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Thread: Helmet Smell

  1. #1
    Scottish Transplant Picinisco's Avatar
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    Helmet Smell

    I have been riding almost daily with the same helmet for 2 years now. I have just replaced it mainly because it has started to smell. Obviously sweat and bacteria. What tips are out there for keeping the helmet liner reasonably odor free. I am in AZ so you can imagine there is a lot of sweat inside in the summer. I do not want to pour bottled of cologne or perfume inside it that would be worse. So odor free is the goal.
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  2. #2
    Registered User amiles's Avatar
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    Peet Shoe Dryer

    The Peet shoe dryer (which dries shoes very well incidentally) can be accessorized with a helmet drying attachment.

    the Peet shoe dryer was recommended to me by wmubrown in reply to my request elsewhere on this list. The basic shoe dryer dries and desitinks my smelly work boots overnight & never gets very warm. I plan to get the helmet attachment in the future since I an sure (without trying it) that it will dry and deodorize my helmet as well.

    (EDIT) Later posts recommend washing the interior with shampoo, this is a great idea, but not for daily use obviously. Overnight drying with a small cheap fan blowing into the helmet will work for day to day comfort between shampooings.
    Last edited by amiles; 12-19-2008 at 05:11 AM.

  3. #3
    MrGrocer
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    So, you put your helmet in the freezer for two hours and you let it warm up, it should sweat a little in the liner, all that ooky goo coming back up.

    Go to a Pet store and buy a bag of cedar chips stuff a healthy bunch of them in an old pillowcase, stuff the filled pillowcase into your helmet. Preferably an absorbent flannel or silk one but any will do!

    Cotton absorbs the moisture, cedar chips soak up the moisture, the dry air kills the bacteria. No more petro chemicals and ya gotta believe me, your helmet smells great. You can ride 500 miles on a hot day and yu'll still smell fresh and cedary.

    ANd no, this isn't a practical joke. Get rid of the petrochemicals and get your helmet really clean.

  4. #4
    Hogaan! testinglogin's Avatar
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    Along the lines of future prevention - I wear a Coolmax helmet liner (skull cap). It's thin so I don't get hot in the summer (don't notice it) and I end up sweating into that instead of my helmet. It also keep hair gel and things out of the helmet, if that's an issue. I have a lot of miles on my helmet (in hot, cold, and rain), and it still smells pretty new. Definitely not "funky".

    HJC sells the helmet liners, and webbikeworld talks about them here.

  5. #5
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    most bike shops have a helmet cleaner foam spray...we use it after most long rides...supposed to spray, let sit and wipe clean...helmet smells new for some time... small can lasts a while with our multiple helmets. Even with a head beenie they need attention in the heat!

    here's a review from SportBike:

    http://www.sportbikes.com/articles.aspx?id=1012
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  6. #6
    Hogaan! testinglogin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrGrocer View Post
    So, you put your helmet in the freezer for two hours and you let it warm up, it should sweat a little in the liner, all that ooky goo coming back up.

    Go to a Pet store and buy a bag of cedar chips stuff a healthy bunch of them in an old pillowcase, stuff the filled pillowcase into your helmet. Preferably an absorbent flannel or silk one but any will do!

    Cotton absorbs the moisture, cedar chips soak up the moisture, the dry air kills the bacteria. No more petro chemicals and ya gotta believe me, your helmet smells great. You can ride 500 miles on a hot day and yu'll still smell fresh and cedary.

    ANd no, this isn't a practical joke. Get rid of the petrochemicals and get your helmet really clean.
    Be careful with the cedar chips unless you know you're not allergic. I know it sounds odd, but I have reactions to cedar chips. Learned that lesson LONG ago when I was in elementary school and my parents got me a guinea pig. I ended up with a rash (washing fixed it right away). More testing confirmed it was the cedar and not the animal. Ended up using pine, which wasn't as good but worked OK.

    I would hate to see someone cedar up their helmet and then not be able to use it ever again.

  7. #7
    BMWRich58
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    I use spray foam rug cleaner.

  8. #8
    RK Ryder
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    I use a Sliks liner, similar I assume to Josh's Coolmax liner. Smells are a non-issue. These can be washed and dried overnight when you are on the road. Once when staying with a friend, he gave me a some magic cloth to clean my helmet. The two cloths were blue. When we were done, his was brown; mine still blue because my helmet had not accumulated dirt and sweat.

    Before using the Sliks liners, I used to slip a dryer Fabreeze sheet into the helmet. Once again, smells were a non-issue. The advantage of the liners is that "helmet hair" is almost a non-issue when I remove the helmet to go in somewhere.

    In my Shoei, the cheek pads unsnap for washing. With my Scorpion, all the liners snap out for washing.
    Paul
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  9. #9
    Registered User boxerkuh's Avatar
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    Couple of tricks come to mind, some already mentioned. I too, use a SLICK helmet liner all year around and wash it from time to time. An old stand-by is the helmet spray from years around to spray the entire liner, let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe it clean. Then let it sit overnight. Most new helmets now have removeable helmet liners, where you can dis-assemble the helmet pretty easy and wash it in the washing machine. This takes more effort than the other two ways. Although my Shoei X-11 has a removeable liner, I simply use the SLICK liner and smells have not been an issue. You can read up on the SLICK liner on bike-web-world. They are not for fashion statements, but they do work and they are cheap!
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  10. #10
    Registered User markgoodrich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boxerkuh View Post
    Couple of tricks come to mind, some already mentioned. I too, use a SLICK helmet liner all year around and wash it from time to time. An old stand-by is the helmet spray from years around to spray the entire liner, let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe it clean. Then let it sit overnight. Most new helmets now have removeable helmet liners, where you can dis-assemble the helmet pretty easy and wash it in the washing machine. This takes more effort than the other two ways. Although my Shoei X-11 has a removeable liner, I simply use the SLICK liner and smells have not been an issue. You can read up on the SLICK liner on bike-web-world. They are not for fashion statements, but they do work and they are cheap!
    Just to make it easier to find the liner, the makers spell it "SLIK," figuring, no doubt, they're very slick folks. I have one, but have never gotten into the habit of using it. My Shoei gets real stinky. I just pull all the linings out and wash them in cold water with Woolite on the delicate cycle. Sometimes I have to do it twice if I've waited too long. Air dry. While the liners are out, I use a damp cloth with a household cleaner to wipe the inside of the helmet...the "styrofoam"...which also gets stinky.

    What I REALLY want to figure out is how to clean the disgusting Autocom mike without ruining it. I have to wear a clothespin on my nose. Hurts, and my wife complains about the way I sound like a Yankee.

  11. #11
    Pusser's Pyrate Society Zygmund's Avatar
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  12. #12
    "Enthusiast" King's Avatar
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    Talking

    I wear a Scorpion helmet. The comfort padding can be removed for laundering, which I do every so often. In addition, I wear a slick in hot weather like others have mentioned. When not riding I store my helmet in the cabinet with a dryer sheet tucked inside (don't forget to take it out before you ride... you'll get soft-headed). When riding do not tuck your gloves inside the helmet at gas stops, etc. They don't smell so good, either.
    Don Braasch # 9049
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  13. #13
    BMWRich58
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    my wife complains about the way I sound like a Yankee.

    HEY!!! I resemble that!!!

    .....you still lost ha ha!!!

    .................................................. .........just kidding....................

  14. #14
    Bob
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    We wear Arai helmets, which ususlly have removeable liners, or provide cleaning instructions for the built in liners. The thing is, they're so well ventilated they don't really get "funky" so a simple squirt of helmet freshener every now and then does the trick.
    I would think that if you have the convenience of a removeable liner, you could buy a spare, and always have a fresh one in while the other is airing out.

  15. #15
    Registered User MOTOR31's Avatar
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    I try the prevention route first. I use a "doo rag" as a barrier to dirt and sweat getting in the helmet liner. If I do need to clean it I use the same techniques already listed. The drier sheets do help keep it "fresh".
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