What's worse than a worn pair of underwear after a marathon run? Well, nothing, but a pretty close second is your Motocross helmet after a day at the track.

If you're not on the up-and-up to cleaning your dirt bike helmet after a day of riding then get on it and learn how to clean your head protector and do it the right way.

The build-up of sweat and oil from your scalp, not to mention the dust and dirt that breeze through the air intake vents, makes your helmet ripe pretty quick. Saying it stinks is being kind. When it's not cleaned after a heavy day of riding, think of this - you're willfully putting what amounts to a watermelon of bacteria and mildew on your head!

Weston Peick has some work to do after this Moto

Cleaning your dirt bike helmet after riding is an often overlooked process when most riders want to get their bike clean and the rest of their gear is simply thrown in the laundry. There's good news. The inner lining of your helmet, you know, the cloth part that sucks up your sweat, toss that in with the laundry too. It is best however to wash the foam padding and the cheek pads in a gentle warm cycle wash. Overtime, heavy washing might degrade the fabric and high spin cycles could deform the foam padding. It's probably just as fast if you hand wash using a mild detergent, rinse well and set out to dry. It's also a good idea not to use your home dryer so as not to misshape the inner foam. Besides, the items are so small, an afternoon in the sun or left to dry overnight in a well-ventilated room should suffice but make sure all is well-dried before snapping back in the helmet.

Once the inner lining is removed, and any other removable parts, clean the inside and outside of the helmet. Certainly, this is not as imperative as getting the sweat soaked lining clean but residual sweat even on impermeable services can cause unpleasant smells. Really all you need is a damp towel to wipe out the inside of the helmet. To really freshen it up, the Helmet Fresh Cleaner is a popular item - at least among those who regularly clean their Motocross helmets - that works well. It's formulated to kill the bacteria and mildew that causes odor and no rinsing required.

The majority, if not all, of current manufactured Motocross helmets come with removable inner linings. If you're still riding old school and wearing a helmet without a removable inner lining then hopefully you already have a thorough cleaning process down because if not, then you could probably put your lid outside in the yard to keep wild animals away.

The best way, and easiest, to clean a helmet without a removable inner lining is to dunk it. A big wash sink in the laundry room works, if not grab a clean bucket. Squirt some mild detergent (regular laundry detergent, dish soap, even shampoo!) and fill with warm water. Soak it and scrub it like a dog...or just make sure the suds thoroughly penetrate the lining and foam padding. Rinse REALLY well and set out to dry.

Weston Peick is all smiles wearing a clean and fresh Motocross Helmet

If you're the perfectionist type or want to attach a GoPro then cleaning the outer shell is a must. Some riders like the well-worn look that signifies hard fought battles on the track. But for a clean shine and to bring out those cool graphics, use some gentle detergent and warm water to get mud and scuffs off the surface of your helmet. Some riders like to wax the outside of the helmet which not only brings back the showroom look but helps repel water and mud on future rides. Any old car wax should do if you want to go this route. If you want to keep it in the dirt bike family, Motorex Helmet Care Spray cleans, deodorizes and protects.

Now you no longer have any excuse for not cleaning your dirt bike helmet. In fact, as you can tell, it's pretty easy and takes very little time away from getting your bike ready for the next ride. Oh, and while you're thinking of it, give that helmet carrying case and gear bag some washing love too. It's probably time.

Written By: AndrewT