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#377287 - 03/01/11 01:20 PM Helmets in the dish washer?!
dust Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 06/14/07
Posts: 554
Loc: Canada, Ontario
I was looking at my old helmets and thinking how they realllly could go for some cleaning... but I'm stuck. I asked a few friends and they said just put them in the dishwasher for the wash cycle, then leave them out to dry!

Does anyone have experience with this? It sounds like a good idea, but I donít want to risk it!
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#377299 - 03/01/11 02:09 PM Re: Helmets in the dish washer?! [Re: dust]
patricia Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 04/01/02
Posts: 3625
Loc: Selkirk, Ontario
Some plastics don't tolerate heat well. I had some salad tongs that once out of the dishwasher don't fit together anymore. It could cause the harness to become weak. I wouldn't.
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#377308 - 03/01/11 02:41 PM Re: Helmets in the dish washer?! [Re: dust]
CZF Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 02/22/09
Posts: 5604
Loc: Hamilton, Ontario
I agree with patricia. Maybe you can sponge the helmet out or hose it with cold water & an antibacterial wash of some sort and give it a few days to dry?

Some helmets come with removable liners that you can take out wash.
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#377309 - 03/01/11 02:44 PM Re: Helmets in the dish washer?! [Re: dust]
VivaLaGlam Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 07/26/07
Posts: 148
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
I know a lot of people who put their GPAs in the dishwasher and said they haven't had any problems!
I'm a bit weary to put my helmet in there... so I usually just sponge mine off.
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#377326 - 03/01/11 04:05 PM Re: Helmets in the dish washer?! [Re: dust]
jean_genie Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 03/21/07
Posts: 543
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I wouldn't use the dishwasher either ... most helmet manufacturers warn about exposing helmets to extreme temperatures [e.g. -- hot day in the trunk of a car, etc]

So I would think the hot water in the dishwasher would be leaning towards the extreme ... with a real chance of doing damage that is not visible to the naked eye, but would adversely affect your protection from impact.

I would just use damp cloth or one of the available helmet cleaning sprays.
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#377329 - 03/01/11 04:20 PM Re: Helmets in the dish washer?! [Re: dust]
Starflash Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 11/23/08
Posts: 3810
Loc: Caledon ON
I agree with the above posters. Wipe it out with a really damp cloth or sponge, then leave it out in light shade so the filtered sun and wind can whistle through it and dry it out.

Sun is a natural bacteria killer and freshener, but if you left it in the hot sun at midday too long, you could have heat damage.
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A dog may be man's best friend but a horse is a woman's best friend.
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#377342 - 03/01/11 05:31 PM Re: Helmets in the dish washer?! [Re: dust]
MyBarnBabies Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 01/12/10
Posts: 377
My son puts his biking helmets and other gear in a swimming pool to soak and clean with the chlorine, then brings them out to dry in a cooler breezy sunny place.
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#377343 - 03/01/11 05:42 PM Re: Helmets in the dish washer?! [Re: dust]
clovergirl216 Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 11/11/10
Posts: 82
If it's just dust thats a problem.. I love vacuuming.
I have a small hand vacuum that I use of my saddle pads, interior of my blankets, fleece/synthetic lined boots/girths, synthetic saddles (makes them really black!), and my Charles Owen to get the dust off the inside and outside to make them sparkle. Really great to have in your tack truck at shows!
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#377360 - 03/01/11 07:23 PM Re: Helmets in the dish washer?! [Re: dust]
mari&me Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 03/29/03
Posts: 787
Loc: burl. ont. can.
I use an air compresor and I blow the dust off. Works great!
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#377470 - 03/02/11 12:58 PM Re: Helmets in the dish washer?! [Re: dust]
Sueby Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 03/15/10
Posts: 112
I wash mine in the dishwasher all the time and then set it out to dry in the sun or someplace warm in the winter. I don't use any detergent, just the warm water which is my light wash setting. It does wonders and I've been using the dishwasher for over 2 years with this helmet and not sure how long with the one before that. I use the GR8 so they have virtually no venting and stink after a few rides.
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#377506 - 03/02/11 03:08 PM Re: Helmets in the dish washer?! [Re: dust]
*Sioux* Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 3058
Loc: Airdrie, Ab
I also wouldn't trust the dishwasher because of the heat like others have said. I clean mine with the Charles Owen helmet cleaning foam and it works quite well! Made my helmet look almost new again! And it takes away the stink. It's also important to leave your helmet somewhere that it's going to be able to air dry well after a sweaty ride. Otherwise, it's definitely going to get very smelly.

A big variable on this is the type of helmet you have. If it's one of the plastic vented ones like Troxel it's going to be easy to clean with a damp rag and some mild dish soap or throw the removeable liner in the wash (but be careful about drying as I had one that shrunk!) If however, you have one like the Charles Owen or velvet hunt cap, etc. there's definitely NO WAY you should be throwing it in the wash. That would for sure destroy it.
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#377527 - 03/02/11 04:24 PM Re: Helmets in the dish washer?! [Re: dust]
BaileysOriginal Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 12/16/03
Posts: 3661
Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I've put a GPA and a Ayr8 in the dishwasher with no problem! I was leery at first too.
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#377539 - 03/02/11 04:46 PM Re: Helmets in the dish washer?! [Re: dust]
bigknee_tb Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 07/24/10
Posts: 95
Loc: Ontario
Although the dishwasher might not do any visible damage, you don't know what it could be doing to compromise the integrity of the materials that are designed to protect your head. Even if you can't see anything wrong on the outside of your helmet, you are still supposed to replace it after you have any falls on it. Maybe if you had a cold water or just a rinse setting and didn't use soap it might be alright, but I don't think I would take the chance with my helmet. Besides that, I would be in pretty big trouble if my dad found my stinky helmet in the machine that washes his eating utensils! It's probably best to follow the manufacturers instructions (they usually say to wash with warm water and mild detergent and dry in the shade).
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#377645 - 03/03/11 03:51 AM Re: Helmets in the dish washer?! [Re: dust]
hrhirene Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 134
Loc: North Toronto
I gave my AYR8 a bath in the sink a few weeks ago. It was getting a bit smelly and whatnot so I just... gave it a bath. Used clarifying shampoo and a scrubby brush for the interior and sort of patted the outside. Then put it up next to a fan on high and it was dry within 5 or 6 hours. Wasn't so difficult!

I was going to dry the dishwasher thing, but then realized we have JetDry in ours, and there's no easy way to take that out...
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#377670 - 03/03/11 08:54 AM Re: Helmets in the dish washer?! [Re: dust]
BigGreyJumper Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 07/10/09
Posts: 121
I have run all my helmets through the dishwasher on a gentle cycle and never had a problem, works like a charm.
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#378191 - 03/06/11 01:09 AM Re: Helmets in the dish washer?! [Re: dust]
aiiir Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 06/10/06
Posts: 159
Loc: Caistor, ON, Canada
a girl on my team dishwashered her helmet, it worked, but it changed it from black to gray! hahaa
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-ariel.
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#378608 - 03/07/11 07:02 PM Re: Helmets in the dish washer?! [Re: dust]
Tandy Offline

Grand Prix Member
Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 3734
Loc: Somewhere in a snowdrift.
I had a comment from a distributor that saw this thread. Putting a helmet thru a dishwasher will make all warranties on a lot of helmets null and void. Helmets are not designed to withstand the heat of a dishwasher. Although things may "look ok" you are weakening the glue in it.
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#378644 - 03/07/11 10:25 PM Re: Helmets in the dish washer?! [Re: Tandy]
*Sioux* Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 3058
Loc: Airdrie, Ab
Originally Posted By: Tandy
I had a comment from a distributor that saw this thread. Putting a helmet thru a dishwasher will make all warranties on a lot of helmets null and void. Helmets are not designed to withstand the heat of a dishwasher. Although things may "look ok" you are weakening the glue in it.


Totally agree. It's about the damage you CAN'T see. Damage can happen to the glue, foam, etc. There's a reason they tell you to keep your helmet out of high temperatures. It's the same basic idea as replacing your helmet after a fall even if it still LOOKS fine.

Like someone else mentioned, if you're that desperate to clean your helmet up you can give it a gentle "hand bath". By that I mean wiping it with a damp rag and maybe some mild detergent.

Anyway, it's your own personal choice but I certainly won't be doing that with mine! Safety first! Stink second! wink
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