Cleaning the Exterior of your Riding HelmetHelmets aren’t difficult to care for. Schooling helmet usually have shells of smooth plastic that dust can be wiped with a damp cloth or a microfiber cloth. It’s important not to use any solvents on your helmet that could break down any of the materials or glues. If you don’t like the way your helmet looks, try a stretchy helmet cover to add some color and style. When the shine has gone from your helmet, it could mean the material is breaking down and it’s time for a new helmet. Most manufacturers recommend replacing helmets about every five years.
A velvet or velveteen helmet may need cleaning if it becomes dusty or wet. Brush up the pile on velvet with a very soft brush once the helmet is dry. Use the soft brush on your vacuum cleaner to pull dust out of velvet. Clean stains with a damp cloth, dabbing lightly so you don’t pull the fabric too much. If you use your velvet riding helmet every day, consider using a helmet cover to keep it clean.
Some manufacturers recommend washing your helmet inside and out, with mild soap and water. Read the instructions that come with your helmet.
Cleaning the Interior of Your HelmetWe once accidentally left my daughter’s riding helmet in the tack box after a horse show. It had been a really hot day and the helmet had been put away damp. After a few days of ‘fermenting’ the helmet was unfit to wear. It smelled terrible. If your helmet has suffered a similar fate it is possible to deodorize it. First we tried spraying household deodorizing. The result was a stinky helmet/antiseptic scent. We found that letting it dry out in the fresh air, and then leaving a bag of deodorizing rock called zeolite sitting in it for a few days did the trick. Leaving deodorizing rock, which you can probably find at a nearby hardware store, or baking soda in your helmet carrier can help maintain the fresh smell.
You can purchase helmet deodorizer. I have not tried this, but friends who have feel they are effective with regular use. Another way to avoid dirty liners is to use products like ‘Barn Beanies’ , Sticky Wick-Its liners or Cool Medic Liners , or other similar helmet liners.
There are lots of pages on the internet suggesting that a good way to clean your helmet is to run it through a dishwasher cycle. I would not recommend this. Many manufacturers recommend that you can wash your helmet with mild soap and water. But helmets were not made to hold up to large amounts of harsh soap and hot water rinsing through for any length of time. Your helmet is largely made of foams, plastics and fabrics held together with adhesives. You don’t want to do anything that might weaken any of those materials. Likewise, don’t leave your helmet sitting in the direct sunlight, like car windshields or others places where it might be exposed to extreme heat.