When you are a tough performer, constantly getting into the down and dirty in your sport, things tend to get a little dirty. Mud, dirt, blood, grime, and sweat all build up over time on your athletic equipment, and without proper care and maintenance, they can end up absolutely disgusting, and potentially unhealthy. Many times, it can be common for poorly maintained athletic equipment to be a major contributor to infections and illnesses spreading around schools and teams. For taking care of athletic gear, it’s important that you follow the right steps to ensure that the item is not only cleaned, but disinfected as well to prevent any possible contamination.
Here are some of the top items from fitness and athletic sports that are tough to clean and take care of:
1. Weight-lifting Equipment
These can be somewhat of a pain to clean and disinfect, depending on the size, shape, and weight of the object. When you want to clean and take care of these items, sticking to the basics can be the best option. Choose a mild dish soap, such as Dawn or Dial brand, and dilute it with a mixture of water and white vinegar. Be sure not to use apple cider vinegar, because the coloring in this can cause even more issues potentially! This solution is great for wiping down dumbbells, kettlebells, and all types of weight equipment. It may be easier to go out and purchase a store-bought product, but more often than not, these include harsh chemicals and cleaners such as alcohol or ammonia or bleach. These can melt the plastic on the equipment and the various coatings that may be on them as well.
2. Yoga Mats, Exercise Pads, Foam Rollers
These can be tricky, because they are meant to absorb moisture and sweat while you are performing your exercise. This can lead to not only sweat and grime building up, but the oils in your skin transferring to the object over time as well. If you think the yoga mat is beyond a simple hand-clean, it is more often than not okay to put it directly in to your washing machine, on the most delicate setting with a very small amount of soap. You can then hand-dry it outside. If you happen to get a major stain on one of your favorite yoga mats or exercise pads, and hand-washing doesn’t work, give a call to one of your local carpet cleaning companies, such as BnK Chem-Dry, to see what they would recommend and if they decide that a professional clean or a new mat would be in order.
3. Exercise Equipment Bags
Another hard to clean item are the duffel bags and backpacks that you bring with you to the gym and to workout. One of the simplest ways to help prevent a overall buildup of smells and mildew-conditions is to keep all of your dirty gym clothes, towels, and shoes in a separate plastic bag, wrapped up, inside the actual gym bag. You can also then take a dryer sheet that smells good and place that inside the plastic bag, which will make everything smell pleasant. It’s important not to forget your clothes inside your bag as well when you get home, leaving old, dirty gym clothes in a contained space can be a major headache!
4. Athletic Shoes
One of the hardest, and easily the stinkiest things to clean from an athletic point of view are shoes. Constantly being worn, sweated in, stepped in mud, and everything else, shoes can easily maintain and keep a lingering odor for a long time. Ensuring that you allow them to air out in between wears and if need be, putting them in the washer or hand-washing them with a light soap solution can be the best bet. In some cases, individuals will purchase a small pack of shoe-smell removers, to help keep their sneakers smelling pleasant and fresh. These should also go into a plastic bag inside of your gym bag, if you store them inside there.