When we go to work or go for a ride with our bike around those dreamlike curves, one of the main discomforts is the mosquitoes and other flying invertebrates. Whether at dusk, at night or on a cloudy day that forces us to ride with our headlights on, the bugs are attracted by the light and drum set carpet, they cross our path and can do little but hit the bike.
The problem is not so much that the bike gets dirty, but that they also tend to hit the screen of the helmet and that can be a safety problem. If we ride for too long, we will lose visibility and if we don’t maintain the screen properly it will deteriorate faster. It is important to clarify that any product and any way of cleaning it is not valid.
Some bikers take advantage of the stops to clean the screen with water and a bar napkin, a tissue, hand paper, toilet paper… in short: paper. What many may not know is that a considerable mineral load is used for its preparation. The consequence of passing, rubbing or dragging some of these commonly used materials through the helmet screen is the appearance of micro-scratches that are not normally very noticeable to the naked eye.
However, scratches on the surface of the helmet screen go far beyond a simple aesthetic issue. In fact, they can cause a serious safety problem when riding. Particularly at night, the lights from oncoming vehicles will eventually reflect and bounce off the micro-scratches, increasing the feeling of dazzle for the rider who may become nervous and lose control.
Method 1. Handmade cleaning with neutral soap
Ideally, use specific cleaning products that are formulated for such a delicate surface with a helmet screen. However, there are homemade solutions that can help you get through a difficult situation without burdening your screen.
For us, the most effective is to soap your hands with a neutral soap and gently rub the screen in horizontal movements. For your peace of mind, most of the soaps you’ll find in the bathrooms of gas stations, bars and restaurants are neutral. However, we recommend that you never pour it directly on your screen to avoid further damage.
The next – and perhaps most important – step is to avoid scratching the remains of adhering insects. If they are very sticky, repeat the operation – wet your hands with warm water, put on soap, rub them as you were washing them and apply to the screen – always in a soft and delicate way. Don’t be in a hurry or despair because you’ll only damage the surface.
Once all the dirt has been removed, you can rinse the screen with plenty of tap water, but without pressure. For those who are not familiar with this operation, make sure that the screen and air intakes of the helmet are properly closed so that they do not end up bathing the inside of the helmet as well.
It’s not like it’s going to get damaged, but you’ll get wet when you put it on and it’s usually not pleasant. The best solution for that is to learn how to remove the screen from your helmet. Most of the current models have that possibility that makes it much easier to manoeuvre.
It’s not the same to clean the screen alone as it is to have to handle the whole helmet to leave a part of it clean, especially if you’re outside in a bathroom where people are constantly coming and going.
When drying the screen, you can choose to use the air hand dryer from the same sink or a cotton cloth or handkerchief. Again, the softness will be much better. It is wise not to place the screen close to the air jet or to be vigorous if you choose the cloth. Remember again that a screen is very much like a pair of glasses, resistant to a thousand battles if we take good care of them.
If all this seems too much trouble to you, there are other ways. In any case, don’t forget that household chemicals should never be an option as they will degrade the plastic and hopelessly damage the screen.
Method 2. Special cleaning wipe kits
There are kits that consist of wipes impregnated with a solution that numbs and descales the dirt on the screen without damaging it.
For example, the brand LIQI-Moly offers at a good price – between 5 and 6 euros per box of twelve – individual sachets with two wipes. A wet one to be used first removes dirt and insects. A dry one cleans in a way that avoids stretch marks and glare. Depending on the level of dirt, you can repeat the process. It is suitable for Pinlock visors, does not contain alcohol and is biodegradable.
One of its main advantages is that you can carry it comfortably in your jacket pocket, trunk or under your seat so you can take advantage of any stop on the road and clean your screen quickly and comfortably.
Method 3. Specific sprays and sprays for helmets and screens
Another format you can find in the professional cleaning market is the sprays. Motul has a whole range that, due to its size, is perhaps more practical for the maintenance of our helmet at home.