We all know that equipment is one of the largest investments of owning a studio – whether you have only mats and free weights or more expensive items like Pilates Reformers, treadmills, etc. While a consistent wipe down of all equipment is important, many pieces of equipment require a little more attention to keep them in good working shape for as long as possible.
Read on for some tips on how to maintain your equipment and get the most for your money!
PILATES REFORMERS (OR SIMILAR MACHINES)
Daily - every few days:
Aside from daily wipe-downs, be sure to remove & wash the cotton hand loops (hand wash or gentle cycle in the washing machine) and to wipe down the carriage tracks with a degreaser (any mild household degreaser will do just fine!).
Apply a light oil to all metal-to-metal parts of the machine and use white Lithium grease to clean the wheels. This will keep your machine gliding smoothly with each use and increase its longevity.
Natural wear and tear will call for replacement of parts – but how do you know when it’s time to replace? Machines with daily use will need replacement of parts on the following schedule:
Wheels and ropes – every 5 years
Reformer springs – every 2-3 years
Of course machines used heavily may need replacement of parts sooner, but this is the general rule of thumb.
Daily - every few days:
Vacuum around & underneath daily – once dust enters the motor compartment it’s difficult for it to escape, meaning issues with it working properly and less longevity.
Vacuum inside the machine to clear out any dust that may have collected in the motor compartment or other parts of the machine.
Make sure your belts are properly lubricated – run your finger on the deck surface underneath the walking belt, if it feels dry you should apply some lubrication.
Different brands have different rules for this to be sure to consult your manual first.
BIKES & ELLIPTICALS
These machines have a lot of mechanics so there are some important maintenance details that not everyone is aware of.
Both machines should be set to the highest resistance at night before turning them off (unless your machines use an “Eddy brake” in which case they will do this automatically). Not having machines on the highest resistance before turning off will result in a premature wearing of the interior brake chamber cables.
Tension the pedals & crank arms – if they continue to be used when loose, they will need to be replaced much sooner.
Clean off the rollers & tracks – built-up debris causes a rough and bumpy rotation
Clean the interior – this does not have to be done as often as with treadmills as there are no cooling fans circulating air inside (won’t get as dusty as fast).
STRENGTH TRAINING EQUIPMENT
Do a regular check to ensure all frame hardware is tensioned correctly to ensure proper alignment and machine stability.
Check the cables & pulleys for wear & also keep the guide rods lightly lubricated - again refer to your manual as to how often this should occur as you want to avoid over lubrication.
Mats, bosu balls, free weights, etc. all need a thorough wipe down at least daily and be sure to allow them to dry completely before storing to prevent mold. Sweat causes premature rusting to metal components & if left to dry on its own, will collect dust (aside from all the health hazards associated with neglecting to wipe down equipment).
Cleanliness is the key to longevity of your equipment – even though some of these tasks may seem tedious, create schedule, put someone in charge and stick to it or if this is too much to handle, hire a professional service who will take care of these tasks for you so you can focus on other things! Whatever route you choose to go, your equipment, Clients and bottom line will thank you for it.