With hope of a decline in COVID-19 cases, the world is planning for a return to familiar routines. This includes businesses in a big way. The public will be looking at many places like grocery stores and restaurants to help keep the public safe.
Fitness centers, this also includes you. Have you given any thought to cleaning gym equipment or new employee training? Members will be interested in learning how you plan to keep your space squeaky clean. If you need help coming up with a plan, here are some key items to keep in mind.
Ask Members for Help
Believe it or not, the first step to ensuring your gym members stay healthy starts with your gym members. And? Some old-fashioned soap and water!
Don’t underestimate the power of washing your hands. Washing your hands continues to be the number one defense against viruses. It’s near impossible to disinfect every single gym surface touched in one day. That’s why it’s crucial for everyone to wash their hands before and after using each piece of equipment.
Soap and water kill germs best. But, you can offer several stations with disinfectant wipes throughout the building as a back-up. Also, give members access to spray bottles and rags to wipe down their machinery.
- Antibacterial soap kills bacteria- not viruses.
- Wet wipes, such as baby wipes, only remove dirt and oils from the skin.
- Same for hand sanitizer. It only kills bacteria unless you find an alcohol-based version. When using it, keep it on the hands for a certain amount of time. Otherwise, it might not work.
- It might take several wet wipes or disinfectant wipes to get hands and gym equipment clean.
Learn the Difference Between Cleaning, Disinfecting and Sanitizing
Do you know the differences between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing? According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), there are some. And it’s a good time to learn what they are because cleaning on its own is not enough right now. Learning the differences will help you map out your return routine and put you at the top of your cleaning game. Here are the differences in short:
- Cleaning removes dirt and germs from services but doesn’t kill them.
- Disinfecting will kill germs through the use of chemicals.
- Sanitizing uses a combination of cleaning and disinfecting. It lowers the number of germs and the spread of reinfection.
Buy the Right Chemicals
If you are looking for the best cleaning defenses against viruses, here they are. Soap and water, bleach, isopropyl alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide.
If those cleaners aren’t appropriate for your flooring, it’s okay to use your regular cleaner. However, you should use the above recommendations for all other surfaces. Certain items such as ammonia solutions do not protect against viruses.
And as always, do not use certain products in combination with each other. Surprisingly, bleach and vinegar fumes don’t mix well together, the same way bleach solutions and ammonia solutions don’t. They can create hazardous, or potentially deadly, fumes when combined. If you need to use several kinds, a good idea is to use them on alternating days.
Know the Dirtiest Spots
Here’s a pop-quiz for you: which areas of fitness centers are harboring the most germs?
Did your mind immediately go to bathrooms, locker rooms, or door handles? While you technically aren’t wrong, those are mega hotspots also, your gym equipment actually has more! The treadmills, weights, gym mats, and exercise balls are all loaded.
Maybe that’s because people touch them more often or because bathrooms get more attention. Either way, it’s better safe than sorry. Create a chart and keep track of how often you’re tackling each item. The same goes for home gym equipment as well. Personal trainers who make house-calls should be mindful of that. Always wipe down home gym equipment in between uses.
Another thing to pay attention to are your cleaning supplies themselves. Your rags are cleaning counters and your mops are cleaning the floors. What’s cleaning your rags and mops? You don’t want to accidentally reinfect surfaces. So, be sure to thoroughly disinfect, sterilize all rags, mops and get your equipment clean.
Hire Extra Staff
Now you know the who, what and where, it’s time to start cleaning gym equipment and more. Consider hiring extra staff if you need to. Because, if you cleaned bi-weekly, prior to the Coronavirus, you should clean weekly now. Start out with a daily routine and scale it back as time goes on and infections continue to decrease.
Have a morning crew, a night crew, and an in-between crew ready to go. Your management software can help you with creating and keeping track of your new schedules. And if you’re worried it might come off as excessive- don’t be. Seeing your employees in cleaning action could help to ease your gym members’ minds.
Good luck with your cleaning! Be safe and healthy. To find out more tips, during the Coronavirus and more, subscribe to our blog.