The constant hum of electricity, the inviting flash of rows of LED displays, the ability to watch a Top Chef marathon AND exercise at the same time - one of the most popular areas of any gym is the cardio fitness room. These days, equipment manufacturers are pimping out fitness machine’s with more and more bells and whistles to not only make gym members want to use them, but also to get fitness club owners to buy them. It’s crazy. I was shopping for a treadmill for my home gym (an oversized closet that is more closet than gym) and I couldn’t believe the options you could get on these things; IPod docks, cooling fans, heart monitors, pulse monitors, televisions, virtual running trails – everything shy of giving me my horoscope. I felt like I was looking at options on a Lexus instead of an exercise machine that was designed to make me a sweaty, miserable mess.
Like a Lexus, those bells and whistles are expensive. If you are going to invest thousands of dollars in each exercise machine, you need to protect that investment as much as possible. That means not only routine maintenance, but instructing your staff and gym members how to properly use and clean the equipment.
Yes, there is a wrong way to clean gym equipment. Never, ever, EVER spray chemicals or water directly onto your electrical equipment. If you are using spray bottles and towels to disinfect after use, your gym staff and members should always spray the disinfectant on the towel first and then wipe down the machine. Spraying any liquid directly onto any electrical equipment or display is just asking for an expensive repair. Here’s a good rule of thumb – if you wouldn’t do it to your iPhone, you shouldn’t do it to your treadmill, climber or elliptical machine.
However, we all know that you can't monitor everyone all the time and members aren't always the best at following directions (why can't they put the weights back in the right spot, WHY??) so it's best to avoid this problem all together. Remove spray bottles from your cardio fitness area and make premoistened equipment wipes available in a wall mounted gym wipe dispenser or dispensing floor bucket. Users still have the opportunity to wipe down and disinfect equipment without the risk of causing damage to electrical circuits. They are safe, inexpensive and fool proof. Your staff can still use spray disinfectant throughout the day for routine cleaning, but with a more controlled and trained approach.