A few months ago, with all the lock downs, you invested in a brand-new elliptical or treadmill, so that you could keep working on your fitness goals – even when it seemed like the world around you was falling to pieces.
You know very well that investing in a piece of exercise equipment is no cheap endeavor, and now that you’ve used your new treadmill for a few months, you’re worried about keeping it in top-notch condition.
Maintaining your fitness equipment can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’ve never owned a treadmill or elliptical before. But, it’s not as hard as you think, and with these simple tips, your fitness equipment will last you a very long time.
You might think that since only you and the people in your household use your gym equipment, you don’t have to clean it as often as the equipment in a gym. Right? Wrong.
Every time you exercise, your sweat, germs and other bacteria from your hands and body get all over your floor, equipment, and the surfaces of your room. Getting rid of these bacteria can help prevent the spread of germs and keep you and your family safe and healthy.
Dr. George Nelson, an infectious disease doctor says, “bacteria can survive on hard surfaces for days and even months under the right (or in this case, wrong) conditions.” (1) That’s why it’s best to get rid of that bacteria as soon as possible.
How often do you clean your home gym? Most likely, it’s not enough. Dr. Nelson says that you should wipe down your equipment after every use, and disinfect the surfaces as well.
“Ideally, you should deep clean at least once a month — more often if you use your home gym a lot or if the space has poor circulation or is damp,” he continues. (1) This might seem like a lot, but it’s definitely worth it to keep yourself healthy and safe.
It’s also important to ventilate your home workout space before and after working out. Making sure that there’s fresh, clean air in your home will help you have a more enjoyable workout and also decrease the risk of getting a cold or a disease.
For your daily cleaning after your workout, just dampen a cloth with soap and water and wipe down your equipment. Make sure to cover all the “high-touch surfaces,” such as dumbbells, mats, or a bench” (1). Your goal on this first wipe down is to get rid of any dirt or particles that you can see.
Then, you’ll want to disinfect, to get rid of bacteria and viruses. Make sure to choose a disinfectant that won’t damage your equipment (especially the electronic surfaces) but that is strong enough to kill all germs.
When cleaning the electronic displays, be extra cautious. Many are made from polycarbonate, which, if cleaned with normal cleaners like Lysol, Windex, and bleach, can crack the surface and erase things. Alex Davis, a fitness expert, says “for polycarbonate equipment, wash displays with only mild dish soap and water with a soft material, as sponges can also scratch” (1).
Always make sure to unplug all your electronic equipment before cleaning as well.
During your monthly deep clean, do a more in-depth disinfecting cleaning for all gym equipment. Make sure to get in the corners and hard-to-reach spaces on your treadmill and elliptical, weights and exercise bands. This will not only keep you healthy and safe, but it’ll also be a good way to maintain your equipment so that it lasts longer.
There are lots of important surfaces to cover during your monthly deep clean. Make sure to cover your free weights, benches, and shelves and the handles of all doors and equipment. It’s also important to let the disinfectant dry properly.
Lastly, don’t forget the floors. “One place people overlook when cleaning their home gyms is their flooring,” but it´s super important to disinfect the floors as a last step of your deep clean. (2)
Remember those users’ manuals that came with your fitness equipment? The ones you thought you could throw away? Well, hopefully you didn’t, because they have a lot of great information on how to best clean and maintain your equipment.
Even if you did throw them away, a quick google search can often take you to the fitness equipment brand’s website, where you can look at maintenance tips and cleaning suggestions. To get you started, we’ve got three simple tips to best maintain your equipment.
In addition to keeping your gym equipment clean and disinfected, here´s three simple tips to keep your machines in excellent condition.
First, do a monthly run through of all your equipment. Check to make sure everything sounds and looks like it should. You’ll probably notice if something stops working or if there’s problems, but it’s always a good idea to have a set day of the month to look everything over, just in case.
Second, lubricate all gym equipment moving parts. All gym equipment with moving parts needs some lubrication. The “friction and heat in the joints of exercise equipment may cause damage to the parts because of excessive wear and tear.” (3) Lubricating your treadmill or elliptical will help prevent rust and keep your equipment running smoothly. To figure out what lubricant to use, check out the user´s manual of your specific equipment.
Third, check the humidity and temperature of your gym equipment and exercise room. “Too high or too low of either can cause your equipment to degrade faster than usual.” (4) Generally, your gym should be around 65 to 68 degrees, and the humidity levels should be around 40% to 60%.
Having a clean, tidy, and disinfected home gym will make you more motivated to work out. And, of course, keep you healthy and safe. Make your at home workout the highlight of your day, and don’t forget to keep your gym sparkly clean!