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How to Clean Football Helmets

How to Clean Football Helmets

Football is a messy game. Even if you play the game on artificial turf where it’s free of grass and mud, you can’t avoid the sweat. If you don’t keep your helmet clean, it will soon be smelling like a pair of sweaty gym socks.

The offensive smell from your football helmet contains bacteria from sweat, skin cells, and more. These bacteria grow because the helmet is warm and wet and causing an awful smell. To avoid such a case, learn how to clean and disinfect your football helmet.

Cleaning Football Helmets

To properly clean a football helmet and make it dirt-free and avoid odor its best to wash its parts separately as follows;

What You Require

  • A microfiber pad/ cotton cloth
  • A mild and non-abrasive cleanser
  • A disinfectant spray

How to Clean A Football Helmet Shell

Before clean the outer shell, you should remove the chin straps, earpads, and inner padding to make the cleaning process efficient and convenient.  Prepare a soapy mixture by adding one or two drops of mild liquid detergent to a small bowl.  Soak a rag or a cotton cloth into the soapy mixture and start cleaning the helmet shell.

The best mild and non-abrasive cleanser you can use for cleaning the helmet sell includes;

Remove any grass, mud, or dirt from the football helmet shell. Ensure you wipe it out thoroughly, so no dirt stays behind.  When you finish, take a soft cloth and wipe all the excess filth left until it’s sparkling clean. Avoid using abrasive cleaning pads that can scratch the outside of the shell and damage interior soft parts. Again, strong cleaning detergents can irritate your skin and leave a harsh residue.

How to Clean a Football Chin Strap

To clean the football helmet chin strap, slide off the buckle from the chin strap. Soak a cotton cloth in a soapy solution and wipe straps gently and thoroughly.  Next, clean the clips using a cotton cloth and remove any dirt and grime that accumulates inside. For the chin shield, submerge it in a different soap solution and rinse it with clean water.

Cleaning Helmet Visor

To clean a football helmet visor, always use a visor cleaner, window cleaner, or plain water. Use either of the cleaners to clean your visor. Remember not to spray it with an oily spray to avoid leaving a smear or film on it.  The oils also create a flare effect when looking towards street lights or the sun. However, eucalyptus oil is an exception as it evaporates and makes the interior of your helmet smell pleasant.

How to Clean A Football Helmet Interior

Unfortunately, you can’t toss a football helmet in a washing machine like other items, but there are few tips you can follow to keep the headgear clean.

  • Take a damp microfiber cloth and gently wipe the inner surface of the helmet.
  • Use a mild cleanser spray or oxygen bleach solution and smoothly apply the inner padding.
  • Using a moistened rag or cotton cloth, rub the cleanser gently to remove soap and get rid of skin irritation.
  • If the helmet was too smelly, allow it to dry and spray a helmet deodorant to get rid of the stinky smell. You can still consider spraying white vinegar or Vodka on the inside to neutralize the odors.

How Do You Disinfect A Football Helmet?

A disinfectant is a chemical liquid used to kill bacteria in hospitals, homes, hotels, and more.  While wearing a helmet, your body secretes sweat, and skin produces bacteria that enter the deepest part of the helmets like the inner pads. You can destroy the bacteria using football helmet disinfectant spray that you can purchase online.

Thoroughly spray the helmet interior surface and leave it in an upright position on a clean surface for it to dry. You can still use a table fan to dry your helmet or use a non-bleach disinfectant cloth. When it’s dry, you can assemble it and attach all the removable parts. For proper storage, hang your helmet in a garage until it’s match time. For a quality disinfectant, I would recommend you purchase Clear Gear Spray.

Tips to Observe when Cleaning Your Football Helmet?

  • Use mild non-abrasive cleaners that are safe for pads inside the helmet.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals such as bleach, ammonia, or turpentine.
  • Please stay away from the bathroom and kitchen cleansers as they contain abrasive elements.
  • If you don’t have safe cleaners, use a rag soaked in warm water and scrub the helmet gently.
  • Keep the helmet out of extreme heat and bright sunshine as it dries to avoid degrading the pads.

Can You Put A Football Helmet in the Dishwasher?

It’s unwise to put your helmet in a dishwasher as it will ruin your helmet with water spray and heat. As the machine tumbles, it will damage the helmet’s impact on performance. Hand cleaning is the best and only takes less time and maintains your helmet quality.

How Do You Get Scuff Marks Off Football Helmets?

A scuff occurs when you rub off the helmet against a surface, and the paint rubs off on the helmet. For instance, you can fall, and your helmet bumps on hard ground. Fixing a scuff is by selecting a suitable cleaning agent and carefully rubbing off the scuff.

Ensure you take care not to damage the paint. Choose a mild specialist helmet cleaner before you use any stronger options. Be careful as solvents can spoil the finish and even damage the helmet shell’s integrity.


Cleaning your football helmet should be a routine. Start a practice of taking care of your helmet for you to enjoy putting it on without awful smells. As you clean, too, you get rid of bacteria by disinfecting the helmet.

Again, you can notice any scuffs or even scratches made on the shell and fix it before it gets out of hand. Remember to use the right products to clean your football helmet and keep it in good condition.