Kevlar Helmet Care - Best Ways to Maintain Your Tactical Helmet

The majority of tactical helmet users fall into these two categories:

- They take the time and effort to properly maintain their helmet

- Or they neglect it and then complain when their ballistic helmet doesn't function properly.

But you're probably wondering:

"What are the best ways to take care of my kevlar helmet?" 

Well, the best ways are to follow the manual or documentation that came with your kevlar helmet! The following information is a guide and what we suggest for our helmets here at Hard Head Veterans! 


Cleaning Your Tactical Helmet

Kevlar Helmet Shell

  1. Use only fresh water and mild soap with a soft brush or cloth to clean. 
  2. Ensure to rinse the kevlar helmet thoroughly to remove any soap or dirt. 
  3. Air dry the helmet in a shady area or indoors if possible. Keep it away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
  4. Inspect the tactical helmet shell (see inspection info below).

Retention System

  1. Remove the retention system from the helmet.
  2. Handwash only with fresh water and mild soap. 
  3. Air dry in a shady area or indoors if possible. Keep it away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
  4. Inspect retention system (see inspection info below).

Suspension System (Pads)

  1. Remove pads from hook and loop fasteners by slowly peeling from the edges of the pad.
  2. Squeeze out any moisture if tactical helmet pads used are semi-permeable.
  3. Handwash only with fresh water and mild soap.
  4. Squeeze out any moisture again.
  5. Air dry in a shady area or indoors if possible. Keep it away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
  6. Inspect helmet pad system (see inspection info below).

Helmet Accessories (Shroud & Rails)

  1. Remove non-helmet shell accessories and follow specific manufacturer instructions for care for each piece.
  2. Leave helmet shroud and rails attached, unless it's absolutely necessary to remove for cleaning. 
  3. Rinse with fresh water and mild soap.
  4. Use a soft brush such as a toothbrush to remove any dirt or debris.

Inspection Of Your Kevlar Helmet

Prior to and following each use, cleaning, or deployment.
Tactical Helmet Shell
  1. Inspect the exterior of the shell for any dents. If dents are found, check the interior of the shell for any corresponding dents. If corresponding dents are found the tactical helmet shell should be replaced. 
  2. Inspect the exterior of the Kevlar shell for any major scratch or gouges. If scratches or gouges are deep enough and expose & fray helmet fibers, the helmet shell needs to be replaced. 
  3. Inspect the through bolts and holes to ensure they are not stripped or egged out. 
  4. Inspect interior hook and pile (Velcro) used for pad attachment. Any peeling tape or round patches should be replaced with new ones. 
  5. Inspect edging gasket for tears or compromises, if major the helmet shell should be replaced. 
  6. Check manufacturers sticker and warranty date. 


FIG 1: Shows a major dent, scratches, and fiber fray. This is a compromised Kevlar shell that needs to be replaced. 

    kevlar helmet dent, fiber fraying


    Retention And Suspension System (Pads)

    1. Inspect all bolts to ensure they are snug and the threads are not stripped. Check for rust on all metal hardware.
    2. Inspect each slide buckle and closure snap for function and cleanliness. 
    3. Inspect pads for tears or rips and replace as needed. Ensure cleanliness of all pads. 

    FIG 2: Shows a rusted bolt that should be replaced. 

    Rusted kevlar helmet bolt

    Rails and Tactical Helmet Shrouds

    1. Inspect all permanent helmet accessories for a tight and secure fit to the tactical helmet.
    2. Ensure helmet shroud tightly locks into place with your chosen mount.
    3. Inspect and ensure any helmet rail accessories function and are secure

    FIG 3: Shows a compromised edging gasket

    kevlar helmet gasket


     What's that age-old saying we have all heard?

    "Take care of your gear and it will take care of you"! 

    As much as you might get tired of that saying, it holds true. Kevlar helmets don't require a ton of maintenance and upkeep if you simply take a small amount of time to follow the manufactures instructions. Doing so will ensure the tactical helmet performs as intended, in that moment you need it the most.