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How to save your putrid helmet

A little while ago, I replaced my LAS helmet because I couldn't take the funk anymore. The awful vinegary face-melting aroma. It's not that I didn't try to wash it. I put all of the pads in the washing machine. I scrubbed the helmet, and I soaked the straps. It didn't work, the funk persisted, and I bought a new helmet. I never got around to tossing the old, funky helmet, thinking I may one-day need it as a backup. And perhaps the putrid stench would mellow with age.

This, I think, is the main culprit of the funk. These webbing straps absorb ride-after-ride of sweaty, salty, greasy off-gassing. And then it festers in your bike bag.

Cut to two months later, when I am begging Bruce Dickman (aka Dick Bruceman) to sponsor the new Charlotte branch of Faster Mustache. Mostly because I wanted him to make it rain ProGold lube. (I use a lot of the stuff, especially in the winter months). He finally caves, and in the process of stocking the FM team larders with plenty of bike lube and gun cleaner, he also puts some of this in my hand.

Immediately my mind jumped back to the LAS helmet, festering in the corner of my bike closet. Could this be the answer, I wondered? I determined to give the helmet one last shot.

The spray comes out as a sizzling white foam, helping you see which areas you've vanquished. I decided to do this on top of the trash bin, since that was a broad flat surface that I could later hose down if necessary.

I dowsed it thoroughly, and let the foam soak in for a good while. I was not in the mood to "Rinse and Repeat".

I went ahead and did Gwyn's helmet too, since it was pretty fun to spray this stuff.

I rinsed the helmets off after about 30 minutes, and hung them up to dry. The next morning was like Christmas: two brand-new-looking (from a distance) and still-scratched-up-and-battered (up close) helmets, sans putrid smell. You can see in this pic the straps have been thoroughly rejuvenated.

Unfortunately, Progold helmet wash does not feature an ingredient that lets me go back in time and un-buy this new helmet.


Sweet. I've never had a good solution for the straps. I usually soak the pads in a sink filled with water and one/two Efferdent (this knocks out the Vibram FiveFingers-of-Funk too) tablets. I suppose I could have soaked the straps (whole helmet too) I just never have.

Any chance you tried this or thought about trying this on shoes?

I will definitely be trying it on my shoes. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Good stuff. The bucket-o-soap and bucket-o-bleach and ICBM-from-space have been sofar unsuccessful.