Properly Cleaning and Disinfecting Fitness Equipment

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A health club's top-of-the-line fitness equipment, complete with interactive workout monitoring and web access, can be a draw for new members.

But no one wants to use any machine that has lost its luster and smells of day-old sweat. As Thomas Dolan, director of sales for gym wipes manufacturer 2XL Corp. in Broadview, Ill., says, "One of the biggest consequences of dirty equipment is unhappy members."

The consequences of dirty equipment go well beyond aesthetics, of course. The spread of germs and viruses through contact with equipment is a serious health concern. Oil and dirt left behind by users also can interfere with sensors that track heart rate and other stats as well as cause deterioration of equipment padding. But these aren't the consequences members see or are typically concerned about when they pick up a wipe or a spray bottle to clean off equipment.

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