How To Clean A Football Helmet – Complete Guide

It is no secret, football players tend to sweat a lot during practice and in the actual game. Apart from the sweat, dust and dirt also accumulate, hence making football helmet a breeding ground for bacteria. You may wonder, proper ways on how to clean a football helmet?

Remove the chin strap & inner padding. Add two drops of mild liquid detergent and water in a container to make a soapy solution. Dip a rag into soapy solution & wipe the inside of the helmet. Wipe out the chin strap, ear pads, and inner padding to get rid of dirt, debris,&bacteria.

In this guide, you will see the step by step tutorial on how to clean a football helmet to make it dirt-free and avoid odor. I will share comprehensive steps on how to clean a football helmet in the following segments:

  • How to Clean a Football Helmet Shell
  • How to Clean a Football Helmet Chin Strap
  • How to Clean a Football Helmet Visor
  • How to Clean a Football Helmet Inside
  • How to Clean a Smelly Football Helmet

Read on to find out how to clean a football helmet with the most effective and suitable ways.

Before we get into how to clean a football helmet, let me enlist few tools required in the process of cleansing your football headgear:

  • A Microfiber Pad or A Cotton Cloth
  • A Mild & Non-abrasive Cleanser
  • A Disinfectant Spray

Tip: if you need some extra shine, go for a polish you would use on your car. See the best car polish on the market in 2020:

  1. CarGuys Hybrid Wax
  2. Meguiar’s PlastX Clear Plastic Cleaner & Polish
  3. Chemical GuysSealant and Quick Detailer 


Before you start cleansing your helmet’s outer shell, remove the Chin Strap, Ear Pads, and Inner Paddingof the helmet to make the cleaning process efficient&convenient.

Now prepare a soapy solution by adding one or two drops of mild liquid detergent in a small water bowl. Dip a rag or cotton cloth into a soapy solution and start cleansing your football helmet. 

Best Mild & Non-Abrasive Cleanser

Initiate removing grass, mud, or dirt on the helmet’s outer shell or exterior. Ensure you wipe out thoroughly, so no dirt and debris stay behind.

Once done, get a soft cloth and wipe all the excess filth that left on the helmet exterior. Scrutinize it to guarantee a flawless outcome.


Let’s get started; how to clean a football helmet’s chin strap, the foremost step is to slide off the buckle from the chin strap. If a chin strap features achin shield, gently removed it.

Stifle a cotton cloth with a soapy solution, and wipe the chin strap gently and thoroughly. Be sure not to leave any dirt.

Now continue to cleaning the buckles using a cotton cloth and remove dirt and grime accumulated inside the buckles.

When it comes to the chin shield –submerged it in a separate soapy solution and washing it with water subsequently.


Remember! If you hit a bug, never wipe it off with your gloved finger; it can smear the visor or, worse, scratch it.

In fact, never dry-wipe a helmet’s visor, no matter how soft the material you use.

To clean a football helmet’s visor, always use a particular Visor Cleaner Spray, Window Cleaner, or plain water.

Pro Tip: Avoid using Visor Sprays equipped with oil, as they can leave a smeary film on the visor. Further, it creates a flare effect when looking toward a street light, approaching headlights or the sun.

Yet, Eucalyptus Oil is an exception for it evaporates and doesn’t leave a smear. Additionally, it also makes the inside of your helmet smell pleasant.


Unfortunately, you won’t dodge sweat and dirt inside your football helmet after hours of intense rehearsal and game-time wear. 

You won’t even toss your football helmet in the washing machine, but a few tips can help keep your headgear clean and free of bacteria.

Don’t’ get puzzled; just follow out the given steps to clean the inside of your football helmet:

  • Take
    a Microfiber Pad or a plain Cotton Cloth and gently clean the inner surface of
    your football headgear.
  • Now
    take a mild cleanser spray or oxygen bleach solution. And smoothly apply on the
    inner padding.
  • Take
    a dampened rag or a cotton cloth and rub the cleanser as best you can.
  • Clean
    the inner pads with a dampened cloth to remove soap and ultimately get rid of
    skin irritation.


Well, continuously wearing a football helmet may produce unpleasant smell due to sweat, dirt, and microbial.

Luckily, there’s a solution to kill the unpleasant smell from your helmet; simply wipe out the inner padding with a soft cloth dampened in non-abrasive detergent. Let it dry, and spray a helmet deodorant to get rid of a stinky football helmet. 

Pro Tips to Avoid Smelly Helmet: A quick squirt of White Vinegar or Vodka on the helmet’s inside to neutralize odors.


  • Use Disinfectant Spray

A disinfectant is a chemical liquid that destroys bacteria frequently used in hospitals, dental, surgeries, kitchens, and bathrooms.

The sweat and the skin produce bacteria that move to the deepest part of the helmets like inner comfort pads.

Fortunately, it can be destroyed using a disinfectant spray to the whole interior of the helmet.

After thoroughly spraying, leave the helmet in an upright position on a hard surface until it is dry.

Find out the top-rated disinfectant spray for your football helmet:

  • Avoid Drying in

Always use a Stand Fan or a Non-bleach Disinfectant Cloth to dry your football helmet.

Be careful, drying your football headgear in extreme heat or in bright sunshine –not advisable as it can deteriorate the inner padding and destroy your helmet.

  • Avoid Abrasive
    Cleaners &Chemicals

Experts say, always go with a Mild and Non-abrasive Cleanser for it is nontoxic for the helmet’s pad inside.

Keep an eye; some cleansers have chemicals, including Turpentine, Bleach, & Ammonia. Try avoiding them for they are not suitable for cleaning a helmet.

In case, mild cleansers are not available, and cleaning the headgear is already necessary, take a piece of cloth, dampen it with warm water, and then clean the helmet as trained above.


As I mentioned earlier, there are different segments in our comprehensive guide on how to clean a football helmet. Those simple steps, if followed thoroughly, will not only make your helmet free of germs, body odor, and dirt but also durable regardless of continuous usage.

Due to the quality difference. I would recommend you buying the best football helmet. A good quality helmet can be used for a longer time.

Leave a Comment