DIY: How to clean a football helmet in 4 easy steps

Football players tend to sweat a lot during practice and in the actual game. Aside from the sweat, dust and dirt also accumulate, thus making them a breeding ground for bacteria.

In this article, we will discuss the proper ways on how to clean football helmet and make it dirt-free.

First Step: Cleaning the Exterior Part of the Helmet

Before starting, remove the chin strap, ear pads, and other paddings from the main parts of the helmet to make the cleaning process convenient.

Prepare a soapy solution by adding one or two drops of mild liquid detergent to a small container. After this, proceed to cleaning the football helmet.

Start by removing grass, mud, or any kind of dirt on the helmet exterior. Make sure that you wipe thoroughly so that all the dirt is removed.

Once done, use a soft cloth and wipe all the excess filth that are left on the helmet exterior. Inspect it thoroughly afterwards to ensure a spotless outcome.

Second Step: Cleaning the Chin Strap

The first thing to do is to slide off the buckle from the chin strap. If there is a chin shield, gently removed it from the chin strap.

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

After cleaning the chin strap, proceed to cleaning the buckles. Using a cotton swab, remove any dirt and grime that has accumulated inside the buckles.

The chin shield can be cleaned by submerging it in a separate soapy solution and rinsing it with water afterwards.

Third Step: Cleaning the Interior Part of the Helmet

While the exterior part of the helmet has grass, dirt, and grime, the inside part has sweat and body odor.

Using a soapy solution is also effective in cleaning the sweat inside the helmet.

Thus, use a soft fabric cloth for cleaning and submerged it in the soapy solution.

Using a steel wool or a rough-sided sponge might destroy the protective coating of the pads, so you should avoid using these cleaning tools.

By wiping the helmet meticulously, all deposits of dirt, grime, and even the smallest debris will be removed altogether.

After wiping the helmet, you can also rub the area where sweat easily collects for additional cleaning.

With a new unsoiled rag that is dipped in clean water, rinse the interior part of the helmet, and let it dry.

Final step: Drying the Helmet

After cleaning the helmet, you may now look for a nice area that is suitable for drying.

To make it dry faster, you can use a table fan to dry off the helmet and its parts.

An alternative way of drying is also using a non-bleach disinfectant cloth to wipe the helmet and its removable parts.

If the helmet and its parts are already dried, carefully assemble them, and make sure that you attached all of its removable parts on the helmet.

Additional Reminders:

The Importance of Disinfectant Sprays. 

Bacteria from the sweat and the skin can move to the deepest part of the helmets like the pads.

It can be removed by spraying the entire interior part of the helmet with disinfectant.

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

Avoid Using Sunlight in Drying.

It was discussed above that a stand fan or a non-bleach disinfectant cloth can be used to dry after cleaning the helmet.

It should be noted that drying it in extreme heat like bright sunshine is not advisable as it can deteriorate the pads and destroy your helmet.

Avoid Cleansers with Chemical.

Use only mild and non-abrasive cleanser as it is safer for the helmet’s pad inside.

Some cleansers have chemicals such as turpentine, bleach, and ammonia that are not safe and are not suitable for cleaning a helmet.

If mild cleansers are not available, and cleaning the helmet is already necessary, use a rag or a piece of cloth, dampen it with warm water, and then clean the helmet as instructed above.

Only clean the helmet with the ideal cleansers as much as possible.

Removing Scratches from a Football Helmet. 

Wear and tear is a common issue since helmets are always used in every game of football.

As a result, the accumulation of scratches at the surface of the helmet is visible over time.

To remove the scratches, anyone can buy a specially formulated football helmet polish and use a brush to remove the marks and the scratches.

Tips for Choosing the Right Football Helmet

Cleaning and maintaining the helmet are tasks that all football players out there should consider.

However, it is also important that players know how to Choose the right helmet that fits them in order to avoid injuries, fractures, and hemorrhages.

Below are the tips on how to choose the right football helmet.

  • Choose a helmet that has a NOCSEA seal. The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSEA) is the U.S. government body that certifies safe helmets. All helmets with NOCSEA seal are highly recommended.
  • Measuring the head circumference.  Each brand of helmet provides sizing charts and fitting instructions as a basis for selecting the right the helmet for a buyer. Thus, measure your head circumference and carefully select the proper size for you.
  • Using the helmet to ensure proper fitting. After choosing a helmet, put it in your head and make sure that the fitting is tightly secured and comfortable.
  • Choosing the Right Brand. Choose a brand that fits your style and preference. After all, you’re going to wear it, so you should only get a helmet that you are comfortable in.

Don't miss out: 5 best football helmets on the market


As mentioned above, there are different steps on how to clean football helmet. Those simple steps, if followed diligently, will not only make your helmet free of germs, body odor, and dirt but also durable despite constant usage.

Check out this great video by I Know Football on how to clean your football helmet: