How To Keep Weights From Rusting In Garage

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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


how to keep weights from rusting in garage

Garage gym equipment, especially weights, can be prone to rust. However, you can help to prevent rust from forming on your weights by reducing the conditions that cause rust to form, so they stay in top shape.

But, How do you keep weights from rusting in your garage?

Keeping your weights from rusting in your garage gym is possible with thorough planning, proper cleaning protocols, and a little effort. Your garage gym’s moisture levels and air circulation will either help or hinder rust development, so taking the right measures to keep moisture at bay is essential.

The good news is that making your garage gym a suitable space for all your equipment, including your weights, only requires a little additional investment and some routine maintenance.

Why Are My Weights Rusting?

Weights Rusting on the floor

Weights can rust if they are made of iron or steel and kept in a warm atmosphere. 

This warm environment, without enough air circulation and the potential for moisture buildup, can cause any metal gym equipment to rust over time. This is especially true if you fail to properly clean your weights.

There are a variety of factors that cause weights and equipment to rust. A combination of water, oxygen, and chloride – from your sweat – all create chemical damage to your steel and metal gym equipment. 

As the coating wears down and any scratches or dents occur, that moisture and those chemicals can seep into your equipment and cause internal rust.

Is Sweat The Cause Of My Equipment Rusting?

Sweat is one of the most common causes of rusting equipment. Of course, sweat is unavoidable, so how you deal with sweat will be crucial to avoiding rusty weights.

Sweat is so harmful to exposed metal because it contains sodium chloride and salt, which are both very good at causing rust.

Does Humidity Cause Your Equipment To Rust?

Humidity can also contribute to rusty gym equipment because an excess of moisture in your garage can cause rust.

Unless you have a central air system you can run through your gym, you’ll need another way to circulate air in and out of your garage.

It is important to consider where you live and the climate; the more humid conditions you experience, the worse off your equipment may be.

Preventing Rust on Gym Equipment: What You Need to Know

group of weight equipment on the floor

You can’t change the weather, and you can’t stop yourself from sweating, but you can prevent rust from permanently damaging your home gym.

As much as you can, you want to try and gain control over the air quality in your garage.

There are cost-effective ways to manage this without doing much physical labor.

Additionally, maintaining the integrity of your equipment will work tremendously at reducing the chances of rust damage.

Keeping your gym clean is not the only thing you need to do, but all the equipment should be arranged smartly, making it easy to find everything.

Choose The Right Garage Gym Equipment

Rust isn’t necessarily a sign that your equipment is bad quality; it can happen even to high-grade equipment.

That said, going cheap when it comes to things like weights and bars that you want to be able to use for years isn’t the best choice.

Shop smart and look for equipment that has some decent coating on it and is made with good construction.

Anything without a coating isn’t likely to survive for long in a garage. Even if you spend more on good materials and coatings, your investment will pay off when you maintain it properly over time.

You can find some equipment that is just as effective that isn’t made of iron or steel.

For things that aren’t replaceable with rust-free material, your best course of action is to choose equipment that is easy to keep clean and stored.

In addition, make sure your gym is designed to eliminate as many rust-causing conditions as possible.

Keep Your Equipment Clean

Keeping equipment clean is more than just disinfecting it. Use gym-safe soap and wet & dry cloth to clean your gym equipment daily

Even if you wear gloves or use chalk when weightlifting, you still need to clean your weights after every use. When spraying your equipment, ensure you completely dry it (allow it to air dry as well) after it is sprayed. 

It would help if you also made it a priority to clean your steel equipment at least monthly with oil and a nylon brush. 

You can purchase a special three-in-one oil to keep your weights, barbells, and other steel-based tools in top shape. 

All you do is wipe each piece with the oil, let it sit for a few minutes, then brush it in with your nylon brush. 

Maintaining Proper Storage

Proper Storage of weight equipments

There should be storage for some equipment, such as weights, and you should use that storage constantly. 

For instance, after using your weight/bumper plates, remember to return them to their proper places after cleaning instead of leaving them on the bar. 

Moreover, Weights should never be left on the garage floor or against the wall, as this can lead to damage. 

There are several ways to store your weights and accessories for weightlifting. A rack designed specifically for your weights works best; just make sure you keep that rack clean as well as your weights.  

There are also hooks and holders designed to hold weights in place for storage purposes in case you don’t have the space for a barbell or weight rack.

Get Rid Of The Humidity

The combination of humidity and gym equipment is not a good one. Humidity not only causes gym equipment to rust but can also foster the growth of many health hazards, such as bacteria and mold.

As you’re working up a sweat in your garage gym, you’re adding to the heat and moisture in the air.

Coupled with the humidity, this can cause a lot of damage to your garage gym, even if it’s not noticeable right away.

A dehumidifier can greatly help increase the air quality of your garage gym by reducing the humidity to around 40%.

Once humidity gets above 50 to 60 percent, your equipment will be at risk.

Having an air purifier and a dehumidifier can help keep the air clean while your dehumidifier works on cutting down the moisture in the air.


Depending on your particular setup, having central air or a dehumidifier might not always be an option.

Thankfully there are other ways you can increase ventilation to reduce humidity levels.

You’ll also find that proper ventilation makes the entire environment of your home gym much less stuffy and full of dust.

Having fans in your garage can be helpful and can also offer you some relief as you’re working out.

Furthermore, you can open your door when it’s not too hot outside as you’re working out. It’s also recommended that you keep your garage door open after your workout to let the air circulate.

If needed, you can also have an exhaust fan installed in your garage gym, along with an air inlet.

Air conditioning can also be extremely helpful, though it comes at a cost.

No matter how you choose to ventilate your garage, doing so is important for keeping the air safe. Even something as simple as installing a window and opening it can make a huge difference.

Insulate And Seal Your Garage

If humid conditions and excess moisture are constants in your garage gym because of the climate in your area, it’s worth insulating and sealing your garage gym.

This will help you a long way when it comes to regulating the temperature in your garage, which can ultimately help you control humidity and moisture levels.

Insulation and proper sealing can also help prevent leaks or water entering from outside during inclement weather.

This is especially important if you live in a particularly rainy or snowy area.

Proper Maintenance is Essential

It is important to keep your equipment clean and properly maintained. \

You should avoid misusing your weights or leaving them on the floor at the end of a workout. 

Anything that can cause little chips or cracks should be avoided as much as possible. You’d be surprised at how rust and mold can develop in those little cracks or dents, especially if you’re not thoroughly cleaning them.

If you uncover any dents or cracks in your weights, you’ll want to apply some rust paint.

 This can help fill in those cracks and add another protective layer to your weights, which can help avoid rust getting into those nooks and crannies. 

Make Sure Your Equipment Has A Strong Coating

Most kinds of barbells, weights, and other steel gym equipment will have some form of coating.

The best coating to stand up against rust damage is either stainless steel, ceramic, or cerakote.

However, the coating is not impervious, especially if you’re not taking care of your equipment.

What coating can do, however, is give your pieces a protective layer to protect the iron or other material from that moisture and anything else that could cause rust and other unsavory buildups.

How Important Is The Coating On Your Weights?

Important of Coating On Weights

It’s not something that is often considered before buying weights, but the coating is important if you want to avoid rust.

While the coating on the weights cannot prevent rust completely, it can make some difference when paired with other prevention methods.

Still, eventually, sweat, moisture from humidity, friction, and dirt or chalk will seep through that coating.

Final Thoughts

Keeping your weights from rusting in your garage is going to require some effort on your end.

However, it will become a habit once you make these recommendations a part of your at-home workout regimen.

It’s better to invest time into taking care of your equipment so you don’t have to invest money into replacing them.

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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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