Cleaning Crash Helmets: Visors and External Shell

The only part of my crash helmets I clean regularly are the visors. But when the lid gets too many splattered flies and bugs on there I do give the shell a clean too to get the worst off, maybe twice a year. And then occasionally (very occasionally!)  I’ll give the insides a clean. So here’s a quick guide on cleaning crash helmets – based on my own experience. This first part discusses visors and exterior shell of the helmet. Next article will cover cleaning the insides.

And if you have any other tips – especially shortcuts – I’d love to hear – so please leave a comment at the bottom to share it with me and the world!

Cleaning your visor

  • Ideally remove the visor. It’s not essential but I always feel you can do a better job if you take the visor off though it is perfectly doable to clean a visor with it still on the helmet.
  • Don’t ever use any cleaner, including window cleaning fluid, on a visor as this could well damage it. Use only warm water as follows:
  • Run a bowl of warm water with some detergent like washing up liquid in it.
  • One tip I’ve heard if you’ve got lots of dried-on flies on the visor is to first soak some kitchen towel in water and lay the towel over the visor for an hour so it  to soften the flies, making them easier to remove.
  • Dip the visor in the water to get it really covered and get it starting to remove flies/dirt without any rubbing (reducing possible scratching).
cleaning crash helmets visors
Use warm soapy water
  • Get a soft cloth, washing up cloth or microfibre cloth. Wet it and gently clean the visor until it’s clean. Let the water not the rubbing action do the cleaning.
  • Clean inside and out.
  • Once done, run the cold tap and run the visor under it to remove the soapy water.
Rinse off – inside and out
  • Leave the visor to drain and dry. Don’t use a cloth to dry as it’ll leave fibres on the visor (at best) or smear oils over the surface (at worst).





Cleaning the External Helmet

The external isn’t usually as delicate as the visor for obvious reasons. But it will still scratch so care is needed. It’s also worth removing the visor so you don’t end up getting muck from the helmet onto the visor.

Cleaning is more or less the same as for the visor.

  • Warm, soapy water and a soft cloth is required. Try and avoid any type of scourer as it will leave tiny scratches on the surface as that’s what scourers are designed to do.
  • Some thoughtless flies leave really hard-to-remove fly-juice on the surface so soaking with a wet kitchen towel is a good way to soften this up. Leave it on for at least 30 mins.

    crash helmet cleaning exterior shell
    Same warm soapy water to clean the shell
  • Lots of soapy water and a microfibre or washing up cloth is best for removing filth. Work in circular motion.
  • Rinse helmet with clean water and leave to dry.



If you’re a real tart, once it’s dry – and only on painted helmets – you can use something like car polish to get a nice shine on your lid. Don’t use other cleaning sprays or liquid cleaners as they may damage the helmet or visor. If in doubt – only clean with water and don’t use any polish. Also (disclaimer alert) always check the cleaning instructions that came with your helmet before cleaning. If it suggests cleaning only with panda skin and rocking horse spit – ignore me and follow their guidelines 🙂




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