Owning weights is a goal for many fitness buffs, but did you know that they require regular maintenance? Rubber weights can have that typical rubber smell and “rubber bloom” that people aren’t a fan of.
Iron and steel plates can also rust! For that reason, we should all know how to clean weight plates. We’re here to give you all the tips on how to do so!
What You’ll Need? (Tools, Supplies & Safety Gear)
If you have dirty, grimy weight plates, you’re going to need:
If you feel like the rubber plates still look dirty, then it could be that your plates have "bloom." This happens with many rubber products, and fluorescent lighting seems to be a significant cause of it.
How To Clean Rubber Weight Plates?
There are a couple of different methods for how to clean rubber weight plates. For grimy plates, follow this process:
- 1Mix up warm water and soap, take a sponge or washcloth and wash them well.
- 2Rinse them off completely with just water.
- 3Dry with your soft cloth, placing special attention near the metal ring. Make sure there is no residual moisture.
- 4If possible, place them in the sun for them to dry.
If this process doesn’t work and the plates still look grimy, then you likely have rubber bloom. Luckily, this is a pretty easy fix! Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1Take one of the cloths and dip a corner in the oil.
- 2Rub it over the areas with rubber bloom until they start to disappear.
- 3Next, take your dry, unused cloth and wipe off the oil residue. Repeat as needed.
Related Article - Bumper Vs Iron Weight Plates
How To Clean Iron Weight Plates? (Rust Removal Guide)
You can find a lot of affordable weight plates second-hand if they're rusted. Unfortunately, even if you buy your iron weight plates brand-new, they are still susceptible to rusting. The good news is that there is a solution and methods to removing the rust!
Do you want to know just how to clean rusty weight plates? Check this out:
- 1Brush Away Rust
First, grab yourself a nylon brush, brass brush, sandpaper, and/or Dremel if there's a lot of rust. Then, brush away as much rust as you can.
- 2Soak Rusty Weights
After they’re rust-free, soak them in a solution of 1:1 water and vinegar. Soak them, making sure they’re completely submerged for 24 to 72 hours. You can also use a rust converter instead, which makes rust very easy to wipe away. We recommend doing this out in your garage as it does smell quite fragrant.
- 3Scrub More
After the soak, take your brush and begin scrubbing the rust away again. It should come off much easier.
- 4Apply Protectant Seal or Rust-Oleum
Rust-Oleum is our preferred method just because it’s so easy and looks great! Make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area while doing this.
Read More - How Many Weight Plates Do You Need?
What Causes Weight Plates To Rust?
The vast majority of weights in the world are made from steel or iron, which rust easily when presented with water. In a humid or damp environment or without proper maintenance, there’s no doubt they’ll rust. If you’re storing your weights outside or in the garage in a humid environment, it can cause them to rust quite quickly.
Saltwater causes the rusting process to expedite. What do we sweat? Basically saltwater! This means that you need to regularly clean your weights. Take a clean towel with some soapy water and wipe down all of your weights each time you're done using them. Take a dry towel after and make sure to dry them off completely.
Of course, it also depends on the finish of your weights. Bare Steel and Black Oxide are known for looking better because they protect against rust. Stainless Steel and Cerakote finishes are known for being very resistant, however.
Frequently Asked Weight Plate Cleaning Questions
Can you wash weight plates with soapy water?
Yes, you definitely can! You don't have to use a lot of soap, either. A couple of drops of dish soap should do the job. Just make sure that you are drying them off completely afterward.
Can you spray paint rusty weights?
You can, but you should first remove the rust. If you don’t, the paint will be susceptible to peeling, and the rusting will also continue to further penetrate the metal over time. This can lead to a potentially dangerous situation, compromising the structural integrity of your weights.
How often should I clean my weight plates?
Ideally, every day! The salt and moisture that comes from our sweat can cause rusting over time. Even if you think you haven’t sweat on your plates, you’d be surprised!
How do you get the smell out of rubber weight plates?
Rubbing alcohol is one of the most popular methods. After you’ve cleaned your weights with soap and water, apply rubbing alcohol over the weight. Make sure you dry them afterward!
Now that you’re practically a pro in how to clean weight plates, are you ready to bring your weights back to life? We hope that our guide helped you out so you can use them for many more years to come.
Last Updated on December 16, 2022