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8 Ways to Clean the Fitness Gear You Always Forget to Clean

By , SparkPeople Blogger
You don't even want to know what kinds of things could be growing on that water bottle you've kept in your hot car's cup holder for the last six months. Same goes for that gym bag sitting by the front door housing last week's forgotten soaked clothes.

It's no secret that germs are lurking all over your gym, but what about the ones hiding out in the equipment you lug back and forth to the gym or rely on for your at-home workouts? Taking the time to wipe down and care for your yoga mat or plastic water bottle is just as essential as washing your sweat-drenched, post-workout tank top and leggings. Neglecting to do so could result in your gym equipment becoming home sweet home to some unwelcome and unpleasant bacteria

"Workout and fitness items are often a breeding ground for germs and and bacteria, as they are damp and moist, [which allows] bacteria to easily multiply," Melissa Maker of Clean My Space says. "Germs are spread easily in workout spaces as equipment is shared, so airborne illnesses transfer from one item to the next, which makes cleaning your equipment all the more important."

Incorporating basic maintenance of your personal workout gear into your overall routine will not only keep you safe from being sidelined by illness, but you'll also be giving yourself peace of mind and an inviting, fresh atmosphere for your sweat sessions. "Cleanliness definitely affects overall health and wellbeing, as countless studies have shown," Maker says. "It is not just the basic fact that you are getting rid of harmful germs and bacteria, but it is proven that having a clean and organized space allows you to focus better and relax easier." 

Keep these easy cleaning recommendations on hand for all your sweatier-than-you-think pieces of gym equipment.

What are your favorite cleaning hacks for fitness gear?

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_CYNDY55_ 11/12/2019
Thanks Report
KHALIA2 8/30/2019
Great info! Thanks! Report
KHALIA2 6/28/2019
Great tips! Thanks! Report
DRAGONFLY631 4/3/2019
Good tips. Thanks Report
CECELW 3/24/2019
It's my exercise mat I neglect to clean Report
ROSLYNRC 3/24/2019
Thank you Report
SHINY5711 3/24/2019
Great ideas! I know if I forget to clean my lifting gloves I end up with dermatitis! Clean those things !! Report
2DAWN4 3/24/2019
Great tips! Report
ROBBIEY 3/24/2019
Good article Report
DEE107 3/8/2019
thanks for sharing Report
Great ideas. I should take the time. Report
Very good and helpful article. Thanks! Report
I've got an old Nalgene one litre water bottle I froze one time (forgot it too long in the freezer) permanently distorted but doesn't leak.
Thanks for the reminder. Report
Thanks for sharing. Report
What a helpful and timely article! There is a terrible virus going around in my gym classes. I see those who have gotten sick wipe their gym mats, trx straps and other equipment diligently, but they still got sick. I wipe myself down rather than my equipment by washing up thoroughly after class. I also avoid walking into sneezes and coughs and keep my hands away from my neck up during class. So far so good. Report
Useful information! Thanks! Report
great information Report
Thanks for the article. Report
Thanks for sharing this article. I have tried to clean my yoga mat a couple of times and it just rips apart! Report
Great reminder! Thanks! Report
Very thorough suggestions! I like the one about using vinegar to clean the floor mats. I always have a white vinegar (mixed with water) spray bottle out to use to clean and disinfect. Report
Cleaned my fitness gear yesterday! :-):-) Report
I clean my workout gear on a regular basis! Report
It's great to be reminded Report
I throw all types of running shoes in the washer then air dry and it works great. Easy. Cold water and wash th insoles and laces too but loose from the shoes. Report
Great reminder about the importance of cleaning our gear. I definitely have to remember to clean my ear buds and gym bag much more often. Report
Great reminders. Report
Good information and did not think of some of those. Report
Don't forget clean/oiled/lubricated treadmills & other equipment is a good idea too! Report
I always clean my gear on a regular basics. Report
Use Bar Shield to clean and protect your barbell! @barshieldusa Report
Any suggestions on the best way to clean a camelbak? I clean the bladder of the camelback after each use, but I'm not sure about how to clean the cloth 'backpack' that holds the bladder. Can it just go in the laundry washing machine (minus the bladder)? Report
Good Point!!!! Thank you. Report
Never used to wash my gi (gym) bag. Used to wash my gi weekly. Never washed my sparring gear (take that person who stole my sparring gloves). Report
Guilty on a few but always wash my water bottle and clothing.
Commenters are giving a LOT of helpful hints as well!!!! Thanks to all for sharing Report
Use a long furry "pipe cleaner" to scrub out those water bottle straws. I got mine at a craft store, I guess you can make fuzzy animals with them! Report
Knee braces. I'm trying to keep them clean, but nothing I've done seems to keep them from smelling. Report
Guilty Report
I have never cleaned my yoga mat, and I have had it for a few years.... I have been thinking of getting a new one- along with some yoga mat cleaner...((it's not like I use it everyday so that isn't AS bad)

Earbuds are about due too! Report
If it smells, clean or wash it!
-- My weight lifting gloves seem to do best if I soap them up while still wearing them. I scrub & rinse thoroughly. Then, roll in a towel to remove excess water. Hang gloves until dry. Report
Washed two gym bags just the other day. In the washer. Came out fine. Report
For stinky shoes (or sandals, or river shoes), I use tea bags. Make tea as usual, save the tea bags. Let them dry overnight. Then toss a dry but used tea bag into each shoe, and let sit overnight. The tea bag absorbs any odors, and the shoes are fresh again! Report
and I wash my running jackets only when they start to stink, which is on average of once per winter. Report
hahaahah I've had my weight lifting gloves for 10+ years and I have washed them exactly...once. Report