Assume that you are a fitness enthusiast who started your fitness journey as a personal trainer 5 years back, and 2 years back, you started your own gym. The motivation that drives your path from personal trainer to gym owner is to ensure a more smooth fitness experience for your clients and to inspire them to have a fit body with a sound mind. 

Before starting your gym, you conduct deep market research about your target audience to move one step ahead of your competition. You made a huge investment in the location and equipment of the gym to give a more premium experience to your clients. You also run your gym marketing campaigns on different social platforms such as Instagram, Tiktok, Facebook, etc. All these efforts enable you to get new clients and boost the financial stability of your gym. 

But, still, your gym is not able to retain the client for long-term success. Your clients start a fitness journey and leave your gym after one or two months. The decrease in client retention rate affects your gym business. As per Contentsquare’s research,  a 5% increase in client retention rate boosts the profitability of the gym by 95%. A decrease in client retention rate reduces the profit of your gym and increases your frustration. This frustration raises a question in your mind: what mistake am I making that decreases client retention rate

As per ISHRA study, 10% of the clients that surrender their gym memberships say that the unclean environment of the gym plays an important role. This means, if you want to maintain a client retention rate, you have to ensure a clean workout environment for your clients. 

Now, you might have a question about how to clean gym equipment so you can ensure an exceptional fitness experience for your clients. But you don’t need to worry. Here, we are going to discuss a method for cleaning gym equipment that enables you to increase client retention rates. 

Why cleaning your gym equipment is essential? 

The cleaning of gym premises and its equipment is quite necessary as your clients who perform different workouts breathe heavily, sweat and touch multiple surfaces, which increases the number of harmful pathogens in the gym. These harmful germs spread diseases among the clients if you don’t clean your gym equipment from time to time. 

Moreover, if you don’t clean gym equipment, it also reduces the lifespan of that equipment as dust that your clients bring to your gym with them starts to reside on the equipment and leads to the rusting of your gym equipment. Any machine that has moving parts, such as treadmills, ellipticals, etc, has a higher risk of collecting dust and, if not wiped out on time, leading to the electrical or mechanical failure of these components. 

So, if you want to ensure a seamless fitness experience for your clients by preventing them from getting various diseases while reducing the maintenance cost of your gym equipment, you have to ensure that you perform your gym equipment cleaning on a daily basis. Moreover, it also enables you to attract new clients. As per the IHSRA study, 56% of gym members want their gym to be free from germs. Thus, ensuring a clean environment enables you to increase the number of clients by 56%

Important terms to know about

cleaning of your gym equipment

Before starting the cleaning of your gym equipment, it is essential for you to understand some important terms related to cleaning. These terms have different meanings and enable you to understand what cleaning you require for your gym equipment. So, you can extend the life span of your gym equipment while killing 100% germs to ensure a more healthy environment for your gym. Following are the important terms that are related to cleaning: 


Sanitizing helps you reduce the number of germs on surfaces such as utensils, gym equipment, etc. As per CDC’s research, sanitizing gym equipment once reduces the number of germs by 50%. So, to clean your gym equipment completely from the sanitizing method, you have to rub the sanitizer multiple times a day on high-touch surfaces. You can use different sorts of sanitizing agents, such as chemicals. 

  • Alcohol 
  • Bleaches 

Or device such as 

  • UV light

You can use these agents to ensure a safer environment for your clients, free from germs. 


If you want to ensure a germ-free environment for your gym, you have to use the approach of disinfection. In this process, you have to allow the disinfectant agent to stay on the gym equipment for an extended period of time. Thus, it enables you to kill nearly 100% of the germs, including some viruses. As per Evans Vanodine’s research, this method enables gym owners to kill 99.99999999% of germs. 

You can kill these germs by using chemical agents. Following are the most effective disinfectant agents you can use in the cleaning of your gym equipment: 

  • Phenolics
  • Hydrogen peroxide 
  • Formaldehyde 
  • Sodium hypochlorite
  • Calcium hypochlorite 


The term sterilizing is often used in medical science to kill all kinds of bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. This method involves using thermal and chemical reactions to kill 100% of the organisms. However, you can’t use this approach to kill germs in the gym. 

Products that you must have for cleaning

gym or fitness center needs for the effective cleaning of equipment and space

To ensure a safer environment for your clients, you have to make sure that your gym has cleaning products available all the time. So, you can apply them on the equipment occasionally to remove dirt and kill the germs. Moreover, You also have to ensure that you have maintained a minimum stock level for these cleaning products. Here are the products that your gym or fitness center needs for the effective cleaning of equipment and space. 

General cleaner 

While building an inventory of the products that you can use for the cleaning of your gym, you have to make sure that you have included general cleaners. The purpose of the general cleaner is to remove the surface residue and grime from your gym equipment. You can use the general cleaning agents that are available in the market or make your own by mixing diluted dish soap in water. 

These cleaning agents enable you to wipe the necessary dirt from the equipment and apply further cleaning agents to kill the germs and bacteria attached to gym equipment. While selecting a general cleaner for your gym, you have to ensure that the cleaner is free from alcohol or other harmful chemicals such as bleach, ammonia, etc. These ingredients in the cleaner can damage your gym equipment or fade its color. 


Another essential chemical agent that becomes part of your cleaning inventory is sanitizers or disinfectants.  These chemical agents enable you to clean the equipment by killing nearly 100% of germs. You have to ensure that your gym has sanitizer bottles that your clients can use before using the gym equipment. Thus, it enables them to kill the bacteria on their hands and avoid the transfer. However, you have to use disinfectants to kill the remaining bacteria that reside on the equipment. 

When you are buying disinfectants or sanitizers for your gym, you have to ensure that you always buy EPA-registered disinfectants. These registered disinfectants not only kill nearly 100% of the germs, but their ingredients also avoid damage to the gym equipment. As per the IHSRA study, you can use these disinfectant chemicals to clean your gym equipment: 

  • Alcohol 
  • Hydrogen peroxide 
  • White vinegar 

For sanitizers, you can use chemicals such as: 

  • 96% ethanol or 99.8% isopropyl alcohol 
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3%) 
  • Glycerol 

Thus, all these chemicals used as sanitizers or disinfectants perform their task of killing germs without affecting the gym equipment. However, you have to find a quick-acting disinfectant solution for your gym as these chemicals remain wet on surface for certain time for killing germs. For instant action, you can also use disinfectant spray or wipes for your gym. 


Whenever you want to apply disinfectants on your gym equipment to kill germs, you have to ensure that you have already removed the dust from the equipment. Otherwise, the disinfectant can’t fulfill its purpose of killing germs. Thus, to remove dirt from your gym equipment and to give your gym a more appealing visual presentation, you also need a duster. 

You can use a handheld duster, horse hair duster or a dusting attachment on a vacuum to wipe out all the dirt from your gym. This duster enables you to meet the cleaning expectations of your clients and helps you attract new clients who want to perform workouts in a clean environment. 

Microfiber cloths 

However, you can use a duster to wipe out the dirt and apply disinfectant to kill the germs on the equipment. You still need microfiber cloths. These cloths not only enable you to give a shining appearance to your gym equipment but it also enable you to remove the chemical disinfectants on the equipment. 

Although those chemical disinfectants are not harmful to your equipment they can still cause damage to your client’s hands. Thus, to avoid that damage and ensure a safe environment, you have to use microfiber after cleaning equipment. Moreover, if you use these cloths on a dry equipment, these microfiber effectively pickup debris and dust. Thus, you must ensure that your gym cleaning inventory must have microfiber cloths. 

Vacuum and mop 

The cleanliness of your gym is not about cleaning your gym equipment. It also involves the cleaning of your gym floor. You have to ensure that your gym is also free from dirt so your clients get attracted to your gym for its cleanliness. 

To ensure the cleaning of your gym floor, you have to use a vacuum. The vacuum cleaner easily collects dirt from the floor and stores it in a bag. The mop helps you clean the disinfectant agents from the floor. Thus, you must have a vacuum cleaner and a mop in your inventory. 

Steps you can take to clean the gym equipment

However, you have bought all the cleaning agents to ensure a cleaner environment for your client. But that agent is of no use if you don’t know how to apply that agent to get the best possible results. For better cleaning of your gym equipment, you have to follow the top-to-bottom approach by cleaning the floor at last. 

Moreover, cleaning the gym equipment also depends upon the number of members you are entertaining and how frequently they are using the gym equipment. Thus, based on this, you can decide whether you have to clean on a monthly or weekly basis. Here are the steps that you should follow to clean your gym equipment. 

  1. Dust 

Whenever you start to clean your gym, you have to ensure you remove the dirt from all the equipment and shelves. Having dirt on equipment and on the floor gives a rough look to the gym and becomes one of the reasons for the clients to quit gym membership.  You start with the removal of dirt from the highest shelves to gym equipment by using the handheld duster or a vacuum with a horsehair. Moreover, you can also use a microfiber cloth to remove dirt from the equipment to avoid scratches. 

Note: You have to make sure that you remove all the loose dirt from the shelves and the equipment without applying any cleaning agent. If you apply a cleaning agent while removing the loose dirt, it will make the dirt stick together and make large clusters. Such dirt become quite difficult to remove and also leave scratches on the equipment during its removal. 

  1. Clean 

After cleaning dirt from the shelves and the equipment, you have to apply the general cleaning agent, either in a spray form or wipes, to remove sweat, grime and dirt that can’t be wiped out by using the handheld duster or vacuum with horsehair. Before choosing the general cleaning agent, you have to be sure that the product you are choosing is non- toxic and green in nature to avoid damage to the equipment. 

Note: While applying the general cleaning agent to the equipment and the shelves, you have to ensure to spread the cleaning agent uniformly. After applying for a certain time, you should wipe over the entire surface and move in a single direction by using the microfiber cloth to avoid scratches on the equipment. Moreover, it also helps you to prepare the surface for the disinfectant spray. 

Disinfectant spray

To complete the cleaning of your gym equipment, you have to apply the disinfectant spray to kill the germs on the equipment. To clean the surface of the equipment, you must ensure that you have used the EPA-registered disinfectant. After applying the spray to the surface, you can wipe the equipment with a microfiber cloth. However, in some cases, you can use water to wipe out the disinfectant, as some agents can irritate the skin. 

Note: When you apply the disinfectant spray on the equipment, you have to ensure that you provide appropriate time to the spray to stay on. This appropriate time allows the spray to kill the germs. Moreover, during this stay time, you also have to ensure that no body touches the equipment as some chemical agents are quite harmful for skin. 


After cleaning the equipment by using the spray, now its the time for you to clean the floor of your gym. This enable you to remove the excess debris that land on the floor during the equipment cleaning process. You can start cleaning the floor by using the vacuum cleaner that collect all the dirt in the bag. 

After using the vacuum cleaner, you can apply the disinfectant chemical by using the mop. Then, you have to allow the floor to air dry. Thus, it enables you to clean the gym and its equipment and help you to attract new clients. 

Some essential equipment that requires cleaning 

In gyms, there are different sorts of equipment that clients use to give strength to various body parts. Some of the equipment are used occasionally by the clients so all such equipment requires cleaning on a weekly basis or, in some cases, on a monthly basis. 

However, equipment like dumbbells, weights, treadmills, battle ropes, etc, are used by clients on a daily basis and thus require cleaning more often. Here are some of the equipment that you have to clean on a daily basis to ensure a hygienic environment for your clients. 

Dumbbells and weights

Weights and dumbbells are equipment that your clients use daily to attain the physical fitness they have always dreamed of. It is good practice to clean all these static weights after each use to ensure a cleaner environment for your clients. However, due to higher client frequency, you can’t wipe them up after each use using disinfectants. 

Thus, to ensure safety standards in your gym, you have to make sure that your clients wipe the dumbbells and weights before using them with a microfiber cloth. After wiping down, your clients use hand sanitizer first and start their fitness journey. 

Moreover, after the end of the shift, you have to wipe them down thoroughly on a daily basis. First, you have to remove the dust by using the handheld duster and then use a general cleaner to remove debris. After that, you can wipe the dumbbells and weights with disinfectants. Thus, it allows you to ensure a healthy environment for your clients without disturbing the workout sessions.

Yoga mats 

Yoga mats are other essential equipment in gyms that are used by clients on a daily basis. Different clients use yoga mats to enhance mental stability while giving flexibility to their bodies. Ideally, you have to wipe down the yoga mats after each use to kill germs that lead to odors. However, it is not possible to clean the yoga mats after the sessions. Firstly, you have to ensure that your gym has enough mats for the clients, so if you put a mat for cleaning, your clients can perform yoga poses on another alternative mat. 

Then, you can start cleaning the mat by shaking it off. This shaking-off enables you to remove any loose debris. After that, you can spray the cleaning solution on the mat and use a microfiber cloth to wipe off the surface. Once dry you can then apply the disinfectants and again wipe it down with the fabric. Then, allow the mat to dry. Once dried, you can roll up the mat. So your clients can use that for the next session. 

Cleaning treadmills, ellipticals and other machinery. 

These are the equipment that needs to be wiped out on a weekly basis and require sanitization before each use. Treadmills and ellipticals, both these machines work on the movement of the legs. But, still clients can use their handles to help them out during the initial workouts. So, it is important for you to ensure that clients wipe out the handles of treadmills and ellipticals with a microfiber cloth and then apply sanitizer before starting their workout. 

Moreover, after the end of the shift, you have to check the level of dirt and debris within the machinery. You have to unplug the machine to ensure your safety and then you have to check the level of debris. If you feel that the level of debris is relatively high, you can go for the cleaning of these machines. 

Whenever you start to clean this mechanical equipment, it is important for you to complete a thorough dusting to remove the loose debris from all the crevices and surfaces. You have to apply the cleaning agent by spraying it on the microfiber, not directly spraying it on the machine. 

Directly spraying cleaner or disinfectant on the machine can cause the liquid or debris to drip into the electrical or mechanical components. After applying the spray, allow the machine to air dry and plug it back in after it has completely dried. 

Final takeaway 

Cleaning of the gym is not as easy as it seems. It requires a complete analysis of the equipment that needs to be wiped out after each use or on a weekly basis. But cleaning the gym enables you to ensure a more remarkable experience for your clients. 

Also, it allows you to attract new clients while increasing the retention rate for the older ones. Moreover, maintaining cleanliness in the gym also enables you to reduce the maintenance cost of the equipment by increasing the life span.