Originally Posted by traderbob_nc
For all you guys with AGATT - How often do you wash your gear? How so you wash it? How often do you clean your helmet liner - or do you just wait till it smells so bad you can't stand it any longer?
I wash my gear when it needs it. I wish I could be more specific. Here are some details:
1. LDComfort underwear and helmet liner, BMW silver function shirts and socks, other silk-like helmet liners:
I wash these after each day's ride, or every other day if I am on a long trip. They are designed to be worn for long periods and kill the bacteria that causes odors. At home I use 7th Generation clear detergent and an extra rinse cycle. On the road, I carry a small vial of baby shampoo. In both cases, they dry very quickly when hung up or rolled in a clean towel.
2. Helmet Padding:
On average, every few weeks. 7th Generation detergent on the most gentle cycle, then leave on the counter to dry in the air. According to Shoei, frequent liner washing is good for your helmet, to reduce the deleterious effect of perspiration, lotions, and shampoo residue on the EPS (hard foam) liner. Before going on rides, I am careful to spend extra time rinsing the shampoo out of my hair. I think it helps the helmet, and it makes a difference to prevent scalp itch.
3. Outer jackets and pants:
A few times a year. I remove the armor pads and turn the gear inside out before washing. I believe that washing puts stress on the seams and other protections that you depend on, but dirt, sweat, bugs, and road grime are no good either. You have to find a balance.
Hint: Some BMW gear has English washing instructions that say, "Wash Left". In German, "wash left" means "wash the garment inside-out".
'Hope this helps.