27 July 2010

Helmet Lining Cleaning

I’ve had my helmet for at least 3 years now. Within that time I admit, I’ve never properly cleaned the thing. Of course, I’ve cleaned the visor and run some wipes across the outer shell as well as the inside but, I’ve never actually properly cleaned the lining. To be honest, the thing just pops on to my head almost every morning without question.

It just constantly does its job and you wouldn’t even take heed of it until something goes wrong. Well, in this case nothing actually went wrong. I just decided to take a proper look at the helmet’s lining.

To my horror (OK not really, but close), I now realised that the helmet’s lining should carry a biohazard warning in its current state. The forehead area looked like it had a layer of kitchen grease permanently stuck to it while the rest of the lining had a potent mixture of hair, sweat, dead skin, dead bugs, pieces of tuna (don't ask me how it got there) and some blood. There’s probably other stuff there as well but we’ll just keep it at that.

Having never heard of anyone washing their helmet lining, I decided to do some research (read: typed in a few words/phrases into Google) on the matter. After a while, I came to the conclusion that this just doesn’t happen. One would definitely be able to wash the Roof Boxer V’s lining - I just couldn’t find any guidance on actually washing it or for that matter, washing any other helmet’s lining. Even Roof’s site was silent on the topic.

As I was too lazy to pop over to the shop where I got the helmet (and get some expert advice), I fiddled with the lining myself. I pulled at every loose end and clip to see if anything would happen. Finally, I managed to get the lining out with minimal damage – some bits of foam from the lining decided to stay put and were left stuck on the helmet.

Undo the clips at the front of the helmet. This is the main thing that holds the lining in place. Undo button-type studs (at the back of the helmet). Be careful not to pull too hard on these as the stud section that’s stuck to the helmet might break away from the helmet itself.

Once un-attached from the helmet, the lining can be easily washed. I was tempted to just throw it into the washing machine but as the plastic piece (that clips on to the helmet) was attached to the lining, I decided to hand wash the thing instead. Plus, some elbow grease would be needed to scrub all the stuff that’s stuck on to the lining over the past few years anyway. I soaked the lining in some liquid detergent for a couple of hours and worked away at cleaning it.

After a good rinse with cold water, I was tempted once again to employ technology and throw the lining into the dryer but common sense prevailed (thought the foam might shrink) and air dried the lining instead. After its day in the sun, the lining was good to go and was stuck back on to the helmet. Lavender fresh and all.

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