used and roughed up, dirt bike helmets come with an unspecified expiration date. Manufacturers usually construct helmets to last 5-8 years at most. Materials like resin, glue, and cushioned lining, lose their strength and effectiveness over time. And, a helmet that is past its prime doesn't do what it says on the label. You can find a sticker on the helmet with the manufactured date, so you can work out how long you can use it and when to buy a new one.

If you met with a crash and your helmet took a hit, it should be replaced immediately. A crashed helmet is no longer safe to reuse as the safety components are designed for a single crash only. A cracked outer shell, crushed inner foam, and dents are signs that your helmet has done its job by taking the brunt of the impact.

Maintaining your dirt bike helmet

How often should you clean your dirt bike helmet?

Dirt biking is a sweaty sport. No matter how cool the day is, once you gear up and start to spin the wheels, the adrenaline kicks in, and the gear warms you up. A sweaty helmet poses all sorts of problems, from the deterioration of the foam to discolouration and odour. Cleaning your dirt bike helmet after every ride is good practice. That way, you do not allow sweat and moisture to set in the linings.

Can a machine wash a dirt bike helmet?

Yes, you can absolutely throw your removable helmet liners into the washing machine to wash with other gear. Most liners are made from fabric, foam, and some plastic, which can go in a low spin cycle without causing damage. You can use a laundry bag for gentler care. Avoid using the spin dryer and let the liners dry in a warm place. You can use the afternoon sun or overnight open natural drying in a ventilated room.

What do you need to clean your dirt bike helmet?

If you want to be more gentle with your helmet cleaning, doing it by hand is the best option.

Type of soap – try to use a non-petroleum-based and gentle soap. Baby shampoo fits the description,  and it is cheap too. Avoid using soaps that have a strong fragrance. You don’t want to be distracted by the smell and constantly get whiffs of lavender when you are on a trail ride. You can use a mild detergent and gentle grease remover for the exterior.

Type of cloth – use microfibre towels or absorbent cloth to wash and dry the shell and face shield. Some clothes are abrasive and are designed for scrubbing. Abrasion is not necessary and can scratch the face shield and outer finish of the helmet. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and cotton buds for hard-to-reach places.

Warm water – it is a good candidate to soak, rinse, and machine wash. Dirt and grease loosen up better in warm water. You can use a power washer, too, at a low setting for the shell.

How to wash the liner

Gently remove it from the shell and rinse under running water or give it a good soak before applying liquid soap. The water and suds should penetrate the lining. Do the same with the cheek padding. Allow it to dry naturally.

How to wash the outer shell

Once the liners and removable parts are taken out, clean the inside and outside of the helmet. Use a damp cloth to wipe clean the inside, and you can use helmet care spray to sanitise. Use a gentle detergent and cloth to clean the exterior. Some even give it a coat of wax.

Spending big bucks on a dirt bike helmet isn’t the only reason why you should clean and maintain it. Regularly cleaned helmets are free from bacteria, mildew, and odour, which are all deterrents for an enjoyable ride. Purchase kids’ and adults’ motocross helmets at Mini Bikes Off Road, where you don’t have to spend a fortune to find high-quality, durable products.

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