How to Stop a Home Gym from Smelling: Tips and Tricks

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Tonya McIntosh

Tonya McIntosh—The main person behind TGFFitness as its Founder and Chief Editor. Get to know more about Tonya


Home gyms are a great way to get a workout done in a personalized and private environment, but if a bad odor constantly bothers you, it can be impossible to focus on your workout.

Your home gym is a fitness paradise, and there’s no reason it should smell like the backside of a skunk. The rest of this article will help you keep your home gym from smelling.

What Causes Home Gyms to Smell?

Home gyms can smell for several reasons, but sweat is the most obvious one. It can seep into your machines’ seats, your walls, and your carpet, creating an unpleasant and noticeable smell every time you head into your gym.

Unwashed clothes can have a similar effect, and if your home gym doesn’t have any ventilation or airflow, you will notice the stale smell hanging around a lot longer.

How to Keep Your Home Gym Smelling Fresh

Keeping your home gym smelling fresh relies on several techniques.

First, you will want to minimize any future smells by cleaning your gym equipment regularly and moving out any smelly clothes before they can stink up the place.

It’s also important to move the air around with proper ventilation so that the foul smells don’t linger and become even more pungent.

Lastly, you’ll want to try to replace that bad odor with better ones by using an air purifier, air fresheners, or baking soda.

1. Clean Regularly

The first step to a better-smelling home gym is to clean up regularly. Your exercise machines will accumulate a lot of sweat over the years, and you should get into the habit of wiping them down with disinfectant wipes after every use.

This also helps reduce the number of germs on your equipment that can cause bacterial or fungal infections.

Ensure you target everything in your gym, from your bench to your yoga mat, to maintain a clean environment. Mop or vacuum your floors regularly and be sure to dust often.

If you allow the dust to settle, it will not only begin to create an unpleasant smell, but it can also disrupt your breathing, negatively affecting your workout.

2. Ventilate

Proper ventilation goes a long way in clearing out unpleasant smells and replacing them with fresh air.

Combine a strategy of filtering out stale, smelly air and replacing it with clean air, and you’ll have a fresh home gym in no time.

Circulate the air around with a fan and prop open a window to cycle out the air.

3. Automatic Air Freshener

Adding an air freshener can also eliminate unpleasant odors and freshen up your home gym space so that you can enjoy your workout without those offensive smells.

Make sure to select an air freshener that doesn’t use harsh chemicals and doesn’t have too strong of a smell. That way, you can reap the benefits of an air freshener without worrying about being distracted by the overpowering scent.

Simple plug in your automatic air freshener, and it will release a pleasant fragrance every few hours.

4. Use Clean Towels

Always use clean towels when you’re exercising, and avoid using unwashed towels as you exercise.

Dirty towels stink, and while you may not notice it due to olfactory fatigue, anything you sit on or machines you use will reflect the smell of the dirty towel.

Reusing an old towel for your workout can be tempting, but it’s always best to toss your towel in the laundry right after finishing to avoid the smell.

Consider getting multiple towels, so you always have a fresh one on hand.

5. Always Wear Clean Clothes

Similarly, clean clothes are a must when you’re hitting the gym. Try to avoid wearing unwashed or reused clothes.

Frequently, people assume that they might as well put on their dirty clothes when hitting the gym to save time on a laundry load.

Still, dirty clothes will leave a lingering odor on every machine you use, and you’ll notice the smell when you next enter your home gym.

Be prudent after you finish your workout and put your gym outfit into the laundry.

As with the towels, get multiple comfy outfits for your home gym and cycle through clean clothes as you exercise to reduce the smell in your gym.

6. Purchase a Dehumidifier

Some of the sweat you produce in the gym evaporates and lingers in the air, creating an unpleasant odor in your home gym.

To combat this smelly menace, get a dehumidifier and set it up in the affected space.

Doing so will reduce the prevalence of odor-producing bacteria and your risk of getting mold or an overabundance of bacteria in the air that’s harmful to your health.

A portable dehumidifier is a great investment for a home gym where insulation, ventilation, and airflow tend to be poor.

7. Use Air Purifier

Similarly, air purifiers help to decontaminate a space and can ward off dust, bacteria, and fungi. An air purifier is also useful for removing and replacing the bacteria responsible for bad smells.

8. Check for Mold

Mold can cause a foul smell in your gym, especially if you’re in the habit of leaving dirty clothes around or not cleaning off your equipment properly.

Mold takes root in moist environments and can cause an unpleasant and noticeable smell.

Check the corners of your room and your walls for black or brown dust-like specs, and if you notice the presence of mold, start a course of treatment immediately.

9. Avoid Carpets

Carpets are absolutely a nightmare to clean, especially in an environment where you produce a lot of sweat. Their hair-like structure allows the individual fibers of a carpet to hold a lot more smells—and not nice ones.

If you can, replace your carpet with something more robust suited for a home gym. If not, make sure to regularly vacuum and deep clean your carpet.

For tiles and hardwood, mop regularly with warm water and dish soap or vinegar.

10. Add Baking Soda

Baking soda is actually a great option for scent control in stinky spaces. You can use it effectively as a carpet deodorizer by placing it down, letting it sit for a while, and then vacuuming it.

It can also be used for your gym shoes and equipment when mixed with water into a solution.

11. Remove Anything that Smells Bad

Sometimes, the rubber and rust from equipment can contribute to the bad smell in your home. If you find that giving it a deep clean doesn’t seem to work, even after several rounds of treatment, it might be time to replace your old equipment.

Similarly, if you’ve not been cleaning your machines after every use, the smell might be too ingrained to remove by traditional means.

Removing these offensive objects might be the key to improving the smell of your home gym.

12. Hire Professional Cleaners

Professional cleaners are well versed in the art of eliminating odors from a location, so if you’re not able to discern the source of the smell or simply can’t get the room smelling fresher by conventional means, then it might be time to bring out the big guns and let the pros handle it.

Final Thoughts

A fresh-smelling home gym is a happy home gym. You should only be gritting your teeth when you’re lifting heavy—not when your nose catches a whiff of that bad odor you just can’t put your finger on.

If your home gym is smelly, it’s time to get started clearing out those odors and replacing them with fresh ones!

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Chief Editor
Tonya McIntosh

Hello there! My name is Tonya McIntosh, and I’m the Founder and Chief Editor of TGFFitness. I’m also a NASM-certified Nutrition Coach and Personal Trainer. With eight years of experience under my belt, I’ve found that one of the most common issues my clients struggle with is remaining consistent.

Finding your main motivator to keep going is easier said than done for Keep Reading.

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