How To Clean A Football Helmet

A football helmet is an essential part of a football player’s protective gear. Like any other piece of equipment, it is susceptible to dirt, sweat, and bacteria accumulation. It is therefore imperative to clean the exterior and interior of your football helmet frequently to maintain its lustrous appearance and fresh scent.

Knowing how to clean a football helmet is not rocket science and should be done regularly no matter what position you play.

Not only does this improve its lifespan, but it also safeguards against infections and other potential health hazards that may arise from prolonged usage.

* Cleaning football helmets is relatively easy, when you know how.
* You probably have the necessary cleaning gear in your home already.
* Helmet cleaning can prevent germs, bacteria and bad odors in your helmet.
* Regular cleaning can extend the lifespan of your football helmet, saving you money.
* Helmet cleaning is a great time to check your helmet for damage.

How to clean a football helmet? You can start with this black nfl helmet covered in dirt.

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Why Is Cleaning Your Football Helmet Important?

Football, as a contact sport, requires a wide range of physical movements, including running down the field to score a touchdown and tackling an opposing player to prevent them from receiving a pass. Players’ intense physical activity inevitably results in copious amounts of sweat, both during drills and actual games.

Though cleaning your football helmet may seem mundane, it is an integral aspect of proper helmet care. Here are some of the top reasons why you should clean your football helmet as frequently as possible:

Improved Personal Health and Hygiene

Sweat, mixed with debris, hair products, and dead skin cells, creates an ideal environment for the growth of germs and bacteria. Failure to clean your helmet regularly may lead to a foul odor emanating from it the next time you wear it. Bacterial growth can also cause skin irritation, which can be itchy.

By consistently cleaning your football helmet, you can maintain a fresh scent and feel every time you put it on.

Reduced Distraction

Wearing a helmet that is unclean and has an unpleasant odor can be extremely uncomfortable and affect your performance on the field. For instance, a visor that is dirty can obstruct your vision at different angles, placing you at a disadvantage while you try to evade other players or catch the ball.

Routine Maintenance Checks

Each time you clean your helmet, you can also carry out routine maintenance checks. This enables you to identify any damage, such as dents, cracks, or loose screws, that may not be visible under normal conditions. Consequently, you can take prompt action to repair or replace any affected parts.

How to Clean a Football Helmet

Cleaning a football helmet does not require a pass in Cleaning 101, but it is crucial to do it correctly to avoid damaging the helmet.

In addition to following the care instructions provided by the helmet manufacturer, this guide on cleaning your football helmet will prove invaluable. Here, we provide the top tips on how to clean a football helmet.

What to Use to Clean Football Helmets

When it comes to cleaning your football helmet, it’s important to use the right tools and solutions to avoid damaging the helmet. Thankfully, you don’t have to search far and wide for these materials, as you might find them already in your home. Here are some items that you can use to clean your football helmet:

For wiping or scrubbing the helmet, you can use soft cloths that are made of materials like cotton or microfiber. These fabrics are gentle enough to clean the helmet without causing any scratches or damage to its surface.

To wash off dirt and sweat, you can use mild dishwashing soap or baby shampoo. These solutions are effective in breaking down the grime on your helmet without leaving any residue that may harm the helmet’s materials.

To disinfect the helmet, you can use a disinfectant spray that can kill germs and bacteria that have accumulated on the helmet over time. It’s best to use a spray that’s safe for use on helmets and won’t cause any discoloration or deterioration.

Finally, you can rinse the helmet with clean, warm water to remove any remaining soap or disinfectant spray. Make sure to dry the helmet completely before using it again to prevent the growth of mold or bacteria.

pair of hands in bowl of soapy water

How to Clean a Football Helmet Shell

Cleaning the outer shell of a football helmet is essential to maintain its durability and attractive appearance. The shell is exposed to the elements most of the time, collecting dirt, mud, grass, and other debris. To clean the helmet shell, start by removing the inner components, including the ear pads, removable paddings, and chin straps. This makes the cleaning process more efficient.

To make a soapy solution, get a container, fill it with warm water, and add a couple of drops of mild liquid soap. Using a microfiber or cotton cloth dipped in the soapy solution, wipe off the dirt from the surface of the helmet. For stubborn, caked-on mud and grass stains, place the damp cloth on the helmet and leave it for a few minutes to soften the dirt, making it easier to remove.

While removing the dirt, apply slight pressure and scrub gently to avoid scratches or damage to the stickers or decals. After scrubbing all the dirt from the outer shell, rinse off the remaining debris and soapy solution with warm water. Dry the helmet shell with a clean, dry cloth or let it air-dry. To get the helmet shell shiny, apply spray wax when the helmet is completely dry.

Pro Tip: Use peanut butter (creamy), baby oil, or olive oil to soften the adhesive before washing off old helmet decals from the outer shell of your football helmet with soap and water.

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How to Clean a Football Helmet Inside

Cleaning the interior of a football helmet is crucial for maintaining its hygiene and ensuring that it lasts a long time. However, the cleaning process can vary depending on the helmet’s padding system, whether it has removable or non-removable pads.

But regardless of whether your helmet has removable or non-removable pads, cleaning the interior can give the illusion of a nice snug fit as if it were a new helmet.

Cleaning a football helmet with removable pads

If your football helmet has removable pads, you can begin the cleaning process by taking out the pads and dipping them in a soapy solution.

Using a soft cloth, gently scrub away any stains or grime and then rinse the pads with water. Set them aside to air dry.

While waiting for the pads to dry, you can proceed to clean the interior of the helmet. Get a microfiber towel and soak it in soapy water, then use it to wipe the inner surface of the helmet.

Make sure to remove all the dirt, and then rinse the interior with a cloth dipped in clean water. Wait for the interior to dry, or wipe it with a clean, dry cloth.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your football helmet is always clean and ready for the next game.

Pro Tip: Never use rough or abrasive material like a sponge or steel brush in scrubbing the inside of the football helmet because it could scratch the helmet’s protective coating.

footballer's hand holding helmet showing interior padding of helmet

Cleaning a football helmet with non-removable pads

If your football helmet has non-removable pads, the process of cleaning its interior can be a bit tricky. However, with the right tools and technique, you can keep your helmet clean and germ-free.

To clean the inside of a football helmet with non-removable pads, you would need a microfiber or cotton towel and a mixture of mild soap and water.

Dip the towel in the soapy solution, wring it out, then gently scrub the inner surface of the helmet to remove dirt and stains. It’s important to scrub gently to avoid damaging the pads and liner.

After cleaning the padding, rinse off excess soap by wiping the pads with another cloth soaked in clean water. Let the pads and interior dry by placing your helmet in an upright position on a clean, dry surface.

Pro Tip: Avoid using heating tools like a blow dryer or leaving the helmet under bright sunlight to speed up the drying time, as these methods could warp the foam structure.

How to Clean a Football Helmet Chin Strap

In addition to cleaning the exterior and interior of a football helmet, it’s equally important to know how to clean a football helmet chin strap.

To begin with, you must remove the buckle from the strap and, if applicable, detach the chin shield from the strap.

Next, using a soft cloth, dip it in a soapy water mixture and gently wipe off any dust or particles from the chin strap. Alternatively, soak the chin strap in the soapy solution and handwash it. Once you’ve washed the strap, rinse it with clean water and let it air-dry.

As for the buckle and chin shield, you can clean them by mixing a mild soap and water solution, wiping them clean with a soft cloth, and then rinsing them off with clean water. Afterward, place them on a clean surface to air-dry.

Pro Tip: To clean hard-to-reach areas of the buckle and chin shield, you can use a cotton swab.

How to Clean a Football Helmet Visor

When it comes to cleaning a football helmet, the visor can be particularly tricky to deal with.

The helmet visor requires a gentle cleaning method that will not scratch its surface. It’s important to note that wiping down dirt, dust, or insects from the visor, even with a damp or dry cloth, could cause scratches.

A good way to clean the visor is by running plain water on its surface. However, if you prefer, you can use a specialized visor cleaner spray or window cleaner spray.

Avoid using visor sprays with oil as they tend to leave a smeary film on the surface, which can produce glare when light hits the visor.

If you want to use an oily spray, choose one with Eucalyptus oil as it evaporates quickly and leaves a pleasant smell.

How to Clean a Smelly Football Helmet

woman holding her nose to avoid a bad smell

When it comes to cleaning a football helmet, sometimes washing it isn’t enough to remove the unpleasant smell it may have acquired over time. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to remedy this issue.

After washing your football helmet, spray the interior with a disinfectant spray. Be sure to evenly distribute the spray and cover all areas of the interior of the helmet. Once you have sprayed the disinfectant, let it sit for a few minutes to allow it to effectively eliminate any odor-causing bacteria.

Next, using a clean cloth or paper towel, pat or wipe away any remaining disinfectant residue. Be thorough but gentle in your cleaning so as not to damage the interior of the helmet.

Finally, allow your helmet and all of its components to dry completely before wearing or storing it. This will help to prevent any further odor buildup and ensure that your football helmet is fresh and clean for your next game or practice.


In conclusion, by following the aforementioned cleaning tips, you can make your football helmet look and smell fresh. With a clean helmet, you can boost your confidence on the field and impress your teammates. Plus, cleaning your helmet regularly can extend its lifespan, saving you money in the long run.

So, don’t hesitate to invest a little time and effort into maintaining your gear and keeping it in top condition.

I hope we have covered the topic of ‘how to clean a football helmet’ to your satisfaction. If you enjoyed this article, take a look at the related reads below for some more interesting reads!

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