11 crucial steps for disinfecting your gym

We all already know what, as gym lovers, we need to do to keep ourselves and others safe from potential infections during workouts. This blog would chiefly focus on crucial points required for the cleaning and disinfection of gym and gym equipment, including treadmills, gym bicycles, and dumbbells. 

However, since there will always be a sense of incompletion unless we highlight our duties as an individual first. To get to that, listing three crucial points in a gist in this aspect before moving to the ‘Eights’ to ensure safe gyms. As a fitness pro and gym user:

  • Wash and sanitize hands before and after using the gym equipment.
  • Use a disinfectant and a clean towel to clean the equipment before and after use. 
  • Carry all the essentials from a small bottle of sanitizer to a small and big towel in your gym bag.

The ‘Eights’ for disinfecting your gym and gym equipments

Fitness equipment is a breeding ground for pathogens. Therefore, it is essential to clean and disinfect and follow some basic steps while disinfecting the gym and its exercising equipment.

  1. Gym professionals tasked with cleaning and disinfection of gyms

The gym professionals responsible for cleanliness and disinfection of the gym should wash their hands with soap and water and sanitize them using a hand sanitizer before and after the cleaning process. It is also advisable for them to wear personal protective equipment (PPEs) while cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. PPEs typically include eyeglasses, gowns, helmets, masks, gloves, and face shields. In the unavailability or a hitch in using PPE, the person should at least be wearing a mask and use hand gloves.

  1. Cleaning

Cleaning of the entire gym and the equipment are essential at least once a day. Depending on the gym’s running schedule, the gym owners may fix a time, either the start of play or the end of the day. Each machine and exercising tool requires wiping off.

  1. Disinfecting

Disinfection is also a process to be followed for the entire gym space, including walls, windows, and floors, and fitness equipment. This could be done using wipes available for the purpose (either disinfectant wipes or cleaning wipes on which you may use your own disinfectant liquid) or a disinfectant bottle spray.

  1. Once done

Once the respective person is done cleaning and disinfecting the required spaces, they need to dispose of any cleaning/disinfecting wipes and materials used and the PPEs.

  1. What to avoid?

Avoid cleaners and disinfectants that are ineffective, unsafe, flammable, or corrosive. Some of these ‘to be avoided’ solutions include hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, bleach, borax solution, etc. Also, avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, and mouth while involved in these activities.

  1. Training of employees

The employees should be adequately trained about the entire process. This should include:

  • Personal hygiene – washing hands, use of sanitizers, etc.
  • Use of PPE kit and its disposal
  • Cleaning process – like the need to change wipes, the direction of using the wipes (to be moved in one direction rather than moving back and forth)
  • Disinfection process – like the time a disinfectant should remain on the surface (the ‘wet time’), based on the disinfectant being used, etc. 
  • Caution – you may get a cut or bruise while doing this stuff; take care of yourself. If you do get, wash the cut with warm water and soap. Apply a wound-healing solution and use a band-aid after drying it thoroughly. Gym owners need to keep themselves equipped with first-aid kits at all times.
  1. Checklist

The gym should have a checklist prepared about ‘what to be cleaned and disinfected?’. It should be made available to the staff and also pinned up at specific points around the gym. Listing down the critical equipment in terms of disinfection that I have in my mind. You may customize the list as per the place.

  • Treadmills
  • Dumbbells
  • Dumbbell stands 
  • Gym bicycles
  • Yoga mats
  • Weights
  • Cross-trainers 
  • Gym bikes
  • Leg press machines 
  • Plates
  • Hammer stations 
  • Pulleys 
  • Exercising balls 
  • Weightlifting straps 
  • Gym accessories 

Besides the equipment, the list should also include floor, mats, doors, doorknobs, and other high-touch points in the gym. In addition, if you have the provision of drinking water or other eatables for your customers, make sure the respective water cooler, glasses, vending machines, etc., are also regularly checked and cleaned.

  1. Daily schedule 

All these activities are not one-time, but some steps to be followed daily. It would be a great help to document these steps for the staff to track and ensure they are a part of a seamless daily routine. Again, this is something to be pinned up along with the aforementioned checklist.

The gym owners should also ensure they have a ‘Do’s/Don’ts’ list for their customers as well. Talking to the customers, educating them on keeping the gym disinfected, placing a disinfectant at the gym entrance, and, if feasible, at various points inside the gym, are some of the measures to ensure gym safety during COVID-19 and develop faith among your clients.

An ending and a very significant point to our blog – once a week, preferably on Sundays (or days when the gym is closed), keep the gym accessories, mats, fitness equipment (whatever possible) out to dry in the Sun. Sun’s heat is known to kill bacteria and other pathogens, thus keeping your things fresh, clean, and safe. This will be a boost to your upcoming week’s cleaning and disinfecting exercise.

Create a covid-free germ-free gym!

Avani Raj Arora

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