How to Clean Hockey Helmet & Chin Strap: 3 Easy Methods

We use affiliate links, and may receive a commission if you purchase a product through our links. Learn more

Like any sport involving great physical work, ice hockey typically leaves players drenching in sweat. With sweat sometimes comes players’ worst enemy, stink.

Eliminating the foul smell in gears and helmets isn’t done simply by cleaning them after ice hockey games.

Some preventive measures are also involved to ensure that foul odors are reduced from building up over time. 

Many of you indeed get troubled by this very reason many times in your ice hockey experience, and I’m here to help you find your way out.

So please keep reading to find out how you can clean ice hockey helmets and avoid them from smelling in the future.

Different Ways to Clean Hockey Helmets

You can wash your favorite ice hockey helmet in many different ways. Let’s check some of these out below.

1. Handwash

This method requires a little more effort than simply putting your gear in a washing machine.

However, it virtually eliminates the risk of damaging your equipment due to rubbing and friction caused by the washing machine and your gear. 

By handwashing your helmet, you can get into the small areas which are usually left uncleaned in the washing machine.

Do not use harsh scrubbing pads or brushes, as this can damage your soon-to-be clean ice hockey helmets.

How to Clean the Chin Strap of a Hockey Helmet?

First, remove it from your helmet. Once your chin strap has been removed, you will need to begin cleaning it.

You should first lay out a towel or newspaper on a flat surface. Place the chin strap onto the towel and use a brush or damp cloth with mild soap and water to gently scrub away any dirt or grime that may have collected on the chin strap.

If the chin strap is particularly dirty, you may want to soak it in a soapy water solution for several minutes before rinsing it off.

Once the chin strap has been washed, rinse it with clean water and gently pat it dry with a towel. It is important that you let the chin strap air dry completely before putting it back on your helmet.

Once dry, you can apply a leather conditioner to your chin strap to help protect it from further damage. Finally, reattach the chin strap to your helmet and enjoy its fresh clean feel.

clean ice hockey helmet in bathtub

Things Needed:

  • Laundry detergent
  • Brush


  1. To hand-wash your equipment, fill a bathtub halfway with warm water and add ¼ cup of laundry detergent.
  2. Place all your equipment in the bathtub for 45 minutes to an hour, soaking it in the water-detergent mixture.
  3. When the timer rings off, drain the bathtub and brush off any accumulated dirt.
  4. Rinse your gear to remove any soap residue.
  5. Before hanging up your gear to dry in a well-ventilated room, squeeze out any excess water in the bathtub. 

2. Using a Washing Machine

Depending on the size of your washing machine, you may be able to place your hockey gear directly into your washing machine. You can clean your helmet in the washing machine, however, I don’t recommend it because it can damage your helmet.

But, if you still want to do it, the steps are given below.


  1. Use preferably an eco-friendly detergent with a pleasant smell.
  2. Set the washing machine to hot and select a delicate wash.
  3. After your hockey gear has been washed, hang it to dry in a well-ventilated area of your home. 
  4. For the quickest results, hang hockey gear outside in hot weather.

Dos and Don’ts of Washing your Helmet in a Machine

  • Please do not use bleach on your equipment, as it can damage the protective padding
  • Use a light detergent for cleaning
  • Use hot water to completely remove all bacteria, viruses, odors, and stains.
  • Select delicate wash to ensure no damage to the washing machine and the gear itself.

3. Use a Professional Gear Cleaner Service

Washing your hockey gear like ice hockey jerseys, gloves, sticks, or even your hockey skates takes time and increases the risk of causing damage to your gear, such as fading, shrinking, and damage to your washing machine.

Getting cleaned by a professional gear cleaner ensures the complete elimination of dirt and any potential bacteria, mold spores, fungal pathogens, yeast, algae, cysts, viruses, and protozoa.

Many professional gear services promise to clean your gear and give you back in 72 hours! Now that’s fast and practical, right?

What else, they also make use of state-of-the-art wash systems that are not only thorough but also environment-friendly!

cleaning a hockey helmet

Helpful Measures to Reduce Odor in Your Helmet

Once you have mastered the process of cleaning and washing your helmet, things will be in a good place for your clean ice hockey helmets and gear.

But, it always helps to know the preventive measures to eliminate or at least reduce the foul smell that may come from any of them after use.

Note that the following tips may apply not only to your helmet but as well as other equipment involved in ice hockey. 

  • Wear a layer between your skin or hair and the equipment. We should do this mainly to lessen the sweat that transfers from our body parts to our gear, minimizing the bacteria buildup in the kit.
  • Do this by wearing a piece of clothing that is sweat-absorbent underneath your helmet or gear. 
  • Air out after use. Even though you have already applied the first tip mentioned, it is still encouraged to air out your hockey equipment after every use.
  • Make sure you hang them in a well-ventilated area to allow them to dry correctly. This is just another way of ensuring that the seeped sweat is dried out to reduce bacteria buildup, which is the primary cause of foul odors.
  • Avoid the use of odor-eliminating sprays. Although this seems to be the most convenient way of reducing odor, it can worsen the smell.
  • Also, there is a high risk of the chemical getting into your eyes or skin when your body starts to sweat and rub off against the gear. 
odor free helmet

Final Thoughts

We hate unpleasant smells of all forms, and how much more when it comes from the helmet we constantly use when we play our favorite sport?

It’s frustrating and disgusting all at the same time!

Encounters like this shouldn’t be tolerated, and we definitely shouldn’t settle with the fastest but most unreliable ways.

Just get back to this post if your hockey helmet troubles you with dirt and a bad smell. Indeed, this will help you solve your struggles.

Photo of author


Charles Adam
Charles is from the state of Minnesota. As Minnesota is one of the coldest states in the US, there is no surprise that he likes ice fishing. Along with ice fishing, he also likes to watch the NHL.

Leave a Comment