GYM UPHOLSTERY CARE & CLEANING
The covering on gym upholstery is made of
slightly porous vinyl fabric that is available in a wide range
colors. It is porous so that the high density foam that comprises
the inside of the cushion can breathe. As a result, perspiration
and other forms of moisture can get sucked into the pads as
air enters and leaves the upholstered pad when it is compressed
and released. Perspiration can also enter the gym pad through
fine cracks in the vinyl wrap that come from repeated use.
Therefore, it is important to keep the gym's upholstered pads
clean and dry.
For commercial gym equipment,
as preventive maintenance of gym pads, most manufacturers recommend
that the vinyl upholstery be wiped down daily with a slightly
damp cloth and dried thoroughly. Periodically, the pads should
be wiped down with a cloth that has been dipped in a mild soapy
solution and wrung out nearly as much as possible or a product
made specifically for vinyl cleaning can be used. For difficult
cases, a 5% solution of bleach often helps. These cleaning
methods are to be used on vinyl covered gym pads only, like
seat pads, back pads or flat bench pads. Do not use these methods
on black foam roll pads, the type that are often used for ankle
pads or behind the knee pads.
Never use harsh chemical
cleaners or abrasive cleansers, because they will dry out the
vinyl and cause cracking and splitting. Whatever you use, always
first try it in an inconspicuous spot like the bottom of a
seat pad to be sure it won't discolor the fabric on your gym
Replace worn gym upholstery
immediately. Torn, split or ripped vinyl can have sharp edges
that can scratch or cut skin. Pads that receive a lot of weight
in small areas, like the elbow pads on a vertical knee raise
( VKR ) position or the arm pads on a pec deck position often
allow the high density foam inside the pad to collapse from
wear before the outer covering of vinyl tears or wears through.
Gym pads in that condition are very uncomfortable to use and
cause many users to resort to unnatural body positioning when
using that station, which could result in injury.
Finally, periodically check
to make sure that the mounting hardware for the seat pads,
back pads, bench pads, etc. are in place and tight. Check to
make sure that none of the mounting bolts are missing or have
come loose. If it is necessary to replace a gym upholstery
pad mounting bolt, be sure to use one of original length. Using
one that is too long will damage the pad and using a mounting
bolt that is too short won't do the job. Also check the retaining
hardware for any roll pads that may be on the unit. Gym pads
on single station strength equipment and multi-station gyms
should always be firmly in place.
The gym upholstery cleaning
information provided here applies to home gyms, as well. The
only difference is that the frequency of periodic heavy cleaning
can be reduced.