Football is a messy game. Even if the game is played on artificial turf were grass and mud are not an issue, there is no way to avoid the sweat. If you don’t keep it clean, it won’t be long before a football helmet smells like a pair of sweaty gym socks. Unlike the gym socks, you can’t throw a helmet into a washing machine. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to keep and provide clean and free of odor-causing bacteria.

The Tools for the Task

Abrasive cleaning pads can scratch the outside of the helmet and damaged the soft interior surfaces; you should avoid them. A microfiber pad or just an old cotton T-shirt will work just fine.

For detergent, reach for something gentle. Plain old dish washing liquid can cut through the grime without leaving their harsh residue that can irritate your skin next time you wear the helmet.

Finally, a disinfectant spray is essential; it’s the only way to kill the bacteria that build up in your helmet over time.

Using the Tools Correctly

The outside of a helmet is easy to clean; just remove the pads and spray the whole thing down with the hose. If you want to have some extra shine for the big game, reach for the same polish you would use on your car and a soft cloth. Now set the shell aside; it’s time to get started on the pads.

Just a dip in warm soapy water may be enough to get the pads clean. If they are especially grimy, a quick wipe with a soft microfiber or cotton cloth should be enough. Once they are dry, use the disinfectant spray to kill any stubborn bacteria.

Once all the parts are clean and dry, just reassemble the helmet. It will be ready and waiting for your next game.

Cleaning a football helmet may not be exciting, but if you don’t do it, everyone on your team will know.