Essen (dpa / tmn) - Motorbike fans can use the winter break to check and maintain their helmet in peace before the start of the season. With lukewarm water and a little neutral soap, bikers get heavy dirt from the outer shell, explains the Institute for Bicycle Safety (ifz).

It is better to keep your hands off of sharp cleaners, as these could damage the helmet shell. Stubborn dirt and insect remains can be removed with a damp cloth that should soak for a while so that the dirt can be easily wiped off afterwards.

When cleaning, don't forget the visor, which has to be cleaned inside and out. You can take a close look at its locking mechanism. A little silicone spray provides lubrication. Scratched visor should be replaced.

The inner cushion is cleaned again with a lukewarm hand wash with mild detergent. The ifz names special cleaners for helmet pads to be on the safe side. Removable pads should not go into the washing machine. Don't forget: Also clean the chin strap and check for any damage.

Even with good care and without damage or falls, a helmet should usually be replaced after about five to seven years.