How To Sanitize Your Home Gym and Boxing Equipment
You’ve invested a lot of time and money into your home boxing gym, and you want it to stay in pristine condition--plus you want to keep it clean! We are right there with you. In fact, we’ve cleaned a lot of boxing gyms and home equipment in our day, and we’re sharing our tips for cleaning the six (6) most common pieces of home boxing gym equipment:
- Punching bag
- Workout mat
- Free weights
- Weight bench
- Boxing gloves
- Boxing hand wraps
Should you clean your punching bag?
Yes! When boxing or kickboxing at home, your heavy bag, speed bag, or hanging bag is not only going to take a lot of hits from punches and kicks, but it’s going to accumulate a lot of sweat, grime, and other germs. We always recommend keeping a towel handy during your workouts to wipe up any sweat on the bag or floor (safety first!). But after your workout, how you clean your bag will depend on the material it’s made of. Here’s how to care for and clean your punching bag depending on its material.
For canvas punching bags, we recommend that you wipe down your bag with disinfectant wipes or a damp cloth after each workout. Additionally, once a week, mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar with one cup of water and use a spray bottle to apply the solution to the bag’s exterior. Use a cloth to wipe off any excess solution, and then let your bag air dry.
Traditional leather cleaners will work fine for sanitizing and maintaining your leather punching bag or heavy bag. You can typically find leather cleaners at most stores. And yes, the same leather cleaner you use for your car interior will work for your at-home punching bag!
We recommend that you clean your vinyl heavy bag or punching bag the same way you would a canvas punching bag. For any harder to remove scuffs or dirt you can use a sponge with a scrubber on a vinyl bag but it’s not recommended to use a sponge on canvas or leather bags.
Pro tip: Keep your vinyl punching bag out of direct sunlight. The heat can make the vinyl brittle and more likely to break on impact.
Want more tips and tricks for cleaning and maintaining your heavy bag or punching bag? Click here -- we’ve got you covered!
Gym Floors and Workout Mats
Sweeping, vacuuming, and wiping off dirt and debris are quick and easy ways to maintain gym floors and workout areas, but you should also regularly perform a deep-cleaning routine to help kill any additional bacteria.
Which cleaning solution is right for your home gym floor mats?
Once again, the cleaning solution you use depends on the material of your home gym floor mats.
For rubber or foam floor tiles and workout mats, you can use a simple mixture of warm water and mild dish soap. Be sure to sweep off the floor first so you don’t have additional dust and dirt on the mats when you wipe them down. Allow the wet surface to air dry.
For vinyl-topped floor mats, you can use disinfectant wipes or specialized gym disinfectant sprays that don’t have to be watered down and are usually low-odor. If you don’t have a sanitizer on hand, peroxide or rubbing alcohol will work in a pinch. Simply mix one part water for every two parts chemical solution, and wipe the mat with a cloth. Then, allow the workout mat to air dry.
Have a carpet-topped gym mat? Care for it the same way you would your regular household carpets! Vacuum, shampoo, and let dry.
Free Weights and Benches
We know we’re starting to sound like a broken record, but cleaning your home gym equipment is vital to maintaining a safe, healthy, and motivating workout space. The good news? Cleaning your weights, dumbbells, and weight benches is as easy as wiping them down with disinfectant wipes or spraying them--just like you would do at the gym!
What is the best way to clean free weights and benches?
You can disinfect your free weights using wipes or a household sanitizer spray before racking them back up. For your weight benches, you can also use the same disinfectant product you use for your weights and vinyl-topped floor mats. Depending on how much you sweat during your workout, it's a good idea to wipe down your weight bench after each use to prevent bacteria growth.
Can boxing gloves go in the washing machine?
No. The water will soak into the foam and padding, causing them to wear out faster. Instead, lightly spray a natural disinfectant or deodorizer inside your gloves after each boxing session, and wipe them inside and out with a cloth.
Then, rather than stuffing them back in your sweaty gym bag, leave your boxing gloves out to air dry, and consider purchasing a pair of glove dogs or glove deodorizers. These are kind of like little potpourri bags that absorb odors and moisture, leaving your gloves fresh and dry for your next home workout. Check out the FightCamp Care Kit which includes glove deodorizers, a glove bag, quick wrap storage bag, a stainless-steel water bottle, and a FightCamp towel.
Boxing Hand Wraps
Hand wraps can be machine washed and tumbled dried in a mesh laundry bag, or hand washing and line drying them will significantly extend their lifespan. Soaking your boxing wraps for 2-3 hours in a basin of warm water with a few drops of laundry detergent will deeply clean them.
Pro tip: Wash your boxing wraps after each use. Your hands sweat a lot in boxing gloves, and reusing dirty boxing hand wraps can promote bacteria growth and odor.
If you’re new to working out at home and want more tips on how to set up the home boxing gym of your dreams, check out the articles on our blog and YouTube Channel. Plus, follow @fightcamp on Instagram for at-home gym inspiration from actual FightCamp users.
How To Set Up Your At-Home Boxing Gym
How To Clean and Care For Your Punching Bag
How To Care For Your Boxing Wraps and Gloves
5 Things You Need To Set Up Your At-Home Boxing Gym
Jazz Up Your Heavy Bag With Household Items
The Author: Emma Comery is a Writer & Social Media Coordinator for various magazines, nonprofits, and small businesses across diverse industries. She fell in love with Thai Boxing during the pandemic, and her local gym has trained UFC contender Miranda "Fear The" Maverick and hosted Muay Thai greats like Heavyweight "Bazooka" Joe Stripling. Emma is also a lifelong runner and reader, and is currently writing her way towards an MFA in Nonfiction at Old Dominion University.