Problem Solver - August 2015
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Go Green on Fitness Equipment Cleanup

One of the best ways to attract and retain members at your fitness facility is to provide them with a clean and safe environment—particularly the equipment. Clean equipment helps prevent the spread of germs and viruses, and eliminate the unpleasant "gym smell" of unclean equipment. Ideally, members should be cleaning up after themselves every time they use a piece of equipment. Providing them with a highly visible way to keep equipment clean is crucial, and you can do so in a way that has both minimal environmental impact and saves significant money for your facility.

Q: We want to be sure members can clean equipment after use, but are concerned about the cost of providing disposable wipes. What should we consider?

A: Disposable wipes are costly. If you go with a disinfectant spray bottle and reusable towel based system, you can save as much as 90 to 95 percent versus disposable wipes. Depending on the use in your facility, this could translate to savings of thousands of dollars per year.

To be sure exercisers are actually getting the message, you may want to provide signage throughout your facility reminding them to sanitize equipment after use. In addition, you should be sure that the cleaning supplies are convenient. Cleaning supplies located on perimeter/remote walls or support posts might not be convenient enough, which means they'll be used less frequently. If the supplies are right on the equipment, or on adjoining walls, you will greatly increase the chance members will clean the equipment before and/or after use. It's simple human nature, convenience breeds compliance.

Q: We're very concerned about being environmentally responsible. How can we help members clean up without having a negative impact on the environment?

A: A sanitizing system that employs spray bottles and reusable towels is the most eco-friendly option available, as it generates no waste.

While some are concerned that a reusable towel might become laden with germs, the fact is that spray bottle and reusable towel equipment cleaning has proven to be extremely sanitary and effective. Every time the towel is used, it is refreshed with germ-killing sanitizing solution, and a significant amount of disinfectant will remain on the towel at all times making it safe for reuse, a concept that has been microbiologically tested and validated.


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