How To Store Your Barbells + Best Storage Solutions

Looking to keep your barbells safe and sound? Curious about the optimal storage solution? Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast with a collection of bars or just starting your gym setup, storing your barbells correctly is the key to longevity.

The most effective method for storing barbells involves keeping them clean and horizontally positioned on a rack. Storing them horizontally not only safeguards their spinning sleeves’ bearings but also keeps them safer from impacts. Additionally, it’s important to choose a storage space with relatively low humidity levels to prevent potential corrosion.

But why does a clean and horizontal storage approach work better for your barbell? The reasons behind this, along with more insightful details, are waiting for you below. Let’s explore the nuances of effective barbell storage to ensure your gym equipment remains in prime condition.

How To Store Your Barbells

You might be wondering if it matters at all how and where you store your barbells. Do storage conditions matter for something that’s just a metal bar?

Yes, they do. The biggest reason why storage matters is because it impacts how long your bar stays in good condition. Storing them in the wrong conditions can cause the barbell to corrode, bend and degrade quicker than it should. However, with some simple care and tips, your barbells can survive for decades.

Potential problems with storing barbells incorrectly:

  • Corrosion: Corrosion is a big problem for barbells, especially bare steel ones. It can degrade your barbell quickly.
  • Damage: A barbell stored the wrong way can be damaged more easily.

That means that even though it’s just a piece of steel, you can still make some mistakes when storing your barbells.

Here are 4 things that are important for barbell storage;

  • Cleanliness is Key: Irrespective of your storage duration, ensure your barbell is meticulously clean and dry before it takes its storage spot. Let this principle be etched in your memory as a steadfast rule of thumb.
  • Environmental Awareness: Beware of high humidity levels that can accelerate rust on not only your barbell but also other gym equipment. While indoor setups typically dodge this issue, it’s a factor to reckon with, particularly in garages or basements.
  • Strategic Placement: Store your barbells in a manner that steers clear of hindrances and reduces the risk of toppling. A safe haven is essential to ward off unwelcome accidents.
  • Horizontal vs. Vertical: Opt for horizontal storage for the spinning sleeves’ bearings; a concern more pertinent to lower-quality bars. Even so, premium barbell manufacturers often recommend vertical storage, hinting at its potential significance.

Tip: If you want a barbell that’s really low maintenance, get one that’s stainless steel or ceramic coated. Those are pretty much rust-proof but cost more.

Take a look at this article that rates barbell coatings for corrosion resistance and more.

1. Clean and Dry Your Barbell

Preserving the pristine condition of your barbell isn’t rocket science—it’s a blend of two fundamental steps: diligent cleaning and ensuring dryness before storage.

Sweat: A Silent Culprit

There’s something you should know about sweat. It’s more than just a workout byproduct—it wields the power to wreak havoc on your barbell’s surface. Sweat is actually more corrosive than just plain water and it can strip paint and coatings at an alarming pace.

And when your coating is gone, the bare metal rusts even faster.

A quick way to circumvent this is by cleaning your barbell post each workout. A wipe-down efficiently rids the bar of most sweat and fluids.

For deeper cleaning, a gentle application of mild soap combined with a soft brush is the way to go. This ensures that skin particles and stubborn grime, that a quick wipe down doesn’t take care of are cleaned. This should be done every week depending on use.

Beyond Aesthetic: Hygiene Matters

As sweat, oils, and residue from your hands settle within the knurling, it turns into a breeding ground for bad stuff. To promote hygiene, apart from aesthetics, keeping your bars clean is a good choice.


Once your barbell is clean, don’t rush to put it in a tiny closet. Letting it dry properly and quickly is important. A wipe with a dry cloth and then a minute of air drying should be plenty.


For barbells lacking robust anti-corrosive coatings (which can wear off over time), applying a whisper-thin coat of 3-in-1 oil helps prevent rust.

By simply cleaning and drying your barbell regularly, you dramatically increase the longevity of your barbell.

2. Atmosphere and Humidity

The room’s environment where you keep your barbell has a big impact on corrosion speed. Humidity, in particular, plays a large role. Given that barbells are made of steel, rust is always a threat. As humidity rises, so does the likelihood of corrosion.

This is where factors such as the barbell’s finish also come into play. If you’re dealing with bare steel, corrosion can set in quickly, even in relatively dry surroundings. However, most barbells have some form of protection.

Zinc or oxide coatings offer decent defense against corrosion, albeit with a lifespan. Chrome, and ceramic coatings are even better. Choosing a stainless steel barbell completely eliminates corrosion., as the steel itself is immune to corrosion.

While controlling gym humidity isn’t always possible, opening doors and windows regularly already helps quite a bit. A dehumidifier would be perfect if your gym gets very humid.

When humidity isn’t something you can control, selecting a barbell with solid corrosion protection proves wise. Especially spaces like garages and basements, often less insulated, can have higher humidity levels.

3. Safe Location

One of the easiest ways to bend or otherwise damage a bar is to drop it on a sharp edge (especially if the bar is loaded) or let something fall on it accidentally. That’s why the place you store them is important. Sure, 99% of the time nothing will happen. It’s always that 1% that makes you wish you would’ve done something else.

Keep your stored bars out of the way where you’re working with other weights. Maybe one day you’ll fail a rep and you drop your weights, and now you’ve damaged your other $300 barbell.

Just keep them out of the way of things that can fall on them and the chances of damage go down dramatically. Usually, this means simply storing them anywhere that’s not on the floor or leaned against the wall in a corner.

If you use a separate barbell storage solution, make sure you have to lift the bar out of the hooks and it doesn’t come off with a little tap.

4. Horizontal or vertical?

This might seem like an unimportant difference but almost every manufacturer will tell you to store barbells horizontally. Why is that?

Barbell Bearings and Storage

The answer is the bearings in the sleeves. Some bars don’t have spinning sleeves. For that type, it really doesn’t matter how you store them. There is no bearing that can get damaged.

Olympic barbells have spinning sleeves. That means there is some kind of bearing or bushing to allow for that rotation. These bearings are not designed for a sideways load.

If you store this type of bar vertically, whether standing on the floor or hanging from the collar, you could possibly damage those bearings. Most manufacturers recommend horizontal storage for their barbells.

That said, those same manufacturers also sell storage racks that enable you to store their bars vertically. Officially they don’t recommend it but it seems that actually damaging the bar in this way is an exceedingly rare occurrence.

So, officially horizontal storage is better. In practice, it doesn’t really matter all that much but there is a small possibility of something going wrong.

In practice, leaving your barbell on the power or squat rack is perfectly fine, as long as it’s clean. The only reason why you would need another storage solution is to get it out of the way or you’ve got more than one barbell you want to use in the same rack.

The Best Barbell Storage Solutions

1. On the Rack

The simplest and cheapest way to keep your bar safe is to put it on the power rack. Just clean it after use and you’ll be good. This isn’t always possible for various reasons;

  • You want to do other things in the power rack and a bar would get in the way.
  • You’ve got a foldable power rack
  • There’s more than one bar in your gym.
  • The bar is too short to store on the rack.

Can you use a short barbell in a home gym? Find out in this post.

If none of those apply to you, there is no reason to get another way to store your bar. Your rack will do perfectly fine. If it’s not possible, try one of the following solutions.

2. Horizontal Wall Mounted Barbell Rack

This type is a good option for people with two or three barbells. You just mount two little brackets on the wall and you’ve got the option to store 3 -6 bars horizontally. If you’ve got short bars, you can mount the two brackets closer together and they’ll fit perfectly fine. And even if you have a mix of short and long bars, you can make it work.

Another benefit of this type is that you can mount it as high as you want. This can help you mount it in a safe place. The higher the rack is mounted, the safer your bars are, up to a reasonable level of course.

According to most barbell manufacturers, storing them horizontally is best and these simple brackets are the easiest and cheapest way to do that outside of leaving the bar on the rack.

For a home gym, a 3-bar horizontal rack is likely enough. This Yes4All barbell holder can store 3 barbells horizontally and is plenty strong enough.

3. Vertical Floor Barbell Holder

A common type of barbell holder is the floor-standing one. It consists of a heavy base plate with some short, hollow metal tubes which the sleeves of the barbell can slide into. No mounting is required. Just put it in a place you like and it’s ready for use.

There are different types that can handle different amounts of bars but in the end they’re all pretty much the same. The one difference is that some allow you to lock a bar in place. This can be useful in a public gym where you want to prevent the general public from using your personal bar. At home, that might be useful to prevent children from playing with your toys.

This 5 bar barbell stand on Amazon is a great deal. It’s simple, fits 5 bars and you can even bolt it to the floor for extra stability although it’s not necessary. This type of equipment is very simple so it’s hard to go wrong with any model.

4. Wall Mounted Barbell Hanger

Another wall-mounted option is the hanger type. This type allows you to hang the barbell by its collar. It’s super simple and gets the job done. This type is available in different versions that hold from just a single bar up to five. It’s a single piece of metal you have to mount to the wall with two screws.

Just hang it high enough that the bottom of the longest bar doesn’t touch the floor and you’re done.

For home gyms, a 4 bar hanger is good since most people don’t really have a whole collection of bars. You might have a long, short, specialty bar and still have one space left open. Check out this mount with space for 4 bars on Amazon. It’s very reasonably priced and ships for free. Even if you don’t have four barbells, you can use it to hang resistance bands, jump ropes, etc.

The benefit of a horizontal rack is that; A. you need less width in your gym. B. you only have to mount one bracket instead of two.

What To Look For In a Barbell Holder?

Barbell holders are a very simple piece of equipment. There isn’t really that much to look out for. There are a few things a barbell storage solution should (or shouldn’t) do;

  • Fits your barbells: Most holders are for Olympic barbells (2″ sleeves). 1″ sleeves might fit too loosely in the floor standing holders.
  • Stable and sturdy: Flimsy holders don’t feel good and might not actually last that long.
  • Comes with correct mounting hardware: Check if all the mounting hardware to mount the holder is important, some don’t have the hardware included.
  • Doesn’t damage your barbells: A rubber or plastic cover over the contact points helps prevent scratches on your bars.

In the end it’s a pretty simple piece of equipment. There’s not too much that can go wrong with it. As long as it doesn’t drop your bars randomly or damages them with normal use, you’re good.

Recommended Low Maintenance Barbells

Want a barbell that can be stored in the jungle under a waterfall and not rust? Your best bets are stainless steel and ceramic-coated barbells. Either one will do the job. Stainless feels a bit more like raw steel than ceramic coated but you have to be a really high-level weightlifter to notice the difference and for that to be an issue.

It’s still a good idea to clean these barbells if only for hygienic reasons.

Here are some of the best barbells that can be stored for a long time without thinking about it.

Favorite Barbell Accessories

Your barbell workouts will be made better by these accessories:

  • Deadlift pads: Dramatically reduce the noise and impact on the floor when deadlifting with these Yes4All pads (Amazon).

Find my favorite barbell and weight plates by clicking here.


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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