Many gyms and studios around the world have opened up in the past few months. As they have reopened, members expect a level of cleanliness and hygiene. According to research done by IHRSA, 56% of gym members surveyed expected their gym to be free of germs.
Basically, a clean gym is mandatory to operate in this day and age. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has up to date guidelines on how to clean your gym facility and how to ensure you are providing the safest environment for your members.
While Covid-19 is the most common reason many gym owners have stepped up their hygiene levels in their gym, there are many other reasons for cleaning a fitness center.
In this article, we will look at why a clean gym is important and how to clean your gym and maintain the highest hygiene standards possible.
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Why a clean gym is important
Before you can fully clean your gym, it’s essential you know the reasons why so you know you’ve covered all areas properly.
When a potential customer walks into your gym, it’s most likely they will be looking at your facilities and your cleanliness. After all, first impressions are everything! Most of the time, people want to see how well run the facilities are and how safe they are.
As a gym owner, it’s understandable you can’t always invest in new equipment. But, if you don’t clean your gym frequently, a lot of new equipment can end up looking run down, making your gym look outdated.
Nowadays, to survive in the fitness industry, you want to have that competitive and innovative edge; cleaning your equipment can make it look fresh and clean. In addition to looking new, it also helps them last longer to prevent rust and dust lingering on it. Therefore saving you a lot of money in the long term.
No doubt, one of the major factors to running a gym is membership retention. If you have a dirty gym, it’s likely the loyalty of your existing members will decrease. This is because they might see that you’re neglecting the facilities and they’re not getting the most out of their money. If you have a clean gym, it will contribute to your brand image and encourage customers to keep returning to use your services.
Reduce the risk of bacteria and diseases
Public places are a breeding ground for so many germs, bacteria, and viruses. The gym is one public place which is where all of the bad bacteria is rampant and therefore dangerous for many employees and members.
In a fitness center, lots of people sweat, cough, and more, leaving bacteria lingering on free weights, mats, dumbbells machines, surfaces, and more. The most common bacteria that can linger are Staphylococcus aureus (golden staph), Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Salmonella, Influenza, Rhinoviruses, and Dermatophytosis.
This could be incredibly dangerous for your fitness members, making them at risk of contracting diseases and leaving you with a risk of facing a potential lawsuit. Similarly, an unclean gym could make many employees fall sick, causing you to lose out on a lot of money.
How to clean your gym
Cleaning a gym might sound like a straightforward task. But, the truth is it’s a lot more rigorous than you think, and there are so many different levels to it. To help make sure you achieve a top-notch hygiene status, try doing the following:
1. Wear PPE while cleaning
Before you go about cleaning your gym, it’s important that you protect yourself and your employees from contracting any diseases or illnesses. The first thing you will want to do is wash your hands and use a sanitized-based hand gel. Then following this, you should wear gloves and other protective equipment to stop germs from going on you.
2. Clean gym equipment
As a gym owner, you must ensure there are no viruses present in your facilities. To do this, you must clean every piece of gym equipment after being used by a member. Doing this will stop any contraction or contamination of the new member from the previous one.
You can do this by using sprays, disinfectant wipes, and more to clean your machines, carpets, floors, and each corner of your gym. When buying a disinfectant spray, you should always look at the ingredients to make sure they’re not corrosive to metal and stop them from damaging your equipment.
When cleaning your gym equipment, you should focus on removing the surface layer and grime. To do this, you should use a microfiber cloth with a little bit of soapy water to help remove dust, dirt, fingerprints, stains, and more.
3. Clean the changing rooms
Another main area where germs gather is in the toilets and changing rooms in your health club. Many members use these, shower, and exchange a lot of bacteria. While the pandemic is still ongoing, you should ensure that your members adhere to social distancing and only allow a certain amount of people into your locker rooms and toilets in one go.
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When cleaning your changing rooms, ensure that you do it on an hourly basis and have a cleaner on standby. It’s always a good idea to have an audit and fill in a log to let customers know that you’re regularly cleaning.
In a locker room, it’s also important to dehumidify the air, so fresh circulation can be maintained to stop water vapor from gathering and building up. If the air is not fresh, particles can linger, and it can cause your members and employees to inhale it, running the risk of getting sick. Also, you will want to sterilize the benches and common areas like locker rooms.
4. Control the odor
When there is a bad smell in your gym, you shouldn’t use air fresheners to cover it up. Doing this may only make it come back later but worse. When you have a bad smell in your gym, you should address it immediately.
In these circumstances, you should check all the drains, mats, toilets, floors, machines, and more to identify the source of the problem. When you come across the odor, you should use a steam cleaner that can directly eliminate most germs and strains contributing to the smell. Another preventative measure to get your gym to smell nice is using aromatic oils and scented candles to create the perfect mood and smell.
5. Educate your gym members
You might have noticed in your gym that it can be nearly impossible to clean pieces of gym equipment during peak hours. To help achieve your cleaning goals, you can always educate your members to clean their equipment after they’ve used them.
Try putting up signs showing how members can clean their equipment after use. One could be showing them how to use spray, disinfectant, or sanitizer once they are done using them. Also, you might want to give your members small sachets of hand sanitizer or disposable paper towels to use.
6. Train your employees
Before you expect your employees to be perfect in cleaning and sanitizing your gym, you must make an effort in training them or scheduling a training session for them. A compulsory training session works best to equip your employees to follow a safe and effective cleaning process, and it must comply with the norms and protocols laid down by the healthcare industry.
It’s important, though, not to overwork or tire the employees from the rigorous cleaning process. Ideally, it’s best to create a rota, where employees can clean at different times and areas such as the toilets, common areas, reception, fitness equipment, locker rooms, and more. This will also help you assign and delegate responsibilities to your employees, so you know who is cleaning what.
7. Keep a cleaning inventory in your gym.
To have a clean gym, you can’t just depend on your staff. You need to be able to have the resources on-demand for your staff to use. This means you have to have an inventory of cleaning products and stay on top of it too!
You and your staff must ensure you have cleaning products in stock and nothing ever runs out. Ideally, inventories are best kept in a storeroom where you can access all the cleaning products.
8. Hiring a professional cleaning company
One of the easiest ways to maintain cleanliness is getting a bunch of professionals to clean your gym. When you pay for professional cleaners, you will often be getting all-inclusive services.
Such commercial cleaning companies will offer a range of services at one cost that covers cleaning your gym equipment, areas and sanitizing them. It also allows you to have uniformed cleaners on-site, and they can provide cleaners if any go off sick.
Most of these services are licensed and insured, which means you’re getting the most out of cleaning for your money. Plus, hiring professionals can be cost-effective and time-effective, as they can provide you rough estimations of how long the work will take and the cost.
Moreover, professional cleaners are quick and can help live up to your frequent cleaning rotas and abide by your audits. Therefore if you don’t wish to do it yourself, you can always hire professionals to save you time, money, and efficiency.
Overall, having a hygienic gym is an important factor to survive as a brick and mortar based business in the fitness industry. After all, bacteria is everywhere on ellipticals, dumbbells, exercise bikes, weights, cardio equipment, furniture in the locker rooms, and many more areas.
If your facilities are not cleaned to a high standard, you risk losing the loyalty of regular members. Similarly, if you have employees who go off sick, it could cost you more money looking for additional staff to cover their sick days.
Common diseases people can contract from gyms are COVID-19, influenza virus, and bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus (golden staph), Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Salmonella, Influenza, Rhinoviruses, and Dermatophytosis.
Diseases and conditions like this can cause a lot of health issues and financial ones too. The best way to avoid them is by hiring a professional cleaning company. If you choose to hire a professional cleaning company, they can eliminate you worries as they’re regulated, efficient and have many staff to supply you at any time.