Updated: Oct 31, 2019
If you’re in the business of running a gym ̶ either as an owner or a manager ̶ I’m sure you’ve heard, and read, all sorts of articles about how important it is to maintain your facilities in as clean and tidy a state as possible. And let’s face it, practically every industry magazine and website beats the ‘hygiene drum’ as often as they can.
However biased their editorial decisions seem to be, they probably aren’t. In fact, reliable research seems to indicate that a clean gym is a profitable gym. So how do you keep your gym clean and safe? What’s the best disinfectant to use, and how often should you use it?
Because let’s be honest here: However passionate you (and your partners, of you have them) are about the advantages and benefits of running a gym, it is, in the end, a business. And a very lucrative one too ̶ if it’s run properly and if you are committed to its ethical and healthful ends.
Cleanliness Equals Profitability
The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association contends that if current (and future) club members think that the premises are not clean, customer satisfaction ratings generally fall from 83% to 43%, and retention rates fall from 90% to 52%.
However, the same survey also found that gyms that spent at least 4% of their budget on cleaning and maintenance made greater profits, and enjoyed higher customer retention rates, than gyms spending 3% or less on the same services.
Not surprisingly, the gyms polled in the survey said that well over half of their members (56%) expected their exercise spaces to be germ free!
Gyms Are Bacteria Central
If you need any persuading about how grimy and gritty a gym can become, consider the following statistics:
Your average treadmill has is home to more than 70% more bacteria that you’ll find in a public restroom faucet.
Free weights are literally covered in germs; 362 times more than a toilet seat, by all accounts.
Exercise bikes, too, play host to bacteria ̶ 39 times more than you’ll find on a cafeteria tray.
Assorted viruses (including those for golds and flu) can live up to 24 hours on the surface of your gym equipment.
In addition to being covered in sweat and bacteria, gym equipment is often ‘home’ to numerous viruses, fungi, and other infectious diseases.
If this weren’t enough, add the following to the list of germs found in gyms today:
Create and Follow a Regular Cleaning Schedule at Your Gym
Now, this may seem obvious, but it does help (a lot) if you create a reasonable cleaning schedule that you and your staff can follow, on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. You should:
Thoroughly clean and disinfect every surface that your customers touch, and that includes equipment, weights, showers, lockers, benches (in both the changing rooms and the gym itself) and drinking fountains.
Empty all waste bins, paper receptacles, and check all public areas for discarded food packages, newspapers and magazines, tissues and other assorted detritus.
Carefully inspect all of your gym equipment for damage and regular wear-and-tear.
Make sure that all of your equipment is returned to its proper place.
If you provide towels, wipes, and other reusable or dispensable items, make sure that all your dispensers are full and that your storage areas are fully replenished.
What You Should Use to Clean and Why
There are lots of cleaners and cleansing agents available these days, but we recommend that you use Sterifab® and not just because we make it! So, why should you make it a part of your cleaning regimen?
Sterifab is the only U.S. EPA-approved product that can be used simultaneously as a viricide, bactericide, sanitizer, insecticide, deodorant, germicide-disinfectant, mildewcide, fungicide, bacteriostatic, and a fungistatic.
It dries in 15-20 minutes (at room temperature), is biodegradable and leaves no residue or active ingredients whatsoever.
Sterifab can be sprayed on virtually everything ̶ except people, that is, and animals, and cooking utensils.
In addition to being an excellent cleaning agent it’s very effective when it comes to killing bed bugs, fleas, lice, ticks, and scores of other insects.
Lots of institutions and business use Sterifab, including schools, hospitals office complexes, hotels, retirement homes, dormitories, and regular homeowners.
It won’t stain, it has no added perfume or other objectionable odors, it’s fast drying, and it won’t harm fabrics or carpets.
Keeping a Clean Gym: What You Should Tell Your Customers
Yes, the customer is always right. Maybe.
The fact is that you can help keep your gym germ free if you persuade your customers to abide by a few simple ‘suggestions.’ For instance:
Don’t come to the gym if you feel sick. You will only succeed in infecting others.
If you are sporting an injury which has resulted in your skin being broken or penetrated make sure you keep the wound covered at all times.
Remember to wash your hands before and after your work-out session.
Wipe down any piece of equipment after you’ve used it ̶ especially exercise bikes, mats, treadmills, free weight equipment, flooring, and bars.
Put back any equipment you use. And wipe it down.
If you use the showers after your work-out wear flip-flops. They will prevent you picking up Athlete’s Foot, Planter’s Warts and other fungi.
Bring your own (clean) towel. Never use one you find lying around the changing room.
If you bring your own (reusable) water bottle to your session, remember to wash it out between visits.
Finally, wash all your work-out clothes before you return for your next session.