Keeping your motorcycle helmet visor clean is one of the easiest and most important ways to stay safe when riding. With that said, many new riders or even those who are more experienced can struggle to find the best ways to clean their motorcycle visors.
The 5 easy steps to clean your motorcycle visor are:
- Remove your visor
- Wet it with a warm towel
- Scrub lightly and remove debris
- Dry the visor
- Re-install the visor
Cleaning your visor is usually not all that difficult to do. That said, there certainly is a little more information that’s useful to know. Below, we’ll cover this process in more depth, as well as discuss some things to watch out for when cleaning your visor and some good visor cleaning products.
Most modern motorcycle helmet visors have one or multiple protective coatings on them. These chemical coatings usually assist with reducing UV radiation, helmet fogging issues, and other such things that make riding a motorcycle less pleasant.
These coatings are really useful and can make a huge difference, but they can also be relatively fragile. Strong chemical cleaners or overly abrasive cleaners can totally destroy the effectiveness of these coatings and turn the visor back into a normal piece of clear plastic.
Though the visor may look clean, if the anti-fog and UV protection are no longer there, in most cases, you’ll have done more harm than good by attempting to clean your visor. This is a situation that many beginner riders may encounter when trying to clean their helmet visors for the first time.
The safest way to clean a visor is to simply use warm water and a microfiber towel. Warm water will help steam and dislodge debris, bugs, dirt, and whatever else is blocking your vision. It will help do this without risking damaging the chemical coatings that help your visor perform well.
Before you actually go to clean your visor, make sure you’re going through the right process for the issue you’re having. Unlike other routine maintenance for motorcycles, visor cleaning should only be done if you have an issue. Let’s discuss a few common issues people have.
If your visor is smudged, you may not need to go through the whole 5-step process I’ll detail shortly.Depending on your environment, you may see much more or less road debris than other riders. If your visor is only smudged, and there’s no debris on it, it doesn’t really need to be fully cleaned.
A smudged visor usually occurs when the visor comes in contact with human skin too much. Avoid touching the surface of your visor whenever possible. Human skin is naturally oily, and those oils, while very important to us, tend to smudge clear surfaces, such as helmet visors.
A smudged visor can usually be dealt with simply by lightly wiping off the smudges with a microfiber towel. You can get away with using other fabrics for this, but some of the larger fiber ones can actually scratch your visor, so microfiber is the safest bet.
If your visor is dirty and has debris on it, it definitely needs to be cleaned. The 5-step process I’ll go through in the next section should deal with it easily and effectively.
If your visor is scratched, normal cleaning may not solve that issue.If the scratch is very small, sometimes a plastic polish product can help deal with it. I’ll discuss a potential product for that later on in the article.
If a visor is scratched enough, however, it may simply need to be replaced. At some point, it becomes impossible to fix a very scratched visor without resorting to more drastic sanding and polishing procedures.
The first step in cleaning your motorcycle helmet visor is to remove it from the helmet itself. Occasionally you may run into helmets where this isn’t possible, but on most decent helmets, removing the visor should not only be possible but pretty easy to do.
Most visors have a simple locking mechanism that easily undoes the visor from the helmet. If you’re confused about how to do this, I’d recommend looking up your particular brand (or model if possible) of helmet, as they all work a little bit differently.
The next step in cleaning your visor is to try and loosen up some of the debris clouding your vision. The best way to do this is to cover this visor with a damp and warm microfiber towel. Paper towels and other cheaper towels can work but they’re really not as good and can sometimes make things worse.
This towel, damp with warm water, will effectively steam the visor, loosening up any dried bugs, dirt, or whatever other debris there is. Leave the visor for a minute or even a few, it will make it much easier to clean in the next step.
Now that your visor is nice and steamed, take your damp microfiber towel, and start cleaning off the debris. Scrub lightly, almost more of a wipe. You want to avoid grinding any abrasive debris into the plastic, as this can seriously scratch it.
A lot of debris that will end up on your visor is relatively water-soluble, but sometimes it’s not, so take care. This step is where a lot of people end up accidentally scratching their visors because they were scrubbing too hard and basically scraping the debris they were attempting to remove into the visor.
During this step, don’t be afraid to replace your towel or wash off your visor with warm water.Towels are cheap and easy to clean, and visors are less so. The more care you take here, the better the end result will be.
Now that your visor looks fully clean and free of any debris, it’s time to dry it off. Use dry versions of the same microfiber towels you were using before to remove any moisture. Microfiber towels will be better, but not everyone has them, and theoretically, any type of towel should work here.
It’s important to get the visor as dry as you can, as keeping the inside of your helmet dry is important for personal hygiene (and also just general comfort). Remember, still try and avoid hard scrubbing here, and just use gentle and careful rubs.
Now that your visor is clean and dry, it’s time to re-install it on the helmet. Basically just do the opposite of whatever you did to get it off, in most cases. If you got it off successfully, it shouldn’t be too hard to get it back on.
You can clean your motorcycle helmet visor with Windex. While not as fully safe as warm water will be, Windex is mostly just blue soapy water. It contains a few different cleaning agents, but none of them are theoretically harmful to any of the plastics commonly used in motorcycle visors.
That said, I’d probably still recommend only using it on the outside of your visor.The inside is often where coatings are applied, and also just shouldn’t need to be cleaned very aggressively. Or at all, in many cases.
Other similar glass cleaners may also be acceptable substitutes for motorcycle-specific cleaning products. Sometimes it’s worth it to look up particular products to see the experiences other motorcyclists have had with them. Not everyone agrees, but usually it’s not too hard to find a general consensus.
Again, my main recommendation is just some warm water and some microfiber towels. That being said, if you want something with a little more punch, there are a few different things you can try.
Motul makes a product called Helmet Clean and some riders really seem to like it. This is basically your industry standard when it comes to helmet cleaners. It’s a not too expensive, no-nonsense helmet cleaning product. I’d still keep it away from the inside of your visor, though.
There are other similar products made by companies like Motorex, Motopro, Muc-Off, and other such brands. Which of these does the best job will vary depending on who you ask. As long as they don’t seem universally disliked, any of these products is probably a safe bet.
My main recommendation if you want some sort of cleaning product is a product called “Plexus.” It was originally developed to clean aircraft windshields, which is pretty awesome. Plexus is not only a cleaner but also a plastic protector and polisher.
It’s more expensive than the Motul Helmet Clean and definitely more expensive than Windex or other cheap glass cleaners, but a lot of experienced riders swear by the results. Sometimes it can be worth it to pay for a quality product.
Speaking of that, let’s talk about towels. A cleaning product can only be as good as the cloth it’s used on. A quality microfiber towel is a great investment in avoiding scratches on your visor. They’re really not that expensive, especially compared to other motorcycling expenses.
Microfiber towels are just that. Micro-fibered. The small fibers avoid scratching up your plastic visors. A piece of glass is quite hard, so most towels won’t scratch it, but plastic is much softer and much easier to damage. Towels with larger fibers can easily damage plastic visors over time.
While many riders get away with paper towels, terry towels, or other cheaper options, they’re not going to be as good. A nice set of microfiber towels will likely be way cheaper than a decent visor, so in the long term, it really is worth the investment.
Now that your visor is nice and clean, let’s talk about how to keep it that way. While you can’t do anything about the debris that may come at your helmet while riding, you can do something about the damage a visor may sustain while not riding.
Your helmet is a fragile and important safety feature and should be taken care of well.Many visors end up sustaining scratches or minor damage just from being dropped, knocked into things, or by having things set on them.
If you have a safe place to put your helmet where you know nothing else will interact with it, great. A sealed cupboard or something like that will serve this purpose perfectly. If you don’t have that protected space though, a helmet bag may be a worthwhile investment.
A lot of motorcycle helmets come with a protective bag, but if yours didn’t, they’re usually not too expensive to get. A nice protective bag, even if it’s thin, can save your visor from a lot of avoidable scratches.
Scratching your visor is just about the worst thing you can do to it. While most debris, smudges, bugs, and dust can all come out with cleaning, many scratches won’t. If your visor gets scratched enough, eventually cleaning it won’t matter and you’ll just have to replace it.
If you take good care of your helmet and, by proxy, your visor, usually you can get a long service life out of it. Keeping strict habits when it comes to protecting your visor is the best way to avoid unnecessary damage and protect your investment.
Keeping your motorcycle helmet visor clean is important. Your visor should basically be invisible and should protect your face and eyes without getting in the way of any parts of your vision. If your visor is dirty or scratched, it can be unsafe to ride with it, so it’s best to keep it clean and scratch-free.