Equipment Care

As with many products indoors – dirt is your enemy.  Keeping exercise equipment, and the area surrounding it clean will eliminate many of your problems.  In a heavy-use environment, it will not eliminate service but it will certainly go a long way towards reducing it.  Michigan’s temperature and humidity levels have an impact on our equipment. We recommend doing a general clean up and maintenance twice a year along with our weather changes.  Another positive move to extend the life of your equipment is to use anti-static mats under the units.  Fitness Things sells mats for both strength and cardio equipment that protect the product and the floor below it.  This is especially essential for treadmills and any cardio equipment using a magnetic drive or resistance system.

Cardiovascular Equipment


Treadmills are undoubtedly the most used piece of equipment by our customers.  Because of the amount of friction and static produced by a person on a treadmill this product requires more care than other equipment in order to give you years of enjoyment.  Do not fall prey to the companies that promise a maintenance free treadmill.  All treadmills require periodic maintenance.


All treadmills require a minimum of 15 amps, and a few will require as much as 20 amps.  Refer to your owner’s manual for your treadmills requirements. Your treadmill should also be on a dedicated circuit. You should never power your treadmill using an extension cord.


Treadmills require periodic cleaning in different areas of the unit.  Always make sure that your unit is unplugged before you clean it.  The frame, hood and side rails should be cleaned daily in heavy use environments and bi-weekly in the home.  This can be done by spraying a multi-purpose cleaning product on a cotton lint-free cloth and wiping the surfaces. Guidelines for cleaning displays vary by vendor and you should consult your owner’s manual for their recommendation. You should vacuum under your treadmill every month in heavy use and every 3 months in the home.  To vacuum under it you must first elevate it to its highest setting and unplug it.  This will result in your treadmill staying elevated and allow you to either sweep under it or expose the wheels so you can move it over and vacuum where it was. If there is pet hair in your home, you should increase the vacuuming accordingly.

Remove the motor cover on your treadmill and vacuum in the motor chamber once a year in a home and 3 to 4 times a year in heavy use.  You need to clean your deck also.  Your deck is the surface under your running belt and it is between these two surfaces that dirt does the most damage.  A heavy use facility should perform this cleaning every other month and a home twice a year. The cleaning and lubricating of a treadmill’s deck will vary with manufacturers.  This is a maintenance item that you need to be very careful with.  We recommend that you have a service tech perform this or at least consult with the dealer or manufacturer of your treadmill for correct instructions.  Never apply cleaning solutions to the belt or deck of your treadmill without first consulting a professional.

Other Cardio Equipment

General care of your other cardio equipment will consist primarily of general cleaning, possible lubrication and providing your equipment with a continuous, reliable power source.

  • Vacuum around and under your equipment weekly.
  • Use an anti-static mat under your equipment whenever it is in contact with carpet.
  • Wipe down your equipment regularly with a soft cloth and a mild cleanser.
  • Lubricate any chains according to your owner’s manual.
  • Make sure all your power cords are firmly connected at both ends and there is no wear to the cord.
  • Check and/or replace your equipment’s batteries every six months depending on use.  Some batteries are charged by use and can lose power if the equipment it is powering has not been used regularly.

Tracking the Belt

Lubing the Track

These are general guidelines and are not necessarily complete or applicable in all environments or to all types of equipment.  Always consult your owner’s manual for specific instructions for your particular equipment.

Strength- Machines & Benches

Guide Rods

Guide rods require cleaning and lubricating on a regular basis. If the unit is in a heavy-use environment it may be necessary to do this as often as once a week.  Home Gyms should have the guide rods cleaned and lubricated twice a year. We recommend cleaning your guide rods prior to lubricating. To clean, apply a clean, soft, lint-free cloth to the base of the guide rod and removing any dirt and old lube using an upward motion.  You do not want to direct the dirt towards the stack, always away.   If there is a heavy buildup of old lubricant, it may be necessary to use alcohol to clean the guide rods.  Once the guide rods are clean a lubricant can be applied to help the gym operate smoothly.  You should try and use the same lubricant that has been used on the guide rods in the past.  Fitness Things uses and prefers Tri-flo which is a cleaning agent as well as a lubricant but WD40 can also be used. Using a clean, lint-free cloth, spray the lubricant onto the cloth and starting at the top of the weight stack draw the lubricant up and away from the stack. Try to avoid large amounts of lubricant at the base by the weight stack. You do not want residue to build up within the stack.  It makes for a difficult clean up.  Engage the weight stack after each coat of lubrication until the stack moves freely up and down the guide rods.


Cables and belts require little to no maintenance. It is possible over time for a cable to become severely twisted as it turns every time it travels over a pulley.  In order to straighten a cable, it needs to be disengaged from the weight stack and untwisted.  Much as you would a telephone cord that has become twisted through use.  After it has been straightened, re-attach it to the weight stack.  Belts will not twist through use, but because they are less flexible it is necessary to inspect them occasionally at the turning points to check for excessive wear and a potential break.


You will want to clean your vinyl or naugahyde on a regular basis to reduce germs and maintain a neat and clean appearance.  For facilities that need to use an anti-bacterial product we recommend they use Sani Cloth germicidal wipes on their fabrics.  However, please be aware that strong cleansers mixed with perspiration will cause vinyl and naugahyde to stiffen and crack quicker. Fitness Things recommends that you use only water and a very mild soap when cleaning your fabric. Just encourage anyone using the equipment to carry a towel and use it diligently.


Perspiration: the by-product of a good workout, is comprised primarily of salt and can eat away at the finish on your equipment.  Clean the frames using a lint-free cotton cloth with an all-purpose cleaner such as Glass Plus.   Spray the cleaner onto the cloth, not the frame, to avoid spraying machine components.