Professional Fitness Gym Cleaning

How to land fitness gym facility contracts

As a member of many gyms over the years, I can attest to that fact that the cleaner the gym is the better I feel about working out there. I have canceled my membership on two occasions due to the lack of cleanliness.

As a cleaning service business consultant and the creator of the Clean Up Now System I often consult clients on different types of professional businesses that need outside cleaning services. Fitness facilities certainly fit the bill but they can be a hard contract to land. They fit nicely into a  commercial cleaning business plan.

Your selling points

Here are the selling points you can pitch to the athletic facility to make the case that professional cleaning pays for itself in increased reputation and revenues.

A recent research study found that 83% of gym visitors consider how clean it is before they join. It only makes sense, they also do the same for restaurants and hotels.

Gym cleanliness increases profitability

It is vitally important for gyms to retain memberships. One sure fire way to do that is to keep the gym spotless and sanitary. A clean gym boosts member retention and inspires current users to use the facility more. It makes you feel better. Members will workout longer and return more often. It is best to exceed member's expectations in this area, in business exceeding expectations is the optimum approach.

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According to Zogics, a leading cleaning supply company for gyms and cleaning professionals,

In 2015, Listen360’s Fitness and Health Industry Report found that some of the key detractors that led to dissatisfaction among gym members and eventually, membership loss, were cleanliness related issues ranging from bad odors to facility dirtiness. A 2008 study conducted by IHRSA also proved this to be true: given a clean facility, gyms can retain more members and save thousands of dollars in membership revenue.”

Gym cleanliness decreases liability

Gyms need to be clean, it is a public health issue. There is no governing body that sets regulations for the gym industry but it is self-evident that a public space of this nature needs to be sanitary. The CDC does have a website page with recommendations for athletic facilities. The biggest concern is MRSA.

MRSA (Staph Infections)

MRSA spreads easily in athletic facilities, locker rooms, gyms, and health clubs because of shared equipment and skin-to-skin contact. Keep surfaces clean to prevent MRSA from spreading."

CDC- Athletic Facility Cleaning Guidelines

1st impressions are everything

Gyms need contracts and the contract will only get signed if that person is impressed with the way the place looks and feels. A big unconscious part of how a person feels about any environment is cleanliness, it is biological. That is why restaurants and retail stores spend so much time & energy on cleaning. Employees are always cleaning when not busy.

The common good

It is just the right thing to do to keep a public facility clean and to safeguard the customers from infectious diseases, as well as skin & respiratory conditions. Gyms can be very dusty places and should have air filters and proper ventilation in place.

When should gym equipment be cleaned?

Ideally, each machine should be cleaned after each use. This is not realistic though. It is important to cultivate a culture of wiping down the machines before and after use. You can help the facility create a culture of clean by training members to wipe down machines after use.

How to clean gym equipment

Have a set of cleaning procedures that you review annually. It is best to have a team that can clean the facility during off hours. If it is a 24-hour gym, then late at night or early morning before peak hours is best. Always start high and move down lower. Use disposable disinfectant wet wipes. Wipe down the whole machine, many gyms do not focus on the secondary metal parts and they can look grungy and dull over time and this is something a member definitely sees sitting on a machine resting between reps.

  • You should encourage the gym to leave disinfectant bottles in plain view all over the facility and post signs that advise to wipe down the machine.

  • Focus on commonly touched surfaces (touch points) that come into contact with peoples bare skin on each use. This includes handles, seats, pads, weight pins and belts.

  • Clean with detergent-based (EPA) approved cleaners. Do not use Bleach as it can cause irritation to the equipment users.

  • Wear protective gear when cleaning the gym/ athletic facility.

  • Clean equipment such as helmets and protective gear according to the manufacturer's recommendations.

  • Read the label on the cleaning solution to make sure it is being applied correctly.

  • Yoga mats, dumbbells, kettlebells, machines, exercise balls, and all cardio equipment should be cleaned several times per week.

  • Keep all supplies in stock. Running out could have huge consequences. You may be able to manage the supplies for the facility as well.

You can learn more specific details on how to clean gym equipment. 

Steam Cleaning

Bathrooms are a target point and should be thoroughly cleaned daily if not more often. Consider a steam cleaning system. It is superior for tile and laminated floors since sponges & mops spread germs around. Hot vapor steam eliminates microbes such as staphylococcus, streptococcus, Hepatitis A, E. Coli, and influenza without toxic chemicals. It works wonders on tile scum from soap build up.

Learn more about steam cleaning at steam clean masters

Gym Cultural Etiquette

The gym owner should enforce that customers wear only gym shoes and that they change in the dressing room. Have cleaning solutions and disposable paper towels distributed throughout the facility. Put up signs that encourage the machine user to clean after use. Show by example and have employees walk around wiping down the touch points. Supply hand sanitizer at heavy traffic points all over the facility.

Creating a culture of clean

Supply checklist for fitness facilities:

  • Caddy/ tote (to carry supplies in)
  • Vacuum cleaner – backpack vacs
  • Steam Cleaner (for bathroom)
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Disposable disinfectant Wipes (Industrial grade)
  • Microfiber cloth (For wiping down non-touch part of machines)
  • Paper Towels
  • Dusters
  • Spray Bottles
  • Disinfectant
  • Buckets
  • Swiffer
  • Microfiber mop (For mat flooring, locker room floors)
  • Brooms (For locker rooms)

Freelance gym cleaning can be a lucrative side gig for a professional cleaner and if you live in a major metropolitan area, it can be a major cleaning niche for your cleaning company. If you know how to pitch the benefits and present the best data, you can land these gigs and make an excellent fee for cleaning gyms and fitness facilities.

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