Owning a gym or studio means that cleaning duties consist of more than just wiping down a few countertops at the end of the day. From floors and mirrors to benches and yoga mats, there’s always something that needs to be swept, sprayed and sanitized. Keeping your facility clean plays a larger role than just creating an aesthetically pleasing environment; it’s a significant factor in customer retention and satisfaction, and it ensures an element of safety for you, your staff and your clientele.

But how the cleaning gets done or who gets it done can vary tremendously depending on factors like the size of your operation, your available resources and staffing. Is it more practical for you to hire a professional cleaning service, or are you capable of managing this aspect of business yourself? Whether you’re new to the fitness industry and looking for some solid sanitizing guidelines, or you’re just trying to spruce up your own cleaning routine — read on for advice about your facility, no matter the size.

Clean regularly — and correctly

When it comes to frequency, cadence counts — and cleaning should be part of your daily routine. Think of your facility like a hotel. Even five-star hotel service will go to waste if guests are complaining about the cleanliness of their rooms. The same goes for the fitness industry. No matter how great your classes, trainers or customer service, clients want to know that the equipment they’re touching or the locker rooms they’re changing in are sanitized and safe for them to use. Cleaning every now and then or merely relying on fitness goers to sanitize their own equipment with a wipe after use may not cut it — fitness spaces can accumulate a lot of bacteria.

Disinfecting equipment, i.e. benches, mirrors, machines, etc. should be done every day, and more than once in most occasions. Sweeping the floors, emptying trash and ensuring locker rooms and bathrooms are sanitized are other daily cleaning duties to fulfill, too. More intensive cleaning like mopping or steaming floors and deep cleaning bathrooms can be done on a bi-weekly or on an as-needed basis dependant on the volume of traffic at your gym or studio.

Secondly, using the right type of disinfectant is vital to the safety of everyone entering your facility. You need a spray or cleaner that can properly and efficiently kill harmful bacteria like MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) and is also safe enough for human contact. While there’s no shortage of disinfectants on the market that can conquer both of these challenges, they tend to be a bit pricey. Buying in bulk when possible can help you alleviate some of this cost for your business.

And as a note, for yoga or Pilates studio owners who are trying to avoid the smells and chemicals incorporated with these types of cleansers, there are all-natural, less potent options at higher price points. If maintaining a certain natural balance in your facility is important to you as a business owner, these cleaners are worth the investment.

Bottom line, maintaining a regular cleaning schedule using the proper materials is the most important part of keeping your facility safe and sanitized. Don’t think you have the time to do all of that? An outsourced contractor might be the best route for your business.

In-house cleaning vs. contracting

Here are a few things to consider when it comes to hiring a cleaning service or managing this task yourself.

In-house:

  • There’s more flexibility when it’s just you and/or your staff keeping up with the cleaning. Whether it’s early morning, late night or throughout the day, when you take on this responsibility yourself, you’re not at the mercy of setting a schedule with a cleaning service, especially if your gym or studio regularly has class changes or varying hours.
  • Security is also a factor for leaving the cleaning in-house. As an owner, knowing who is at your facility after hours or before the doors open can give you peace of mind. These people are also more likely to have enough familiarity with your business that they will know what areas need the most attention.
  • Cost savings is probably the biggest win for keeping your cleaning in-house. While these services can be of great value to you and your business, they do come with a price. If your schedule permits and you have the resources, putting the work in yourself or paying employees the extra hours might be a better play for your operation financially.

Hiring a crew:

  • With an outsourced service, all of the equipment, cleaning solutions and other products used for cleaning are purchased by that business or contractor. These people are often able to purchase supplies in bulk at reduced prices. These savings can be included in the hired team’s charges — resulting in a cost savings for your business, and not to mention it keeps you from worrying about buying the right cleaner.
  • Contractors are also responsible for purchasing disinfectant that meets OSHA and EPA regulations. This will leave one less responsibility for you to worry about, and it keeps your clients safe from bacteria that can spread illness.
  • Liability is another factor that could have you can considering hiring a cleaning service. Outsourced providers usually have a standardized training program, provide supervision as needed and are typically insured and bonded, so accidents and injuries won’t fall back on your business.

At the end of the day, whether you’re hiring a service or doing it yourself, the most important aspect of cleaning your gym or studio is that it’s getting done — and it’s getting done right. In this industry, there’s no room to overlook or take shortcuts on this crucial detail of business. A clean gym makes happy customers, and happy customers are always good for business.

Want more information on maintaining your fitness facility? Don’t forget to subscribe to the After Class newsletter for updates on facilities management, business owner insights and more. To learn more about what ClassPass can do for your fitness venue, contact our team today.