how to clean gym equipment

How to Clean Your Home Gym Equipment

by Evelyn Valdez

Regularly cleaning your workout equipment at home is important, just as it is at any fitness facility! Most people have some type of exercise equipment at home, if you're one of those people, then we have the information to help you properly sanitize all your equipment – including your UPPPER fitness gear 😉

Why is it important to clean home fitness equipment?

You might think it's silly to clean your own home gym, especially if you're the only one using it... but gyms are germ playgrounds. There are so many germs and bacteria lurking on your weights, cardio machines, resistance bands, and more. Although you're not sharing your workout equipment with strangers, it's still important to maintain everything clean from harmful bacteria!

Let us try to explain why it's important... We're usually out and about all day - at work, riding public transportation, grocery shopping, etc. Maybe one day you're around someone who has Staphylococcus aureus (also known as "staph") and somehow you get it. You don't know because you're not showing symptoms, so you go home, work out on your treadmill, and maybe lift some weights. Well, guess what? The bacteria is going to live on every surface you've touched for 3 days!! So anyone else in your home using that equipment will most likely get infected too.

That is why it's important to not only clean but sanitize your equipment! Cleaning will help remove the dirt and grime off of surfaces and sanitizing with a disinfectant, like disinfectant wipes or spray, will help clean any lingering bacteria from body fluids like saliva and perspiration. 

How to clean gym equipment

Cleaning gym equipment is easy and won't take up too much of your time, but before we break it down for you, here's a list of cleaning products you'll need:

  • Wet Wipes - These are often used at gyms, but they're referred to as gym wipes or cleaning wipes. If you have these, then great, these are the best to use to really kill germs and bacteria! 
  • DIY Disinfectant Spray - For those who don't have wet wipes or Lysol (disinfectant spray) or prefer an alternative with fewer harsh chemicals, this disinfectant solution is a great option! It will help kill bacteria and even prevent germs. There are two sprays you can make, here they are:
    • Combine distilled white vinegar + equal parts warm water, use it in a spray bottle to make it easier.
    • Combine a few drops of dish soap +  warm water (a gallon or slightly less).
  • Microfiber cloth -  Use a clean cloth to use with the disinfectant spray or paper towels are okay too.

That's all you need to make sure your home gym equipment is clean and sanitized. However, keep in mind that your home gym might not be completely germ-free... unless you are performing high-temperature cleaning! Luckily, it's not necessary. Regularly cleaning the equipment above and following the instructions below will help keep bacteria at a safe level.

Cardio Equipment

For cardio equipment like treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals, etc. you'll need wet wipes or your DIY white vinegar spray. Here's what to do:

  1. Unplug all the machines you're cleaning. Be mindful and don't spray near the outlets or plugs.
  2. Spray your microfiber cloth with disinfectant spray. For those using cleaning wipes, just grab a few.
  3. Wipe down the entire machine or bench. 
  4. Let the solution sit on the equipment for a few minutes to really kill all the bacteria.
  5. Use a dry cloth or paper towel to wipe down the machines again.

Free weights

Free weights like dumbbells and kettlebells are covered in bacteria since they are held in your hands for a prolonged time. 

To clean these you'll either need cleaning wipes OR a disinfectant spray made out of dish soap and hot water. Here's what to do:

  1. Dip your cloth or towel in the disinfectant spray (make sure it's damp, not soaking) OR grab your wet wipes.
  2. Wipe down the weights surfaces, make sure to clean every inch!
  3. Let the solution sit on it for a few minutes.
  4. Use a dry cloth or towel and wipe down the weights so they are dry.

Resistance Bands 

There are different types of resistance bands made out of different materials: fabric and rubber/latex

If you have UPPPER fabric resistance bands, here's what you need to do to clean them:

  1. Gather all your UPPPER resistance bands and throw them in your washing machine.
  2. Make sure the settings are set to cold water and a gentle cycle.
  3. Once they're done washing, air dry them. Never machine dry them!

For latex/rubber resistance bands:

  1. Grab wet wipes or your disinfectant spray (dish soap + water).
  2. Rinse them with hot water.
  3. Spray and wipe down every resistance band.
  4. Let the solution sit for a few minutes.
  5. Rinse them down with hot water and wipe them down with a dry cloth.

Yoga Mat

When you roll up a yoga mat after using it, the bacteria gets left behind in the creases and crevices leading to trapped odors and tons of harmful bacteria. This is why it is important to clean after every use. 

Before we tell you how to clean your mat, check the manufacturer's instructions. Some yoga mats are really expensive so we wouldn't want you to add a solution that could disintegrate the material. 

So here's how to clean your mat:

  1. Grab your disinfectant spray (dish soap + water) and dampen your cloth or towel. You can also use wet wipes.
  2. Wipe down the front and back of the mat then let it sit for a few minutes.
  3. Rinse the mat with warm water making sure to clean off all the solution.
  4. Use a dry cloth or towel to dry your mat.
  5. Let it air dry indoors over your shower curtain. Do not dry it outside, it can damage the material. 

Before you start cleaning gym equipment, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and when using wipes make sure to wipe in the same direction to prevent contamination. And don't forget to wash your hands after you're done cleaning too! And that's it – keeping your home gym equipment clean is that simple! It's easy and not time-consuming, so remember to set aside some time to clean up after every workout! 

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