You're Probably Not Cleaning Your Peloton Enough

Here's how frequently you should be cleaning all your at-home workout equipment.

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September 30, 2021
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Photo by: SimonSkafar/Getty Images

SimonSkafar/Getty Images

Thanks to 2020, more and more folks are getting their workouts in at home. And while that does mean fewer hands on your equipment, that bike, tredmill or set of weights still needs disinfecting. Whether you're working out a few times a week or every single day, here's how often you need to be wiping down your space to keep it free from germs so you can make sure your workouts are as healthy as possible.

How to Keep Your Exercise Space Clean

Home gyms come in many shapes and sizes. Whether you work out on a cement slab in the basement or on carpet up in a spare bedroom, keep these surfaces clean and dry to prevent bacteria and odors from accumulating. Avoid tracking in dirt and debris by having a designated pair of shoes for indoor exercise, or simply wipe your shoes with a damp cloth or cleansing wipe before entry to the exercise space. Since you will (hopefully) be breaking a sweat, run a fan or crack a window to increase air flow.

How to Clean Machines and Weights

If you think that cleaning equipment can take a few days off, think again. “Bacteria love the amino acids in sweat, so exercise equipment can definitely be a breeding ground for germs,” says Dr. Lisa Cuchara, PhD., professor of biomedical sciences at Quinnipiac University. “The two most important parts about cleaning exercise equipment is are to actually clean the equipment after every use and to leave the disinfectant on for the amount of time that the label says." Many disinfectants recommend leaving the product on the equiptment for five to 15 minutes before wiping them away.

Wipe down bikes, rowers, treadmills and other equipment between workouts and consider using a vacuum every week or two. Get in those nooks and crannies to remove, dirt, dust, lint and other debris to accumulate in the machinery.

Take the time to wipe down those weights – dumbbells, kettlebells and other free weights and attachments for machines and pulley systems. Pay special attention to the handles, but give all the surface area a quick wipe down. Body weight equipment like TRX straps, jump ropes can also benefit from a regular wipe down with a cleansing wipe.

How to Clean Mats, Towels and Recovery Tools

Use towels to wipe sweat away during exercise sessions and to cover mats, benches and other surfaces when lying down. When the workout is finished, wipe down mats and machine wash towels (yes, every time). Be sure mats air dry completely before rolling up and storing. Don’t forget about those foam rollers, massage guns, stretching bands and exercise balls: you use those to help with cool down and they can get sweaty too.

How to Clean Water Bottles

Staying hydrated is key to getting a good workout. Make sure you are sipping on something that will support your success, not potentially make you sick. The amount of bacteria that can grow on an uncleaned water bottle is shocking! You should cleaning water bottles after each use, every time.

Bottom Line: Work, sweat, clean, repeat! Keep your home gym squeaky clean.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. She is the author of four cookbooks First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers, The Healthy Air Fryer Cookbook, The Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook and Healthy Quick and Easy Smoothies.

*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.

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