Guide To Cleaning Gyms And Gym Equipment - Unisan Columbus
Guide To Cleaning Gyms And Gym Equipment

Guide To Cleaning Gyms And Gym Equipment

In a busy gym, a single piece of exercise equipment can be used more than 100 times a day. This means exercise equipment in a gym is a breeding ground for germs and all too often isn’t disinfected between each use. This is a problem because viruses can live on a surface anywhere from a few seconds to 48 hours.

To protect your gym members and staff from illness, follow these guidelines for cleaning gym equipment and empower your gym members and staff to help.

First and foremost make sure you choose the right cleaning products.

How to choose the best gym equipment cleaner.

The terms cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting are often used interchangeably, but they really shouldn’t because they accomplish different things. This can make choosing the best disinfectant solution confusing. 

Here are the differences between cleaners, sanitizers, and disinfectants as defined by the CDC.

Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.

As you can see by reading these definitions, we want to use disinfectants whenever possible to kill germs on gym equipment.

An ideal gym equipment disinfectant should meet these criteria: 

  1. Easy to handle by users.

  2. Has a low dwell time or time it takes to disinfect.

  3. Safe for repeated use on equipment.

  4. Effective against microbes commonly found on equipment.

  5. Free of objectionable odor.

  6. Stable in storage.

Next, let’s talk through how to properly disinfect gym equipment.

How to disinfect gym equipment with a disinfectant spray or wipes. 

If a disinfectant doesn’t hit its dwell time, or the amount of time a surface needs to stay wet in order to disinfect, then the surface will not be disinfected. 

If  you choose to use disinfectant wipes on exercise machines, ensure the surface of the machine stays wet for the entire dwell time in order to properly disinfect. The average dwell time of disinfectant wipes is 4 minutes, so you may need to use multiple wipes. 

If using a spray disinfectant you need to read the label to determine its dwell time. Dwell times for spray disinfectants can range in time anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes.

In addition to educating your staff on how to use disinfectants, it’s important to empower your gym members to clean up after themselves and help disinfect gym equipment as well. 

Three ways gym members can help disinfect your gym. 

  1. Gym members should always carry a towel. 

While wiping up sweat won’t kill germs, but it does remove sweat, which will reduce the spread of germs.

  1. Even if the gym staff clean exercise machines after every use, gym members should take their own precautions. 

Encourage gym members to use disinfectant wipes or disinfectant spray before and after using any piece of gym equipment. This will help ensure equipment is disinfected after every use.

  1. Gym members should shower immediately following their workout. 

Gym members should take a shower immediately after their workout to wash away dirt and germs. They should also change into clean clothes and place their workout clothes in a separate bag to avoid potentially spreading germs.

What does this come down to? 

In general, if you choose the right disinfectants and educate your staff and gym members on disinfecting best practices, then you’ll be able to keep your staff and gym members as safe as possible.

If you have questions about how to clean your gym or what disinfectants to use on gym equipment, give us a call at (614) 863-1700 or send a note to We’re here to help.