Best Practices to Achieve a Clean and Healthy Gym

clean gym

While Boxes like yours are all competing for similar clientele, how do you set yourself apart from the rest? Maybe it’s your coaching style, maybe your equipment or maybe it’s simply how much you care about your athletes. No matter what your stand-out qualities are, cleanliness should always be at the top.

To put it in perspective, IHRSA shows just how much athletes react to germs: 56 percent of gym members surveyed expected their gym to be free of germs. Gyms that spent approximately 4 percent of their budget on housekeeping made more profit and had higher customer retention rates than those who spent only 3 percent. And if a gym was perceived to be unclean, customer satisfaction ratings fell from 83 to 43 percent and retention rates fell from 90 to 52 percent.

As a gym owner, achieving a clean gym makes satisfied customers, and satisfied customers create a stronger overall business. Yet it’s easier said than done, so here are the best practices to create the cleanest and healthiest CrossFit possible:

Control Dust

Dust is more than what meets the eye – a combination of dead skin cells, bugs, animal dander, pollen and other particles you probably don’t want flying through your gym air. Often causing allergies or other unhygienic concerns, these airborne particles are not something you want to welcome with open arms. Dust your corners, beneath equipment, and other hard-to-see spots using a push broom or vacuum. Remind yourself it’s impossible to clear 100 percent of dust, but what’s important is that you frequently sweep your floors to dramatically reduce it. And keep in mind dust floats through the air, so even if you don’t clean it from closets or hard to reach areas, it can still spread through your gym.

Replace Tape

Particles and germs can build up around the tape under your mats over time. If it’s been a while since you’ve replaced your tape, it might be time to pull it up. Clean the area underneath your mats and replace it with new tape. Giving your gym that seasonal refresh might be just what it needs.

Remove Hair and Debris

If you’re a gym owner, you know the hair struggle all too well. Just as much as you dislike finding hair throughout your gym, your athletes feel the same. You also know how quickly dirt and debris spread throughout your floors. Similar to dust, use a broom, vacuum, or even a leaf blower to remove hair, larger debris, or loose chalk from your floors. Another trick to slow debris from spreading throughout your gym is by keeping doormats in all your doorways.

Scrub Your Floors

Burpees, push-ups, planks, v-ups, stretching, foam rolling, mobility – these are just some of the floor exercises you’re asking your members to do on a daily basis. Whether it’s a spot clean in between classes or a deep clean at the end of the day, your floors need to be disinfected – and disinfected efficiently. Adopt a floor scrubber that doesn’t disperse dirty water and use it with a disinfectant – low-foam detergent is best for gym mats – that kills germs while also being skin-friendly. Even better, mix it with warm water to kill more germs and pull up as much sweat and dirt as possible.

Form a Cleaning Routine and Stick to It

Acknowledge what your gym needs hourly, daily and weekly. Maybe after classes you disinfect your equipment, daily you give your mats a deep scrub and weekly you do a facility-wide clean. Pay special attention to WODs that go from the pull-up bar to a floor exercise. A mid-day clean will keep the evening classes from having to see all of the morning class’ chalk handprints all over the floor. Once you’ve formed a cleaning routine, stick to it and hold your Coaches accountable, too. Teach them when to clean and how to do it thoroughly. The best cleaning practices turn into healthy habits, and this extra effort certainly does not go unnoticed.

Educate Your Athletes

A clean gym is often an unstated expectation, and as we’ve seen in the study, also directly related to satisfaction and retention. Make a promise to your members that you are truly committed to cleanliness. If you have a cleaning certification or a fancy walk-behind floor scrubber, show it off. Be open about the best practices you are putting forward so your athletes are aware. When their health and safety feel like a priority, they’ll stick around.


By Audrey Sam, the marketing specialist and director of fun at Factory Cleaning Equipment, Inc.