Recipes for Disaster: Advice Sought for Cleaning a Motorcycle Helmet

Recipes for Disaster: Advice Sought for Cleaning a Motorcycle Helmet


  • 1 Wet Day on Dirt Bikes
  • 1 Helmet
  • 1 Pair Leather Gloves
  • 1 Helmet Carrying Bag
  • 1 Dark Hallway Closet


  1. We begin this recipe by taking an Introductory Class in Dirt Biking. Class must be conducted in a light rain for optimal conditions.
  2. Wear your regular street riding leather motorcycle gloves. Wear all day in the rain until maximum saturation sets in. Your hands may or may not turn completely black from bleeding dye during this portion of the recipe.
  3. At the completion of the awesome day in the dirt, jam your wet leather gloves into your helmet. For our dish, we used an Arai helmet but you may substitute this ingredient with the brand of your choosing.
  4. Distractedly place helmet into a carrying bag and zip closed.
  5. You do not want to skip this step, this is crucial to the success of the recipe. Completely forget that your gloves and helmet liner are wet.
  6. Simmer wet gloves in the helmet at 72 degrees on a dark closet shelf for 1 week.

Voila! After fermenting in the closet for one week, you will have 1 pair of moldy gloves and a biohazard in your helmet. Simmer to taste. More time should allow for additional color and furriness.

Thankfully, Kenny used his spare helmet for this exercise. Though there are no visible signs of mold in the padding of the helmet it must be cleaned anyway. I have heard for a long time now that you can wash your helmet in the dishwasher. Have you tried this?

The gloves on the other hand, I don’t know what to do about. They have actual mold fur on them. Can that be cleaned effectively? Chalk it up to experience and buy a new pair? Any advice would be appreciated!

Crudmops nasty mold covered leathere motorcycle gloves

6 Replies to “Recipes for Disaster: Advice Sought for Cleaning a Motorcycle Helmet”

  1. Pull out the helmet liner and toss it in the wash along with all your other “delicate” laundry. Though my helmets have this wonderful feature, I rarely ever get around to doing this which is part of the reason why I have way too many helmets.

    As far as the gloves go… what better excuse is there to upgrade to kangaroo! Like I’ve always said, once you go roo, you’ll never want to use any other hide again! I’ve reviewed both the Teknic Speedstars and Held Akiras somewhere else on the www and I stand behind them all the way.

    But if you must clean your gloves… soak them for a good spell in a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water. Then gently scrub them by hand using the same mixture. Hang them out to dry in a sunny and outdoor space. Make sure that they remain in the sun. Once they dry up, they’ll be a bit stiff for the first 5 minutes of use. if they still smell funny, Fabreeze works wonders. Hope that helped!

  2. I’ve used Kangaroo, and though they are certainly softer, they don’t last long enough for me to stick with them.

    These horrible goop covered leather gloves are probably 6 years old, and save the fungus now making its home on them, they have plenty of life left unfortunately.

    Time for some new ones, me thinks.

  3. Ha Ha. Did the same thing after coming home in the rain. I was soaked, my one piece was soaked. As I normally do when entering my apartment I put my gloves in my helmet an put the helmet in the closet not thinking of them being wet. A week later? Ew. I just wiped of the mold with a wet paper towel and stuck them in the window sill. I wore then the next time I went out to get them nice and sweaty and broken in again as they were hard as rocks. They’re all good now. I suggest you just wear and deal with the moldy smell for a day. It goes away pretty fast.

  4. Total bummer ’bout the gloves. Your instincts on them are probably right, mold seems to break down leather in a way that it never comes back from. I had a really cool pair of old school MX boots that I stupidly stored in the basement. When it was time to go riding again, they’s been reduced to a brown leather mush…

    For the helmet, I had pretty good luck with Motorex brand helmet cleaner. It really took the funk out of my old Schuberth and didn’t leave an irritating residue. That, with a little old fashioned sunshine might do the trick.

  5. I saw your post on SU, Arc 🙂

    Glad to know my honey isn’t the only one with moldy digits. Its really pretty gross. I think he should just get new gloves. I think he wore this funky pair into the pool today, hoping the chlorine would help. We’ll see!

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