Is my helmet ruined because I soaked it overnight?

← Back to Forums


spakbros
Participant
#

Hey, kitty peed on helmet so I soaked it in bleach water overnight. Someone told me that it’s compromised now. Any thoughts? It’s this model Bern helmet:


Noah Mustion
Participant
#

bleach could weaken the plastic & foam, yeah… they recommend mild soaps only for helmets


Nick D
Participant
#

What was the concentration of the solution?

Dan W. can probably offer some good info.

Next time I would probably take the liner out and have it steam cleaned, and just wash the hard foam off with soap and water.


dwillen
Participant
#

I’m not that kind of chemist, and I don’t know what polymers your helmet is made of, but bleach is an excellent oxidizer and probably oxidized the crap out of your helmet foam – in my expert scientific opinion. The foam in those hard sided helmets might be more resilient than the normal bike helmets though, but I have absolutely nothing to back up that guess.

It is pretty common advice for other sports that bleach will damage the foam padding in your gear. Unfortunately, I don’t have any peer reviewed sources to cite for you.


Nick D
Participant
#

Sorry for calling you out.


spakbros
Participant
#

I used about a cap-full of bleach to about 4 gallons of water so it wasn’t a crazy amount. From what I’ve heard from a knowledgeable source, those Bern helmets are designed for multiple impacts so I’d guess they use a different foam?

I probably ruined it. Drats

Thx guys


dwillen
Participant
#

Sorry for calling you out.

Haha, no you didn’t. I probably should know. If I knew what the thing was made of I could give you a better guess, but nobody tells consumers that sort of proprietary info.

My extended family asks me about the medications they’re taking at the big family Christmas party. I guess they’re chemicals, so the chemist should know everything about them, right?

spak, is that one of the helmets with the squishy foam inside? does it still squish? I’d be less worried about the the hard shell part.


Lyle
Participant
#

It’s still more protection than going bare-headed.


paulheckbert
Keymaster
#

Throw helmet on ground hard. If it shatters, it’s no good, if it doesn’t, it’s probably good enough :-)


quizbot
Participant
#

Where exactly was this helmet when kitty peed on it? If it was hanging off your bars then you definitely have problems… as if cats that piss on your stuff no matter where it is isn’t a problem.


ejwme
Participant
#

I have a very old, very cranky cat who occasionaly expresses his perpetual extreme disgust with life in a similar manner.

Next time, use an enzymatic cleaner… My favorite is sold at the Cat Clinic on Liberty (they’ll sell it to you even if you don’t take your cat in, it’s the one in a black bottle). It’s more effective at getting rid of the smell, and probably will do less of a number on the object of feline disgust.

Hell hath no fury like a full bladdered feline ignored.


BradQ
Participant
#

“From what I’ve heard from a knowledgeable source, those Bern helmets are designed for multiple impacts so I’d guess they use a different foam?”

There are different foam liners available for Bern shells, some are single impact EPS foam (bike helmets) others are multiple-impact brock squishy foam (hardhats). If you got it at a bike shop, it is most likely EPS.


erok
Keymaster
#

haha. cats are such jerks. cat piss head.


dwillen
Participant
#

I think your cat was just jealous. After all, you made his helmet out of a melon:


Morningsider
Participant
#

I try to eliminate as many variables as possible when protecting my melon. Luckily, I’m allergic to cats.


cburch
Participant
#

@brad, unless he got it at thick. chris loves the multi-impact so he stocks it regularly.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

So far this hasn’t happened, but as I have an elderly cat who, whether by accident or design, has taken it upon herself to increase the number of LEAs in the house (litterbox-equivalent areas), my plan is to just immerse the helmet in a bucket of plain water overnight and let osmosis do its thing, maybe change the water every couple of hours.

What would be the likelihood of damage from such a soaking, assuming none from the cat?


Pseudacris
Participant
#

Natures Miracle does a good job on the odor. Might contain alcohol, though.


Mick
Participant
#

Murphy’s oil soap seems to do an OK job at eliminating cat urine odors.

Had it been my wicked cat, your helmet would have turned to oderiferous goo immediately on contact with the bodily fluids.


spakbros
Participant
#

Got the helmet at REI and it feels pretty hard to me. For the record, kitty is usually really neat with the litterbox. The problem was that it needed changed and she waited for me to walk by and made a point of letting some rip before I could stop her. Smart ass cats. Last time it was my hockey gloves


ejwme
Participant
#

stu – urine is acidic, and that’ll hurt equipment. Unless you catch it immediately and use something like Nature’s Miracle (or the stuff in the black bottle from Cat Clinic), I’d put it in the “decorative or theater prop” box rather than useful box. But I’m conservative about equipment.

Osmosis won’t take care of the gut turning stench, either.

I lost a climbing partner because aforementioned feline protested on his favorite static line, rendering it totally useless. Lost as in I was no longer invited to climb with (despite replacing the line with a sweet static AND he “borrowed” a lead line I never got back), not lost as in dropped down a cliff.

btw – if LEA increasing is a perpetual problem, and not an illness or injury related, medicating the cat (paxil, vallium, or other anti-anxiety) will often do the trick. sometimes it’s a temporary thing, sometimes it’s permanent.


edmonds59
Participant
#

Find an inconspicuous spot on the foam and put just a drop of undiluted bleach on, and leave it overnight. If that spot doesn’t change or get soft, then the diluted mixture probably didn’t do anything either. If it’s EPS (the hard foam), it’s very sensitive to solvents and heat, but I don’t think most plastics oxidize.


erok
Keymaster
#

wait- is your cat named “kitty”?


Swalfoort
Participant
#

According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, bicycle helmets are to contain labels that carry language about the effects of common household chemicals (including bleach). I realize that if your helmet still had the label, you wouldn’t have asked this question. However, you might be able to find the same model helmet at a local retailer that DOES have the label. By reading THAT label, you’d know if your own helmet is still effective.


spakbros
Participant
#

good call swalfoot

wait wtf? swalfoort

Erok: Cats name is Penguin (after the bird not the hockey)


Erica
Participant
#

My cat’s name is “Big Kitty.” My other cat used to be “Little Kitty,” but we named her Steve instead.


erok
Keymaster
#

My cat’s name is Kitty. That’s like having the combination to my luggage as 1.2.3.4


Mick
Participant
#

Related question – how old can a helmet get before it is believed to be ineffective due to age?


Ohiojeff
Participant
#

ErinK
Participant
#

You could call the manufacturer and ask them. They might default to “replace it” but they might be able to tell you what the materials are and whether they’re very susceptible to an oxidizer.

Bleach is a bad idea because it can damage a lot of stuff, but I also wouldn’t assume that the enzyme cleaners or Murphy’s Oil Soap are OK.


erok
Keymaster
#

i left my bern helmet at the river the other night. when i went back to get it, it had about 5-6 bb holes in it. you think it’s still ok?


Noah Mustion
Participant
#

wow. that’s a pretty trashy method of vandalism. you leave it at the button?


Swalfoort
Participant
#

Hmmm, depends. Were the holes drilled, chewed or otherwise created?


Lyle
Participant
#

BB holes are probably no worse than bleach.


Ohiojeff
Participant
#

Impacted (crashed) helmets are supposed to be replaced because crushed/cracked eps foam is less to no good at reducing future impacts. BBs fired, at point blank range, into your helmet might have similarly damaged the eps. But that’s just speculation on my part.


edmonds59
Participant
#

Did the bb’s penetrate the shell and foam?


spakbros
Participant
#

wanna go helmet shopping with me erok?


Swalfoort
Participant
#

Is bike helmet shopping by men anything like shoe shopping with women?


erok
Keymaster
#

you leave it at the button?

yep.

yeah, the BBs went right through – pretty clean holes. i went from amazed that my helmet was where i left it 4 days ago, then went to shock that there were tiny holes all over it.


erok
Keymaster
#

spak, for what it’s worth, rei-outlet has bern helmets w/ the winter kit on close-out right now.

← Back to Forums

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Click here to login.

Supported by