Can a Bike Helmet Be Washed?

Generally, cleaning your bike helmet is pivotal in prolonging its life. That means keeping it free from dust, dirt, and even sweat. But, can a bike helmet be washed?

You can wipe the helmet’s outer shell and visor with a damp rag and wash the interior with soapy water. Then rinse it with running water before you wipe it dry or air-dry it.

I’ll explain how to go about it to ensure that all the parts of the helmet (outer shell, EPS layer, padding, and straps) are clean.

Note that since the helmet’s interior is in direct contact with the head, it’s likely to get dirty and smelly from your sweat. So, you not only have to get rid of the dirt but the smell too.

In addition to explaining how you can clean your helmet, I’ll also share the dos and don’ts with you.

Let’s get started!

can a bike helmet be washed

Can A Bike Helmet Be Washed?

As I mentioned earlier, you can wash your bike helmet, but you must do it accordingly.

Starting with the shell and the visor, you can wipe them with a wet rag. As for the interior, consider using lukewarm water with soap or shampoo.

And once you are done, wipe the helmet dry with a clean, dry towel and later leave it to dry in the air.

However, it’s not a good idea to use hot water or strong detergent as they could degrade the helmet.

And when it comes to stubborn stains, consider soaking the helmet in lukewarm water before washing. You can use a soft brush, especially an old toothbrush, to rub the helmet interior.

Furthermore, clean the helmet weekly if you ride regularly and once a month if you ride less frequently.

How To Wash Bicycle Helmet

Let’s look at how you can clean the helmet’s exterior and interior.

How to Wash The Helmet’s Exterior

In particular, learn to clean the outer shell and the visor.

a. Outer Shell

The outer shell is the helmet’s most outer layer, which is primarily plastic, and its job is to protect the softer inner parts from scratches and dents.

Usually, the outer shell is the easiest to clean as you only need to wipe it with a soft, damp rag.

If the dirt is stubborn, consider using warm soapy water. You can even soak the shell in soapy water for some time before rinsing it.

can we wash helmet with water

b. Visor

The visor is the detachable part that protects your eyes. So, it’s likely to catch dust and dirt that you can wipe off with the same cloth you used on the outer shell.

Remember, the visor has to be clean for you to see clearly. If you notice that it’s damaged in any way, replace it or the entire helmet.

How to Wash the Helmet’s Inside

When it comes to cleaning the helmet’s inside, consider the padding/lining, the EPS layer, and the straps:

a. Helmet Lining/Padding

The helmet’s padding is the innermost layer that cushions your head to offer you comfort. Since this part is in direct contact with the head, it gets dirty and smelly from sweat.

That’s because the layer is spongy, and so it gets dampened by sweat quickly.

The good news is that most helmets have removable pads and so you only need to take them out, soak them in soapy water, and wash them normally.

You’ll then need to air-dry them before putting them back into the helmet.

b. EPS layer

The EPS (expanded polystyrene) layer is the thick mid-layer that absorbs shock during a crash. So, it essentially protects your head.

But since this part is not in direct contact with the head, it usually is clean.

Nevertheless, it can be the most complicated part to clean if it ever gets dirty as it features small cavities that are less accessible.

Overall, you can clean the EPS layer with soapy water and use a toothbrush to reach the cavities.

can a bike helmet be washed

c. Helmet Straps

Unlike the EPS layer, the straps are in direct contact with the head. So, they get dirtied easily and are likely to smell as a result of sweat.

Here’s how to clean bike helmet straps:

  • Use a dry brush to run of gunk
  • Ensure you don’t scrub the straps too hard as they are often synthetic fabrics
  • Soak the helmet straps in soapy water
  • Add some mild detergent to the washing brush and then brush the straps gently
  • Once you ascertain that the straps are clean, rinse them with clean running water and then air-dry them

Simple Helmet Washing Method

Overall, here are two popular and more straightforward helmet cleaning methods:

  1. Shower Cleaning

This method is similar to taking a shower, and here are the steps to follow:

  • Put some shampoo on your fingers and rub it on the helmet
  • Alternatively, rub mild soap in the absence of shampoo
  • Rub the helmet gently to get rid of dirt
  • Rinse it well with running water
  • Dry the helmet with a clean, dry towel, and then air-dry it
  1. Bucket Dunk

Here, you need to:

  • Dip the dirt helmet in a bucket with lukewarm water
  • Add shampoo or soap, and then wipe the helmet with a soft rag
  • Take the helmet out of the bucket and rinse it with running water
  • Dry it with a towel and then live it in, then air-dry it

Dos And Don’ts When Learning How To Wash A Bike Helmet


  • Always check your helmet for damaged parts. If the helmet is damaged, replace it.
  • Clean your helmet weekly or twice a week if you ride regularly
  • Remove stubborn stains using rubbing alcohol. Dampen a piece of cloth with rubbing alcohol and use it to wipe off the stain.
  • Always allow the helmet to dry properly to avoid mold
  • Follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to clean the helmet well
  • If the helmet is lice-infested, put it in an airtight bag for about two weeks to kill the lice eggs. Avoid lice spray as it could damage the helmet.
Can We Wash Helmet With Water


  • Don’t use bleach or ammonia as they degrade the helmet.
  • Avoid submerging the helmet (in water) for long hours as the excess water damages the adhesive.
  • Don’t use hot water as it fades the straps.
  • Avoid strong soaps and detergents as they degrade the helmet.
  • Don’t wash the helmet after a crash. Instead, replace it.
  • Avoid putting your bike helmet in a washing machine or the dishwasher not to ruin its integrity.
  • Also, avoid the dryer as it also degrades it.
  • Don’t rub the shell with an abrasive material to avoid scratching it.


1. Can You Wash A Bicycle Helmet?

You can wash a bike helmet with lukewarm water and mild soap or shampoo. You need to soak the paddings in soapy water and use a soft rag to wipe clean the shell,  visor, and straps.

2. Can We Wash Helmet With Water?

Provided that the water is not hot, you can use it to wash the helmet. Note, however, that water alone won’t work. It will help if you also use mild soap or shampoo to get rid of stubborn dirt and bad smell.

3. Can I Put My Helmet In The Dishwasher?

Do not put your helmet in the dishwasher, as the machine can degrade it. A dishwasher will loosen the parts, rendering the helmet less effective.

4. How Do You Clean The Inside Of A Bicycle Helmet?

To clean the inside of a bike helmet, consider removing the padding materials and soaking them in soapy water. You then need to wash and rinse them with running water before air-drying them.

5. How Do You Clean A Smelly Bike Helmet?

First, clean the helmet with soap and water and then rinse it with running water. If the smell doesn’t go away, add some vodka, borax, or white vinegar into the washing water.

These reagents will neutralize the smell. You’ll then need to wash the helmet with soap and water to get rid of the reagents.

6. How Do You Clean A Sweaty Bike Helmet?

The easiest way to clean a sweaty bike helmet is by soaking it in soapy water and then wiping it with a soft rag. You can use baby shampoo in place of the soap if you have it.

Not only does this eliminate sweat dirt but also the foul odor.

7. How Do You Clean Helmet Fungus?

Soak the helmet in a 10-15% bleach solution for about 10 minutes to kill the fungus. After that, wash the helmet with lukewarm water and soap, and then rinse it with running water before you air-dry it.

You can also use borax or white vinegar to get rid of the fungus.

8. How Do You Disinfect A Helmet?

The easiest way to disinfect a helmet is to take out its lining and padding and soak them in water containing baby shampoo for about 30 minutes.

Then, put the helmet outside to kill the fungi using UV rays.

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In Summary, Can A Bike Helmet Be Washed?

All it takes to wash your bike helmet is soap or shampoo and lukewarm water. While you only need to wipe its exterior with a soft wet rag, you can remove the padding and straps and soak them in soapy water.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to clean a bicycle helmet?

Indeed, bicycle helmets can be cleaned regularly to ensure they stay comfortable and free from unpleasant odors. To do this, it’s recommended that you engage in a gentle hand-wash routine with cold water and a soft soap. A great soap that can be particularly effective for getting rid of stubborn odors is Dr. Bronner’s. This soap is known for being mild yet very effective in removing sour, unpleasant helmet smells. It’s a great choice to consider especially if you use your helmet regularly, and you’ve noticed the inside lining tends to develop a strong, off-putting odor.

How can I perform a deep clean of my bike helmet?

Deep cleaning a bicycle helmet can really offer a brand new feel and better hygiene, given that the process can reach areas and corners that a regular clean might not get to. The ideal way to deep clean your helmet hinges on whether it has a removable liner or not, like most modern helmets do. In this case, you’ll begin by carefully removing the lining and cheek pads, ensuring to remember how they were placed. A washing machine on a gentle cycle can then be used to clean the removed parts. It’s important to use a mild detergent to avoid damaging the fabric. Alternatively, you can opt to hand wash the pads and lining using warm water and soap – an equally effective method. The approach here is to ensure thorough, delicate cleaning that maintains the helmet and its parts in good shape.

Can a helmet be safely cleaned by washing?

Understandably, you might be concerned about washing your helmet, especially if its interior lining and pads are non-removable. The good news is that it’s still possible to wash such a helmet safely. The trick lies in preparing a large bucket with foamy water concocted using a mild soap such as baby shampoo. Once prepared, immerse the entire helmet into the bucket and let it soak for about 15 to 20 minutes. Afterwards, using your fingers, gently scrub off any accumulated dirt and grime. Rinse the helmet with clean water and let it air dry under the sun. This method not only cleans your helmet thoroughly, but also ensures its integrity, and therefore safety, remains uncompromised.