As we all know, summertime in Oklahoma means heat, and that means more days spent by the pool—and that means folks in town are getting ready for swimsuit season. As school wraps up and schedules slow down, more people are getting back in the gym to pump iron, tighten their cores, and—most importantly—sweat.
If you own a gym, yoga studio, or any kind of fitness center, you know how important it is to keep your facility clean and spotless. Not only does it prevent the spread of germs and keep your members healthy (which enables them to keep coming back), but it makes a great impression on new visitors, which drives business back to you.
If you want to provide exceptional service and a flawless first impression, here are some professional cleaning tips to get your gym ready for the summer rush:
Top 3 Spaces to Prioritize When You Clean Your Gym
Front desk, check-in station, lobby, waiting area—whatever you call it at your gym, the welcome area is one of the most important places to clean. Not only is it your chance to make a great first impression on new (and returning) guests, but this area is also prone to collect a lot of “junk” as people walk in and out of your door.
If you have trash cans by the door, they probably fill up faster than the other trash cans in your facility. (It’s convenient, after all, to toss a protein bar wrapper, paper towel, or water bottle on your way out the door). To keep your welcome area looking tidy, make sure to empty these bins often. If they have a lid, wipe them regularly—no one wants to accidentally touch the sticky remnants of another person’s protein shake when they reach to throw away their trash!
Also pay attention to glass doors and display cases in your welcome area, where fingerprints (and sometimes children’s nose prints) often collect on the glass.
Bonus Tip: Do you provide towels at your fitness center? If so, make sure to clean and disinfect the containers that hold the towels. If they’re displayed on a countertop, disinfect that countertop regularly. If kept on a shelf, wipe that cabinet regularly. And if you’re using the same container to collect dirty towels as you are to carry clean ones—please stop! Unless you want to thoroughly disinfect that hamper or laundry basket every time you use it, it’s best to use a separate receptacle for clean and dirty towels.
Bathrooms & Locker Rooms
If you knew that almost every person in your gym used a certain treadmill, barbell, or yoga mat, you’d clean it pretty regularly, wouldn’t you? Think of your bathrooms and locker rooms that way—almost every person that comes to your gym will use the bathroom or changing area at some point during their visit. Consequently, you should be cleaning it regularly throughout the day.
Just like in your home, damp areas are also susceptible to mold and mildew. So, as you clean your restrooms and shower spaces, be on the lookout for any standing water or moisture buildup, which could lead to mold. If you have rubber mats to prevent slips and falls in the shower area, these should be cleaned and disinfected regularly to prevent the spread of germs. (And don’t just wipe the tops—be sure to check underneath the mats for dirt, grime, and mold.)
You can also consider a “shoes only” shower rule to help prevent the spread of fungal infections and germs. (If you really want to impress members, keep a supply of inexpensive rubber flip-flops that you can offer to guests as needed.)
And of course, a gym is never completely clean unless the equipment is sparkling (or at least, germ free). You probably offer disinfectant spray or wipes for members to use, but it’s best not to rely on clients to clean your equipment as thoroughly as it needs (they’re there to work out, after all!).
Depending on the volume of clients your facility sees, you may need to clean the equipment throughout the day or once at the end of each day. For serious scrub-downs and maintenance, consider a weekly cleaning when the gym is closed.
You might also want to clean the popular equipment more regularly—for example, if many of your members prefer a specific set of dumbbells or a certain treadmill, make sure to wipe down those more often. When cleaning yoga mats or ab mats, make sure they have time to dry completely before being rolled or stacked.
You should also pay special attention to handles, buttons, and other high-touch surfaces. If you’re cleaning cardio equipment (or any area that gets especially sweaty), think about where members place their towels. Do they toss them over the monitor of a treadmill? On the handle of a spin bike? These areas should get special attention when you’re cleaning and disinfecting.
Clean Your Gym Like a Pro
In every area of your fitness facility, remember the importance of both cleaning and disinfecting (yes, there’s a difference!). Start by cleaning to remove visible dirt and grime (vacuuming the floors, wiping dust, removing trash, cleaning dirt and grease from nooks and crannies), then follow up by disinfecting and sanitizing. Certain areas (like equipment handles, buttons, and countertops) will likely need to be disinfected more often than cleaned, but both are important to do regularly.
To make things simpler for you and your staff, develop a cleaning schedule and checklist. This will ensure every employee knows exactly what needs to be cleaned and when, and you can be sure you’re not overlooking or forgetting certain areas. The checklist will be different for each gym (yoga studios might want to focus on disinfecting the floor more than, say, spin studios), but setting a standard for your facility will help you keep members safe, healthy, and impressed with your business.