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How to Clean a Welding Helmet Lens

man wearing welding helmet while working

Many people choose to throw their welding lens in the trash when it gets dirty. While most lenses are relatively cheap, this can add up over time. If you’re looking to save as much money as possible and be a bit more environmentally friendly, you can clean a dirty welding lens in most cases.

Cleaning doesn’t really take all that much time and can significantly lengthen each lens’s lifespan, which can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Cleaning a welding helmet lens isn’t particularly complicated. However, there are a few steps you need to take to do it correctly. We’ll go over all of those steps in this article and clear up some common misconceptions involving welding helmet lens and cleaning them.

4 Steps to Cleaning a Welding Helmet Lens

1. Understand the Necessary Precautions

Before you jump into cleaning your welding helmet lens, you need to be aware of a few precautions. These aren’t necessarily only to keep you safe, but it can also prevent unnecessary damage to your lens.

Firstly, the welding helmet lens can be scratched very easily. Because of this, you need to be careful while holding it. Hold it from the sides as much as possible so that you don’t accidentally scratch it with your finger or anything of that sort. You may want to wear soft gloves while handling the lens to avoid scratches.

Secondly, you need to use a relatively thin microfiber towel. Your best bet is to purchase an entirely new towel for this job. Re-using towels or using old towels can cause scratches.

Thirdly, welding helmet lenses are made in a variety of ways. Some have a coating on them. These are more difficult to clean, as the smallest scratch can quickly spread and remove the covering altogether.

2. Remove the Lens

To clean the lens the best, you need to remove the lens from the helmet itself. Remember to hold the lens on the sides when you are handling it to avoid scratches.

Some helmets do not allow you to remove the lens easily without damaging the helmet. In these cases, you will have to clean the lens while it is still in the helmet. This is a bit more difficult, and you probably won’t get it as clean. However, it is still possible.

3. Remove the Abrasive Dust and Other Debris

Once you have removed the lens from your helmet, it is time to remove the abrasive dust and other debris from the lens. You cannot simply wipe it off, as this will cause all sorts of scratches. It is called abrasive dust for a reason.

Instead, you’ll need to approach it differently. One of the easiest ways to do this is to run the lens under hot water. The water carries away the debris without scratching the lens. We recommend adding a few drops of dish soap on the lens, which will help lift off the material. Then, you can rinse the soap off.

Another easy way is to blow it off with compressed air. If you have an air compressor, this may be the easiest and fastest option. However, if you use an auto-darkening helmet, the compressed air can damage the electronics if you misuse them.

Alternatively, there are some products on the market that are specifically made for this purpose. In many cases, these don’t work much better than warm water. We recommend saving a bit of money and just using water or compressed air.

4. Dry with a Microfiber Towel

After you’ve gently rinsed the lens off, it is time to dry it. Microfiber towels and eyeglass cloths are your best option. We don’t recommend using one you found lying in your junk drawer. Unless you have a newer one that has been properly stored, we recommend purchasing a new one. These towels can wear down quickly, and the last thing you want is to scratch your lens.

If the lens still has a dirty spot or two, you can dampen the microfiber towel and gently rub the spot.

microfiber cloth
Image Credit: Pixabay

5. Examine Your Helmet

Before you put the lens back in, examine your helmet. It isn’t unusual to find a few screws loose or dirty spots on your helmet. Now is an excellent time to take care of those as well. Dust your helmet as well. This will help your lens stay cleaner over time. You don’t want to put a clean lens on a dusty helmet.

a welding helmet
Image Credit: Khamidulin Sergey, Shutterstock

6. Put the Lens Back in the Helmet

Once your helmet is ready for your clean lens, you can put it back on. Be gentle, as you can scratch it very quickly. Always hold it from the side, even when you’re trying to get it back in the helmet.

As far as how to get it back into the helmet, this varies from model to model. Generally, you’re going to do the same thing you did to get it off but backwards. This part should not be difficult, especially with resources like YouTube.

7. Keep Your Lens Clean

Now that your lens is clean, you need to keep it clean, so you can clean it less often. While cleaning it doesn’t take that much time, it can get annoying to do it once a week. One of the easiest ways to do this is to store your welding helmet properly. Preferably, you should store it in a bag. If you don’t have a bag, consider purchasing one.

The bag will keep dust and debris from making the helmet even dirtier while it is being stored. Helmet bags are very cheap, so there is little reason not to purchase one.

Important Tips

There are a few things you need to keep in mind while cleaning your welding helmet lens.

  • You may want to consider a specialized product. Some companies make cleaning products specifically for their helmet lenses. These tend to be more expensive than water. However, it can be worth it for some users.
  • Take the batteries out of your helmet if you have them. The water can harm the batteries, as can compressed air and pretty much every cleaning product out there.
  • Solar-powered systems can be susceptible. If your helmet is solar-powered, then you need to be extremely careful while cleaning.
  • Some helmets may contain multiple different lenses. If this is the case with your welding helmet, you may need to separate them and clean them separately. You can follow the steps listed here – just be sure to clean each lens.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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