How to Clean Your Helmet Visor, Remove Scratches, and Wash the Liner

It’s not just adventure or enduro riders who get dust and dirt all over their helmet visor. Knowing how to clean your helmet visor is a skill that every rider needs. 

To help make your helmet visor last as long as possible, we’re going to look at: 

  • What you need to clean your helmet visor
  • How to clean your helmet visor without damaging it
  • Removing visor scratches
  • Cleaning a Pinlock visor insert
  • Freshening up the inside of your helmet

So you’re bright and shiny the next time you hit the road. 

How to Clean Your Helmet Visor

Step 1 – Get the Gear

To clean your helmet visor properly, without causing damage or adding scratches, you need to get some supplies. There are lots of products out there that claim to be specifically for helmets and visors, but honestly you can clean your visor and helmet with standard products easily. 

Add to your shopping list:

You really don’t need anything more advanced to give your visor a good clean. Have a bowl of warm water on hand before you start cleaning your visor, too. 

Step 2 – Remove the Visor

To make sure you get into all the nooks, crannies, and crevices of your helmet visor, you need to remove it from the helmet. 

This should be a super simple process with a latch, catch, or screw that lets it pop right off. If it’s a new helmet that you’ve not cleaned before, check out the manufacturer’s handbook. 

Who keeps them around, though? 

Luckily, there are myriad YouTube channels out there reviewing pretty much any helmet you can think of. Simply search the name of the helmet and you’ll find at least a couple of videos unboxing your lid and this includes how to remove a visor about 98.6% of the time according to our unscientific guesswork. 

Step 3 – Clean

Now, you need to remove any Pinlock insert on your visor – we’ll look at Pinlock in more detail in a moment. 

Your visor’s ready to get cleaned. It’s as simple as wiping it over with a microfiber cloth that’s damp with warm water. 

This should lift off dirt, bugs, and residue that’s settled on the visor. Don’t scratch or scrub anything that doesn’t come off easily. For clumps of mud or dried on stuff, soak a microfiber cloth in warm water and leave it over your visor for a few hours. This should loosen up anything and let you wipe it off later. 

If anything is lodged inside the visor clips or the lips around the seal, this is where you need your toothbrush. A gentle scrub of dried-on dirt should lift it off and the brushes are soft enough to not do any damage. 

At this point, don’t use any chemicals. First, this could remove any coatings, like those for anti-fogging. Second, using the wrong chemicals could invalidate your visor or even your helmet warranty. 

Water really is all you’ll need to get rid of anything obscuring the view through your visor. 

Step 4 – Polish

After removing everything from the surface, you want to get rid of smears and get to fixing helmet visor scratches. 

A good polish is going to smooth out pockmarks and add a wax layer to fill in scratches so you can see clearly again. 

Plexus plastic cleaner comes from the aircraft industry and isn’t the cheapest polish but reviews say it’s the most effective (1). Spray it onto your visor and wipe and buff with a clean, dry, microfiber cloth. Repeat on the inside and outside of your visor. 

We’re pretty sure the scent of the coconut oil is low-key the reason why motorcyclists love this polish. 

For a cheaper option, toothpaste can work, but we’ve got some cautions for you:

  • Don’t use a toothpaste containing calcium carbonate
  • Avoid toothpastes that contain ammonia
  • Use a toothpaste that contains baking soda for a gentle abrasive action

A popular pick that meets these needs is Arm & Hammer but some testers note that it can leave more scratches than it buffs out (1). It could prove expensive to experiment with toothpaste for cleaning your helmet visor. 

If you’re adamant to give it a go, rub the toothpaste over your visor, clean it off with a microfiber cloth, then add wax. Keep it tropical and good value with some simple coconut oil

Image Source: Majestic Pure

Step 5 – Treat and Dry

Once it’s clean and shiny, you can add an anti-fogging spray, if that’s your jam. We’d recommend Muc-Off Premium Anti Fog Treatment to give your visor an anti-fog coating. We’ve got more tips on anti-fogging, and we’ll look at cleaning your Pinlock anti-fog visor in a minute.

Finally, leave your visor to dry out overnight. You probably could take it out pretty much straight after, but try and clean your helmet visor at least the night before.

How to Fix Helmet Visor Scratches

If you’ve got scratches too big to buff away with polish, you can try a bit of DIY scratch removal. We caution you to take care with this process – it could cause warranty issues. 

  1. Run your visor under cool water and sand with a 1,500 grit sandpaper
  2. Keep rubbing until you no longer feel the sandpaper catch on the scratch
  3. Wipe away the excess water with a – you guessed it – microfiber cloth
  4. Leave it to dry, then take a heat gun at 550 F, hold it 4 inches from the surface and run over the scratched area
  5. Leave your visor to cool and it should be as good as new. Keep in mind you’ll rub off any coatings on that spot, so you might want to add an anti-fog treatment like Muc-Off

How to Clean a Pinlock Visor Insert

Pinlock visors are an anti-fogging device that basically creates an air gap between your visor and warm breath that stops fogging. It’s an insert that goes on the inside of your visor and comes standard with more and more helmets these days. 

Image Source: Pinlock

Cleaning is pretty simple:

  1. Remove your visor from your helmet and flex the visor enough you remove your insert
  2. Wipe it over with a microfiber cloth. If you use a damp cloth, you’ll need to leave it to dry overnight. 
  3. Flex your visor and reinsert your Pinlock

It really is that easy (2). Do not use any alcohol-based solutions on the visor, as it will damage coatings that are key to the anti-fog properties of the Pinlock visor. 

How to Clean the Inside of a Helmet

Every decent helmet will have a removable liner and cheek pad. First though, you need to prepare a sink or bowl of warm water with a good squeeze of baby shampoo mixed in. Shampoo is ideal because most of the grime in your helmet is from your hair and its oils. 

Remove the liner and cheek pads and immerse them in your soapy water. Give them a good squeeze and a bit of a rub to get your hair oils and face sweat out. Delightful…

Once cleaned through, rinse with running warm water, squeeze out, and leave to dry off overnight.