I’m not what you would call a clean freak, but I’m kinda surprised it doesn’t occur to me more often. My helmet is disgusting. All my helmets are disgusting.
I met up with a friend for a trail ride the other morning, and I’d sweated pretty hard, what with being not that young and not that in shape, and being kind of a heavy sweater anyway. I showered at work, hit the desk, and didn’t think about my overall sweatiness again until it was time to pedal home. I put my helmet on. It was still wet. I’d equate the feeling of putting on a sweaty helmet to the sensation of being awoken from a nap by your dog licking your face vigorously.
My general approach to helmet hygiene is, first, to have a lot of helmets. That way I can swap around when my go-to helmet gets sketchy. That’s the lazy way out though. Cleaning has to happen sometimes, too. What I do is fill a large bowl with water, squirt in a little dish soap, and then set the helmet in the bowel for 4-8 hours, swishing it around occasionally. That seems to do the trick, albeit imperfectly.
Every helmet I’ve ever purchased has come with a set of replacement pads that I could, theoretically use after some period of use. I could remove the pads and wash them on their own. But I find they never go back in the way they came out, and that’s a level of organization a man of my limited means can’t quite comprehend.
You should replace your helmet every season or two for safety reasons anyway.
This week’s Group Ride asks, what do you do? How often do you clean your helmet? How often do you buy a replacement? Am I gross? Are you? These are life’s deep, deep questions.
Image: Zion Cycles