Once you’ve invested in a new riding hat, it’s important to take care of it to ensure that it will offer you the maximum level of protection over its lifetime. After all, buying a riding hat is a big investment – both financially, but also in terms of what you’re asking it to protect. Remember, you only get one head!
Dropping it or allowing it to roll around in the boot of your car are just two simple things that can cause damage. This damage isn’t always visible on the outside, but it may have resulted in damage to the internal shock-absorbing polystyrene liner, compromising its ability to protect you in the future.
Your riding hat should be stored in a cool environment and shouldn’t be exposed to direct heat for drying or placed in direct sunlight under glass. The reason for this is that if your riding helmet heats to 70°C or above, the protective materials used in its construction will break down, especially the polystyrene liner, and this will gradually reduce the level of protection it offers you.
A protective hat bag is the best place to store your helmet when you’re not using it. This will keep it safe and protected, as well as clean.
How to keep your hat clean
Here’s some general advice to keep your riding helmet in the best possible condition:
- For a fabric or velvet covered hat, dust it off with a very soft brush. Swiffer-type dusters also work very well
- Use a mild soap and warm water for cleaning
- Gently rub the inner lining to remove grease
- Remove any excess water with a dry towel
- Leave to dry at room temperature
- Hand wash any removable liner, if present
- Use strong cleaning solutions or very hot water
- Put your helmet on a radiator or other heat source to dry
- Leave your helmet in a car in warm weather, especially on the seats or parcel shelf
- Wash your helmet in a dishwasher or washing machine
- Leave your hat to dry in places for pets to chew
- Spray chemicals while wearing your helmet