With the new year comes resolutions, and those often pertain to exercise and fitness. In order to really stay healthy though, you need to make sure you know how to clean your home gym equipment to prevent germs.

Check out the following tips for keeping your workout equipment germ free in between home fitness sessions.

Note: The main cleaning agents in the below recipes are either dish soap or vinegar. Keep in mind that while these kill many germs, they don’t always get them all. However, bleach and disinfecting wipes can break down your exercise equipment. If you want something stronger, you’ll need to consult your manufacturer’s instructions to see which products are safe for your equipment.

How to Clean Home Gym Equipment
Whether you’re into cardio or strength training, working out usually means working up a sweat. When that sweat trickles down your body, it takes all sorts of bacteria and fungi with it. That means knowing how to clean home gym equipment is a must.

First, you need a disinfectant spray for gym equipment. Fortunately, you can easily make one from items you probably have in your kitchen pantry: Simply combine equal parts water and distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle. Now you’re ready to learn how to clean home gym equipment to prevent germs:
  • Unplug any machines that have power sources.
  • Dampen a microfiber cloth with your disinfectant spray for gym equipment.
  • Wipe down the entire machine or bench with your cloth, rewetting as needed.
  • Use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe down machines and benches again.
Cleaning Weights and Dumbbells
Weights, dumbbells and kettlebells all see their share of sweat and bacteria, too. In addition, they also come into prolonged contact with your palms, meaning they’ll pick up anything that may have latched on to your hands throughout the day.

You can clean these workout necessities using a DIY solution: Just mix a few drops of dish soap with a gallon of warm water. You’ll also need a clean microfiber cloth.
  • Dip your microfiber cloth into the soapy water.
  • Wring the cloth so that it’s damp, not soaking.
  • Wipe down the surfaces of your weights.
  • Dry your weights using a fresh microfiber cloth.
How to Clean a Yoga Mat to Prevent Germs and Odors
The last thing you want to do is enter a forward fold only to find a disturbing smell. The creases and crevices of your yoga mat make the perfect reservoirs for drops of sweat. When you roll up your mat after practice, the bacteria left behind may keep flowing through microbial vinyasas.

There are many different types of yoga mats, so you want to check your manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning. Some mats are very expensive, so you definitely don’t want to ruin them by applying a solution that could cause the material to disintegrate.

However, most people own the rubber variety. If that’s you, here’s how to clean a yoga mat to prevent germs and odors:
  • Mix two cups of warm water with two to three drops of dish soap.
  • Dampen a clean microfiber cloth with the solution.
  • Wipe both sides of your mat with the cloth.
  • Rinse your mat with hot water, making sure to get all the soap out so you don’t slip during your next practice.
  • Wipe your mat down with a dry microfiber cloth or towel.
  • Hang your yoga mat over your shower curtain rod to dry overnight. Tip: Don’t dry mats in the sun as this can damage the rubber and make them wear out quicker.

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