A riding helmet is at the centre of your riding kit and after you invest, you’ll want to ensure that it’s as well maintained as possible, clean, and in good condition.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a quick guide to ensure your helmet is clean throughout and perfect for riding.
The outside of the helmet itself is very easy to care for and because they are generally covered in a smooth plastic, they can be cleaned with a microfiber cloth and a little water or soap.
If the helmet is a plastic type as most are, then it’s best not to use any sort of solvent when cleaning as this will reduce the strength of the helmet potentially and break down the materials, such as glues. People often like to add a little colour to helmets with paint, but this is ill advised for the aforementioned reason.
Elastic helmet covers offer a solution here and fit over most helmets and offer some colour and some style to them. Finally, if a plastic helmet is less glossy than it used to be, this is often a good sign it needs replacing.
The velvet helmet will certainly require a little more care than the plastic equivalent. The soft brush is often the best option and will brush up the pile on the helmet. Make sure to do this when the helmet is dry and people often find that the brush part of a vacuum cleaner works wonders. However, if you do find that your velvet helmet gets quite dirty, perhaps invest in a cover.
The inside of the helmet can really smell and the mixture of sweat and heat can really create a pong. However, there are a number of ways to deodorise it.
At Womens Riding Boots we suggest using some baking soda to remove the smell from the helmet. Simply, dry the helmet in fresh air and then sprinkle some baking soda inside the helmet and the bag you carry it in and this should kill smells and keep the helmet fresh. Helmet odour products work too, but they tend to be more expensive and not really much more effective.
One thing people commonly do and it’s a big no-no, is place the helmet in the dishwasher to clean. This can potentially cause weakness issues with the helmet. Avoid hard cleaning products too as the adhesives inside the helmet can be damaged from their use. When drying, never leave a helmet in direct sunlight.
Storing your Helmet
A lot of the issues regarding cleaning a helmet are caused from poor storage and placing a helmet in its bag and in a cool, dry place is the best way to prevent damage, smells and any other negative things that could affect your helmet.
Follow these tips and you should be easily able to keep your helmet in the best possible condition and enjoy your horseback riding.
Cormac Reynolds wrote this article for Love Horse and has written numerous articles on equestrian activities.