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  1. #1

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    helmet washing warning!

    I've washed every helmet I've owned in the dishwasher and never had an issue. I know lots of people who do this. They never had an issue either. Well today I washed 2 helmets - both Giro Xen (his and hers). Mine is matte black and his is non-matte (what would you call that?) light grey. Mine is now beautifully decorated with gray spots for a nice tie-dye sort of effect. I've had this helmet maybe 2 months
    Since I chime in on all these "how do you wash your helmet" threads and say dishwasher is the way to go, I figure I better post that it doesn't always work out so great

  2. #2
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    I dont see why one would need to sanitize the helmet so thorougly, since its just a chunk of foam.. I usually just wipe off the shell (or not) rinse the salt off the straps, and toss the pads in the washing machine.

  3. #3
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    Helmut Warshing

    I always give mine a good dry with a towel after a ride. Seems to help between warshes. Occasionally will also throw the pads into the clothes warsher.... After all clean is clean...
    J.O.R.B.A. More than just tm. WWW.JORBA.ORG

  4. #4
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    I always break mine by the time they need to be washed. Besides, it is a long way from my nose detergent and heat would make me really nervous.

  5. #5
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    first time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neen
    Mine is matte black and his is non-matte (what would you call that?) light grey. Mine is now beautifully decorated with gray spots for a nice tie-dye sort of effect:
    Is it the first time you've washed this helmet? Did you use detergent?

    If the helmet does not have a gloss on the shell, that might be why.


    Wash a helmet? Only when I fall into the river.
    Maybe after a terribly dusty ride I'll yank the pads and squeeze them out under the running faucet. And no, the fuacet is attatched to the house it can't get away like the fridge.

  6. #6
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    Count me in on the "never washed it" crew.

  7. #7
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    the only washing my helmet gets is when i get rained on.

  8. #8

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    Oh c'mon, you guys NEVER wash your helmets? Lots of others do it too, its not just me!
    Yup, first time I ever washed this particular helmet. I guess theres no glossy coating over the paint which is why it discolored. I'm telling you, I have done this no less than 2 dozen times (with other helmets) and they come out sparkly clean. Darn matte finish!
    :-( now I get to go to Colorado looking like a dork!

  9. #9
    Its got what plants crave
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neen
    Oh c'mon, you guys NEVER wash your helmets? Lots of others do it too, its not just me!
    Yup, first time I ever washed this particular helmet. I guess theres no glossy coating over the paint which is why it discolored. I'm telling you, I have done this no less than 2 dozen times (with other helmets) and they come out sparkly clean. Darn matte finish!
    :-( now I get to go to Colorado looking like a dork!

    Rinsing it off with a mild soap is one thing. Running it on a cycle with your pots and pans is quite another. Heat + harsh detergents = bad. You might not even know you've weakened the foam. You could have made it more brittle and not even know. I'd trash that helmet if it were me.

  10. #10
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    eggzactly! I'm no expert but the shell and foam have more special design features built into them than standard styrofoam and plastic. I've be very hesitant to expose a helmet to any extreme temperatures and enviroment such as a dishwasher. Sometimes defects are not visible to the eye.
    I hose mine off occationally when caked with dirt/mud/yeech and the pads get an occational scrubbing. Haven't had an issue for years.
    Don't harsh my mello

  11. #11
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    Take it in the shower with you. Shampoo hair and place on head. Move helmet fore and aft. Rinse. Repeat.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sethm
    Take it in the shower with you. Shampoo hair and place on head. Move helmet fore and aft. Rinse. Repeat.

    Rinsing the helmet sounds like a crude sexual reference.

  13. #13

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    Who would possibly care? OMG! It has spots! You will be a "dork" now for sure?

    Put helmet on head. Forget "spots". Ride hard and be safe. Repeat.

    Done.

  14. #14
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    This is crazy

    I have never washed any helmet I have ever owned. I agree with who ever said it get washed when they ride in the rain (wich for me is never).

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neen
    Oh c'mon, you guys NEVER wash your helmets? Lots of others do it too, its not just me!
    Yup, first time I ever washed this particular helmet. I guess theres no glossy coating over the paint which is why it discolored. I'm telling you, I have done this no less than 2 dozen times (with other helmets) and they come out sparkly clean. Darn matte finish!
    :-( now I get to go to Colorado looking like a dork!
    Never in 23 years. Have never heard of anyone doing it either. Not to the extent you do.

    I do wipe them down and hand wash the pads. Sometimes.

    The spots will make you look like a dork? Heck, helmets in general make us all look like dorks. So what?
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  16. #16
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    According to the warning label inside my Giro helmet.....

    The warning label inside my Giro says..."WARNING! Do not clean with solvents, bleaches and strong detergents. They can damage helmet, sometimes invisibly. Use mild soap and water only. Read owner's manual before using or cleaning helmet."

    Did you read the warning label?

  17. #17
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    Mine might get a wipe off if it's been raining and gets dirty and then on occassion I will give it a rinse off under a tap or in the shower. Hand wash the pads and squeeze out. The helmet on the head in the shower has been suggested to me one before.
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  18. #18
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    heh, helmet washing.

  19. #19
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    I use the microwave to dry it. Is that ok?

    I would never use a pressure washer on it though.
    Team MOJO Wheels.

  20. #20
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    Yikes, they tell you not to leave them in the car on a hot sunny day becuase the heat can mess them up. My guess is that the heat inside a washer is waaaaay worse.

    I've never really washed a helmet either but I will probably rinse-off the nasty salt-stiffened straps on mine this weekend.

  21. #21
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    I wash our helmet pads every so often, and just this week washed my actual helmet for the first time. Did the shower method - though i just put it under luke warm water and cleaned the straps with soap. Those were nasty.

  22. #22
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    buckette

    i just get a buckette with soapy water...dunk it 10 or 15 times and repeat with water to rinse.....
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  23. #23
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Dishwasher!

    In the dish washer!Where'd you get that idea? Once in a while when it is no longer acceptable, put it in the sink full of a solution of mild dish washing detergent, swish around a bit, give the pads and straps a rub, rinse in warm water and hang to dry. Good as new!

    Ronnie.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim311
    Count me in on the "never washed it" crew.
    I second that.

  25. #25
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    I'll wash a few times a season. I can't imagine not washing it.. thats just filthy.

    I have a spray bottle of isopropyl alcohol in my bike storage area. Ill give a few liberal sprays on the inside after every ride, and that keeps the bacteria at bay.

    clean freak? Yep.
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  26. #26
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    Garden hose and some Simple Green.

  27. #27
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    I just fill the sink up with soapy water and rinse it out. Then i empty the soapy water - and add clean water and then rinse the helmet again. I repeat this until the water stops going a murky colour.

    Too all those that don't wash your helmets - if you ride alot, then your helmet will be dirty. I guess you will taste it when it next rains, and the rain dribbles down your face and into your mouth - it is the taste of 6months of sweat and dirt... mmmm.. Clean your helmet atleast once


  28. #28
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    I just remove the soft inside pads which are held in place with velcro, and give them a soapy hand wash, rinse, and place the bits between a folded towel overnight.

    Place them back inside the helmet next morning, sweet, fresh and clean...


    Once per month.


    R.
    It is inevitable ...

  29. #29
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    Maybe she created the benchmark in helmet ruggedness...

    "it may survive a 10 foot fall, it may be water resistant, but can it survive an hour in a 250 degree dishwasher with abusive cleaning agents and the remains of last nights dinner???"

  30. #30

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    I've never washed my helmet - maybe brushed the dirt off it after a muddy ride. Must say I've never really heard of other people washing helmets either & particularly in a dishwaser! Probably something we don't talk about much here in Australia

    I did paint one recently though - it wasn't an in moulded shell and was in need of a bit of tlc so I took the shell off gave it a good gloss black spray paint, waited for it to dry a bit, taped it back to the foam shell & it looked like brand new - well better than new actually & I'm not that crash hot at spraypainting. Just a pitty the pads inside were deteriorating & are part of the structure that holds it tight to your head. So brought a new one with the new bike, in the end a waste of time really but it worked!

    If you ever try & do that to one that has an inmoulded shell be sure that you mask up the foam 101% because I imagine spray paint would eat foam quite nicely!

    Otherwise if looks matter that much then you could take it to someone who does the custom helmet paining professionally.

  31. #31
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    yep ... dishwasher ...

    then I put it in the oven to dry it off ...

    sheesh ... never thought to wash my helmet ...

    wipe it with a damp rag .. but a through washing ... no

    michael
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnie
    In the dish washer!Where'd you get that idea? Once in a while when it is no longer acceptable, put it in the sink full of a solution of mild dish washing detergent, swish around a bit, give the pads and straps a rub, rinse in warm water and hang to dry. Good as new!

    Ronnie.
    I was ball caps in the top rack of the dishwasher. That way the brims don't get all messed up.

  33. #33
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    I've never washed my helmet.. doesn't need it. It never smells and I sweat like holy hell.
    ~ it's all good ~

  34. #34
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    Wash it.

    Don't know where you "don't wash" folk live, but here in the desert the straps get stiff as boards pretty fast. In summertime its like those "magic christmas trees" that grow crystals on a cardboard wick. After a hard ride I can also brush salt crystals off my face. I guess if you live in a humid place it just runs off before drying?


    I always have washed (hand or machine) the front pad every 1-2 weeks. The rest of the helmet is washed every month or so by dunking in a 5 gallon bucket. I made a simple plastic "stick" that goes between the helmet and the bucket handle to keep it submerged for a good soak.
    This isn't a "you're doing it wrong" topic.

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  35. #35
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    Holy crap if I never washed my helmet I think i'd never want to put it on. I sweat so much there is a salt residue after every ride. I just take it in the shower with me and lather it up with shampoo then air dry. Takes like a minute to wash both helmets.

  36. #36
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    I've never washed a helmet.. Actualy, I don't think I've ever even wiped it down.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neen
    I've washed every helmet I've owned in the dishwasher and never had an issue. I know lots of people who do this. They never had an issue either. Well today I washed 2 helmets - both Giro Xen (his and hers). Mine is matte black and his is non-matte (what would you call that?) light grey. Mine is now beautifully decorated with gray spots for a nice tie-dye sort of effect. I've had this helmet maybe 2 months
    Since I chime in on all these "how do you wash your helmet" threads and say dishwasher is the way to go, I figure I better post that it doesn't always work out so great
    I would think a dishwasher was way too hot for a helmet. The manufacturers warn about leaving helmets in closed cars in the summer, which can get to about 120F pretty easily. That's enough to do damage. A dishwasher is in the same neighborhood, temperature-wise. I don't think you can do much to turn down the temp, either. They are usually plumbed to hot water only.

    A little soapy water in the sink is all that is needed.

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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim311
    Count me in on the "never washed it" crew.
    Same here, I just spray colonge(sp?) in mine from time to time to keep it from stinking.
    Remember, "We're not here for a long time, we're here for a good time".-D.Ritchie

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnychimpo
    I second that.

    i second that. when i'm finished with the ride, the helmet sits, and when i pick it back up again, the straps are all stiff from sweat. who cares though - i don't wear it around people with whom it would matter, or in situations where it wouldbe a problem. the smell, that is.

  40. #40
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    I live & ride in hot L.A. every other day & I sweat like a mother. If I don't wash my helmet in the dish washer every two weeks, it will stink so bad from the sweat that you can't even ride in the car with it (no bull!).

    I will do a weekly wahing of the pads in the washing machine with riding clothes. But the dishwasher steam is the only thing that cleans out the sweat deep in the helmet, where I suspect the stink grows. The other reason the steam works so well is that when you pull it out, it is almost completely dry, in every nook and cranny. I haven't noticed that the glue binding the shell to styro has dissolved nor that the styros seem week.

    My girl had an idea that I will try on my next new helmet - use a styrofoam-friendly sealant everywhere between the shell and stryo where sweat may leak into. I bet this will help the stink issue. I will try it and report back.

    By the way, I got the dishwasher idea from one of these forums where dozens swore by it.

  41. #41
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    dishwasher? personally i wouldn't trust it.

    bucket of warm water and some normal washing powder would do for me . . . i wouldn't like to subject the helmet to such harsh cleaning or drying in the dishwasher.

  42. #42
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    man, dishwasher can't be good for the helmet......

  43. #43
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    Salt(from sweat) is a natural sanitizer! And if you want to clean the foam pads inside, the velcro inserts come out.

    I never washed any of my helmets, and honestly cannot see why you would need to after owning it for only 2 months.

    Perhaps you should increase the frequency of your washings;-)

    I would NEVER (read: NEVER) trust my helmet to the inside of a dishwasher. That is foolish, no other way of saying it.
    Last edited by brianthebiker; 05-16-2006 at 08:09 AM.
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianthebiker
    Salt(from sweat) is a natural sanitizer! And if you want to clean the foam pads inside, the velcro inserts come out.

    I never washed any of my helmets, and honestly cannot see why you would need to after owning it for only 2 months.

    Perhaps you should increase the frequency of your washings;-)

    I would NEVER (read: NEVER) trust my helmet to the inside of a dishwasher. That is foolish, no other way of saying it.

    while I don't know about the dishwasher part, as a long time outdoors fabrics pro, I can tell you that salt is the enemy to most fabrics and fibers, foam and nylon inlcuded.

    ~formica

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica
    while I don't know about the dishwasher part, as a long time outdoors fabrics pro, I can tell you that salt is the enemy to most fabrics and fibers, foam and nylon inlcuded.

    ~formica

    You could wash the helmet with a little water.....anything above and beyond this is unnecesary IMO.
    "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." -Albert Einstein

  46. #46
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    I like the advice to pull the pads, put them in lingerie bag and wash them in the washer, and then rinse the starps out.

    Speaking of helmets... does anyone know what kind of glue I would use to re-stick the velcro patches that the adjusters go onto, back to the styrofoam?

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica
    I like the advice to pull the pads, put them in lingerie bag and wash them in the washer, and then rinse the starps out.

    Speaking of helmets... does anyone know what kind of glue I would use to re-stick the Velcro patches that the adjusters go onto, back to the styrofoam?

    Yeah there is a two sided tape, 3m Transfer adhesive that local insulators use to put insulation on metal beams construction.. It is brown wax paper backing just apply one side to pad rub hard then pull tape , than apply pad to helmet...

    Stuff works great I glued the (taped ) the bosses computer mouse to the table at work...Great reaction from a lefty... Look at Lowe's or Home depot for it...
    Last edited by Haroow; 05-16-2006 at 10:36 AM.
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  48. #48

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    Survivorman says..

    smoke kills the bacteria that create B.O. - another reason to join the "no wash" crowd. Could you just hang it over a campfire or stick in in your grill for a few minutes?

    ;-)

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    Read the whole thread....

    ....and why am I the only one who's grossed out that someone would put their nasty-a$$ helmet in the dishwasher!?!? For god's sake, people, you wash dishes in there! That you eat from! Is that where you wash your underwear too?!

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by bykhed
    ....and why am I the only one who's grossed out that someone would put their nasty-a$$ helmet in the dishwasher!?!? For god's sake, people, you wash dishes in there! That you eat from! Is that where you wash your underwear too?!
    um dude, the hot water and the drying cycle are hot enough to "sanitize" that's why you put your dishes in there.

  51. #51
    EDR
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    I live in the desert SW. I never wash my helmet. I ride often. The straps sometimes are completely stiff from the dried salt. I am gross.

    -i rinse it out under the hose every so often, when the stiff straps get so bad they make me crazy!

  52. #52
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    Sunshine too

    Quote Originally Posted by Big K
    smoke kills the bacteria that create B.O. - another reason to join the "no wash" crowd. Could you just hang it over a campfire or stick in in your grill for a few minutes?

    ;-)
    Leave it out in direct sunlight for a while after rinsing off the sweat. Thats all I ever do for my helmet. It only stinks when I don't get a chance. Like for the entirety of a Seattle winter.
    We all get it in the end.

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