If you spent the entire climbing season rock climbing, the outside of your helmet looks like a bug graveyard, and the interior of your helmet has been capturing all the sweat you've been pouring into it for all those long time climbing. So in this article, we'll tell you how to clean the exterior lid properly and the interior because a lot of times, that's collected all that grease.
Before we go any further, here's a quick note: consult your owner's manual before cleaning or maintaining your helmet. You need to ensure that you're not doing anything to avoid your specific warranty, so always look at that owner's manual and keep it handy when doing this for the first time.
Now we must prepare something that anyone can tackle using simple materials found around your home.
Microfiber rags are great for cleaning the exterior of your helmet because they're not going to worry you are having to worry about scratching the helmet itself. Now they don't have to be brand new but make sure they're clean, so if you have some lying on the house, make sure you launder those before you go and start washing off your helmet.
The toothbrush does not have to be oral-b, but it has to be something with soft bristles. We'll use this in hard-to-reach places where those microfiber rags won't allow you to clean easily.
Johnson's baby shampoo
This same stuff you use to clean your hair we're going to use to clean the interior of your helmet. You want to make sure you're never using a petroleum base soap with this, so it's the reason we went with Johnson. Johnson is very simple, and most people have it around the house.
A giant tub of warm water
As mentioned in your owner's manual beginning, you never want to use anything on your helmet that could damage it, so we will use warm water to clean the helmet's exterior. You're not going to need any fancy cleaners.
A little bit of compressed air
We're going to use this to clean the vent system out. Now you never want to use canned compressed air, which is why you never want to go at your helmet with any aerosol. An aerosol will eat away at your EPS liner, and you'll end up damaging it to the point where it's not going to keep you safe in the event of a crash, so always steer clear of aerosols when you're cleaning your helmet, so with all of our materials wrapped up.
Now let's dive into the actual process of cleaning the helmet.
If your helmet is equipped with any accessories like a visor, then the first thing is to remove the visor. And while you're cleaning your helmet, you run the risk of damaging any electronics in your helmet, so foremost, the last thing you want to do is remove any electronic system you've installed.
Take all the pads outward, and pull out the liner and the chin pad. It should be a fairly straightforward process to remove all this stuff. You're simply going to take it and set it aside.
Dunk a microfiber rag into the warm water and ensure it's got a nice amount of water. Drape it over your helmet, and let that set for about 15-20 minutes. If any hard-pressed bugs, dirt, or grime are stuck to the helmet, you'll run the risk of scratching either the shell or the visor, so what we're doing here is allowing the rag to dislodge some of those items.
Now, we clean the internals of the climbing helmet. Frequently the internals is the most neglected piece of a helmet. Mixed a little bit of Johnson's baby shampoo with some warm water. The reason for using shampoo is to remove all the oils from your hair. It does a great job of removing all the oils.
Grabbing the pads and simply submerging them in the water, massage them back and forth, and pretend you're washing your hair. Rub this back and forth to get all the oils and grime out.
Once you feel like you've massaged out all the water, you can give it a nice squeeze, push that water out, and set it aside to dry.
Don't use external heat, like a hairdryer, clothing dryer, or microwave. It'll damage any plastic parts. Just put them on a nice clean towel, let them air dry, and come back the next morning.
There is a pro tip for you: completing this process the night before you plan on actually using your helmet, then you'll have a solid eight hours of letting your internals dry before you reinstall them into your helmet.
Now time to clean the exterior of the shell.
The warm wet microfiber rag had been on the helmet for about 15-20 minutes, dislodging any dirt and grime, now take it off and start the actual cleaning process.
Set the microfiber rag back in warm water. Remember we use warm water, stay away from aerosols and any solvents, just a little bit of warm water will clean nicely. Please give it a nice liberal wipe down using a generous amount of water, don't be afraid to get too much water. Make sure to work in all those little nooks and crannies.
If you do anything stuck in the vents or around the gaskets, use the toothbrush and get a little bit of warm water on, work your way around the helmet and down, and make sure to get any of the spots that might be trapping dirt clean.
One of the tricks to clean vents is to use a little bit of compressed air. Ensure you've got an air compressor and set this to a low setting. Dislodge anything with a quick little blast that might be lodged in there, and that's all it takes is just a little quick blast of air, and that's going to clean the vent out for you, and it just helps to push any bugs or debris back out.
Once the shell is cleaned, we need to take a dry microfiber rag and give it a nice little wipe down at any point. If you see any extra pieces of dirt or debris, wipe them off.
It's time to move on to the face shield or visor. Soaking with the microfiber rags draped over it. What we're going to do is the same way we were cleaning the helmet's exterior, just a little bit of warm water and a microfiber rag.
Most of the grime should have been loosened very nicely when we had the rag draped over, and by removing the pin lock, insert it to clean the inside and any fingerprints or watermark so that you can wash these out. Because you will be replacing the pin lock insert on a nice clean visor, once we have this cleaned again, we're just going to take our dry microfiber rag and wipe it down, and this is where you'll see if any fingerprints or anything is lingering behind. Hold it up to the light. If you see any scrapes or scratches, it might be time to go ahead and replace a visor. But usually, you can get a pretty decent living out of a visor by just maintaining it regularly.
It is now time for reassembly.
Grab the internals and reinstall the main comfort liner and then the pads. Make sure the liner and the pads are nice and secure in there. They should snap into place nice and firm.
It is now time to reinstall your visor. Keep in mind the visor will be nice and clean, so hold it from the edges. You don't want to get your grubby fingerprints all over it. Now is the perfect time to reinstall a new pin lock insert for those utilizing a pin lock system.
Now we have a nice clean helmet, it looks brand-new, and it is perfectly ready for us to go out and get dirty all over again, so you can get out to climb now.
If you have specific questions about your helmet, send us an e-mail. Thank you.