It’s fantastic that so many people are using their home gym equipment more. But many people don’t know how to clean it properly. Even though you may not be sharing your gear, it’s a potential bacteria breeding ground. Coming home and using equipment means you may be dragging germs in with you that can live on your equipment surfaces for days. Sweat also drips onto it, causing it to smell and bacteria to grow. This means that you need to clean your gear often, and you also need to disinfect it.

First, you need to start by using the correct cleaning products. You can use a vinegar solution or gym wipes to help clean after each use, but once in awhile, you may want to clean with something stronger.

To actually get rid of all the germs, you’ll want to use something that is anti-bacterial. Keep in mind that some products may affect your equipment and cause them to crack. Quaternary ammonia tends to be safe for gear and people. Make sure to avoid using things like bleach that can be harmful to breathe in.

You will want to clean everything you use weekly except benches and machines that should be cleaned after every use. You don’t need to do a full cleaning, just a quick wipe down to help prevent your sweat from deteriorating any parts of the gear. Then once a week, you’ll want to do a deeper clean. Make sure to unplug the machine prior.

Weights and kettlebells will need to be wiped down with a stronger solution and given time to dry off—clean bars and balls in a similar manner.

Mats should be wiped down after every use with a light solution or a gym wipe. Then every week, they should be given a deep clean. If your yoga mat comes with cleaning instructions, follow those since mats are made of different materials. If yours is more of a rubbery material, you can use a warm soap solution made of several cups of water and a few drops of soap. Get a hand towel wet with the solution and rub both sides of the mat. Rinse it off with hot water and let your mat hang dry.