Protecting your head when riding your bike is of paramount importance, but spending a heap of money on a high-end, durable, well-designed helmet is no good if you do not maintain and properly clean it – and this includes the straps.
Your helmet can quickly become grimy and dirty due to dead skin, sweat, body fats, and mineral deposits.
Read on to find out how to properly clean your bike helmet straps so you can be safe and hygienic while pedaling around.
Why is Your Bike Helmet Important?
Your bike helmet has a vital job to do. Not only does it protect you if you get in a crash, but it also insulates your head in different weather conditions and ensures that you can comfortably cycle around without the concern of a head injury should you be in an area with falling rocks or if you get caught in a hail storm.
How to Ruin Your Helmet
Your bike helmet will absorb a lot of your body oils and sweat over time, especially if you are regularly using your helmet, and this will permeate the foam, liner, and straps, which will cause an odor which can be very unpleasant and can be very unhygienic.
The thing that damages your helmet most, though, is when you do not properly maintain and clean your helmet and its various components, especially the straps.
It is not so much the dirt and grime that causes damage but rather cleaning your helmet with abrasive cloths and strong solvents. This is why it is important to know how to clean your bike helmet straps correctly.
The things you should and shouldn’t do with your helmet are very important to bear in mind. Cleaning your helmet with the wrong product or in the wrong way can do more damage than good. By following these guidelines, you are off to a good start.
- Use mild soap and water
- Use a clean towel and warm water to soak your straps to remove debris and dirt
- Use soft microfiber cloths on the buckles of your straps
- Let the soap suds do the hard work – use as little force as possible when cleaning your straps and buckles
- Use a cotton swab to get into hard-to-reach places
- Air dry your straps, accelerating the process with a room fan if needed
- Check the straps for wear and tear than could result in unsafe wearing
- Scrub your straps or buckles to remove dirt or grime
- Use any solvent-based cleaners or petroleum distillate on your helmet or straps
- Use dish soap or other harsh soaps on the straps or liner
- Use fabric softeners or soap with a fabric softener in it
- Put the helmet or any of its parts in a dryer
How to Clean Bike Helmet Straps
Start by removing the padding from your helmet. Remove any salt deposits by using a soft, dry brush, such as a toothbrush.
Bend and move the straps so that you can get into the gaps in the materials. This will allow you to remove as much salt as possible before wetting them. If you do not remove the salt, it will soak in deeper into the straps.
Place the straps under warm, running water until they are soaked through and then brush them again. Put some mild soap on the brush and gently work it into the straps, ensuring that you get into the hard-to-reach areas under the buckles – use a cotton swap if needed.
Rinse your straps thoroughly until you are sure that there is no soap left. Leave your helmet to air dry. You can accelerate the process with a room fan if desired.
Once dried, check your straps for any odors. If they still smell, wash them again as per above, allow the straps to dry, and then spray them using a shoe spray that does not have any harsh chemicals.
Once the spray has dried, wash the straps once more to remove the spray so that it does not irritate your skin.
When cycling, your helmet is the thing that protects your head. And, as it must be held firmly in place, your straps are very important. Not only do they secure your helmet in place, they make sure that your helmet stays in place in the case of a crash.
The straps are in contact with your face and will therefore soak up dirt, sweat, and body oils that need to be regularly cleaned to ensure you have a safe and hygienic cycling experience.