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How to Clean Gym Equipment

In this post:

  • The importance of a clean gym for hygiene & health
  • How regular cleaning can enhance user experience & satisfaction
  • Download our free cleaning and gym safety checklist

An overlooked element of fitness centers is their cleanliness. Gym owners and managers can attract new clients with new machines, group fitness classes, and low membership rates. But the condition of the gym is vital. Current and prospective gym members need to see machines and equipment in proper condition. Some members may even terminate their membership if facility conditions are subpar. Prospective members also need a clean facility. Ensure your machines are not dirty, locker rooms are clean, and hand sanitizer and towels are present throughout the fitness center.


cleaning gym equipment


Gather Your Right Cleaning Supplies

Before selecting commercial cleaning supplies, it's essential to identify the specific cleaning needs of your facility. Consider the type of surfaces, the level of traffic, and the type of dirt or grime that needs to be cleaned. Once you have identified the cleaning needs, determine the appropriate cleaning method for each surface. For example, some surfaces may require dry cleaning, while others may need wet cleaning. This information will help you select the appropriate cleaning supplies.


How to Select the Right Equipment Cleaning Solution

The extent of the cleaning process hinges on your unique preferences. If you want to cover all your bases, your cleaning staff should use an EPA-registered, disinfecting product. This means it will destroy the majority of viruses and germs found in fitness centers. Keep in mind that disinfectants have unique chemical combinations. Some are environmentally friendly with chemical agents sourced from citrus oils. Some are phenol-based while others are alcohol-based. Always make sure that the cleaning solution you choose is safe to use on gym equipment.

Beware of drying chemicals as they have the potential to cause your gym equipment to premature wear down, crack, and age. Quaternary ammonia is ideal as it doesn't pose a risk to humans or exercise machines. However, some quaternary ammonia solutions require a wet surface for upwards of 10 minutes in order for disinfection to occur. Some of the newer versions of quaternary ammonia disinfect in as little as a couple of minutes.

Take care to avoid gym equipment cleaners that pose a threat to human health. Bleach kills germs yet it can harm skin, lungs, and clothing. Avoid hydrogen peroxide as it has the potential to result in rashes and severe irritation of the skin.

In the end, the cleaning solutions you select should be safe for the cleaning staff, gym members, and your machines. 


Create Both a Regular & Deep Cleaning Routine

When it comes to maintaining a clean and safe gym environment, identifying high-touch surfaces and high-traffic areas is essential. These areas are prone to the accumulation of germs and bacteria, which can lead to the spread of infections and illnesses. Some of the most common high-touch surfaces and high-traffic areas in a gym include gym equipment, mats, restrooms, yoga areas, locker rooms and showers, and saunas, plus entry and exit door handles.

To effectively clean these areas, there are certain steps that should be followed. First, start with the floors, ensuring they are swept and mopped regularly. Gym equipment and machines should also be wiped down with disinfectant after each use to prevent the spread of germs (we cover gym equipment in more detail below). Mats should be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis, and restrooms should be cleaned thoroughly with disinfectant and sanitized.

In addition to regular cleaning, it's important to have a deep cleaning schedule in place. This involves a more thorough cleaning of the gym, including areas that are not frequently used or are hard to reach. It's also important to check the air quality and ventilation in the gym to ensure that the air is clean and safe for users.

To help you keep track of your gym cleaning tasks, we've provided a downloadable gym safety checklist. By following these cleaning tips and using our checklist, you can help maintain a clean and safe gym environment for all users.



How to Clean Gym Equipment

Gym equipment is a magnet for bacteria and grime. One person after another uses these machines. Add in the fact that gyms tend to be warm environments and it is easy to see why germs are omnipresent. Though it is not possible for the cleaning staff to wipe down machines after every single use, consistent sanitizing of such equipment will reduce the quantity of harmful bacteria members come in contact with. Use disinfectant gym equipment wipes to sanitize facility equipment several times per day. These gym cleaner wipes will help eliminate germs, grime, and sweat left on the machines by facility members.

It is important to note that there is an important distinction between disinfecting and sanitizing. Wet wipes disinfect, meaning their chemicals destroy bacteria and germs. This style of cleaning is essential as a disinfectant is needed to clean surfaces with body fluids like perspiration and saliva.

gym equipment disinfectant

Your staff should use wipes in a nuanced manner. The full surface of the gym equipment should be thoroughly wiped. Let the machine completely dry before members are allowed to use it. This drying period will guarantee that the disinfectant has the chance to work its magic. The disinfectant should be allowed to rest on the equipment for at least 2-3 minutes. If your cleaning staff is cleaning the facility late at night when a few members are around or the facility is closed, let the cleaning solution sit on the machines/equipment for 10 minutes or longer. This period of time allows the solution to completely destroy bacteria.

When it comes to the yoga area, it's important to use a disinfectant spray or gym cleaning wipes that are safe for use on yoga mats and blocks. Locker rooms and showers should also be cleaned and disinfected regularly to prevent the spread of germs. Finally, the sauna should be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly after each use.

To effectively clean gym equipment and machines, it's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and disinfecting. Using a disinfectant spray or gym equipment wipes that are safe for use on gym equipment and machines is also important to prevent damage. When cleaning floors, it's important to use a cleaner that is safe for use on gym floors and to mop in the direction of the grain to prevent damage.


Cleaning Gym Equipment Takes More Than Wipes

Wet wipes for disinfecting are only half the battle when it comes to gym cleanliness. Have your cleaning staff make use of gym disinfectant sprays or electrostatic sprayers filled with disinfectant solutions to boot. Make sure to follow the directions on the disinfectant solution, and apply it to machines on a regular basis. Do not hesitate to leave spray bottles by popular machines along with disinfecting gym wipes, paper towels, and hand sanitizer. Members will be able to clean gym machines to their liking. Post signage about the importance of cleaning as well, and encourage staff to clean equipment throughout the day, to instill confidence in your cleaning protocols with members.

If you are particularly fearful of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), or Coronavirus, opt for a cleaning product that is specific to MRSA or SARS-CoV-2. We offer a wide selection of EPA List-N disinfectants that are approved to kill Covid-19. Check the label for such information. A quaternary ammonia solution is safe to spray on surfaces members touch. Such a mixture does an excellent job of eliminating germs found on fitness center equipment. Make sure your cleaning staff is aware that the solution should sit on the machines for a few moments before being wiped down. Otherwise, the germs won't be removed.


disinfectant spray for gym equipment


Use Facility Cleaning Equipment To Collect Dust and Dirt

Beyond spraying down machines with disinfectant spray for gym equipment, it is also necessary to vacuum around equipment. A thorough vacuum will collect all debris and dust scattered around the exercise machines. Have your cleaning staff dust off all cardio equipment, weight machines, and weights. Make sure the outlets, plugs, and wires are completely free of dust. Wipe the facility's windows and clean off all door handles. Be sure to also perform a thorough cleaning of the locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms.


cleaning supplies for gyms


When in Doubt, Clean It!

Anything members come into contact with should be cleaned on a regular basis. Do not make the mistake of only cleaning the most popular machines. Other equipment and spaces will be rife with germs, bodily fluids, allergens, and grime.

Yoga mats, dumbbells, kettlebells, machines, exercise balls, and all cardio equipment should be cleaned several times per week. It does not matter if only a few members use certain machines or weights. All it takes is one sick or unhygienic member to use a specific piece of gym equipment. This will compromise its integrity and spread sickness to your members.


A Clean Gym Is an Important Competitive Advantage

Keeping a gym spotless and germ-free is a big deal.

According to a study conducted by the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), gym cleanliness is one of the most powerful tools to boost members' satisfaction, retain members, and catalyze revenue.

The association's report states that those who perceive their health club to be extremely clean are quite likely to recommend the facility to friends and family. Those who perceive the club as unclean are significantly less likely to recommend it to a friend, colleague, or family member.

The IHRSA study reports that 10% of members who recently terminated a gym membership state that the facility's unclean environment played a role in their decision to quit.

A clean gym boosts member retention and inspires current members. In particular, new gym members and women are disproportionately inclined to value a clean workout and changing space. The moral of the story is your fitness facility should be as clean, if not cleaner than your member's expectations. This standard of cleanliness is especially important for facilitates with high membership fees. Higher fees mean a raised standard for facility conditions.


Stay Up to Date on Local Health Guidelines

In today's world, staying up to date on health guidelines is more important than ever. As a gym owner or manager, it's crucial to stay informed about local health regulations and recommendations to ensure that your gym is operating in a safe and compliant manner.

This means regularly checking with your local health department and other relevant authorities to stay informed about any updates or changes to health guidelines. It's also important to adjust your cleaning and disinfecting protocols as needed to comply with these guidelines.

Effective communication is key when it comes to implementing new protocols and changes. Be sure to communicate any changes to your staff and members promptly and clearly, so everyone is aware of the new guidelines and how to follow them.

By staying up to date on local health regulations and recommendations and adjusting your cleaning protocols accordingly, you can help ensure that your gym is a safe and healthy place for everyone.



An update on COVID-19 and product efficacy: Our Bulk Antibacterial Disinfecting Wipes are effective and approved by the EPA for use against the virus responsible for COVID-19, killing the virus in just 30 seconds. Additionally, Commercial Disinfectant Concentrate, the Protexus Electrostatic Sprayer, and PUR:ONE & PURTABS disinfectant tablets have demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to SARS-CoV-2 on hard, non-porous surfaces. Therefore, these products can also be used against SARS-CoV-2 when used in accordance with their directions against Norovirus on hard, non-porous surfaces.


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