How to Clean Bike Helmet Straps- A Brief Overview.
Bike helmets play a vital role in protecting riders in a crash and act as an insulator under different weather conditions. It contains three distinct components: the shell, liner, and strap. Each of these components performs a specific function.
Bike helmet straps are made principally of synthetic materials. They only differ in their various characteristics, such as texture, fabric, and surface finishing. The material used is selected based on its softness (to allow for a tight fit with the head) and flexibility (to allow sufficient air passage in the helmet).
The strap serves as a deposit for salts, dead body skin, and fats, which aid the growth of bacteria, thus giving an unpleasant odor. Bacterial presence in the strap is not ideal and unhygienic, because it can cause skin irritation and accompanying acne.
Alternative Materials Used As Straps – For Bikers with Sensitive Skin
The majority of people experience itching and present with marks on their neck and face, especially during the summer, because they are sensitive to polyester.
If you are not comfortable with polyester, you should consider using leather. Some helmets come with leather or faux leather straps, which are the best alternative because they wick moisture and keep the body cool and dry.
Tips on How to Clean Bike Helmet Straps
Everyone wants a good helmet, free of bacteria and odor, which is possible through proper cleaning and maintenance of the helmet straps. Here are tips on how to clean your helmet straps:
- Remove the padding: Firstly, remove the padding from the helmet, as it will be impossible to gain much access to various strap layers.
- Bend and brush the straps: Bend the strap to allow for easy cleaning, a dry brush (preferably a hard brush)to remove the fats and other deposits. Make the brushing gentle and not too hard, so that tearing and wearing will be minimized. The essence of brushing is to reduce the amount of dirt on the strap, thus making subsequent processes easier.
- Wet and soak the straps: After brushing, damp and soak the straps by placing under a gentle stream of warm water. Add a mild detergent to the brush and pass over the bands. Ensure you reach the inner parts of the strap. A cotton swab reaches the hard-to-reach parts.
- Rinse the straps: Rinse the straps in flowing water, to remove any soap left on it.
- Dry the straps: Leave the straps to dry in the air, or use a fan to speed up the drying process.
- Spray with an antibacterial: Spraying ensures that no microbes are left on the straps.
What You Should Avoid When Cleaning Your Bike Helmet Straps
- Don’t be too harsh on the straps.
- Avoid Squeezing the straps.
- Do not use strong soaps.
- Avoid using hot water.
Here is a video explaining the process (credit to Global Cycling Network):
The importance of bike helmet straps cannot be emphasized enough, and thus it should be kept clean after every use. However, if your helmet straps are already worn out, it may be time to get a replacement!