How To Clean & Disinfect An Elliptical Machine

Posted by Stephen Steinberg on Mar 15, 2022

How To Clean & Disinfect An Elliptical Machine

Stephen Steinberg, Founder of Raw Athletics and Vapor Fresh Stephen Steinberg | March 15, 2022


Cardio equipment such as treadmills, bikes and elliptical machines have 416 times more germs on them than a toilet seat, according to a study on cleanliness of gym equipment. And while not all germs are harmful, the study found that about 70% of the germs found on gym equipment were in fact potentially harmful to humans. It’s therefore very important to clean your elliptical machine properly to keep everyone healthy.

Cleaning and disinfecting an elliptical machine is much more nuanced than cleaning kettlebells, barbells and dumbbells. It’s more similar to cleaning a treadmill - they both are cardio machines that get very sweaty since they provide fantastic workouts, but they also both have mechanical and electrical components to be aware of while cleaning.

Obviously you’ll always want to default to the cleaning and maintenance instructions for your particular make and model of elliptical machine, but here are some general rules of thumb and best practices to keep your elliptical smelling, looking and feeling new for as long as possible!

Don’t Use Typical Household Or Commercial Cleaning Products

It may be easy to use a cleaning product you already have lying around, but you may be doing more harm than good to your elliptical by using a cleaning product that wasn’t specifically designed for fitness equipment.

What’s the difference between a cleaning product for gym equipment and a general cleaning product? There are two very important differences to be aware of:

True Gym Cleaning Products Use Safer Chemistries
Fitness equipment comes in direct contact with your body, and therefore whatever chemicals you use to clean it will also come in direct contact with your body. True gym cleaning products use the safest chemistry possible to provide a deep and effective clean while limiting your exposure to more toxic chemicals you wouldn’t want to be in close contact with.

True Gym Cleaning Products Are Designed And Tested To Be Compatible With Common Surfaces On Fitness Equipment
Most common household and commercial cleaning products focus on hard surfaces such as countertops and showers while being formulated. But gym equipment is composed of much less resilient materials than marble and ceramic - you’ll more often find materials like plastic, vinyl and metal, which are more susceptible to wear-and-tear, corrosion and rust. Most people see fading on their elliptical or gym bench and assume it’s normal wear-and-tear, when in reality it’s usually from using highly corrosive cleaning products on them.

Be Aware Of Fake Gym Cleaning Products
Why do we keep referring to “true” gym cleaning products? Unfortunately there are many companies out there who rebrand standard cleaning products as fitness cleaning products for marketing purposes, when in fact there is nothing different about them compared to traditional cleaning products. Keep yourself educated and don’t fall for these tricks!

Always Unplug The Elliptical Machine Before Cleaning

As with any piece of fitness equipment that can be plugged in, it’s always smart to unplug them prior to cleaning to prevent accidental shorting or shock. It only takes a second to do but can mean the world of difference, so don’t skip it!

If You Use A Spray, Don’t Spray The Elliptical Directly

The choice between using a cleaning spray and using a disinfecting wipe to clean your elliptical is up to personal preference since there are fantastic options for both, such as Vapor Fresh Natural Sports Cleaning Spray. Our spray uses plant based active ingredients to safely yet effectively clean and deodorize all sports and fitness equipment.

The biggest risk of using a cleaning spray on an elliptical is overspraying which can damage the electronics and possibly ruin some of the joints, bearings and other moving parts. To avoid this, it’s always recommended to spray a cotton or microfiber towel until damp and use the damp towel to wipe down the elliptical instead of spraying it directly.

If You Use A Wipe, Make Sure It’s Designed For Gym Equipment

If you opt to use a wipe to clean your elliptical, avoid using any wipe you have lying around and make sure it’s a wipe designed for fitness equipment, which should have a safer chemistry and better compatibility with the surfaces on your elliptical. It’s those two reasons why many gyms and homes around the country opt to use our Vapor Fresh Disinfecting Gym Wipes to clean all of their fitness equipment, including elliptical machines.

For larger commercial gyms, our large gym wipe refill rolls will fit perfectly in all dispensers and have an economical cost-per-wipe.

For smaller studios and home gyms, our gym wipe canisters offer the perfect size.

Both wipes use our innovative plant based chemistry instead of the harsh quats found in nearly all other wipes, so you can rest assured your health and your fitness equipment are being treated with care!

Avoid Getting Any Cleaning Products On The Bearings

Unless otherwise noted in the user manual, you should avoid getting any cleaning products on bearings, joints and wheels. For those items, lubricants are more appropriate to keep them running properly. This is another reason why spraying the elliptical directly is never a good idea - you can accidentally get cleaning spray on parts that should not have cleaning products on them!

Follow Your User Manual’s Instructions For Routine Preventative Maintenance

Your ellipticals’ owners manual will have specific instructions on how and when to perform routine maintenance. You’ll want to follow these instructions closely to ensure that your machine runs smoothly. Typically it will show you how to remove the cover, where to vacuum dust and debris away from the machine, which bolts to tighten and which belts, joints and wheels to lubricate.

Vapor Fresh is designed specifically for sports & fitness equipment!

Vapor Fresh is the leader in stronger, safer, greener cleaning products for all sports and fitness equipment. You can find Vapor Fresh products in some of the top gyms nationwide, as well as college recreation centers, military bases and home gyms across the country. We pride ourselves on continually improving our products to be the absolute best on the market and providing top-notch customer service to everyone. We offer free shipping in the USA for all orders on our website, and we also offer Vapor Fresh products on Amazon as well!


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