If you are a garage gym enthusiast, then you would have put your heart, soul, and hard-earned dollars into buying the best possible equipment and creating your dream space.

The last thing you’d want is for your home gym to be ruined by pesky rust.

That’s right!

Garage gym rust is a real problem and there are some steps that must be taken to protect your equipment from succumbing to the dreaded rust.

In this post, we’ll share 5 expert tips on how to protect your garage gym from rust. Not only that, but we’ll also share some tips on how to remove rust if it does happen to strike.

But first, let’s take a look at some of the main reasons why your garage gym equipment may develop rust in the first place.

Why Does Gym Equipment Get Rusty?

There are five main reasons why your garage gym equipment such as dumbbells, barbells, plates, and the metal parts of machines may develop rust. It’s important that you know what those reasons are so you can take the necessary steps to prevent rust from happening in the first place. So here they are:

1. Moisture & Humidity

Moisture and humidity are the main culprits behind garage gym rust. When moisture in the air comes into contact with metals such as iron and steel, it can lead to rust formation.

If you live in a hot and humid climate, then your home gym equipment is more prone to rusting.

Additionally, those who live near the ocean may also be more at risk for rust due to the high levels of salt in the air. That is the reason why you see outdoor metal furniture and structures near the beach often covered in rust.

2. Lack of Maintenance

If you don’t take proper care of your garage gym equipment, it is bound to get dirty, grimy, and rusty. This is just the nature of the beast.

Those dumbbells, benches, bars, and racks require regular maintenance in order to stay in tip-top shape.

Unlike commercial gyms where equipment is regularly maintained and cleaned by the staff, you’ll need to do all that yourself.

It might be a little time-consuming but trust us, it will be time well spent!

3. Temperature

A hot climate when mixed with humid air makes your gym equipment more susceptible to rust. Additionally, if your garage gym isn’t properly ventilated or if it gets too hot due to a lack of air conditioning, then your equipment will be at a higher risk of rust formation.

Not only that, but sudden temperature changes can also cause condensation on your equipment and lead to rust.

4. Sweat

If you aren’t sweating profusely, are you even really working out?

Sweating is great for the body but not so much for your garage gym equipment.

The sweat that builds up on your equipment can lead to rust formation if not properly cleaned and dried off.

The sweat also contains salt which can speed up the rusting process.

5. Type of Equipment

The type and quality of your garage gym equipment also plays a role in rust formation.

Cheaper equipment that has not been treated to resist corrosion will be more prone to rusting compared to higher-quality equipment.

And as mentioned earlier, equipment made of iron and steel is more susceptible to rust compared to equipment made of other materials such as plastic or rubber.

How to Keep Gym Equipment from Rusting?

Now that we understand the main reasons behind garage gym rust, let’s dive into our 5 expert tips on how to protect your garage gym equipment from rust:

1. Clean it Regularly

First and foremost, it’s important to clean and maintain your garage gym equipment regularly.

This means wiping down equipment after each use, cleaning the floor and any surfaces, and properly storing equipment when not in use.

Make sure to also clean the nooks and crannies where moisture, dirt, and grime can build up.

Be sure to check out our Top 5 Tips on How to Keep a Garage Gym Clean.

2. Invest in a Dehumidifier

Having a dehumidifier in your home gym can help to control the moisture and humidity levels in the air which will prevent rust formation.

If you live in a hot and humid climate, investing in a dehumidifier is a must for your home gym.

There are many dehumidifiers available on the market, so make sure to do your research and find one that’s suitable for the climate and the size of your home gym.

3. Consider an Anti-rust Coating

Most of the quality gym equipment already has a coating to prevent rust formation, but it never hurts to give it that extra layer of protection.

You can find various anti-rust sprays and coatings (such as Rust-Oleum) for gym equipment online or at your local hardware store.

Applying the coating is easy, simply spray it over the equipment as per the instruction and wait for it to dry before using the equipment again.

4. Ensure Proper Ventilation

Although keeping the door and windows of your home gym open at all times may not be a good idea, opening them for a couple of hours every day, especially during, and a few minutes after your workout can help to control moisture levels and prevent rust formation.

Ventilation will also get rid of bad smells and keep the air circulating.

5. Invest in a Fan or an Air Conditioner

If your garage gym lacks proper ventilation, consider installing fans or an air conditioner.

This will help to keep the temperature in a comfortable range and also control humidity levels.

Not only will it prevent rust formation on your gym equipment, but it will also make for a more enjoyable workout experience.

Be sure to also check out our 15 Tips to Keep Your Garage Gym Cool in Summer.

How to Remove Rust from Gym Equipment

The above steps will help protect your garage gym equipment from rust, but what if it’s already too late and your equipment has some rust spots?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Follow the below steps to rid your garage gym equipment of any rust:

Items You Need:

  • Wire brush
  • 3 in One Oil
  • Rust-Oleum or another anti-rust spray
  • Vinegar or Phosphoric Acid
  • Bucket
  • A few towels
  • Plastic sheet (large enough to cover the area where you will be working)
  • Mask & goggles (Optional)

The Process:

  1. Take out all the garage gym equipment that has rust spots and place them in your backyard over a plastic sheet. This will ensure that you have enough space to work and also protect your garage floor or any surrounding surfaces from getting stained. De-assemble the dumbbells and other equipment if possible.
  2. Using the wire brush, scrub off as much rust as possible. Make sure to be gentle with the equipment and not scratch or damage it in any way.
  3. Next, apply some 3-in-one oil to the equipment. This will help to loosen any remaining rust.
  4. Repeat the scrubbing process with the wire brush. You might need to repeat the process of applying oil and scrubbing a few times to fully remove the rust. Once all the rust has been removed, you can apply an anti-rust coating for extra protection.
  5. If there are still stubborn rust spots left, you can use vinegar or phosphoric acid to remove them.
  6. Mix one part vinegar with one part water in a bucket.
  7. Now, put your rusty dumbbells, plates, or any other small pieces of equipment in the bucket.
  8. Leave them to soak for a few hours or overnight before scrubbing off the rust using the wire brush.
  9. For any larger equipment that cannot be soaked, you can use a towel to apply the vinegar solution, leave it on for a few hours, then scrub away the rust with the wire brush.

By following these steps, your rusty gym equipment will be as good as new!

Is it OK to Keep a Treadmill in Hot Garage?

It is completely fine to keep and keep a treadmill or other cardio equipment in your garage, but it is important to keep the garage at a comfortable temperature (ideally between 10-35 degrees Celcius) to prevent damage to the equipment.

You can achieve this by properly ventilating the garage and installing fans or an air conditioner if necessary.

Additionally, it is important that you clean and maintain the treadmill regularly to prevent rust formation. Keeping it covered when not in use is also helpful in protecting it from moisture and potential rusting.

Overall, as long as you take proper care of your garage gym, keeping a treadmill in your garage should not be a problem.

Final Thoughts

Rust can be a pesky issue in garage gyms, but with proper preventative care and removal techniques, you can ensure that your equipment stays rust-free and in top shape for your workouts.

Don’t let rust ruin all the hard work you put into building your garage gym, stay on top of maintenance and enjoy a rust-free workout space.

Happy lifting!

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