Running and operating a successful gym relies heavily on functioning, state-of-the-art fitness equipment. Today’s gym members want their fitness center to have modern, high-tech equipment complete with features that cater to their individual needs and helps them meet their fitness goals.

This includes Bluetooth capability with electronics and devices, wi-fi, streaming abilities, LCD touchscreens, television, and more. Cleaning these machineries can be tricky, however. Understanding how to clean gym equipment, surfaces, and machinery along with the best practices can ensure a positive member experience, retain customers, and keep equipment working for as long as possible.  






Why It’s Important to Clean Gym Equipment

 

Knowing how to clean your gym equipment and machines are necessary for retaining and attracting members, as dirty equipment can ward off customers. In fact, hundreds of gym-goers said that an unclean gym will lose their business during a survey. The last thing someone wants to see when they step on a treadmill, grab a weight, or sit on a bench is sweat or oil stains left behind by the person who used it before them.

Keeping equipment free of dirt and grime can also maintain the lifespan of machinery and equipment such as weights, mats, benches, and others. When dust, sweat, fingerprints, oils and other forms of grime build up over time, they can cause malfunctions and glitches. For example, when a treadmill collects loads of dust, it can clog the rollers and cause friction.

 Lastly, removing grime can kill germs that can get people sick. One study found that there are as many as 25 different kinds of bacteria hiding in gyms. There are many diseases and infections members can get from dirty equipment, the most popular being MRSA, Staph, and rhinovirus (the common cold). Staph, in particular, can survive for weeks on surfaces if it isn’t killed.

Pathogens that spark these illnesses are commonly found on gym equipment in fitness centers across the world. Making sure your customers are safe should be your priority, so cleaning equipment to kill pathogens should be high on your to-do list.



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How to Clean Gym Equipment

 

The equipment in your gym may consist of various different materials and surface types. Common ones are rubber, steel, LED screens, vinyl, and others. You also have to be careful because of electrical components, which can pose a hazard.

Figuring out how to clean them and what to clean them with can be intimidating and even overwhelming. Here’s how to clean your gym equipment in 3 easy steps.






1.
Remove Surface Layer Dirt and Grime 

 

Use a pre-saturated general cleaning wipe, or dampen a microfiber cloth with water. Gently remove dirt, dust, fingerprints, stains, and more. Don’t forget to wipe grips, screens, handles, and the nooks and crevices of the equipment. This can include the inside of cup holders and other small spaces. Let air dry before proceeding to the next step.

Note: It’s important to thoroughly clean the top layer of dirt and grime before applying sanitizers and disinfectant solutions. General cleaning allows them to be more effective at killing and destroying germs, bacteria, viruses, and fungi.






 

2. Apply an FDA Approved Sanitizer


Once you have cleaned the top layer of dirt and grime, use a sanitizing wipe or apply a sanitizing solution to a cloth and then wipe down the equipment. Make sure you are using a sanitizer that removes 99.9% of germs. This will reduce the level of germs that are present on the equipment.

 Avoid using spray bottles to spray the solution directly on the surface, as it can cause damage, especially to cardio equipment. Consider using sanitizing wipes so you don’t have to measure and mix liquids. Wipes also decrease the use of multiple towels. Let air dry before proceeding to the next step.





3. Apply an EPA Registered Disinfectant to Kill Bacteria

 

Once the sanitizer has dried completely, it’s time to use an EPA registered disinfectant wipe or solution to kill harmful pathogens such as MRSA, Staph, E. coli, and others. Read the kill claims carefully to make sure the product kills pathogens that are native to your fitness facility.

Before applying the disinfectant, put on a pair of gloves to protect your skin. Wipe down the equipment and make sure that it stays wet for the recommended dwell time, which is how long a surface must stay wet to kill pathogens. If the equipment is touched before the dwell time is reached, some harmful bacteria may still remain.

Think about investing in disinfectant wipes with a fast-acting formula, as they can streamline and simplify the disinfecting process.

 

Cleaning Equipment Don’ts

 

Now that you know how to clean your gym equipment and the risks associated with not doing so, let’s discuss what not to do or use to clean fitness machines and surfaces.





1. Don’t Use Alcohol, Bleach, Ammonia and Other Abrasive Chemicals

  

Do not use alcohol, bleach, ammonia, or other harmful and abrasive chemicals when cleaning your equipment, as it can lead to discoloration, cracking, corrosion, and otherwise damage the gear. Utilizing these types of chemicals will ultimately shorten the lifespan of your equipment and cost you more money in the long run.



By Dom J from Pexels

 

2. Don’t Use Brushes With Wire or Stiff Bristles

 

Don’t use brushes that have wire or stiff bristles, as they can scratch your equipment and leave visible scrapes. In addition to this, they can also deteriorate the appearance of the equipment quickly.





3. Don’t Use Spray Bottles to Apply Liquid Solutions

 

Don’t use spray bottles to clean your gym equipment, as this can cause damage and be an electrical hazard.

 

How Often Should I Clean My Gym Equipment?
 

Using these steps to clean your gym equipment will keep them clean and in service for your guests while demonstrating to your members that hygiene and cleanliness is your top priority. It’s recommended that you clean your equipment once a day or every few days, depending on the amount of traffic your facility receives.


Quick Recap on How To Clean Gym Equipment

1. Remove Surface Layer Dirt and Grime 

2. Apply an FDA Approved Sanitizer

3. Apply an EPA Registered Disinfectant to Kill Bacteria

4. Clean Equipment Once Every Few Days 

DON’T


  • Use Alcohol, Bleach, Ammonia and Other Abrasive Chemicals

  • Use Brushes With Wire or Stiff Bristles

  • Use Spray Bottles to Apply Liquid Solutions