How To Clean Motorcycle Helmet Visor?

Maintaining optimal visibility and ensuring safety while riding a motorcycle relies heavily on the cleanliness of the helmet visor. By upholding cleanliness, riders guarantee unhindered vision, enabling swift reactions to potential hazards and secure navigation on the road.

Moreover, the visor assumes a fundamental role in bestowing clear vision upon the rider. It acts as a protective shield against a multitude of elements that obstruct visibility, encompassing dust, insects, rain, and harmful UV rays.

Nevertheless, a visor that is soiled or damaged poses an array of hazards to the rider’s safety. As per the Motor Cycle Council of NSW, a visor that is unclean, inadequately maintained, or marred with scratches can severely impede visibility, thereby amplifying the risk of accidents. Furthermore, a scratched visor can distort light, causing glare and diminished visibility, particularly in environments with intense or insufficient lighting.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Helmet Visor

You can properly clean your motorcycle helmet visor by following these steps:

  1. Gather the necessary materials: You will need a chamois or a soft clean rag, water, a microfiber cloth, or another soft cloth. Additionally, you may choose to use a product like Plexus for cleaning.
  2. Soak the chamois: If you are at home, soak the chamois in water. It should be wet but not dripping.
  3. Place the chamois on the face shield: Ensure that the soaked chamois makes good contact with the entire surface of the face shield. This will allow the water to soak the bugs and make them easier to remove.
  4. Let it soak: Leave the chamois in place on the face shield for approximately three to five minutes. This gives the water a chance to work its magic and loosen the bugs or any other type of dirt.
  5. Wipe off the bugs: After the soaking period, use the chamois to wipe off the debris from the face shield. Gently rub the chamois over the affected areas until the bugs are removed.
  6. Clean residue with a soft cloth: Once the residue is wiped off, use a microfiber cloth or another soft cloth to clean any remaining residue from the face shield. This will ensure that the shield is thoroughly cleaned.
  7. Avoid using harsh products: It’s important not to use any harsh cleaning agents such as Windex, as they can scratch or fog up the face shield over time. Stick to using water and a soft cloth for cleaning.
  8. Consider using Plexus: If you are on a road trip or away from home, you may not have access to water and time for soaking. In this case, you can use a product like Plexus. Spray a couple of squirts of Plexus onto a microfiber cloth and gently remove bugs or contaminants from the face shield. Plexus is designed for use on plastic and will not damage the shield.
  9. Use Plexus for other plastic surfaces: Plexus can also be used to clean headlights and windshields on your motorcycle. It leaves a soft film on the plastic, making it slick and preventing dust and particles from sticking to it in the future.
  10. Store Plexus for convenience: If you choose to use Plexus, consider wrapping it up in a microfiber cloth and keeping it in your motorcycle’s bags for easy access when needed.

 General Tips for Maintaining a Helmet Visor

1. Daily practices to keep your visor clean and scratch-free

Keeping your helmet visor clean and scratch-free is essential for maintaining visibility and extending its lifespan. Given below are some general tips to incorporate into your daily routine:

a. Gentle cleaning: To effectively rid the visor of dust, dirt, and debris, opt for a soft microfiber cloth or a specialized lens cleaning cloth. Refrain from employing abrasive materials like rough cloths or paper towels, as they have the potential to inflict surface scratches.

b. Use mild cleansers: In the event that the visor exhibits stubborn stains or smudges, employing a mild soap or a dedicated visor cleaner can prove beneficial. Apply a small quantity of the cleanser onto a damp cloth and delicately wipe the visor, ensuring that excessive pressure is not exerted.

c. Avoid harsh chemicals:  Exposing the visor to harsh chemicals, including those found in ammonia-based cleaners or solvents, can jeopardize the integrity of its anti-fog and anti-scratch coatings. Stick to gentle cleaning solutions specifically formulated for helmet visors.

d. Regular inspection: Dedicate a few moments each day to inspect your visor for any indications of scratches, cracks, or other forms of damage. In case any issues are detected, the visor should be replaced to ensure optimal safety.

e. Store properly: When your helmet is not in use, make it a habit to store it in a clean and dry environment, preferably within a helmet bag or case. This practice serves to shield the visor from accidental scratches and guards against exposure to harsh elements.

2. Avoiding common mistakes that can damage the visor:

While tending to the maintenance of a helmet visor, it is vital to be cognizant of prevalent errors that may unwittingly result in damage. Here are a few fundamental points to bear in mind:

a. Improper cleaning tools: Shun the usage of abrasive implements such as harsh brushes, sponges, or coarse paper towels, as they possess the capacity to leave undesirable scratches on the visor’s surface. Instead, adhere to soft cloths specifically intended for lens cleaning or employ microfiber cloths.

b. Incorrect cleaning technique:  Steer clear of exerting excessive pressure or employing vigorous scrubbing motions during the cleaning process. Rather, adopt gentle, circular motions to eliminate dirt and grime. The application of excessive force can lead to scratches or even inflict harm upon the visor.

c. Using dirty gloves or rags: If gloves or rags are utilized to clean the visor, ensure that they are free from dirt or debris. Unclean materials may cause scratches on the visor or transfer contaminants onto its surface.

d. Exposure to extreme temperatures: Stay away from exposing your helmet and visor to extreme temperatures, such as leaving them inside a hot vehicle or exposing them to freezing temperatures. Extreme heat or cold can degrade the visor’s materials and coatings.

e. Inadequate storage: Leaving your helmet with the visor exposed or tossing it carelessly can result in accidental scratches or damage. Always store the helmet properly in a safe and secure location, protecting the visor from potential harm.

Treating Scratches on Your Helmet Visor

1. Methods to remove or reduce visor scratches

When it comes to removing or reducing scratches from a visor, there are several methods you can try. The following are some common techniques:

1. Toothpaste: Toothpaste can be effective for removing light scratches from a visor. Use a soft, clean cloth and apply a small amount of toothpaste (non-gel variety) to the scratched area. Gently rub the toothpaste in a circular motion for a few minutes, then clean off the residue with a damp cloth. Repeat if necessary until the scratch is less visible.

2. Baking soda paste: Similar to toothpaste, you can create a paste using baking soda and water. Mix them together until you have a thick consistency. Apply the paste to the scratched area and gently rub it in using a soft cloth. Rinse off the residue with water and inspect the visor. Repeat the process if needed.

3. Metal polish or rubbing compound: For deeper scratches, you can try using metal polish or a rubbing compound. Apply a small amount of the product to a soft cloth and gently rub it onto the scratched surface. Use light pressure and sweeping movements. Wipe off the excess polish and check the results. Repeat the process if necessary.

4. Commercial plastic polish: There are specialized plastic polishes available in the market that are specifically designed for removing scratches from visors and other plastic surfaces. Follow the instructions provided with the product for the best results.

5. Sanding and buffing: This method is more advanced and should only be attempted if you are confident in your skills. Start by wetting the scratched area and using fine-grit sandpaper (around 2000-grit), sand the surface in a circular motion. Keep the area wet to avoid overheating. 

Once the scratch is less prominent, switch to finer sandpaper (3000-5000-grit) and continue sanding. Finally, use a plastic polish or rubbing compound and a soft cloth to buff the area until it is smooth and clear.

2. When to consider replacing a scratched visor

It is important to consider replacing a scratched motorcycle helmet visor when the scratches impair your visibility or compromise the integrity of the visor. 

Generally, it should be replaced every 2-3 years, regardless of whether it has scratches or not. However, there are also some other important factors that help you determine when it’s time to change a scratched visor, such as:

Visibility impairment: Scratches on the visor can cause glare or distortion, which can affect your ability to see clearly while riding. If the scratches obstruct your vision and cannot be adequately cleared with cleaning or polishing, it’s best to replace the visor.

Deep or extensive scratches: Minor surface scratches that don’t affect visibility can often be managed with cleaning or polishing products designed for helmet visors. However, deep or extensive scratches that cannot be effectively removed may compromise the structural integrity of the visor. In such cases, replacing the visor is recommended.

Structural damage: If the scratches on the visor have caused cracks or weakened the material, it is crucial to replace the visor. Structural damage compromises the visor’s ability to protect you from debris, wind, and potential impacts.

Age and wear: Over time, the visor may accumulate numerous scratches and show signs of wear. Even if the scratches themselves are not impairing visibility, an old and worn-out visor may not provide optimal protection. Consider upgrading the visor periodically, especially if it has reached its recommended lifespan or shows signs of deterioration.

Legal requirements: In some jurisdictions, there may be legal requirements regarding the condition of a motorcycle helmet visor. If the scratches on your visor violate any legal regulations, it is necessary to change them to comply with the law.

Manufacturer’s recommendations: Always consult the manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations for your specific helmet model. They may provide specific instructions regarding when to replace the visor or offer advice on managing scratches.

How to Clean an Anti-Fog Visor

Cleaning an anti-fog visor requires special care to ensure that the anti-fog coating is not damaged. Here are some steps and considerations:

1. Special considerations for cleaning anti-fog visors

1. Special considerations for cleaning anti-fog visors

  • Remove the visor: Take off the visor from the helmet to make it easier to clean the pin lock.
  • Remove the pin lock: Carefully open the visor and gently remove the pin lock. Try to avoid frequent removal of the pin lock to prevent premature wear.
  • Clean the pin lock: Use a clean, soft microfiber cloth and a small amount of water. You can spray a little water on the cloth or use a spray bottle with water. Ensure that you keep the side of the pin lock that goes against the visor facing away.
  • Wipe in one direction: Gently wipe the pin lock in one direction using the damp cloth. This helps remove general road grime, dust, and any water spots.
  • Check for clarity: After cleaning, check the pin lock to see if it is clear of dirt. It should generally look clean, although there may be ingrained dirt that cannot be completely removed.
  • Air dry: Let the pin lock air dry naturally. You can leave the visor open on the helmet or place it on the side with the visor off to let it dry. Some people also prefer to use a little bit of air to help speed up the drying process.

Reinsert the pin lock: Once the pin lock is dry, reinsert it back into the visor.

2. To preserve the anti-fog coating on the pin lock visor

  • Avoid excessive removal: Minimize the frequency of removing the pin lock from the visor to prevent premature wear.
  • Use a soft cloth: Always use a clean, soft microfiber cloth to clean the pin lock. Avoid using abrasive materials or harsh chemicals that can damage the anti-fog coating.
  • Gentle cleaning: Be gentle while cleaning the pin lock. Avoid applying excessive pressure or scrubbing vigorously, as it may damage the anti-fog coating.

Do not use solvents and cleaners: Do not use solvents or harsh cleaners on the pin lock, as they can degrade or remove the anti-fog coating.

Final Thoughts

All in all, maintaining a clean and clear motorcycle helmet visor is essential for optimal visibility and safety on the road. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can effectively clean your visor and remove any dirt, debris, or smudges that may obstruct your vision. 

Remember to use gentle cleaning agents, such as mild soap and water, and refrain from using abrasive materials that could scratch the visor. Regularly cleaning your helmet visor not only improves visibility but also extends its lifespan.

About David Riedel

I am David Riedel founder of Bikerwhizz, I'm a technician at Keystone Harley Davidson with more than 10 years of industry experience. I’m here to help you solve motorbike problems, customizations, tweaks, and easy fixes to enjoy your rides more.

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