The Right Approach to Sanitizing Personal Workout Equipment & Area

It’s no secret that gyms and fitness centers can be a breeding ground for bacteria. With facilities and apparatus being shared by different people, sweat and saliva droplets expose gym buffs to diseases or infections like athlete’s foot, Staphylococcus aureus (Staph) infection, ringworm, plantar warts, Jock itch, and among others.

To prevent the spread of bacteria, it is important to set up the best possible measures—not just in time of a pandemic—to always keep every workout area and equipment sanitized. That includes your personal equipment and space for home workout. While you may be the only person using them, it is still possible for bacteria and fungi to thrive on these surfaces if left unchecked.

Here’s how you can sanitize them.

Weights, dumbbells, and kettlebells

These workout apparatuses usually have longer contact with your palms, aside from sweat. They also absorb anything that latched onto your hands throughout the day, soit is necessary to wash your hands thoroughly before and after using them

How to sanitize it:

Clean them with disinfectant wipes. Make sure to wipe the entire equipment. Spray a disinfectant on it afterwards.

For alternatives, you may use a microfiber cloth and a small spray bottle. Combine the right amount of ammonia, water, and a few drops of mild dish soap or vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray it on the cloth and wipe the equipment, then mist 70 percent isopropyl alcohol on it. Let it dry completely for a maximum of 30 minutes before using them again, to allow enough time for the cleanser to kill bacteria.

Treadmills, ellipticals, and other machines

Workout machines always touch your skin and body, thus absorbing sweat from your body. If not cleaned regularly and efficiently, it can leave bacteria in the corners of your treadmill or ellipticals.

How to sanitize it:

Make sure that all machines are unplugged. Wipe down all surfaces and every nook and cranny around the handlebars thoroughly with disinfectant wipes. Spray a disinfectant after wiping them.

Alternatively, you may use a microfiber cloth and disinfectant spray for gym equipment. Wipe the entire machine. Wet again if needed, then use a dry microfiber cloth to re-wipe the machines. Let it dry. Avoid using drying or harsh chemicals, as they can damage your machine and cause irritation to the skin.

Resistance bands and exercise mats

As among the most commonly used home equipment, bands and mats absorb sweat and body odor every time you do stretching, sit-ups, or push-ups. When you roll up your mat or fold your resistance band without sanitizing them first, bacteria from sweat may grow and result in a disturbing smell.

How to sanitize it:

There are different types of mats. Check the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning or applying a solution to avoid ruining the material.

Most people, however, own rubber mats. To clean it, mix the right amount of warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap. Dampen the microfiber cloth with the mixture. Wipe both sides of your mat thoroughly. Reapply if needed. Rinse it with warm water, then wipe down with a dry microfiber cloth. Hang it overnight to dry. Don’t expose it to sunlight as it can damage the rubber.

Resistance bands are a little more difficult to clean because they are loose and stretchable. Most cleaning solutions can deteriorate bands, so the best method is to dip the bands into warm water with two drops of mild dish soap. Wash it gently for a few seconds, then rinse with warm water. Let it dry. Don’t put the bands under the sun to dry because it can damage the material.

Floors and other surfaces

When cleaning their home gym and equipment, people often overlook floors and household surfaces.

How to sanitize it:

It depends on the type of flooring. Wooden floors are tricky. Make sure to clean the floor first with a dust mop. Sweep the whole area until it’s dust-free, then use a disinfectant made especially for wooden floors. Wipe it with a microfiber cloth. Let it dry.

Rubber floors are much easier to clean. Simply sweep the dust using a vacuum cleaner. Mop it with warm water mixed with a couple of drops of mild dish soap. Let it stay for 5 minutes before rinsing with a wet vacuum cleaner. Let it dry. Don’t use harsh chemicals or vinegar, as they can cause the rubber to deteriorate.

It is best to sanitize your personal gym equipment and areas every day after workout. Make it a habit and achieve a truly healthy lifestyle!

What do you think?