Although commercial and private gyms are popular amongst fitness crowds, many people enjoy the comfort, privacy, and commitment of owning a home gym. In fact, home gyms allow for functional workouts without the loud noises and intimidating crowds found in public gyms or studios. With that said, owning a home gym also allows for greater customization in workouts. Not everyone is a strength-based athlete, nor is everyone a cardio junkie. Still, no matter which equipment you put into your home gym, you must remember to clean and maintain it—in fact, knowing how to properly clean and maintain your home gym equipment is crucial for your health and the lifespan of the equipment. Use these tips to make sure your equipment is clean and functional before your next workout.
The Risks of Dirty Gym Equipment
First things first: dirty gym equipment is gross. While you might feel you’re in the privacy of your own home and not in some crowded, loud gym or fitness studio, it’s still important to clean and maintain your equipment. There are a few reasons to clean your equipment. Before getting into how to clean equipment, understand that human bodies have oils, sweat, and dirt on the surface of the skin. When users come into contact with their gym equipment on a regular basis, these oils and dirt can build up on the machines and interfere with their functionality. For instance, heart rate monitors on cardio equipment can malfunction with too much sweat build-up. Improper cleaning and maintenance may also void the warranty of your machines. Not to mention, bacteria accumulate on these surfaces. Whether you live in a warm, sunny climate or cool mountain range, bacteria breed on surfaces. Not only do these bacteria come from you, but outer bacteria from surrounding surfaces can come into contact with your equipment and become a breeding ground for illnesses like e. coli, staph infection, bacillus, and strep.
Keep a Regular Cleaning Schedule
As with any part of your house, it’s important to clean your home gym on a regular basis. This is even more true if you use your home gym frequently, as germs, bacteria, and grime can build up on as well as wear down your equipment. Therefore, create and keep a regular cleaning plan. Make cleaning your home gym part of your normal cleaning routine. Cleaning the equipment itself is not hard either. As detailed later, all you need are dishrags or microfiber cloths, disinfectant, and possibly a lubricant like WD-40. A proper cleaning and maintenance routine prolongs your equipment’s lifespan to keep you active and on the path to long-term success.
Part of your routine maintenance plan should involve separating your gym equipment. Since gym equipment varies in use, exercise, and build, use different cleaning solutions accordingly. Cardio equipment, for example, requires a different cleaning procedure than strength machines, yoga mats, or yoga balls. Here are some common home gym pieces and their maintenance protocols.
For cardio equipment, such as treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, or StairMasters, start by unplugging the machines from any power sources. Then, spray a dish rag or microfiber cloth with disinfectant. Thoroughly wipe down each machine with the cloth. You may need to wet the cloth. You can let the machines air dry or use a dry rag or cloth to wipe down any residual moisture. Do not forget the surrounding areas, such as the floor or mats, since sweat, dust, and debris can build up there.
Use the same method for cleaning dumbbells, kettlebells, and free weights. Spray a clean cloth with disinfectant. Wipe down any handles, grips, and bars with the cloth. Be sure to scrub hard, as chalk and sweat can make the grooves on these areas grimy.
Any weight machines, either pin-loaded or plate-loaded, might require lubrication in addition to the basic cleaning steps listed above. If any machines feel rusted or painful, spray them with WD-40 or another lubricant to allow for greater mobility and extend their range of motion. Open windows to allow for proper ventilation and avoid breathing in toxic fumes. After sufficient lubrication, follow the same cleaning steps with wiping down the machine.
Lastly, yoga mats and yoga balls are easy to clean but might require some careful handling. Simply wipe down these pieces of equipment with a disinfectant-soaked cloth. Hang your yoga mat to dry in a cool, dark place. Sunlight could ruin its rubber exterior and reduce its durability. Hang it over a shower curtain or chair to dry.
Read Over Any Manuals
Although you might not need a reference manual for barbells and free weights, typically, any cardio or strength machine will come with one. These will show you how to properly use the machine without injury, and they’ll also show you how to properly clean and maintain it. If you’re unsure about how to properly store, clean, or handle any equipment, please contact us for assistance. We’ll be sure to get the right manual to you and instruct you on proper technique and maintenance of your equipment.
Treat Your Equipment Kindly
As previously mentioned, knowing how to properly clean and maintain gym equipment is one way to preserve its warranty. If at any time you need to return your equipment, make sure it’s in proper condition. You cannot return a malfunctioning or broken machine. Even if you don’t plan on returning your home gym equipment, improper care might be costly. Neglecting your gym equipment means more calls to repairmen, which means more money for repair costs. Avoid these issues to preserve your gym’s durability and use.
Still, when it comes to home gym equipment, we at Top Fitness have everything you need to create your perfect home gym at our workout equipment store. Check out our selection of cardio equipment and free weights to build your dream physique. We carry treadmills, rowers, ellipticals, exercise bikes, strength stations, benches, dumbbells, squat racks and cages, and much more to help you lose fat, build muscle, increase strength, and tone up. We also carry products geared for recovery, such as yoga mats, vibration stations, flexibility machines and stations, massagers, and more. Call us today with any questions, and someone will happily assist you.
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