5 tips for keeping gym equipment clean

July 28, 2015

For many people, cleaning gym equipment is not a big deal, but you do need to keep the equipment clutter free. It should be both clean and operating smoothly.More importantly, you can hurt yourself on equipment that is not working properly.

5 tips for keeping gym equipment clean

1. Wipe off perspiration

  • The salt in your sweat is corrosive so always be sure to wipe perspiration off equipment after use. This goes for all machines, especially those with metal parts.
  • You should also wipe down control panels to keep moisture from seeping into them and ruining the sensitive electronics.
  • To make it easier, keep a roll of paper towels handy in your workout room.
  • Every once in a while, wipe down the equipment with a sponge or cloth moistened with a bleach solution: 30–60 ml (2–4 tbs.) of bleach in 1 litre (1 quart) of water. This will kill any lingering germs.

2. To clean a weight machine

  • Treat it like a car. The painted metal parts are similar to your car's painted metal body. Once a year, use a car cleaner (available at automotive shops), diluted according to the package instructions, to clean the grime off the paint.
  • Rinse with a clean, wet towel and dry with a bone-dry towel.
  • Wax the machine with your preferred car wax, again following package instructions. This prevents scratches, reduces grime build-up and also brings out a warm shine.
  • Periodically, clean and lubricate the machine's guide rods to keep the weight stack from sticking.
  • Clean the rods with a dry paper towel and then wipe them over with a cloth moistened with silicone spray. Don't overdo it — too much lubrication can result in them sticking together.

3. To clean a treadmill

  • Use your vacuum cleaner to clean under the machine every second week.
  • Every three months, vacuum around the motor casing. Most people don't realize it, but dirt is the biggest killer of treadmill motors.

4. To clean a rowing machine

  • After every workout, simply wipe it down with a moist rag to remove any sweat or body oils.
  • Add a squirt of kitchen cleaner to the rag if necessary.
  • Pay particular attention to the handles, seat and slide.
  • You should also clean and lubricate the chain regularly, using a product recommended by the manufacturer.

5. To maintain a stationary bike

  • The most important thing is to clean and lubricate the chain every three months or so.
  • Clean the chain by carefully holding a dry rag on it and slowly turning the pedals to run the chain through the rag a few times.
  • Next, lubricate the chain with silicone spray lubricant, available at bike shops.
  • To avoid splattering, don't jump on and pedal right away; allow the lubricant to dry, which should only take a few minutes.
  • You might think you don't need instructions for an exercise bike — get on it and pedal, right? — but the instruction booklet that came with the bike contains valuable tips for cleaning and maintaining your equipment in optimum condition.

6. Service annually

Have your equipment professionally serviced every year or so if you use it regularly. It's a good idea to ask the people you bought the gear from to recommend a service technician.

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