A treadmill is a great way to exercise at home but requires regular maintenance and cleaning to keep it in good shape. Dirt, dust, sweat, and oil can build up on the treadmill over time, affecting its performance and lifespan. This article will show you how to clean a treadmill using simple tools and products and how to properly and safely lubricate its belt. Follow these steps to keep your treadmill running smoothly and hygienically.
How often to clean the treadmill?
According to various sources, you should clean your treadmill after every use and vacuum the area around and underneath it at least once a week. I get more out of my treadmill workout by cleaning it as well as a part of my workout regimen, so it’s a win-win situation.
It would be best to lubricate the belt once a year or more often, depending on the frequency and amount of use. Also, check for signs of wear and tear on the belt and deck weekly and ensure the belt is centered and straight. To clean the inside of the treadmill, unplug it, remove the motor cover once a month, and vacuum the dust and dirt around the motor and under the belt.
How to center the treadmill belt?
To center the belt, you need to find the screws at the back of the treadmill near the roller axle and use an Allen wrench to adjust them. You can do this while the treadmill is on or off, but unplug it if it’s off.
If the belt drifts to the left, tighten the left screw and loosen the right screw. If the belt drifts to the right, tighten the right screw and loosen the left screw. Turn each screw no more than a quarter turn at a time and adjust both screws equally.
Benefits of lubricating the belt regularly
There are some benefits of lubricating the belt regularly, and not doing so is a mistake most of us make every day.
- Extends the lifespan of the treadmill by reducing the wear and tear on the belt, deck, motor, and controller.
- Makes your exercise smoother by preventing the belt from moving unpredictably or slipping under your feet.
- Prevents noise by reducing the friction and squeaking between the belt and deck.
- Saves energy by allowing the motor to work more efficiently and consume less electricity.
How do I know that the treadmill belt needs lubrication now?
There are some signs that your treadmill belt needs lubrication now. Check under the belt by lifting it up and feeling if it is oily or waxy. If it is not, then it needs lubrication. Listen to the treadmill while running. Any squeaking or loud noises indicate friction.
Another sign is if the belt feels slippery or sticky when you walk or run on it. A good rule of thumb is to lubricate the belt every 6 to 12 months, or after every 100 hours, depending on how often you use the treadmill and what the manufacturer recommends.
How to lubricate the treadmill belt?
To lubricate the belt, unplug the treadmill from the power source, cover the floor with towels or paper to avoid spills, and loosen the belt if it is too tight. Then, lift the edge of the belt and apply 100 percent silicone lubricant underneath the center of the belt where your feet would be. You can use a spray bottle or a nozzle to squirt the lubricant.
Apply a half ounce to an ounce of lubricant, three large splashes, or 1 oz (2 oz for a new belt), depending on your product. After applying the lubricant, you must run the treadmill for 3-5 minutes at 3 mph to disperse it evenly. You should also wipe the treadmill down after each use to keep it clean and dry.
You can buy silicone lubricant for treadmills from various online or physical stores. Some examples are Amazon, Home Depot, Walmart, Target, etc. Look for 100-percent silicone lubricant specifically designed for treadmill belts. Check the product reviews and ratings before buying to ensure quality and compatibility with your treadmill model.
Do not use any other type of lubricant for your treadmill belt except for a 100-percent silicone lubricant designed for treadmill belts. This type of lubricant contains no oil and will not clog the bearings or belts. It can come as a spray or liquid and is compatible with a wide range of treadmills. It reduces friction and noise and extends belt and motor life. You should avoid using any other type of lubricant, such as WD-40, petroleum-based oils, or household products, as they can damage the belt and the treadmill.
Risks of not lubricating the treadmill belt
There are some risks of not lubricating the belt regularly. Some of them are:
- It can cause motor and controller burnout by increasing friction and stress.
- It can lead to premature belt degradation and delamination of the board by wearing them out faster.
- It can make your exercise less smooth and comfortable, causing the belt to move unpredictably or slip under your feet.
- It can increase energy consumption and cost by making the motor work harder and consume more electricity.
How to clean a treadmill?
1. Unplug the treadmill and remove any accessories
Before cleaning your treadmill, unplug it from the power source and remove any accessories, such as water bottles, headphones, or heart rate monitors. This will prevent any electrical shocks or damage to the machine or yourself. You can also move the treadmill away from the wall or any furniture to have more space to work.
2. Wipe down the console and handrails
The console and handrails are the parts of the treadmill that you touch the most, so they can get dirty and sticky from your sweat and oil. Use a soft cloth dampened with some electronic cleaner or mild soap and water to clean them. Gently wipe down the console and handrails, avoiding any buttons or screens. You can also use disinfectant cleaner to sanitize these parts and kill germs or bacteria.
3. Vacuum under and around the treadmill
Dirt and dust can accumulate under and around the treadmill, especially if you have pets or carpeted floors. To clean these areas, use a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment and suck up any debris or hair you see. You can also lift up the edges of the belt and vacuum underneath it, as well as the sides of the deck. Be careful not to damage the belt or deck with the vacuum nozzle.
4. Clean the top of the belt and deck
The belt and deck are the parts of the treadmill that you run on, so they can get worn out and dirty from your shoes and sweat. To clean them, use a dry cloth to wipe off any loose dirt or dust. Then, use a damp cloth with some mild soap and water or a specialized treadmill cleaner to scrub the surface of the belt and deck. Ensure you don’t soak the belt or deck with too much water or cleaner, which can cause damage or corrosion.
5. Lubricate the belt and deck
Lubricating the belt and deck reduces friction and prevents motor overheating. It also helps extend the life of your treadmill and makes it run more smoothly. To lubricate your treadmill belt, follow your owner’s manual instructions or use a silicone-based spray or wax compatible with your machine. Lift up one side of the belt and apply a thin layer of lubricant to the top of the deck. Repeat on the other side of the belt. Then, plug in your treadmill and run it for a few minutes at a low speed to spread the lubricant evenly.
6. Clean the motor compartment
The motor compartment is located under the hood of your treadmill, usually at the front of the machine. It contains the motor, wires, fans, and other components that power your treadmill. To clean it, unplug your treadmill again and remove the screws that secure the hood. Carefully lift off the hood and set it aside. Then, use a soft brush or a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to remove dust or dirt inside the compartment. Be gentle and avoid touching wires or parts with your hands or tools.
Cleaning your treadmill regularly is essential to keep it in good working condition and prevent any problems or malfunctions. Following these simple steps, you can clean your treadmill easily and safely at home. Always unplug your treadmill before cleaning it, and use only products suitable for your machine. By doing so, you can enjoy your treadmill for many years.