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We all know how most lifting accessories end up after a few months of use. Gyms are not exactly the cleanest places, especially if the one you go to is old school. Vaseline, chalk, or dust are things we face in the gym on a daily basis, so most of our gym accessories get dirty pretty quickly.
It’s no secret that most gym bags smell like a pair of socks worn for a week, so most things inside will need a little care from time to time. This includes your lifting belt. But wait, what if you have a leather belt? Well, the smell might not be as bad, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to show it some love.
In today’s article, we are going to learn how to wash a lifting belt, depending on the material, and how to prevent odor. We will also discuss how to take care of your gym bag, a crucial step in keeping your belt, and other gym accessories such as wraps, straps, or knee sleeves away from odor.
There are two main materials from which lifting belts are made, nylon and leather. Cleaning them is quite similar, but for the leather option there are some tricks you can apply to extend its lifespan and make it look better, but we’ll get into that later.
Now, if your belt is made of another material, which is quite unlikely, some tips might still apply, but you’d better do some more research just to be sure.
How To Wash And Dry Leather And Nylon Belts
First of all, check if the belt has any chalk or dust on it. If so, remove it using a brush. Once you’re done, you can simply start washing the belt using a cloth, warm water, and soap. Soak the cloth into the mixture of warm water and soap and start working on the desired areas of your belt.
You can just try to get rid of some annoying stains, but you can also clean the entire belt if you feel like it. If the belt smells bad, you can try using a fabric air freshener after washing.
Now it’s time to dry the belt. The easiest and safest way to do it is to air dry it by hanging it on a hook or nail at room temperature. It may take a while, but it should be good to go by your next training session.
Some nylon belts can also be put in the dryer, but be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations before doing so.
How To Avoid Having A Smelly Belt (Or Any Gym Accessory)
Alright, so cleaning a belt isn’t such a big deal, but is there a way to prevent a bad smell? Well, in the gym, there is not much we can do, besides avoiding wearing the belt without a T-shirt, but this isn’t where a belt spends most of its time (unless you leave it there). Many people leave their belts in the gym bag after a training session, along with other things. As mentioned in the introduction, we all know how most gym bags smell after a while, so leaving your belt in there is not the best thing to do. Here’s what you can do.
1. Clean Your Gym Bag Regularly
If you have a bag that hasn’t been cleaned in a while and caught a bad smell, here’s an easy cleaning process. Read the instruction to find out if it’s machine washable. Empty it completely and open all pockets and compartments, then vacuum it. Optionally, you can leave it in a cool place for a day.
Now you have two options, you can either use a washing machine or you can hand wash the bag. If you choose the second option, you can use a damp sponge or cloth with a bit of mild laundry detergent. Finally, you can use a scrub brush for inside and outside along with soapy water.
2. Keep The Belt Somewhere Else
You can also avoid leaving the belt in your bag. A small space doesn’t allow the belt to breathe, so it’s better to avoid such options.
This is a good time to test your creativity. Find an open space to store your belt so that it doesn’t bother you during the day. Also, try to keep it at room temperature.
No matter what place you find for the belt, don’t forget to put it in your gym bag before you leave. You may forget it once or twice because you used to always have it in your bag.
How To Take Care Of Your Leather Lifting Belt
If you own a leather belt, in addition to regularly cleaning the belt and preventing it from catching a bad smell, you can also use a leather conditioner on it. With a leather conditioner, you can extend its lifespan by keeping it soft and preventing it from cracking.
Depending on how much you use the belt, you can apply a leather conditioner once every few months (usually 3-6 months). In addition to these benefits, conditioning will also help in terms of appearance, adding a nice shine.
How To Clean And Take Care Of Your Lifting Belt - Summary
Taking care of a belt is not a complicated task. Small things such as regular cleaning, adequate storage, and conditioning (for leather products), can make the belt look and smell fresh, but most importantly, they can extend its lifespan and prevent it from degrading too quickly.
Finally, don’t forget to show some love for your gym bag from time to time, as this is where your gym accessories are carried or even stored.