First of all, locate where the equipment has been stored in the back of the garage and remove the bike helmets, seed packets, watering cans, screwdrivers and tins of paint off it. Now get to work with a duster and some hot soapy water and a brush or three– you might actually be able to find out what colour the machine was. You probably also need to apply a bit of spray-on lubricant to get all the moving parts moving again, as they’ve seized up.
Oh sorry – you’re in the minority of people who actually uses their home gym equipment regularly and has kept up the good work for more than six months. Your self-discipline and dedication is to be congratulated. Either that, or you’re one of the smart folk who has hired a machine of some kind. But either way, you want to clean the machine and have it looking sparkling.
The main cleaning issue when it comes to home gym equipment is sweat. As the seats and other places that come in contact with your person are probably covered in vinyl or some synthetic material, staining is unlikely to be a problem as it would be with natural fibres. Old sweat will make your machine sweaty and sticky, so regular house cleaning is important. Your best bet for cleaning this is to use a natural cleaning product – after all, your skin will be in contact with the surface with your pores wide open, so you don’t want unpleasant chemicals getting in. You want to use the machine to improve your health, after all.
A home-made vinegar based cleaning spray is your best bet for cleaning home gym equipment. If you use a strong solution of vinegar, you will be more able to kill any bacteria that (yummy!) are feeding off your old sweat. Besides, the vinegar will also help tackle any staining that is trying to happen. To improve the germ-killing powers and the scent of this home-made cleaning spray, add some lemon essential oil – it will also make you feel more alert when you breathe it in. One of the real beauties of this spray is that it’s not just good for cleaning the sweaty bits of the home gym equipment, but it’s also good for cleaning the chrome/metal bits and for a host of other cleaning jobs such as cleaning windows and even cleaning toilets.
You can also prevent a lot of the sweat getting all over the machine if you put a towel down on the seat or other pad to soak up your shed body fluids, and use the dry bits of this towel to wipe things down (including yourself) after your workout. Wash the towel after each use, and add vinegar to the final rinse to keep it smelling fresh and feeling fluffy – you can even use about half a cup of the vinegar spray mentioned above. This is also a good move if you don’t have home gym equipment and go to a “proper” gym so you don’t wallow in someone else’s sweat and don’t leave yours for other people.
If you have had the machine for a long time, it pays to make sure that the moving parts are well lubricated so you don’t have to work harder than you have to (OK, this may be a bonus, but you may damage the machine). While natural products are usually best, you really can’t beat mineral oil for lubricating moving parts. You can use the old oil from your car for lubricating this (it’s also good for lubricating bike chains) – apply it carefully and sparingly with an old rag or with an old toothbrush.