How to Get Smell Out of Helmet

Bike helmets are an important piece of safety equipment but if you are using them often they will get funked up in no time. Sweat and oils from your scalp combine to make a particular type of head cheese that clings to the inside of the helmet and is especially hard to tame. Basic soap and water is not match for this industrial strength, greasy stench; the funk will just laugh at it and just keep on trucking. The stank just gets trapped in the helmet and ferments. The sweat and oil stench just grow and multiply until it takes on a life of its own. This is deep, dark sweaty stank and it requires prompt handling or it will get away from you. This guide will focus on How to Get Smell out of Helmet once and for all.


To stay on top of the issue of helmet stank, you need to be proactive about dealing with bacteria. If you can find a way to keep the helmet dry in between uses, it will go a long way toward keeping the smell down. This isn’t always practical, and the solutions listed here will help you deal with the odor issue without having to store your gear in the next state.



How to Get Smell Out of Helmet

1 Freeze it Out

Take your helmet and put in the freezer for a few days. This process will kill all the bacteria lurking inside. Make sure you thaw it out before trying to wear it or you will end up with a very different case of brain freeze than the kind you get when you drink something cold through a straw too quickly.


2 Stuff it with Newspaper

This solution to the issue of dealing with a funky helmet involves re-using newsprint. Take some old newspapers and stuff them into the helmet. Leave them in place for a few days. Remove the papers and check the helmet to see if it still has an odor problem. If so, replace the paper with some fresh stuff and repeat the process.


3 Rubbing Alcohol Spray-down

Pour some rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle. Give your funky helmet a good misting. As the alcohol dries, it will lift out the smell with it.


4 Dish Soap Soak

Fill a bucket with warm water and add some Dawn dish detergent. Place your helmet in the bucket and let it soak. The dish detergent will lift out the smell of sweat and bacteria. Rinse thoroughly with cool water and let dry before wearing.


5 Power Out the Smell with Lysol Cleaner

Lysol or PineSol all-purpose cleaner can be used to get the smell out of a helmet. Add 1/4 of a cup to a pail of warm water and soak the helmet for 15 minutes. Rinse with water and allow to dry.


6 Clean it in the Shower

This solution is from the “Kill Two Birds With One Stone File”; Take the helmet into the shower with you. Put shampoo on your head and snap on your helmet. Wear it while you are showering. Take off the helmet. Rewash your hair. Allow the helmet to dry. You’ll have clean hair and a clean helmet.


7 Air Out the Stank Problem

Try placing the helmet in front of a fan for about an hour to air it out after a ride. You can also put in a well-ventilated, sunny spot if you don’t have a fan handy. Either one will help to keep it fresh and dry.


8 Dryer Sheet Storage Solution

Dryer sheets are not just for making your clothes smell fresh. They can also be used for other purposes. To freshen up a helmet that has become a bit stanky, stuff it with a dryer sheet between uses. Simply remove it when you are ready to use it.


Published by

Joe Fresh

Joe is an odor combatant, chemistry extraordinaire and all around good guy. He has an over-productive olfactory system with absolutely zero tolerance for unpleasant aromas.

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