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3 Hidden Costs of DIY Gym Cleaning (and How to Avoid Them)

Updated: Jul 10

Keeping your gym clean should be a top priority - not only for the health and safety of your members, but also for your business's reputation. While DIY cleaning may seem like a cost-saving option at first glance, it can come with some hidden expenses if not done properly.  

When you clean your own gym, you take on the responsibility of deep-cleaning workout equipment, sanitising high-touch areas like lockers and restrooms, and maintaining flooring and mirrors.

Without professional tools, training, and processes, you may end up cutting corners or missing problem spots altogether. This opens you up to dirty facilities, unhappy members, and even liability issues down the road. 


While rolling up your sleeves and cleaning yourself can save on cleaning service fees, it also requires a significant investment of your own precious time and energy. 

Gym cleaning

There are also other hidden costs of DIY cleaning to consider in terms of supplies, expertise, staffing consistency, and more. 


This article will break down the key potential drawbacks of cleaning your own gym so you can make an informed decision on whether it's the right approach for your business. We'll look at the hidden costs of DIY cleaning when it comes to time, equipment needs, know-how, safety, liability, staffing, opportunity costs, and more. Read on to learn when it pays to outsource cleaning or cleaners near you and when you might want to take it on yourself. 

1. Gym Cleaning - Time Investment


Cleaning a gym thoroughly takes a significant time investment, especially for deep cleaning tasks. Gym owners and staff often underestimate how long it takes to fully sanitise equipment, wipe down all surfaces, clean floors, take out trash, and more.  


Some key time investments to consider: 


- Cleaning equipment like weights, machines, and cardio equipment is very time consuming. Each piece needs to be thoroughly wiped down which can take 1-2 minutes per machine. For a gym with 50 pieces of equipment, that's 1-2 hours right there. 


- Floor cleaning also takes substantial time, whether sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming. A typical commercial gym may have thousands of square feet to cover. Using manual tools like mops and brooms increases the time needed. 


- Restrooms, lockers, and showers have many surfaces and fixtures to scrub and disinfect. Floors, mirrors, toilets, sinks, and more all need attention.  


- Trash removal and recycling can take 30-60 minutes per day in itself depending on volume. 


- Administrative cleaning tasks like stocking paper towels, toilet paper, and cleaning supplies also add up. 


Trying to fit thorough gym cleaning into an hour or two each day often leads to cutting corners and missing areas. Hiring professional cleaners familiar with gyms ensures the time investment needed to truly keep the facility clean. The total time commitment is often underestimated for DIY cleaning. 


2. Equipment and Supplies


Cleaning a gym properly requires having the right equipment and supplies on hand. If you try to clean the gym with just household cleaners and basic tools, you'll likely miss many areas and not fully sanitise the equipment. Here are some of the key things you'll need to purchase: 


- Industrial-strength disinfectants and cleaners: Household cleaners won't cut it for disinfecting weight benches, cardio machines, floor mats, and other high-touch areas. You'll need commercial-grade disinfectants and cleaners specifically designed for gyms. 


- Variety of brushes, mops, towels: Cleaning a gym requires an assortment of cleaning tools like scrub brushes, microfiber towels, mops, etc. You'll need the right tool for each surface and area. 


- Vacuum cleaners: From heavy-duty vacuums to clean carpets to smaller hand vacuums for machines and tight spaces, you'll need more than just a basic vacuum. 


- Cleaning cart: A dedicated cleaning cart to hold all your supplies helps keep things organised. Loading up a household cleaning caddy won't cut it.  


- Personal protective equipment: Cleaning chemicals, dust, and germs make it important to have PPE like gloves, masks, goggles, and appropriate footwear. 


As you can see, properly cleaning a gym requires a significant upfront investment in commercial-grade equipment and supplies. Doing it yourself means bearing the full brunt of these costs rather than having them covered by a professional cleaning company. 


3. Lack of Expertise 


Cleaning a gym requires specialised expertise that most people simply don't have. Professional gym cleaning services receive extensive training on proper techniques and best practices. 

They know how to thoroughly sanitise equipment, clean different types of flooring, and handle hazardous materials like cleaning chemicals safely. Without this expertise, your DIY cleaning is unlikely to meet the highest standards for safety and hygiene. 


The pros have experience identifying problem areas that amateurs would likely miss, like grime buildup in hard-to-reach spots. They also know tricks of the trade for getting superior results efficiently. 

For example, they may use colour-coded microfiber cloths to avoid cross-contamination. An amateur doing DIY cleaning lacks this specialised knowledge that comes from extensive training and experience. 


Even if you think you're doing a good job, you may be missing health hazards that a professional cleaner would catch. Proper gym cleaning goes far beyond just quickly wiping down equipment and mopping floors. 

To truly protect your members, specialised expertise is a must. Otherwise, your DIY efforts will likely fall short when it comes to thoroughly removing germs, bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants that can lead to illness. 

Don't cut corners on proper disinfection and cleaning - bring in the experts instead.


Some additional Factors:

We have mentioned three important hidden costs of DIY gym cleaning, now it’s time to discuss more factors that are in picture with these hidden costs and are very essential to consider before hiring pro’s. Here they are:

  1. Thoroughness

  2. Safety

  3. Liability

  4. Staffing Consistency

  5. Opportunity Cost

When you are planning to hire pro’s, these factors are very crucial and can be your deciding factors and without considering these factors you are not going anywhere. Happy Exploring. 



Cleaning a gym thoroughly requires attention to detail and knowledge of best practices. When gym staff take on cleaning themselves, they often miss key areas that need regular disinfecting. This puts members at risk of exposure to germs that can lead to illness. 


Some problem areas that DIY cleaners frequently overlook include: 


- Weight plates and handles on strength equipment. These high-touch surfaces accumulate sweat and skin bacteria. They need daily disinfection. 


- Yoga mats and other shared equipment. Mats should be sprayed and wiped after each use. Other accessories like foam rollers, resistance bands, etc. also need regular disinfecting. 


- Floors around equipment and high traffic areas. Germs from sweat and dirt accumulate here. Mopping floors daily is ideal. 


- Door handles, light switches, etc. These common touch points spread germs fast. 


- Showers, sinks, toilets, and lockers. Thorough scrubbing and disinfecting is essential here. 


- HVAC system. This can circulate airborne illnesses if not properly maintained.  


- Behind and under equipment. Debris and germs hide in hard-to-reach areas. 


Without deep cleaning knowledge, DIY efforts often focus only on the most visible surfaces. This leaves lingering germs in the gym environment. Hiring professional cleaners with training and standardised procedures results in far more thorough disinfection. 


 Safety to your gym members:


Cleaning a gym can pose serious safety risks if not done properly. DIY cleaning often leads to increased injuries from lifting, reaching, and using harsh chemicals. Unlike professional cleaners, DIYers are not trained on proper cleaning techniques and often take unsafe shortcuts. 


Some common safety hazards of DIY gym cleaning include: 


- Strains and sprains from repeatedly lifting heavy buckets, moving equipment, and reaching to clean high areas. Without proper form, heavy lifting and repetitive motions can easily cause painful back, shoulder and wrist injuries. 


- Chemical burns and irritation from using industrial cleaners without protective gear like gloves and goggles. Concentrated disinfectants and degreasers can cause rashes, burns, and eye damage if handled improperly.   


- Slips and falls due to wet floors or clutter left behind. Rushing through cleaning can leave behind puddles and slippery surfaces that increase the risk of falls and serious injuries. 


- Inhaling toxic fumes from chemicals. Using too much product or inadequate ventilation when cleaning with harsh chemicals can cause dizziness, headaches, and other health issues over time. 


Unlike professional cleaners, most DIYers are not trained on safe lifting methods, chemical handling, or preventing slips and falls. Taking shortcuts or ignoring safety protocols to save money can end up costing much more in the long run if injuries occur. Hiring insured professionals mitigates many of these risks. 




Keeping your gym clean yourself may seem like you're saving money, but there are hidden risks and liabilities to consider. When cleaning fitness equipment and facilities without proper training, you risk damaging expensive gear and creating unsafe conditions.  


Using the wrong chemicals or cleaning methods can degrade and corrode equipment over time. This leads to more repairs and replacements that end up costing you in the long run. Improper cleaning techniques also fail to fully sanitise equipment, putting members at risk of transmitting illnesses. 


If a member gets sick or injured from improperly cleaned facilities, it exposes your gym to liability claims and lawsuits. Even small claims can be costly to defend and negatively impact your business's reputation. 

Self-cleaning may not seem expensive upfront but the potential damage and legal liability down the road is a hidden cost many DIY cleaners overlook. 


Hiring professional cleaners mitigates these risks. They are fully trained in proper techniques and have insurance to cover any potential damage. 

While paying for cleaning services costs more initially, it protects your investments in equipment and facilities and reduces liability exposure. Considering the risks of self-cleaning, professional cleaning services are often worth the extra investment. 


 Staffing Consistency 


Cleaning a gym regularly requires consistent staffing. Relying on volunteers or asking gym members to take turns cleaning makes consistent and thorough cleaning difficult. It's hard to coordinate volunteers to clean on a set schedule every week. 

People's availability changes frequently, so there's no guarantee the same volunteers will be available consistently. This can lead to weeks when cleaning falls through the cracks because no one is available. Even with the best intentions, it's hard to stick to a cleaning routine without dedicated staffing. 


Paid staff ensure the gym gets cleaned on a set schedule. You can count on the same cleaners showing up each time. This consistency leads to better cleanliness over the long run. 

With volunteers, you may have thorough cleanings periodically when people are available, but cleanings in between will likely be sporadic. Having consistent cleaners, even if just a few hours a week, can maintain tidiness much better.  


 Opportunity Cost 


Time spent cleaning your own gym could be better spent on more valuable tasks like training clients, planning workouts, or managing the business. While DIY cleaning may seem like it saves money upfront, it often costs more in the long run when you account for the opportunity cost. 


Every hour spent scrubbing equipment or vacuuming floors is an hour that could have been invested in revenue-generating activities. 

As a gym owner or manager, your time is scarce and valuable. Spending it on basic cleaning tasks means you have less time for your core competencies. 


Outsourcing cleaning allows you to reclaim those hours and focus on what you do best - running an excellent gym. You can devote your energy to improving member experience, acquiring new customers, and growing your business. 

The investment in professional cleaners pays dividends when you can spend your time on high-impact tasks. 


Consider tracking how much time you currently spend on cleaning each week. You may be surprised at how quickly those hours add up. 

Then calculate your hourly rate to understand the true opportunity cost. The ROI of hiring cleaners often becomes clear once you account for the value of your time. 


Rather than scrubbing floors late at night after your gym closes, imagine having those extra hours for family time, exercise, planning, or rest. 

Professional cleaners handle the dirty work, while you handle the business strategy. It's a win-win situation when each party can focus on their strengths. 


 When to Hire Gym Cleaning Pros 

Professional gym cleaning services provide several benefits that are worth the additional cost for many gyms and fitness centres. While DIY cleaning can work initially, most gyms reach a point where professional services make more sense. 


Hiring pros handles the cleaning tasks so you and your staff can focus entirely on your members and running the business. This allows you to optimise your time on higher priorities. 

Gym cleaning services bring dedicated staff, expertise, and the latest tools and technology to keep your facility sparkling clean. Pro cleaning companies understand the unique needs of gyms in terms of equipment, surfaces, high traffic, and health considerations. 

They are fully insured, licensed, bonded, and background checked for safety and security. Professional teams work efficiently to clean thoroughly while minimising interference with members. 


Overall, pro gym cleaning services deliver consistency you can't match with rotating DIY staff. Your gym gains a cleaner, healthier facility and better member experience without you having to manage and oversee the cleaning process. 

Consider professional gym cleaning services when you need reliable, high-quality cleaning but want your staff focused on your core business. The investment pays dividends in member satisfaction. 


 If you are considering hiring cleaning partner’s and you want them to be reliable with high professionalism, you are at the right place. Contact our CarePlus team for more information.  


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