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Cleaning Ski Helmets

skiers skiing

Ski helmets and snowboarding helmets can be tough to clean at the end of the season, before they get stored until next winter. But you should definitely do it. So do you clean them yourself? Can you clean them yourself? If you're searching for how to clean a ski helmet or a snowboarding helmet, or if you should just have them professionally spot cleaned, then you've come to the right place.

Items like these are tough because they are made of 'mixed materials,' meaning they are constructed from many things. Ski helmets are often made of plastic, metal, dense foam, nylon, fabric, leather or faux leather, etc. So you can't just toss this in the washing machine and hope for the best. But anything resembling fabric on these items usually cannot just be wiped clean like the hard surfaces. This is because the fabric parts come into contact with your head and face, and they can get grimy or sweaty, so that makes them a breeding ground for bacteria and stink.

The DIY Method

To DIY clean a helmet, start by taking it apart as much as you can. Every helmet is different, so some may break down into lots of pieces, while others may not come apart at all.

All the hard plastic parts can simply be wiped with a soft wet cloth. You don't need to use any soap or cleaners for this part. If your helmet has any scuffs on it, you can try a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, but test a small hidden spot first. Magic erasers can scuff or dull some surfaces. This damage cannot be undone.

For the fabric components, you can put a few drops of Dawn Original Dish Soap in a quart of warm water to create a mild detergent. Dip your soft cloth into this detergent and then dab the fabric gently — don't rub or scrub — to wet the surface but not flood it. Stains may or may not come out with this method, but we recommend being very gentle and not getting the fabric too wet. After you have cleaned the surface of the fabric, repeat the process with a new cloth and plain warm water to "rinse" the detergent away. Lay the pieces out to dry in a place where they can get plenty of air circulation. Dry the pieces for a few days to make 100% sure they're fully dry before reassembling the helmet and storing it.

The Zero-Effort, Zero-Time Method

Or, if you want to hit the easy button when it comes to cleaning up and disinfecting your ski or snowboarding helmet that contains fabric components, Max I. Walker can take care of it for you. We may not be able to clean all ski helmets, but if it's possible then we will likely get the item much cleaner than you can at home. This because we have a variety of super effective cleaners and stain removers and can carefully use both cleaners and steam to clean items like these. Steam also disinfects, to kill germs and bacteria.

Since each helment needs to be evaluated individually by an experienced dry cleaner, we recommend you bring it by one of the following stores, before noon Monday through Saturday, and ask to speak to the manager in person to determine together if your specific helment can be professionally cleaned:

Benson Store at 5908 Maple, ask for Fonda

Elkhorn Store at 1405 S 204th Street, ask for Stephanie

Papillion Store at 8410 S 73rd Plaza, ask for Mayra

Check out these photos of a ski helmet we spot cleaned recently. You can see the huge difference in the before and after — the white fabric components were overall very dingy, with some obvious stains. The helmet turned out beautifully after a careful spot cleaning at our Benson location.

Before Spot Cleaning Helmet

After Spot Cleaning Helmet

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