When was the last time you disinfected your workout gear? If you’re like me, you’re probably looking around a little panicked and thinking… “Um, never”. Followed closely by, “Is that really something I need to do?” When I think about getting sick, dumbbells don’t normally come to mind, but the fact of the matter is that germs are everywhere. And since they’re transferred mostly by touch and can stick around for days after contact, that means it’s probably time to give your gear a good scrub down.
Come to think of it, I don’t know that I have ever really disinfected my workout gear. Aside from washing my gym clothes after a brutal sweat session, disinfecting the contents of my gym bag isn’t really high up on my to-do list. My yoga mat gets a deep cleaning every 6 months, at best. And my dumbbells? Never.
We all know that gyms are germy places, but studies show that workout equipment may harbor more than one million germs per square inch–about 350 times more bacteria than a standard toilet seat! And the worst offender? Dumbbells. Most of us are pretty good at wiping down the treadmill or disinfecting our yoga mats, but free weights often get neglected. Therefore they’re prone to harboring bacteria that may cause pneumonia, septicemia, skin infections and more.
And this isn’t just limited to your local gym—if you don’t clean your home equipment, you’re just as likely to bring home disease-causing bacteria and pass it along to your family.
These stats made me curious, so I decided to see how dirty my workout gear really is. I used Hygenia’s ATP Testing Tool to test the gear I use most often–everything from my yoga mat to dumbbells to my sports bra–and needless to say, it was pretty disgusting.
Here’s how everything stacked up (note: anything over 300 RLU is considered unsanitary):
- Sports bra: 751 RLU
- Water bottle: 1465 RLU
- Free weights: 2920 RLU
- Yoga mat: 5767 RLU
And that’s even with washing my gym clothes and water bottle regularly. Ouch!
How to Clean Workout Gear
Now as for the rest of your gear, you’ll most likely need a good disinfecting spray to get rid of bacteria and germs. Here is an all-purpose sanitizing spray to help keep your workout gear clean and germ-free. It will even help freshen gym clothes in between washings, so I recommend keeping a small spray bottle in your gym bag for emergencies.
Disinfecting Workout Gear Spray
How often do you disinfect your dumbbells and gym equipment? If the answer is “never,” then you need to read this post on how to clean workout gear!
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- ¼ cup rubbing alcohol
- 20 drops tea tree oil
- Combine everything in a small spray bottle and give it a good shake.
- Give your equipment a good spray and wipe down after each workout.