Looking after your weights

Looking after your weights

Looking after your weights is a must, regardless of whether you buy your own weight lifting equipment or rent it from a local gym. If your equipment breaks down, you not only risk having it break completely, but you also risk being harmed while working out. 

When it comes to hygiene and your weights, it is best practice to disinfect your equipment after use every day. This can be done with antibacterial wipes, spray and tissue. It is important to take good care of your weights for your own safety, and to help prolong the life of your home gym equipment.

If you are sharing your weights with anyone else, it is recommended that you wipe down your equipment between sets. 

Cleaning the weights

These days, keeping equipment clean and bacteria-free is a must. Since the pandemic began, cleaning your weights and keeping your gym in pristine working order has become even more of a priority. 

After using free weights and benches, wipe them down with disinfection wipes, or spray them with a disinfectant to sanitise them. Remember to wipe them with a towel afterwards and ensure that the area is clean and dry. 

Often it can be as simple as wiping down gym equipment after use with some antibacterial wipes. You may need more for your floors or specific things like stretch bands and benches. 

After your workout, soak your bands in warm water with a few drops of mild dish soap mixed in. Rinse the bands with warm water and air dry them after swishing them around for a few seconds. Don’t leave them to dry in the sun because it will degrade the material.

How to clear up oxidisation on weights

Anything metal that has been left sitting around for a long time and has been in regular contact with moisture is likely to start oxidising and rusting. Looking after your weights is key to preventing them from rusting. Oxide traces can be found on both barbell and dumbbell weights, and cleaning them up is essential. 

If the rust is already advanced, work with a brass brush first, then refine the removal using medium-fine-grained sandpaper to get them clean. Apply a generous amount of WD-40 or other degreasers after thoroughly cleaning the metal, and allow it to act for a few minutes. The substance prevents rust and corrosion on metal surfaces, as well as penetrating and lubricating blocked areas. 

Enamel painted weights

Dumbbells and iron weights are frequently powder coated or painted with high-quality semi-flat enamel paint. The enamel often breaks down over time, and results in oxidation. Here are some specific ways to clean weights based on the material they are made from: 

Chrome plating

Some dumbbells and weights are chrome-plated for a gleaming metal appearance. You may wish to wash down your chrome workout equipment with a high-quality moisture inhibitor or protectant like WD-40. Do this on a regular basis to keep it looking excellent for many years to come.

Rubber weights/plates

Rubber dumbbells have metal or chrome handles and are either totally wrapped in rubber or have just the ends coated in rubber. Weights and dumbbells with this rubber coating are waterproof, and the rubber might be natural or synthetic. 

Rubber can be damaged by the sun’s UV rays, therefore keep them covered or indoors to prevent decomposition. You can clean your rubber weights and dumbbell sets by doing the following: 

  • ½ a litre of water + a few drops of dish soap.
  • Wet a clean towel in the soapy solution. Only wring to dampen.
  • Wipe down all of your equipment.
  • Using a clean, dry towel, pat dry.

Barbell maintenance

To strengthen grip, weightlifters usually sprinkle chalk or even talcum powder on their palms and the barbell shaft. When the magnesium in this powder comes into contact with sweat, it clings to the knurling on the shaft. This chalk or powder must be removed after working out. Most things in your home gym equipment can be cleaned using a brush with nylon bristles.

Olympic and higher-quality barbells have bearing sleeves that considerably reduce the friction that forms during bar rotation during lifting. The bearings on many sleeves are already oiled, thus they don’t need to be maintained. However, if the barbell is used frequently, it’s a good idea to unscrew the sleeves regularly, clean the dirt off with a rag, and lubricate it. You may also use it to clean any moving parts in your home gym equipment for better results.

Barbell maintenance

Free weights vs machines

Looking after your machine weights can be a somewhat more complex process due to their mechanical nature. There are lots of different small moving parts on machines that need to be maintained and kept in working order. 

Before cleaning machines, make sure they’re unplugged first. Then, using disinfectant wipes, clean off all surfaces. Make sure to get into the cracks and crevices around the handles and seat seams. After that, let the machine air dry.


If you have invested a significant amount of money and resources into having your own home gym, then it makes sense that you will want to take good care of it by looking after your weights.

Gym equipment (if used every day), can absorb a huge amount of wear and tear over its existence. So making sure that your weights are well maintained is just as important as making sure your furniture or car is kept in good condition. 

We at HyGYM are experts in weights and workout equipment, and our wide range of items include everything from barbells to jump boxes

All of our products are of the highest quality and are built to last, so we hope this blog can help you keep everything in your gym in the best possible condition and allow you to get the most out of our fantastic range of products. 

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