Did you know commercial gyms and gym equipment are as dirty as a toilet seat (1)?
That’s another reason why you should build your own home gym (if you haven’t already started it during the Covid-19 pandemic). Our ‘Ultimate guide to building a home gym’ will provide you with detailed instructions and buying guides, should you need help.
If you have already created your personal workout space in any available area of your home, it's time for you to start spending an hour every week to keep it clean and hygienic. Because, the below image from FitRated is quite scary and, unless you work enough on the cleanliness part, your home gym too could end up being as dirty as the commercial ones.
Image Source: Fit Rated
Unclean home gyms can cause some serious infections such as conjunctivitis (or pink eye), ringworm, athletes’ foot, plantar warts, impetigo, common cold and flu, etc. (2)(3) Even if you are the only one who exercises there, it will likely start stinking within a week. Your sweat is the number one contributor but other flying debris and general dust also make it filthy and stinky.
We are going to come up with a series of articles on how to keep your home gym as clean as your home. To begin with, we have chosen the most frequently asked topic ‘how to clean the horse stall mats that you have used to build your gym’s floor’.
Start with scrubbing off the sticky spots
Image Source: Wikihow
Dirt and dust can stick to horse rubber mats, especially if you do not wipe your sweat off them. You need to scrub them off so you can vacuum better.
Use an old toothbrush for scrubbing. You can also use a bristle pad that you use for dishes. Do not use metal pads. They won’t do major damage to the horse stall mats but they will leave a lot of scratches and you obviously don’t want your gym floor to look old and shabby.
If the sticky spots are too difficult to clean, just add a drop of water to loosen up the dirt.
Vacuum the rubber floor thoroughly
Vacuuming helps to clear off the loose dust and debris. If you don’t vacuum, they might just stick to the mat again when you try to mop it.
We recommend Ridgid Shop Vac. It has a 3.5HP motor and 6 gallon capacity. It comes with a bunch of extension wands and nozzles that help you suction off the dust and dirt that get stuck between the mats and at the edges of the squat rack, under your weight rack, etc. It has a dual flex hose, which means you can flex it in any direction that makes your work easier and quicker.
Sounds simple but you will have to be a bit careful here, so moisture/water doesn’t seep in through the edges and between the mats.
A lot of people use specialized gym floor cleaning solutions. Some suggest using disinfectant wipes, rubbing alcohol, etc. You might also come across people who advise using vinegar or lemon juice. But they are not necessary. Rather, acidic cleaners and bleach, if used regularly, can damage the mats.
You can either wipe the rubber stall mats with plain water or add a small quantity of household cleaner. You may occasionally use disinfectants but a standard household cleaner is more than enough to clean the horse stall mats for your home gym.
Do not allow water to seep through your rubber stall mats
Horse stall mats are not totally waterproof but they do not obviously absorb moisture like a carpet. Further, water can seep through the edges and gap between the pieces of the mats. If it reaches the floor, it will damage your carpet or wood. The wet floor will then start harboring fungi and mold, which will make your room stink.
Wipe the mats using a sponge mop. Make sure the mop is not oversaturated by squeezing the excess moisture out. Change the water and cleaner solution frequently so you don’t keep using dirty water, which defeats the purpose.
Let the horse stall mats dry naturally. If you want to speed up the process, you can use a floor fan such as the Commercial Electric 16 Inch Turbo Floor Fan. One of our team members had bought it to keep his garage gym cool during summer.
That's it. It doesn’t take too much effort to clean your horse stall mats. You should clean your home gym at least once a week or more if needed.
We will soon be coming up with an article on ‘how to keep your home gym from smelling’. Our website also has numerous informative articles that will help you workout safely at home.
For example; if you use cold temperature as an excuse to avoid working out, read this article on ‘What Temperature is Too Cold to Workout in Your Garage or Outside Gym?’ to clear the myths. We also have a detailed article on ‘How to Regain Your Deep Squat Mobility’ which is getting a lot of appreciation from our readers. Recently, we had added an article on ‘Can You Put a Home Gym on the Second Floor?’ and that one too is quite popular these days.
Keep exploring our website for more such helpful guides and reliable product recommendations.
References and citations:
1- WNEP. 2021. Study Finds Gym Equipment Dirtier Than Public Toilet Seats. [online] Available at: <https://www.wnep.com/article/news/local/study-finds-gym-equipment-dirtier-than-public-toilet-seats/523-ea0261f8-3655-4f31-a5ec-267dbc8d4ab0> [Accessed 23 November 2021].
2- Listverse. 2021. Top 10 Diseases You Can Get from a Dirty Gym – Listverse. [online] Available at: <https://listverse.com/2021/09/02/top-10-diseases-you-can-get-from-a-dirty-gym/> [Accessed 23 November 2021].
3- Health.com. 2021. 8 Gross Infections You Can Catch at the Gym–and How to Avoid Them. [online] Available at: <https://www.health.com/condition/skin-conditions/infections-germs-caught-at-gym> [Accessed 23 November 2021].