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Wipe Down That Gym Equipment

The idea of super bugs is a scary but inevitable truth. That being the case and keeping in mind that one of our defenses against such bugs is washing our hands and bodies, I wanted to take this opportunity to remind you to wipe down your gym equipment before and after using it. This is not only common courtesy, but good hygiene too.

I will say that I have noticed a lot more folks at my gym taking the time to wipe the machines down after using them, but the majority still does not. I like to give the equipment a good wipe down before I use it and then when I am done I wipe it down with a new cloth. If your gym does not offer wipes, put in a request with the manager that they do so. Not only will this help fight super bugs, it will help fight common bugs too – like the ones that cause the common cold.


JessNess JessNess 9 years
I use the gym on my college campus. They have spray and wipes located everywhere in the gym. Im not so worried about bugs but more creeped out by sweat. I dont sweat a lot so sometimes I forget to wipe down the bike after I use it :oops: but there are people who sweat BUCKETS. They need to have wipes attached to them to remind them. I do always wipe down the mats that I use because that has more full on body contact.
sportsaholic21 sportsaholic21 9 years
I am just about the only person who wipes off the machines at my gym, which totally disgusts me. I think it is gross to leave your sweat and stuff all over communal equipment. *shudder*
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
At my old gym I used to watch people wipe down, err not wipe down their machines. They barely made any effort to wipe it clean, more like a light wipe with a dry paper towel. It was so gross.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
I have only thought to wipe down the machine when i have a cold or something. I am not a big sweater, so i don't drip. but I think it will be good practice to wipe for the next user every time.
nikodarling nikodarling 9 years
Germs or no germs its just disgusting and rude not to clean up your own sweat.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Ew I hate when people don't! It's so gross. I find women are much better at this then men wehn guy "warm up" (aka sweat) all over the treadmill and on't wipe it because they were only on for 5 minutes!
kgtg1 kgtg1 9 years
This is really interesting to me, because I live in a condo building with a nice gym - but probably only 50% of the occupants use it. So maybe 50 ppl in total use the huge gym, and I never really think to wipe the machines down before I use them. I always wipe them down after, to be courteous, but never before. I guess I should start doing it before too, with all this super bug news, ick. Thanks for the reminder!
tjzchouse tjzchouse 9 years
I finally broke down and ordered my own elliptical--it's all I really use at the gym that I couldn't duplicate at home. Now at least all I have to deal with are "family germs" and not disgusting sweat left by complete strangers.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
Ok, so I'm a microbiologist (read: I deal with germs EVERY DAY) and I can definitely tell you that there are certain antibacterial agents that do promote resistant bugs. But if you use a spray that is isopropyl-alcohol based, it will do a very good job of getting rid of just about all the bacteria without them developing resistance. Avoid substances like triclosan. And wiping down the equipment with a dry cloth only dries off the sweat so the bacteria can't grow as well. You'll wipe off some of them, but if you don't use the alcohol, all you're really doing is wiping the germs around. It's always a good idea to wipe off all cardio equipment anyway, even if you're the only one using it because sweat will make the bearings rust and may wear out your machine faster.
tabloidprincess tabloidprincess 9 years
should you wipe down equimpment if you are the only one that uses it?
Allytta Allytta 9 years
samazon is right. but it won't happen in the gyms, because there's still a great amount of people who just don't give the ef. so there's always gonna be a lot of bacteria. btw this might be one of the myths, as it happened to money - scientists had done loads of tests, and determind that an everage note holds only 10 backterias on it. the same with gym equipment.
Allytta Allytta 9 years
very interesting. but is it just cloth? it doesn't really do much, or is it with some liquid that kills bacteria? because simple wiping reminds me of people, who just put their hands under the water for 3sek after using bathroom and think that's what washing their hands is supposed to look like. you said you have 30-40min on your brake to work out, doesn't wiping take a lot of time?
Samazon Samazon 9 years
I love fitsugar, but this article demonstrates that few people fundamentally understand the microbiological processes that cause superbugs to arise. Wiping down the machines exposes more microbes to antimicrobial agents, creating genetic resistance over time. These individuals that gain resistance give rise to superbugs (which are pathogens that dont respond to normal antimicrobial agents) so wiping down actually can increase the chances that youll generate a superbug in some situations. I think its best to wipe down with a dry cloth- not antimicrobial wipes.
purrtykitty purrtykitty 9 years
THANK YOU FITSUGAR!!! it's disgusting to see people who don't wipe stuff down. at my old gym they had paper towels and cleanser everywhere. at my new gym, there's one paper towel dispenser with one bottle of cleanser for all the cardio equipment and one pair for all the weight equipment...and this is at a national chain (and more than once the paper towels have been out). c'mon, spend the few extra $$ and put some more cleansing stuff out and signs telling people to clean up the equipment.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I wipe down I try to touch the machine as little as possible because so many people do not wipe anything when they are done.
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