With gyms being closed across the country and many people attempting to revive their fitness regimes, home workouts have become popular once again.
But do we clean our yoga mat, running shoes, and gym clothes frequently enough?
After Showers to You discovered that 31% wear their dirty gym-gear for up to four sessions before washing it, cleaning experts at My Job Quote provided their top tips on cleaning home workout equipment!
The dangers of dirty workout equipment
You may not realise it, but workout equipment actually harbours a significant number of germs. This includes microorganisms such as fungi which can cause a string of infectious skin conditions and be detrimental.
This type of infection could potentially pass to each person who utilises the equipment if it has not been cleaned thoroughly.
Moreover, you can catch the flu from unsanitised equipment as influenza is another common form of bacteria found.
How to effectively clean your gym equipment
To avoid the issues above and ensure your workout equipment is cleaned thoroughly, take a look at the following hygiene tips from Lisa Evans, MyJobQuote.co.uk’s spokesperson:
1. Yoga mats
Whether you are a yoga teacher or a dedicated yogi, it is vital that you keep your mat clean before and after every session. To do this you can purchase a yoga mat cleaning kit or save money by making your own solution.
To make your own cleaning products, fill a spray bottle with a mix of vinegar and water. This should be sprayed onto the yoga mat and wiped away with a washcloth to remove any sweat and additional germs.
For a more thorough clean, rub lightly across the mat with sponge and dish soap – only use this method if you have a PVC or rubber yoga mat. For hemp or cotton mats, you can place them in the washing machine, however, make sure to check the instructions first.
2. Foam rollers
If you use a foam roller, it is important that you keep it as clean as possible, especially if you use it regularly.
The best way to clean a foam roller is by wiping down the surface with disinfectant wipes to ensure that any germs are removed.
You can also use an ammonia spray solution which can be applied to the foam roller and left for a couple of minutes before wiping away.
This will provide a deeper clean and ensure that anyone using it is safe from germs.
3. Dumbbells, medicine balls, and ankle weights
If you are using your workout equipment at home, you can create your own cleaning solution. All you need is a spray bottle, an ammonia-based disinfectant, and water. Spray onto the equipment and leave for ten to thirty minutes before wiping clean it with a cloth.
4. Workout clothing
The clothes you wear while exercising are covered in germs before you even start to work-out, so imagine the amount of bacteria that will build up post-workout.
Try to remove your workout clothes instead of lounging around in them and wash them as soon as possible rather than throwing them in the wash basket with the rest of your clothes.
You must be careful when washing workout clothing as some materials can be damaged easily – always check the label first.
To ensure your workout clothes last longer and are free from germs, make sure to wash them with detergent that works well with moisture-wicking fabrics like workout clothing.
Avoid using fabric conditioner too, this may improve the smell of your gym wear but can actually damage the material. Sticking your gym clothes in the dryer is also frowned upon as this again can cause damage, so it’s best to let them air dry.
5. Running shoes
Whether you run outside or on a treadmill, it is important to keep your shoes clean to avoid bringing any external germs into your home.
Try using a disinfectant wipe on your shoes before using any equipment inside your home to avoid transferring germs.
If you run outside, it’s best to wait for the mud to dry on your shoes before giving them a thorough clean.
Once the mud is dry, use an old toothbrush to remove the mud along with baking soda and liquid washing detergent, as this will make your shoes appear brand new again.
You can also put your running shoes in the washing machine, make sure to remove the laces and place them in a bag to avoid damage.
Check the labels first to be sure, but you should only place one pair of shoes in the wash and put them on a cold and gentle wash cycle.