Germs are one of those topics we try not to think too much about. With winter fast approaching, cold and flu bugs will make you want to put on a hazmat suit when coughing customers show up at the gym. By now we have all read about the horrific bacteria that might be lurking in any public place. Gyms have been accused of spreading staph, strep, E coli and even HPV. Many of these claims are over blown. If you want to be paranoid about germs, think about places that have tens of thousands of people going through them every day, such as airports. The escalator handrail at a major airport is most likely far scarier than one of your kettlebells. In fact, it’s told that the tray table on a commercial airplane is far more contaminated than the toilet seat on that same plane.
Now, most gyms are not disease breeding grounds like some of the media out there would like you to believe. However, good hygiene practices at your gym are simple to do and still very important. You and your valuable customers will appreciate it. New customers that walk in the door are making up their minds about your facility in the first few seconds they arrive. Let’s face it: that “high school locker room smell” does not bring back great memories for most people. Bacteria growing typically in a warm, moist environment cause offensive smells.
We all know wiping down equipment with sanitizing wipes is important. Encourage your customers to do so by having plenty of wipe dispensers or spray bottles of sanitizer around. Lead by example and they will most likely follow. Wipe down all of the equipment at least once per day, more if you can. It is extremely important to remember all disinfectants need “dwell time.” The label on most sanitizing solutions will typically explain the surface needs to remain wet for a few minutes to kill all of the germs. When you finish wiping down the equipment take care of the restrooms, water coolers, etc.
Keeping mats clean is something that often gets overlooked. The bottoms of your shoes probably have 10 times the bacteria that are on your sweaty T-shirt. Sweat and other bodily fluids make their way to the floor mats, thanks to gravity. We put our hands on the floor when we do burpees and push-ups. We then touch our face and other sensitive areas on our body, etc. You get the connection. Mop or scrub your floors daily with an automatic scrubber. Auto scrubbers are expensive, but eliminate the issue of redistributing the filth with dirty mop water. They are also a lot faster. Finally, when the mats are clean, lightly spray them with a good disinfectant that is safe for your mats and your customers. Let it dry completely.
A clean gym says a lot about your commitment to providing a great customer experience. Keeping you and your customers clean and safe will help you grow the business. Avoiding colds or the flu this year isn’t a bad benefit either.
By Rick Schott, the president of Bulldog Scrubbers. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit thesweeper.com/boxcleaner.