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Why is My Ski Helmet Sticky? (With Solutions)

Ski season is coming upon us soon, so it’s time to get the gear out and ready. You can’t think of skiing without a helmet, in fact, most places won’t allow you to partake unless you are wearing one, so keeping the helmet in a top-notch shape should be a priority.

Why is my ski helmet sticky?

One of the main reasons why ski helmets become sticky is due to the materials they are made of. Ski helmets with rubber grips become the stickiest since over time it wears off due to reversion. Harsh weather or temperature change make it sticky too, as well as time since helmets can expire too.

Do ski helmets get sticky?

Ski helmets can get sticky when they aren’t properly looked after. But that isn’t the only reason why it could become sticky, other causes include the material they are made of- meaning they are bound to get sticky after a while regardless.

Related, the passage of time could make them sticky with wear and tear as well.

Why has my ski helmet gone sticky?

Now that you know helmets can get sticky, let’s discuss why it is going sticky so you can get armed with knowledge and finally prevent it. 

Exposure to chemicals: 

If your helmet gets in contact with certain chemicals in drugs, solvents, or cleaning agents, they can react with the material or the coating of the helmet and make it sticky.

Acid sweat could make it gluey as well, which is what happens when you’re wearing it for a long while and sweating in it.

Where had it been stored?

If a helmet has been improperly stored, say in a tightly closed space, it can become sticky. This happens because it doesn’t get enough air and the confined space creates mold, which undoubtedly makes it gluey.

The material it’s made of: 

This doesn’t need much explanation, but here we go. If the helmet has a big rubber portion, chances are it is going to become adhesive-like over time.

It doesn’t matter if it is made of natural or synthetic rubber, over time the environment will make it go back to the rubber’s initial state of stickiness.

Change of weather or temperature:

Since ski helmets are made for cooler, snowy areas- you can expect it to go through multiple stages when you take it back to the storage where it isn’t as cold.

It spends active hours in very low temperature in the sun, and then it goes back to a higher temperature inside- so this rather harsh weather and temperature change can cause it to become tacky as well.

Old or defective helmet:

While surprising, ski helmets do have an expiration date. Old helmets that have lived through several winter cycles of storage are more likely to become defective. Usually, ski helmets are expected to last three to five years.

On the other hand, if you are doing everything right and it is a rather new helmet, chances are you have a defective helmet from production, to begin with.

How to clean a sticky ski helmet?

It might seem like a hassle, but cleaning a sticky ski helmet is pretty easy. Here are a few pointers- 

The tools you usually need are- 

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Ammonia or window cleaner
  • Soft cloth
  • Baking soda
  • Scouring pad
  • Protective gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Spoon or butter knife

Use rubbing alcohol:

Use the rubbing alcohol or wd40 to remove the stickiness with a paper towel, pad, or soft cloth. Alcohol will also make it smooth.

Use a rag:

Use a rag to remove its gunk with acetone or something equivalent. It will help to remove sweat from it too.

Wash the helmet:

Wash the helmet with soft soap, use a cloth gently so you don’t rub something off of it unintended.

Use baking soda paste:

Try a baking soda paste where you put 1 cup of baking soda in a bowl and drops of water slowly so a thick paste is made. Put the paste on the sticky part and rinse it clean. 

Contact manufacturer:

Contact the manufacturer if all else fails. Ask for tips, or compensation so you are well prepared to deal with it.

When using alcohol products, make sure to see if they are compatible. Windex, for example, can cause the cover to craze or crack since it contains denatured alcohol.

How to fix a sticky ski helmet?

Since you now know to clean a sticky ski helmet, you are prepared to fix it as well. As mentioned earlier, whatever you do, make sure to do it gently.

Use the cleaner of your choice, rub off the sticky part, and wash it off gently. You should also thoroughly clean the cloth you used to rub it off if you plan to reuse it. 

We would advise you to use one-time-use clothes so you don’t have to go through the motions of cleaning it as well.

How to remove stickers from ski helmets?

To remove stickers from your helmet, you will need 

  • a hairdryer, 
  • something to scrape it if you can’t do it with your fingers, 
  • soft cloth and 
  • adhesive removing product

The steps should look something like this-

  • First, blow heat onto and around the sticker with the hairdryer until it is warm to the touch. It can be directly above but don’t let it touch. 
  • See if you can scrape it using your fingers, if not use a plastic paint scraper or razor under it and slide it off. 
  • After this, remove the adhesive with the rubbing alcohol or equivalent.
  • Wipe down the helmet to remove alcohol residue with a damp cloth and then air dry the helmet.

Stickers aren’t difficult to remove, but you have to make sure to do it gently so you don’t harm or scratch your beloved helmet. Keep that in mind and you should be good to go.

How to remove old helmet decals?

Removing old helmet decals isn’t very hard to do either, and follow almost the same steps as removing stickers. Do it with time and care and the job will get done in no time.

  • Spritz the general decal area with wd-40 or something like it. You should let it soak for about a minute or so.
  • Warm it up the same way you would for a sticker with a heat machine or hairdryer.
  • As it warms, you’ll be able to peel it off from a corner or edge. Do it slowly to avoid mistakes and accidents.
  • Once it is removed, you should start to wash down any leftover adhesive with the wd-40 or anything alike. 
  • Last but certainly not least, use a clean rag to wipe whatever residue is there and let it air dry naturally.

It is advised that if you need to scrape the sticker or decal, do it very carefully or gently since it can ruin the paint job. A good replacement for wd-40 is Goo Gone so you can try that as well. Use a microfiber towel to wipe things off.

How to store your ski helmet?

Before anything else, when planning to store your ski helmet, make sure it is dry and clean. 

You could remove the padding and wash it off, disinfecting it in the process.

After it’s dry, put it back into the helmet. If you are washing the whole thing, always check if it is properly dried before storing.

You can store it in the garage. To make the best of it, pack it into an airtight container to protect them from humidity. You can also hang it off a rack but keep them in the protective pouch they come with so you can minimize dings and scratches.

As you can see, time and the way they are stored are two of the main reasons why helmets get sticky. However, the first reason is still the material it is made of since it proves no matter how you store it, it will eventually become tacky and gluey overtime.

That being said, if you know what your ski helmet is made of and how to properly take care of it, your trusty helmet should be by your side for a long time.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can Ski Helmets Go in Hand Luggage?

Can You Use a Ski Helmet for Skateboarding & Biking?

Can You Wear Hats or Sunglasses With a Ski Helmet?