Latest

Infectious disease doctors say you should clean your home gym often — here are the 8 best products for it

  Summary List PlacementBy now, nearly every health-focused person in America does some kind of workout at home. Whether they've created a complete garage gym, use a spin bike or set of dumbbells in their living room, or even just roll out a yoga mat for a quick HIIT routine or Vinyasa, keeping active at home has become a new normal.  But no matter the workout, the home gym equipment that's used comes into constant contact with sweat. At a gym or fitness studio, employees disinfect everything you and other members might have touched but at home, it's up to you. So, if...

 

cleaning yoga mat gym

Summary List Placement

By now, nearly every health-focused person in America does some kind of workout at home. Whether they’ve created a complete garage gym, use a spin bike or set of dumbbells in their living room, or even just roll out a yoga mat for a quick HIIT routine or Vinyasa, keeping active at home has become a new normal. 

But no matter the workout, the home gym equipment that’s used comes into constant contact with sweat. At a gym or fitness studio, employees disinfect everything you and other members might have touched but at home, it’s up to you. So, if you aren’t cleaning your equipment, then who is?

“You probably need to clean your home workout space a lot more frequently than you think,” says George Nelson, MD, an epidemiologist, and infectious diseases physician at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

There are many reasons for cleaning your home gym, like controlling odors and simply having a tidy, presentable area. But it’s also essential from a health perspective to control the spread of germs, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. These bugs are the culprits for a range of health issues such as staph infections, the common cold, athlete’s foot, and more.

While the length of time bacteria, viruses, and fungi can survive on surfaces varies, their hardiness might surprise you: Bacteria can survive on hard surfaces for days and even months under the right (or in this case, wrong) conditions, Dr. Nelson said. Because of that, it’s highly important to routinely clean not just your workout equipment but the surfaces you break a sweat on, too. 

These recommendations and precautions are only half the battle, though — you’ll also want to make sure you have the right products on hand. To help, I’ve rounded up a selection of the products I’ve used (and enjoyed) the most in keeping my gym equipment, workout space, and clothing clean. 

I’ve also included some additional insight into how often Dr. Nelson recommends you should clean your home gym, as well as some tips on how exactly to clean everything. 

Here are the best products for cleaning home gym equipment:

Seedling by Grove Compostable Kitchen Wipes

For a convenient and eco-friendly way to quickly wipe down your equipment after each use, I’ve been turning to Grove Collaborative’s bamboo wipes. These unscented wipes are not a disinfectant, but they hold up surprisingly well when cleaning grime and sweat off of gym equipment. Compost them with your local collection service once a month so the wipe-down process is not only simplified but totally guilt-free.

Product Embed:
Product Name: Grove Collaborative Compostable Kitchen Wipes
Card Type: button
https://produktor.businessinsider.com/productCardService?id=5f49501a58c24d052653753d&type=button&live=true
Width: 100%
Height: 150%

Force of Nature Starter Kit

This disinfectant is a bit complicated to set up — it’s somewhat of a DIY process involving an appliance that turns tap water, plus a capsule of salt, water, and vinegar into a multi-purpose natural cleaner. But it’s worth it to then have an eco-friendly multi-purpose cleaner that’s as effective as bleach as a disinfectant, yet completely safe for kids and pets, and won’t trigger allergies or asthma.  In fact, Force of Nature is on the EPA’s list of disinfectants that kill the COVID-19 virus.

The spray can be used in place of any household cleaner, so it’s not only great for your gym equipment, but also for the kitchen, bathroom, and floors.

For more disinfecting cleaners, check out this list

Product Embed:
Product Name: Force of Nature Starter Kit
Card Type: button
https://produktor.businessinsider.com/productCardService?id=5f4951384dca6806523ece63&type=button&live=true
Width: 100%
Height: 150%

Casabella Infuse Spray Mop Kit

This reusable microfiber mop pad is an ideal tool for deep cleaning your gym floor. It’s reusable, effective, and versatile for all different types of material, including ceramic tile, linoleum, and sealed hardwood. All you need to do is fill the spray bottle with water and load in the lemon-scented cleaning concentrate, and you’re good to go. 

Product Embed:
Product Name: Casabella Infuse Spray Mop
Card Type: button
https://produktor.businessinsider.com/productCardService?id=5f3aaa565af6cc31990bc229&type=button&live=true
Width: 100%
Height: 150%

Manduka Mat Wash Spray

“I spray my mat with this essential oil-based mat spray and wipe it down after each practice,” says Samson Frederick, CorePower Yoga Master Trainer. Formulated for use on all yoga mats, this spray offers a quick way to wipe down post-practice, but also in a deep clean: Soak your mat with the spay, allow it to sit for five minutes, then scrub it with a damp cloth. 

Product Embed:
Product Name: Manduka Yoga Mat Spray
Card Type: button
https://produktor.businessinsider.com/productCardService?id=5f4953d8a6f0e104f226d171&type=button&live=true
Width: 100%
Height: 150%

Tide One Wash Miracle

“I can’t highlight this discovery enough: After 10 years of practicing hot yoga, I finally found the product that works to remove odor from athletic apparel,” says Frederick. “This lifeline has rescued even the most pungent of my workout wear.” 

It’s not technically detergent as it’s meant to be used in place of your detergent every so often or as needed, but add it to a cycle of your stinkiest sweat-wear and it eliminates any funky odors in just one wash cycle.

Product Embed:
Product Name: Tide One Wash Miracle
Card Type: button
https://produktor.businessinsider.com/productCardService?id=5f4955d8988ee3380d3f5df9&type=button&live=true
Width: 100%
Height: 150%

Hex Laundry Detergent

If you exercise often, you know that some of your workout clothes tend to start smelling a little… stale, to put it nicely. This powerful yet eco-friendly detergent has odor-fighting molecules designed specifically for the tight-knit fibers of activewear, so they penetrate the fabric to get to the source of the stink.

It’s now available in four different scents, as well as fragrance-free. 

Product Embed:
Product Name: Hex Laundry Detergent
Card Type: button
https://produktor.businessinsider.com/productCardService?id=5f49572f2618b92f6b7b56af&type=button&live=true
Width: 100%
Height: 150%

Puracy Natural Carpet and Upholstery Shampoo

Lots of home fitness spaces include porous surfaces, such as benches, chairs, carpets, or even a living room rug (hey, sometimes you just can’t find a mat!). That’s where this 99.96 percent natural upholstery shampoo comes in handy. It gets rid of dirt, grime, odors, and funks, and it’s pet- and kid-safe.

Product Embed:
Product Name: Puracy Natural Carpet and Upholstery Shampoo
Card Type: button
https://produktor.businessinsider.com/productCardService?id=5f495867505f5332d841bf5c&type=button&live=true
Width: 100%
Height: 150%

Pure-Sky Microfiber Glove Dusting Mitt

Microfiber cloths are actually ideal for sanitizing a surface because the fibers are so small and hook-shaped that they’re incredibly effective at picking up germs. It won’t disinfect, but for a quick clean to wipe up any sweat, dust, or grime, just add water to any small microfiber towel (no spray required). 

We like the Pure-Sky Microfiber Glove Dusting Mitt since you can easily slide your hand into it and access the curves and crevices of a dumbbell or kettlebell handle, or wipe down a yoga mat without a towel getting all bunched. If you pulled out your entire equipment stock, the double-sided nature to the glove allows you to wipe down more without having to rinse in between. After, just rinse with running water and dry.

Product Card (button)

How often do you need to clean your home gym?

A general rule of thumb would be to wipe down “high-touch surfaces,” such as dumbbells, mats, or a bench, after every use, Dr. Nelson recommends. “You can serve as an unwitting courier for bacteria from anything you’ve come in contact with during the day — think: subway rail, grocery cart, your coworker’s desk,” he explains. 

If you share equipment with someone else, even if they live in your household, you’ll also want to disinfect surfaces in addition to wiping them down after each use, Dr. Nelson adds. 

Ideally, you should deep clean at least once a month — more often if you use your home gym a lot or if the space has poor circulation or is damp, Dr. Nelson says. 

How to clean your home gym equipment

For your regular cleaning, first wipe the equipment down with plain old soap and water, a damp cloth, or a dry dust cloth depending on what your equipment can handle, Dr. Nelson recommends. You’ll want to remove visible dirt and particles because those will “serve as a barricade to protect any resident bugs,” he explains.

Note: Be sure to unplug all electronics first and avoid drenching anything with electrical input or output, like the display on a spin bike

Then, choose a disinfectant that kills bacteria and viruses. In addition to the recommendations below, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) official guidelines for disinfecting your home.

A note of caution: “Many clear plastic displays and housings are made from polycarbonate, which has low chemical resistance to base alcohol solutions found in cleaners such as Lysol, Windex, and bleach,” explains Alex Davis, a fitness expert and former plastics engineer. You’ve likely seen the effects of hard cleaners on credit card checkout kiosks and the like, with cracked panels and erased number keys. For polycarbonate equipment, wash displays with only mild dish soap and water with a soft material, as sponges can also scratch, Davis advises.

During your monthly deep clean, soak any mats, clean items you use less frequently, and take extra care to clean areas that might get overlooked, such as the floor, handlebars, chairs, foam rollers, resistance bands, and yoga blocks. Don’t forget about your phone and headphones, too. 

Most importantly, let the disinfectant sit on all surfaces for a bit. These products have a “dwell time,” meaning the time the solution has to be in contact with the bacteria to do its job, Dr. Nelson says. In other words, if you wipe off disinfectant right away, you may compromise its effectiveness, so be sure to take a look at the directions before using a disinfectant, he recommends.

Finally, think about wearables: “If you wear the same watch for exercise and daily use, consider taking it off after vigorous exercise to let your skin breath and give it a quick wipe down so sweat and bacteria aren’t trapped up against your skin,” Dr. Nelson recommends.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: