Helmets are arguably the single most important piece of safety gear. Much like your bike your helmet needs to be taken care of for it to perform at its full capability, which in unfortunate events can be the difference between a concussion and walking away safe. Taking care of your helmet will also keep it looking new longer so you can maintain the fresh out of the box look.
Everyone has a gross helmet, there is no way around it. The good news is you can keep your helmet fresh with proper cleaning techniques. Additionally avoiding damaging mistakes while cleaning can help increase the life of your helmet.
Bugs are killer, or maybe you’re a bug killer, but either way bugs can impair your vision if they pile up on your face-shield. Be wise when selecting a cleaner to remove the bug guts and dust always avoid acids, solvents, alkali or petroleum as they can be highly damaging. Harsh cleaners can break down the integrity of your face-shield and can also lead to fog build up. Using a proper cleaner is especially important if you have an iridium shield otherwise a harsh cleaner can remove the careful coating helmet manufacturers use on iridium shields. We prefer to use the National Cycle Shield Wash which is safe for both helmet face-shields and windshields, it even comes with a microfiber cleaning cloth for a spotless finish.
The comfort liner can certainly be uncomfortable if left unwashed for long periods of time. The comfort liner is designed to wick away and absorb moisture but can turn into a breeding ground for bacteria. Fortunately most helmet manufacturers now use a removable and washable comfort liner so you can stay fresh and bacteria free. Using a mild detergent the liner can be thrown in the washing machine on gentle cycle. If preferred, the liner can also be washed by hand in the sink using mild soap or baby shampoo, just rinse and repeat until clean. Never use a dryer as the heat can shrink the liner to the point that it won’t properly fit back into the helmet. Always opt for air drying in a clean environment.
EPS Liner Care
The EPS or expanded polystyrene is the heart of all motorcycle helmets. The EPS actually is what saves your head the most upon impact slowing down the time before the force reaches your head. It is designed to keep your brain from ping-ponging back and forth inside your skull. Because our brain is suspended in fluid instead of a soft impact resistant layer like some animals a hard shell alone cannot save our brain from a forceful impact. This is why the EPS is made in a soft and flexible manner designed to crush upon impact in order to save your head. What this means in terms of helmet care in regards to the EPS liner is that if you drop your helmet, take an impact, or even store it in a wet environment the foam liner can be compromised. Leaving you without the most vital part of impact protection that your helmet offers.
While not all damage can be seen a sure sign of a compromised EPS liner is even the smallest cracks, dents, or other visible damage. When in doubt always have it checked by the manufacturing company. Cleaning your comfort liner is a great time to check the EPS for any cracks or damage, don’t forget that not all signs of damage or visible if your helmet has been dropped it is best to be safe than sorry. Any impacts the helmet takes can be damaging to the EPS. If you crash always check your helmet for signs of impact and if your helmet saved your head remember the EPS probably took the majority of the blow. Please whatever you do, don’t drop your helmet.
Stay up to date with the manufacturing date of your helmet, all helmets have a five year life at the most. As soon as your helmet exceeds the five year mark it is time to replace. Even if it looks shiny and new on the outside the inside EPS liner slowly becomes compromised with age.
When storing your helmet even for short periods of time find a safe stable place where it will be safe. Don’t leave your helmet where it could get wet or out in the sun for too long, these conditions can damage both the EPS liner and the paint. Always opt for storing your helmet inside the best place would a dry and cool climate. A Helmet bag is great for storing , traveling, and will keep the dust and scratches off your shiny new lid. If you have to leave your helmet on your bike utilize a Helmet lock there are many styles to choose from, we have one for everyone.
Take extra good care of your lid riders, it is specially designed to keep you safe so you can keep on riding! If it’s time to buy a new helmet and you’re unsure of what to buy check back with us soon for a helmet buyers guide for 2016. We have some phenomenal new helmets from Bell, Scorpion, Speed and Strength, and more! Check out this link to our website to see what we’ve got: J&P Cycles helmets.