How to Keep Home Gym From Smelling (10 Effective Tips)

Home gyms present several advantages, like working out at your convenience, not wasting time in travel or waiting for machines, and cost savings.

On the other hand, you are responsible for taking care of the equipment and keeping the space clean and functional.

One such maintenance activity we will discuss today is how to keep a home gym from smelling. For example, if you do not regularly clean your equipment and flooring or keep sweaty clothes in the room, your gym can start to really stink.

Garages and basements, which are usually the setup for home gyms, are left as is; they can lead to issues like mold and accumulation of gasses like radon.

Let us understand why your home gym smells and tips that can help keep the smell away.

Does Your Home Gym Smell Bad? Possible Reasons

Your sweat can be one of the reasons the home gym smells. Sweat in itself is odorless. Sweat starts emitting a smell when it interacts with the bacteria on your skin. The bacteria mixes with water, salt, and fats and releases an odor. The odor could be good or bad.

Your sweat not only soaks your clothes but can spread onto the exercise handles, pull-up bars, and dumbbells or fall on the rubber flooring. The smell can build over time if you do not clean the equipment.

Factors like poor ventilation and hot and humid weather can further contribute to the smell. If you do not let the smell escape the home gym, it will ruminate around the room and worsen the situation.

We will explore these reasons in detail below and look at ways to tackle them.

How to Keep Home Gym From Smelling? – 10 Effective Tips

Owning a home gym is a luxury as well as a responsibility. You need to spend time on its upkeep so you can continue to work on your fitness journey.

Here are ten practical tips to help keep those pesky and foul smells away from your home gym.

1. Clean Equipment After Use

Clean Equipment After Use
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You may not be sharing your home gym with strangers, but that does not mean you get away with leaving the pieces of equipment as is after use.

As explained above, your sweat can get on dumbbells, kettlebells, yoga mats, seats, and exercise handles. In addition, an unclean environment can harbor bacteria and fungi.

If you share the home gym with your partner or other family members, wiping down the equipment after every session is essential. Even if you are the only person using the home gym, you should clean the equipment as germs may thrive on its surface.

You can clean things like handheld weights, pulley systems, and handles with antibacterial wipes. You can use disinfectant wipes or microfiber cloths to clean cardio machines. This will eliminate germs and keep the equipment pollutants-free, like dust or hair.

If you use yoga or exercise mats, you can spray a multipurpose cleaner, wipe the mat with a clean cloth and let the mat air dry before rolling it up.

2. Clean the Gym Flooring

When you perform bodyweight exercises like pushups, crunches, or mountain climbers, the flooring is bound to get covered with your sweat. So develop a cleaning routine depending on the type of flooring and the amount you sweat.

For example, foam tiles or mats are a popular flooring choice for home gyms as they absorb noise. Foam does not absorb a lot of water, but you must be careful while cleaning.

Again, you can use an all-purpose cleaner but do not pour the liquid on the tile. Instead, use a damp cloth or a mop to apply the cleaner. This will help get rid of debris and smell.

Similarly, if you have rubber gym flooring, first use a vacuum. Then mix a cleaner with warm water and apply the mixture using a mop or a cloth. You can also invest in scrubbing machines if you have a lot of floor space.

3. Clean and Air Out Gym Equipment

Clean and Air Out Gym Equipment

If you have purchased used gym equipment, thoroughly clean it before you install and use it in your home gym. As mentioned above, using wipes, disinfectants, and clean cloth should do the trick.

New rubber mats can have a peculiar smell. This is because rubber releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as a result of the rubber manufacturing process. The simplest way to reduce this odor or speed up the out-gassing process is to air the mat under the sun.

It would be best to do so before installing the mats in your home gym. Place the rubber mats where the sun is strongest and turn them every few hours. The process can take a few hours to a few weeks depending on the rubber type.

4. Improve Ventilation

Air circulation is necessary to get rid of odors. For example, the foul smell will stay in the room if you close the door behind you once you use the home gym with no outlet.

Improving ventilation could be as simple as opening doors and windows when working out and keeping them open for a few minutes after working out. Use screens to keep insects and other creepy crawlies out of the room.

If opening windows is not an option, consider getting a fan. It could be a ceiling fan or a standing one that you can keep at the door. This will help improve air circulation and avoid issues like overheating.

If your home gym is set up in the basement, you can install exhaust fans to facilitate airflow in and out of the room. Proper ventilation is the best way to eliminate stale air that builds up in closed spaces like gyms.

5. Consider Using a Dehumidifier

If you share your home gym with multiple family members or live in an area with hot and humid weather, consider investing in a dehumidifier.

The generated sweat inside the home gym can seep into the flooring and equipment. Moreover, factors like humid weather, lack of cleaning, and insufficient ventilation can worsen things and lead to issues like mold and mildew.

A dehumidifier will remove the excess moisture in your home gym and help reduce odor.

If you have the budget, installing an AC unit would be ideal. But if not, dehumidifiers are the best budget-friendly option available.

6. Use Air Fresheners

Use Air Fresheners

If your home gym smells terrible to the point that it makes working out challenging, it is time to use air fresheners. Of course, it is your personal preference what type of air freshener you opt for, but we recommend keeping away from chemical and fragrance-laden fresheners.

Breathing in such air may not be healthy and also interfere with your workout session. Instead, pick natural-smelling air fresheners that can make the home gym comfortable without being too overpowering.

You can also use natural air freshener methods, like placing a box of baking soda near your workout area. Baking soda will not mask the odor but absorb it and leave the home gym smelling pleasant. You could also place indoor plants in the gym that help purify the air and absorb odor.

7. Keep an Eye Out for Mold

Mold is typically found in places that have heavy moisture present. Without sufficient airflow or improper cleaning routines, your home gym could become an ideal environment for mold to thrive.

This is why you should be careful when cleaning gym floors as well. Dumping water on the floor while cleaning can seep through the mats, get trapped between the floor and the mat, and cause mold.

Inspecting your home gym floors and walls regularly for mold would be best. It could be mold if you see black, white, orange, or green specks, along with furry growth. The condition should be treated as continued exposure to these spores could lead to a runny nose, itching, headache, and breathing difficulties.

8. Wash Your Gym Clothes the Correct Way

Wash Your Gym Clothes the Correct Way

Washing your gym clothes should be enough to eliminate the stinky smell in most cases. But in some cases, your clothes may still smell after washing.

This can happen because of the synthetic fabrics used in activewear today. These fabrics are known to absorb sweat, letting you stay comfortable and concentrate on your workouts. But this also means your clothes absorb more sweat, bacteria, and oil from your body.

Avoid putting your gym clothes right in the laundry hamper. Instead, turn them inside out and let them air dry, helping get rid of the smell to some extent. Next, use a detergent that is meant for synthetic fabrics. Lastly, air dry the clothes and increase the chances of them smelling good,

9. Use Clean Towels

Always use a clean towel, whether you are wiping down equipment or your sweat. Do not use the same towels for multiple days. Also, do not keep used towels inside the home gym for longer periods.

Doing so can increase the number of bacteria on the towel, which, apart from smelling stinky, can not be suitable for your health.

After your gym session, wipe down equipment, get the towel out and let it air dry, and follow the same washing routine as you do for your activewear.

10. Wear Clean Gym Shoes

Wear Clean Gym Shoes

Your gym shoes tend to smell bad as the sweat can get trapped inside, and the moisture again becomes an ideal environment for bacteria.

Besides the smell, dirty gym shoes can cause skin irritation and blisters and wear down the shoes faster. This is why your gym shoes also need some TLC, along with your gym clothes and towels.

Washing your gym shoes once in 2 to 3 weeks should be enough, depending on how often you use them. Do not throw them in the machine. Instead, use your hands to wash them with warm water and mild soap. Use a microfiber cloth or a toothbrush to scrape off any dirt. Remember to remove the insoles and wash them separately.

Rinse the shoes and insoles and let them air dry. Do not let them soak in water, as it can damage the fabric and degrade the quality of the shoes.


How to keep home gyms from smelling? Unfortunately, this is a persistent problem among people who choose to work out from the comfort of their homes.

There could be several factors that lead to your home gym smelling bad. Some of them include sweat, unclean gym equipment, improper ventilation, and the use of dirty clothes and shoes.

You can effectively get rid of the stinky smell in your home gym with tips like wiping down equipment after every session, cleaning the gym flooring, opening doors and windows, using dehumidifiers and air fresheners, and using clean gym attire.

Let us know which of the above tips worked the best for your home gym.

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