Each and every gym mat needs to be cleaned on a regular basis to protect the people using them from germs and all the gunk that can cover them on a daily basis. A gym is definitely a messy place, or it can be, depending upon what the specialty is in that facility. Sweat, blood, and other bodily fluids can be really stubborn to deal with.
What’s the best way to clean and care for your gym mats?
Before and after use, a gym mat should be disinfected to keep the really gross stuff at a minimum. You help prevent illness and infection that way. Fresh disinfectant needs to be used each and every time, so no re-washing with the same bucket of cleaner. Every disinfectant needs a few minutes to work, so be sure to give it some time on the surface you’re disinfecting before you rinse it off. Rinsing should be with plain water, nothing added.
It’s also a good idea to sweep floor mats before using a liquid cleaner on them, as that removes the dust, dirt, and grit that accumulates on them throughout the day. When that stuff gets wet, it just smears on the mats and makes for a much larger mess to clean up –even more if there’s enough to turn into mud. It’s easier to sweep up the loose stuff than it is to clean up a goopy mess.
When you perform a proper, thorough cleaning of your mats, you’ll want to use the minimum amount of detergent that you can (so it doesn’t build up on the mats as much), and if you’re able to get your hands on something that’s low-foam and PH neutral, use it. Soap does get soaked up by gym mats and you want to minimize that as much as possible.
You know what else is important? Using hot water. That water needs to be hot so that your mats will come out cleaner, and will dry faster. Hot water also helps to kill germs, since many can’t survive high heat. That’s a bonus!
You’ll want to clean under your mats every once in a while, too. Moisture can accumulate, dirt can find its way under there, and things can get really nasty after enough time. This doesn’t need to be done daily – once a week wouldn’t hurt, or incorporate under-mat cleaning into your larger cleaning schedule.
If you’re having trouble with your gym mats not drying out as quickly as you’d like, you can turn on ceiling fans (if you have any), open doors and windows, or run a few floor fans – the large, square fans that you can find at department stores – to help speed up the process. As mentioned before, use hot water, and don’t completely soak your mats.