Photo: Jacob Lund (Shutterstock)
Working out at home has always been both a necessity and a luxury, but since the pandemic, we’ve all gotten used to doing it a lot more often. At the gym, we all know to wipe down machines after we use them—but how seriously do we take that in the comfort of our homes? You’re probably washing your water bottle and sweat towel daily (we hope), but your kettlebells and stationary bike might be another story. Here’s how often to clean your personal workout equipment—and how to do it.
Barbells and dumbbells
Per Origin Fitness, wiping down your barbell is something you only need to do twice a month. (In commercial settings where people are using the barbell often but aren’t cleaning it after use, the recommended wipe frequency is once per week.)
Brush the bar, put some three-in-one oil on a rag, and leave it on overnight before wiping it all down in the morning. Wipe your dumbbells after every use, too, using a disinfecting solution or soap and water. If they have metal handles, follow the same instructions as for your barbells.
Did you know you should be cleaning the motor area of your treadmill monthly? It’s true, but even The Home Gym concedes it’s more realistic you’ll only do it quarterly. When you do, unplug the machine, pop the hook off the treadmill motor, vacuum around it, and check your manual to make sure there’s nothing else you need to do. Some manuals might advise a dry cloth instead of a vacuum, for instance.
As for cleaning the exterior, you should be wiping it down after every use with a wet cloth. You should also clean under the belt about once a month, using a damp cloth or vacuum.
Clean your kettlebells twice a week with warm water and dish soap, according to wellness company Vitalized Future. Wipe them with a microfiber cloth after each use, too, and a disinfectant spray once per week, making sure to focus on the handle.
Stationary bikes are big business right now, so you should know how to clean yours. According to Sunny Health, which manufactures at-home workout equipment, Wipe sweat and oil off your bike after every use with a cloth, then disinfect the machine with a homemade solution of a 1:9 ratio of soap and warm water. Put it in a spray bottle, spray it on any part of the bike you touched, and wipe it off.
Yoga and gym mats
You’ll want to briefly wipe off your yoga or floor mat every time you use it with soap and water or a store-bought mat cleaner, according to REI, but even that is not enough. Once a month, that thing needs a deep cleaning. Check your manufacturer instructions, but for the most part, these bad boys can actually be put right in the washing machine.