Cleaning Football Helmets the Right Way: FAQs, Tips & Tricks

If you’re a football player, then you know how important it is to keep your helmet clean. But if you’re not a football player, then this might be the first time you’ve heard about keeping helmets clean. That’s okay! You don’t need to play football to understand why it’s important that helmets be kept clean. It helps to prevent infections from sweat and old dirt.

Cleaning football helmets is a tough job that takes time and dedication to do well. In this article, experts will answer some of the most common questions about how to clean football helmets properly.

Cleaning a football helmet with removable pads

If your helmet has removable pads, it is recommended to remove them before cleaning the exterior of a football helmet. This will help to make it easier for the cleaner and protect the pad from getting damaged in any way when going over or under it with wet cloths and soapy water.

Here is how you should clean a football helmet with removable pads:

  1. Clean the pads with a gentle soap and water solution;
  2. Rinse off any residue from the detergent or dirt that might have been clinging onto it after you take out all of the excess water on top, then make sure to dry them before storing;
  3. Make sure to remove all dirt from the helmet’s plastic parts using a soft brush before washing them off with cold water. Remember not to use too much detergent as it can leave an unpleasant smell on the padding;

It’s best not to use bleach on foam padding because it can deteriorate rubberized materials such as facemasks if used at full strength too often;

If using a large washbasin for filling up buckets of soapy water to clean each pad individually, place some rough items like scrubbing pads, sponges and brushes in the basin for your convenience.

It is also important not to use harsh chemicals on padded areas as they could damage delicate surfaces like foam padding that have been upholstered by leather or vinyl covers.

The main goal here is avoiding contact with these parts altogether since this part of your equipment should be replaced every 3 years due to wear and tear anyway.

Cleaning a football helmet with non-removable pads

If your helmet has non-removable pads, you must first remove the pad from its Velcro attachment. You can either use a screwdriver or needle-nose pliers to pull up on one side of the pad and then slide it off.

The materials required for cleaning football helmets include:

  • dish soap;
  • hot water for boiling;
  • one-gallon jug full of cold water (for rinsing);

Your cleaning steps should be:

  1. Take sponge, soapy water and scrub clean dirt or grime;
  2. Rinse again in cold water before placing back onto an original position on helmet;
  3. Wipe the inside of your helmet with a dry cloth to remove any excess moisture and prevent corrosion;

Tips for cleaning a football helmet with non-removable pads:

  • Put some rubber gloves on – most people like latex ones;
  • For the tough stains like blood or grass you should use bleach (or hydrogen peroxide) diluted in warm/hot water so that they don’t discolor over time;
  • Your football helmet should be cleaned as soon after use as possible because dirt, sweat, and other substances can cause harmful bacteria to grow rapidly when exposed for long periods. This is the reason why you should wash your helmet in cold water with detergent only (no bleach). This is because helmets are sensitive to heat. They can also have special coatings that protect them from chlorine or sunlight. You should wash everything before storing it for a long time, so germs don’t get on it;
  • You don’t need any fancy stuff like baby shampoo either – dish soap has been recommended by many experts instead;

Cleaning a football helmet shell

Most people do not know how to clean a football helmet shell. Sometimes they will start to scrub it with soap and water, but this is not how you should do this.

Here are 4 quick tips for cleaning your football helmet shells that you can use in 5 minutes or less:

  1. Put some dishwashing detergent on a sponge or cloth and rub down any part of the outside surface where dirt usually accumulates;
  2. Rinse off the soapy residue that has gathered with clear water from a hose attachment;
  3. Dry off both sides using paper towels after washing them. If there’s an adhesive holding two parts of the shell together (usually near one side), make sure to remove it before you wash again by rubbing toothpaste;
  4. Once the shell is dry, you can use a sealant to protect it from future wear;

Cleaning a football helmet chin strap

It is common for people to want a brand-new helmet because they are still in good condition or simply out of curiosity. The only thing that might get in the way, however, is the chinstrap. Any damage done to this part will render the helmet useless as well as unregistered with the league and unsafe for use. Don’t panic! If there isn’t enough time before game day, then you can clean the chin straps.

Cleaning a football helmet chin strap

The first thing you will want to do is remove the straps from around the helmet. If they are difficult to get out, don’t force them because that can damage hinges or screws for the strap attachment points.

The next step is to clean the chin strap. You will need a container and soap flakes. Clean the dirt off the strap, then rinse it with soap.

Then you can apply more protective coating when you are finished cleaning it all off. You should also test your detergents beforehand by spraying water onto one side of a towel then dabbing at a small section of cleaner. This way you’ll know what kind actually works best with leather materials like chin straps instead of just guessing which ones might work.

Once everything has been cleaned to your satisfaction, allow it all to dry thoroughly before putting them back into storage.

Some pads may be attached with Velcro or snaps that will need to be undone before pulling them out of the way. If there are any thin plastic plates on your chinstrap that cover metal hardware (like screws), these should also be removed prior to washing.

Cleaning a football helmet visor

The visor is the most important part of a football helmet. It protects your eyes from debris, sunlight and raindrops while you’re on the field.

The best way to clean the visors is with a wet towel or water and soap. Avoid using harsh chemicals like ammonia, bleach, alcohol, acetone because they can leave a residue that will cause more cloudiness in your helmet’s visor. After each use of the helmet make sure to wipe it down with a wet cloth or rinse it off with water if you need to get rid of any debris stuck on it.

Never put anything inside the helmet such as rubbing alcohol or toothpaste unless instructed by the manufacturer. The back of the helmet is also usually made of plastic and it can get cloudy if you don’t clean it properly. Luckily, all helmets come with a sticker that tells you what product to use for cleaning the visor and backplate. Most of such remedies are ammonia-free.

How to clean a football helmet inside?

You can clean the inside of a football helmet by sweeping or vacuuming it. If you vacuum, use the brush attachment and set to low suction power for sensitive surfaces like fabric helmets. Remove any loose debris with a hand-held shop vacuum tool. You may need something stronger if there is caked dirt on your interior surface – be sure that what you’re using won’t damage anything!

If you choose not to take your helmet off while cleaning, then make sure that you are wearing an appropriate mask before proceeding with these steps because some substances could cause respiratory issues. Spray down all areas thoroughly to loosen up the grime.

How to clean a football helmet inside

Use water only when necessary because solvents will break down materials faster. The more you clean, the better.

You should have an old toothbrush on hand to brush dirt away from any areas that are hard to reach (like behind your ear). Don’t forget about the straps – they can get dirty too! If there are a lot of buildups, use vinegar mixed with water in a spray bottle or wipe down with rubbing alcohol for stubborn spots. Rinse and dry thoroughly before re-installing.

Make sure it’s totally dry because moisture will lead to bacteria growth which could cause unpleasant smells over time. After cleaning, inspect each area carefully for small tears or holes caused by rough handling – these may need repairing now so they don’t spread later on during gameplay!

Wearing gloves can help protect your hands from blisters while also preventing oils and sweat residue that can lead to staining. If your gloves are scuffed, you may want to replace them with a new pair before tackling the job of cleaning football helmets.

No matter what kind of helmet you have (a facemask or not), it’s important to clean both sides of each part thoroughly for safety reasons – especially eye shields!

How to clean a smelly football helmet?

Have you ever had a smelly football helmet? If not, then it’s probably because you haven’t been playing long enough. As your game time and sweat equity increase, so will the moisture inside of your helmet. This is especially true if you play indoors or during hot weather where helmets are hotter than usual from all that body heat being trapped in them constantly.

To get rid of sweat-induced smells you should take a few drops of unscented dish soap and mix it with water in the palm of your hand. Apply this mixture onto the helmet, rubbing thoroughly over every part until you see suds form like shampoo.

You should then wash off the whole thing again with cool tap water before letting it air dry away from any sunlight or strong artificial lights that could fade out its color prematurely. You can also do this by soaking the padding in cold water for up to five minutes before washing like normal.

When cleaning is complete wash again in cold water for at least five minutes then let air dry away from sunlight or strong artificial lights if possible.

If you have tried this method but still cannot shake that funky smell, try using baking soda or vinegar in your next cleaning session. These products will help eliminate any nasty smells left lingering inside the mask after repeated use.

How to clean a Riddell football helmet?

Riddell football helmets are the most commonly used in the National Football League. The company produces many different helmet models and styles, but they all have one thing in common – the need for regular cleaning to maintain a safe surface for players’ heads. Cleaning your Riddell helmet is also important because it will improve airflow circulation inside of the headgear. It can reduce the face mask fogging problems while also removing unwanted odors that can accumulate from sweat or dirt at game time.

Here is what you should do:

1. To clean your Riddel football helmet you’ll want to use a soap and water mixture (no harsh chemicals!). Use a sponge with soft bristles on it so as not to scratch up any logos left by manufacturers/paint jobs found on this particular kind of helmet.

2. Soak the sponge in water so that it’s wet, but not dripping. This will keep the soap from running down into your player’s face and eyes as you clean. Next, put a healthy amount of liquid dish detergent on the sponge or scrub brush (if using).

3. Use enough detergent so that there are suds all over the surface – this will make any dirt easy to remove when rubbed with the soap-covered fabric or sponge. If desired, add some bleach for extra cleaning power – it can help get rid of stubborn stains found on helmets after playing against teams with greasy hairstyles!

4. Wash away all those smelly germs by rubbing your sponge in a circular motion against the surface of your helmet. This will loosen any dirt or grime that may be stuck deep down inside. And it is also a great way to really clean off those hard-to-reach areas with lots of little crevices.

5. Finally, rinse out all the soap! Be sure to use warm water so it doesn’t dry on your headgear. If you’ve added bleach, rinse for an extra 30 seconds since bleach can irritate the skin. If necessary, rinse with vinegar to neutralize odor from bacteria leftover after washing (especially helpful when hanging up multiple helmets). Once rinsed thoroughly, allow your helmet some time in fresh air before storing away again – this helps to get rid of any damp smells.

How to whiten a football helmet?

One way you can start is by using OxiClean on your helmet. This will only take 30 minutes or so but it’s not as easy as other products out there because you need warm water and a machine washer, though they do sell the detergent in liquid form which makes things easier if all you want to do is clean up your gloves quickly without any hassle. Another option would be bleach – it’s cheap, available everywhere and does the trick when mixed with water.

If you want to go extreme, another suggestion would be hydrogen peroxide – this will only take 30 minutes and also requires warm water. This works pretty much the same as OxiClean but it’s cheaper, so if you’re looking for an easy way to clean your helmet without breaking the bank then this may be worth trying out.

Another option that you may want to try is vinegar or baking soda mix. Vinegar and warm water will make it smell fresher, whilst lemon juice can be used as an alternative for the same effect – just remember that if you’re going with this method then hydrogen peroxide won’t work.

There are many options available when it comes to whitening football helmets – they all have their pros and cons. If you do decide on any of these solutions remember that there are ways to avoid stains in the first place by using Vaseline around your neckline (this helps keep sweat off).

How to polish a football helmet?

In terms of cleaning, polishing a football helmet is the same as washing it. You’ll just need to use an appropriate cleaner for the material and then buff out any residue with a soft cloth or rag. The steps will be:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before going near anything that might come into contact with your skin;
  • Add some mild dish detergent (a few drops) to cool water in a bucket;
  • Wet down each side of your helmet using only one hand at a time – you want both sides wet but not dripping;
  • Dip another clean towel in the soapy water and wring it out well, ring out excess liquid by twisting firmly toward yourself until most of the suds are gone;
  • Wipe down the helmet by applying a little pressure and rotating your hand around it for about 30 seconds – this is where you should be using only one hand;
  • Rinse with cool water, making sure that all soap residue has come off. If needed, wipe surfaces again to remove stubborn dirt or grime;
  • Buff out any residual sweat/grime from inside of the helmet with a clean rag or cloth – do not use anything rough like a paper towel that may scratch plastic components;

Make sure there are no detergent residues on the surface before wearing to prevent skin irritation even if the user does not have sensitive skin (this is especially important when cleaning youth helmets).

A soft brush works best with this mixture for polishing purposes but if you prefer not to soak it completely then try using one from time-to-time instead. Nevertheless, always ensure the acidity levels are monitored carefully because too much can corrode metal pieces!

How to remove scratches from a football helmet?

Many football helmets have scratches on them from being used for a season. The helmet is made to withstand heavy impacts and take hits, but it’s still recommended that you use care in handling your equipment. You can remove these small scratches by filling a bowl with water and using steel wool – scrubbing gently until they are removed. Pour out the dirty water so that it doesn’t dilute any other chemicals while cleaning or storing your gear.

Take care in handling your helmet to prevent further damage or scratches:

  • Avoid banging it on anything hard – use a helmet bag or place it in an interior pocket of your backpack to avoid scraping the shell while sitting, walking around or putting away;
  • Do not wear it if you are sick as this may lead to skin irritation. Take off before eating and drinking (especially any sugars) which can cause more problems for those with sensitive skin;

Cleaning football body pads

Cleaning your pads is also an essential part of football equipment care. Body pads need to be cleaned after each use by hand washing or machine wash and air drying them:

Hand wash

Fill a bucket with cool water and drop in some gentle soap then add your dirty pads, making certain to separate all pieces from one another so they don’t tangle up together when being washed in such close quarters. Gently swirl around until clean, rinse with fresh water and then let them air dry.

Machine wash

Place the pads in a lingerie bag or mesh laundry sack specifically made for football gear, so they don’t get lost in a load of clothes being washed. Then set your machine to gentle cycle with cold water if possible since this will help maintain the color of any pads that formerly had some sort of coloring on them like blue or green. Using hot water can sometimes run these colors out onto other clothing as well as cause fading over time.

Add one-quarter cup bleach per large load into the washing machine along with detergent and fabric softener before you place your clean body pad inside it. This is important because without proper care of cleaning items – especially those intended to protect the body – you run a high risk of irritation and infection.

Related Video: How to Clean a Football Helmet

Final words

There are many ways to clean football helmets, but the most important thing is how soon you get started. The sooner you start cleaning your helmet and taking care of it, the better. Hopefully, this article has given you some insight into how to clean football helmets. If you have any other questions about the process, please don’t hesitate to ask!


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