Here’s How To Clean Your Treadmill The Right Way

Cleaning your treadmill helps increase the lifespan of the machine and makes it much nicer to use. That makes it worth spending a few minutes a day on it and here’s how you do it.

A treadmill should be wiped down after every workout. On top of that, it’s necessary to clean a bit more carefully once a week while every half year you should do a deep clean.

A sweaty treadmill is not very nice to use. Cleaning is the solution but what is the right way to do it? It’s not rocket science but there are a few things you should keep in mind;

Treadmill Cleaning After Every Workout

Image of a person wiping down a treadmill
Regular cleaning and wiping down sweat after running will help keep your treadmill in shape.

After every workout, the best thing you can do is simply wipe down your treadmill. Use a microfiber cloth and wipe off all the surfaces you touched and any place sweat dropped. This takes 30 seconds but makes a big difference in the lifespan and looks of your treadmill after a few years.

Spraying a cleaning solution on the microfiber cloth before wiping helps remove even more dirt and sweat.

Looking for a high quality treadmill? Click here to find my favorite treadmill for a home gym and why.

Once a Week

Once a week, you should clean your treadmill and space around it a bit more.

What you need:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Cloth
  • Bucket with water and mild detergent

How to do it:

  • Unplug the treadmill from the wall socket. Cleaning requires a little water. Combining water and electronics is not a great idea even if you shouldn’t use enough water to ever reach the electronics, it’s a possibility.
  • Vacuum the area around and under the treadmill. This prevents dust from immediately landing on the treadmill again after cleaning it.
  • Start with vacuuming all the dust and debris off the machine. Everything you can get off without using water is good. A vacuum cleaner also helps you get dust and debris out of creases and crevices that are hard to get to otherwise.
  • Dip the microfiber cloth in the bucket with detergent and wring it out so it’s not too wet. Make sure the cloth is just damp so water doesn’t get into the treadmill. Water in the wrong places can cause a whole host of problems.
  • Wipe down all the surfaces you can get to.
  • If your treadmill has a big display, using screen wipes can help you clean it without leaving streaks.
  • After cleaning, make sure the space is well-ventilated. This way the moisture left on (and possibly in) the treadmill has the best chance of evaporating.

Cleaning The Treadmill Belt

The belt needs a bit of special attention after you’ve cleaned the rest of the treadmill. It’s the spot that collects the most sweat so it has to be cleaned carefully.

This assumes you already cleaned and vacuumed the rest of the treadmill.

Here’s how to clean a treadmill belt:

  • Take a damp cloth
  • Lightly scrub the part of the belt that’s visible.
  • Dry the belt with another (dry) lint-free cloth
  • Let the belt air-dry
  • Turn the belt by hand so the next part is visible
  • Repeat until the belt is clean.

It’s not difficult but it takes a bit of time.

Every 6 Months To One Year

On top of the cleaning mentioned above, it’s a good idea to clean at an even deeper level every 6 months to a year.

Unplug the treadmills and remove the plastic covers around the motor. Then carefully vacuum all the dust and dirt buildup that’s hiding under these covers. Just use a vacuum, don’t use any water. Also, be careful to not bump into any exposed electrical components.

If you let the dust build-up under the covers, it gets into the moving parts and increases the wear rate. On top of that, dust reduces the cooling capacity of the motor. That speeds up wear and tear and can even cause overheating.

Here are some more general tips and basics that will help keep your treadmill in good shape.


If too much water is used, you run the risk that mold builds up in certain spaces. Especially if liquid got into the treadmill. That’s why using less water and ventilating after cleaning is important.

If you notice mold forming, don’t use aggressive chemicals to remove it. The materials can’t handle them. Just wipe the mold off as best you can. Then, to remove any spores, wipe the area down with diluted vinegar. That should take care of it.

Using lubricant in the locations where you can (see above), will greatly reduce the chance that mold grows in those spots. Lubricants are chemical products that molds don’t really like.

In very humid climates, mold can just form even if everything is done right otherwise. Basements are often very humid and prone to mold growing for example. If that’s the case for you, you can do two things.

  • You can move the treadmill to another space that has lower humidity.
  • You can lower the humidity in the space. Better ventilation is good but air-conditioning would be perfect for this reason.

Suggested post: The full guide to home gym air quality.

Why Clean a Treadmill?

Treadmills are workout equipment and they make you sweat. Sweat can deteriorate the plastics and belt quickly and it’s just nasty not to clean it.

Another reason why you should take treadmill cleaning seriously is that dust and dirt buildup can affect the cooling of the motor and increase the friction which leads to more wear and tear. Nobody want’s to do more repairs or replace their treadmill faster than necessary, they’re expensive!


Hey, I'm Matt. Welcome to After working out in many different gyms for almost 20 years and helping people build their own home gyms, i've learned a few things i'd like to share with you.

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