How to clean home gym equipment after a workout (a lockdown must)

Keep your home gym equipment clean as you – and the rest of the family – work up a sweat in lockdown

How to clean home gym equipment
(Image credit: Osobystist)

Been working up a sweat during home workouts? Cleaned your home gym equipment yet? With gyms closed and the biscuit tin/chocolate drawer temptingly close to hand, we’ve all/some of us have (delete as appropriate) been powering through YouTube fitness classes to try to offset the effects of lockdown comfort eating.

Joe Wicks has become the Pied Piper of PE, energising children and exhausting mums and dads who haven’t star jumped since primary school. We now know our yogic down dogs from our warrior poses, and have reduced ourselves to hot messes with pre-breakfast bootcamps.

But while we’ve all become hyper aware of the importance of keeping things clean, wiping down surfaces and shopping purchases, we shouldn’t neglect whatever we are using to keep fit. A recent survey* shockingly revealed 59 per cent of people don’t think they need to clean their grimy, sweat-stained home exercise equipment.

Wrong! Professionals cleaners End of Tenancy Cleaning London disagree (as do we!), and have some expert tips on what you should do to cleanse your makeshift mats and weights. Keep scrolling...

How to clean a yoga mat

How to clean your home exercise equipment during lockdown

(Image credit: TaniB)

With hundreds of free classes now available online, yoga has become even more popular. However, this means that mats are being used more frequently and therefore become dirty quicker.

If you are participating regularly, you should be cleaning your mat at least once a week. If you are a general user then once per month should be sufficient. 

Yoga mat cleaners are available online, starting from around £6. But you can easily create your own at home. Fill a spraying bottle with clean water, add two drops of tea tree oil and some white vinegar. This recipe contains antibacterial and antifungal oils to clean effectively

Find more ways to clean your home with vinegar.

How to clean dumbbells and free weights

It’s best to clean these after every workout. You can use antibacterial wipes on the weights or use antibacterial cleaner and scrub the surface with a cloth.

If you want to DIY, use a few drops of washing up liquid diluted with water on a clean cloth to wipe down the free weight surfaces.

Exercise enthusiasts who haven’t had access to the proper equipment, or been unable to order it in, have turned to alternative options, such as baked bean cans for dumbbells. Make sure you give the tin a good clean before placing it back in your kitchen cupboard. Use the same solution as free weights – mix washing up liquid with water on a clean cloth and wipe the can down to remove any dirt. Be careful not to unglue the label, unless you like a surprise at dinner.

How to wash gym clothes

To clean gym clothes you can put it in the washing machine with your other clothes after every workout, following the care instructions on the label. However, if the smell of sweat is still lingering after washing, there are some tricks you can use:

Avoid using fabric softener as it locks in smells by blocking sweat and odours from washing out, so gym clothes still smell. 

Add baking soda to your laundry; including one cup of it can deodorise your clothes and naturally softens them.

Find out how to do laundry safely during coronavirus.

How to clean boxing gloves

Online boxercise classes have become increasingly popular in recent weeks with a sharp increase in participants. But boxing gloves can hold onto odours and become very unpleasant. Wipe them down with a clean cloth to remove extra moisture and prevent bacterial growth.

There are specific boxing glove deodorisers available on Amazon to absorb smells and leave your gloves smelling fresh. For a money-saving option, use air purifying bags. Just place into the glove and leave overnight to eliminate odours.

How to clean an exercise bike – or bicycle

Whether you are using a static at-home exercise bike or an outdoor bicycle, clean your handlebars after every use as they pick up a significant amount of dirt. Take an old toothbrush and scrub with washing up liquid and water. You can also use disinfecting wipes – wrap them around the bars and use a twisting motion to get inside the small indents.

How to clean running shoes

Running shoes getting extra exercise? Brush or wipe away any excess dirt, grass and mud, then clean with an old toothbrush or a soft scrub brush dipped in warm soapy water. Wipe with a damp towel or wet sponge. If you have removable insoles, scrub them gently with a toothbrush dipped in soapy water then wipe off with a wet sponge. Clean shoelaces using soap, water and a scrubbing brush to remove any visible dirt. Let everything air dry with paper towels scrunched up inside your shoes.

Don’t submerge your running shoes in water or put them in the washing machine if possible as this can lead to damaged fabrics.

Avoid placing shoes in the dryer or near a radiator as heat can cause shoes to lose their shape.

For extra freshness, sprinkle baking soda inside when they are dry to absorb odours or residual moisture.

How to clean a carpet and hard flooring

If you are working out on a hard floor, use a damp mop with some cleaning solution to eliminate germs. If you are working out on carpet, vacuum up the dirt, hair and dust to get through the first layer of post-workout grime – this should be done at least twice per week. Additionally, carpet cleaning products provide a deep clean and leaving a protective shield that defends your carpet for longer. This does not need to be done as frequently and can be left for several months.

Find out how to clean a carpet thoroughly in our guide.

*Survey by by Showers To You

Alison Jones
Assistant Editor

Alison is Assistant Editor on Real Homes magazine. She previously worked on national newspapers, in later years as a film critic and has also written on property, fashion and lifestyle. Having recently purchased a Victorian property in severe need of some updating, much of her time is spent solving the usual issues renovators encounter.