Prevent Home Gym Equipment Rust and Corrosion

It appears the home fitness boom is here to stay, which also means there are going to be many who will need to know how to prevent home gym equipment rust and corrosion.

When pandemic-related lockdowns took effect last year, the home fitness industry took off like wildfire, with people dropping dollars on everything from $20 yoga mats to $4,000 cardio machines. Revenue of home health equipment more than doubled. Sales of treadmills spiked nearly 140 percent. Stationary bike sales tripled. Such sales have endured through the seasons.

Gym equipment rust and corrosion can occur in basements and garages under the right conditions, particularly in garages because they aren’t often sealed and insulated as well as other indoor structures. The two greatest catalysts for gym equipment rust are:

  • High humidity (including sweat).
  • Improper maintenance.

The good news is that rust of gym equipment, particularly weights, can be prevented with proper maintenance and storage.

What Causes Home Gym Equipment Rust and Corrosion

The primary catalyst for rust and corrosion of any metal component is water. Rust is a chemical process that involves iron/iron alloys, oxygen and water. Often, “water” exposure occurs at the molecular level, causing a destructive oxide compound that causes rust and corrosion of barbells, plates, racks and bikes.

Chloride can expedite the process. In the world of rust prevention, we point to saltwater or road salts (sodium chlorides) as the most obvious examples of expedited chloride corrosion. When we’re talking about gym equipment rust, however, the main culprit is sweat.

Sodium chloride is contained in sweat, and research has shown definitively that it can exacerbate the risk of metal rust and corrosion.

In addition to impacting metals, sweat and body oils can break down the finishes on upholstery, especially if it isn’t wiped down between uses. (Wipe-down is important to make sure corrosive elements aren’t sitting overnight or for any extended period of time.)

Something else that doesn’t help when you store your gym equipment in the garage is relative humidity. Humidity hangs in the air if you’re working out in an enclosed space. At the very least, air out the space after a workout. A dehumidifier can help too. However, depending on the type of equipment, these measures might not be enough. This is why you may want to consider taking additional measures to prevent home gym equipment rust and corrosion.

How VCI Technology May Help Reduce Sports Equipment Rust

Whether we’re talking about barbells or bikes or golf clubs, Zerust has solutions to help protect sports equipment from rust. Zerust vapor corrosion inhibiting (VCI) technology works by attaching a molecular layer of protection in an enclosed space where the metal item is stored. Varying time lengths of protection depend on the VCI anti-rust product you choose.

The exact approach will depend on the type of equipment you have.

For barbells or other weight equipment that can be stored in a closet or drawer, you might consider using:

  • Drawer liners. These VCI rust prevention panels are made with heavy-duty, non-slip rubber. They can be cut to size, prevent your weights from slipping or denting, are fire retardant and easy to wipe clean. They offer up to five years of rust prevention.
  • Rust prevention vapor capsules. These can be used if you store your weights and other equipment in a closet, box or shed. Two of the larger capsules will protect a two-foot space for up to two years. They’re sold in packs of 10 for less than $60.

For something like an exercise bicycle, you might look at:

The bottom line is if you’ve invested in a home exercise setup, you have a vested interested in home gym equipment rust prevention. We can help.

Contact Zerust for information on bicycle covers and bike rust prevention by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.

Additional Resources:

The pandemic’s home-workout revolution may be here to stay, Jan. 7, 2021, By Hamza Shaban, The Washington Post

More Blog Entries:

Stop Bicycle Rust and Corrosion in Its Tracks With Zerust Bicycle Cover, June 21, 2021, Zerust Home Gym Equipment Rust Prevention Blog