Ballistic helmets, especially those worn in tactical environments, help protect you from falling debris, impacts, and bullets. Whether you're wearing your helmet for military, airsoft or other uses, it’s important to make sure you’re properly maintaining and caring for your tactical helmet. 

While helmets don’t have an expiration date, ballistic helmets over time will become worn down. How you take care of them and replacing materials when needed will help it last many years. Tactical helmets like ones from Ops Core aren’t cheap, but by taking the necessary steps will help increase the longevity of your helmet. 

  1. Maintenace for All Users 
  2. Maintenace for Active Military 
  3. How to Clean a Military Helmet 

      Maintenance for all users

      1. Check Interior and Exterior for any Damage. Replace anything broken before next use. 
      2. Check all Parts are in Working Condition (Knobs, Chinstraps, Pads etc.) 
      3. Clean Regularly with Soap and Water 
      4. Double Check Helmet for any Loose Screws and/or Moving Parts 


            Tactical Helmet Maintance Guide Infographic

            When following the steps in the image above, make sure to be as thorough as possible. The more attention to detail during maintenance checks of your helmet, the longer the helmet will last. 

            When checking screws such as those that hold in the chinstrap, most are tightened with a flathead screwdriver. When checking the chinstrap, it is important to make sure the buckle latches and releases properly. 


            Maintenance for soldiers and/or regular users 

            The main difference between the above information and maintenance for military users is the timing. For those who use tactical helmets in the military, the helmet is typically being utilized more than 1440 hours per year.  

            When a tactical helmet is used that often, more wear and tear than usual is going to occur; this means, parts will need to be replaced faster than any other user. 

            It’s suggested that military users follow the advice below to maintain their tactical helmet to its top quality.  

            • Replace Fitband Comfort Pads every 100 days or 1 time per year 
            • Replace Fitband, Chinstrap, Hardware, and EPP after 2 years 
            • Replace Exterior Velcro and repaint shell after 4 years  
            • Replace other components if damaged/worn out as needed 

            In addition to the above list, it would be beneficial for military users to weekly follow the chart for regular users. For instance, when using a tactical helmet—if available—rinsing in fresh water and/or with soap at least once a week will help keep the comfort pads intact longer. Sweat, dirt, and other grime can contribute to the breakdown of helmet pads much quicker than if they get cleaned regularly.  


            How to Clean a Helmet 

            Tactical helmets are put through tough environments. From dust and sand to rain and mud, your helmet is bound to get dirty. It is okay and recommended to wash your helmet. You should wash your helmet regularly especially after it's been exposed to outside elements and sweat and with mild soap and water. 

            Outside of the Helmet & Accessories (Rails, etc.)

            Use only fresh water and a mild soap with a soft cloth or brush to remove any dirt or debris. Make sure you rid your helmet of any soap before leaving out to dry. Once done leave it out to air dry, away from direct sunlight. DO NOT completely submerge a Kevlar helmet in water or leave it submerged in the water for a long time. This can damage the resin used to seal Kevlar helmets. 

            Suspension Pads of the Helmet

            You’ll want to clean the padding separately. To clean the padding inside your helmet, remove the padding from the helmet and handwash with mild soap and fresh water. Squeeze any excess water and let air dry inside, away from direct sunlight. Make sure they are dry before putting them back inside the helmet. 


            By following the advice above, your tactical helmet will last longer and will be able to continue to perform at the top quality at which it was bought. For those who use a tactical helmet every day as a lifesaving tool, maintenance is of utmost importance. We hope this article provided the necessary information to educate yourself on the ways to keep your tactical helmet in the best quality. 

            DEANNA PARENTI is a Marketing Copywriter at Waveband Communications. With her experience in critical communications, she helps public safety clients enhance their team communications during everyday work and emergencies.

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