Not everybody thinks of barbell weights as things that need cleaning, but weights in a public space pass through dozens of hands every day. Not all of those hands are as sanitary as one might hope. Knowing how to clean and restore a set of rusted weights can turn a garage sale bargain into a quality home workout set.
Sanitizing Common Barbells
Mix a solution of one squeeze worth of dish soap with a quart of water in a bucket.
Scrub the barbell plates using a sponge and the soap mixture. It's easiest to wipe down the plates with circular hand motions, following the line of the plates.
Pat the plates dry with paper towels.
Wipe the plates down with an alcohol swab or baby wipe. Pay special attention to the hole in the center of the plate and the edges, the areas most frequently touched by weightlifters.
Set the weight in position on a rack or shelf to allow greatest access to air and light.
Spray the rusted part of the barbell plate with WD-40. Wait 20 minutes.
Scrub off any rust with steel wool. For best results, apply a lot of pressure while scrubbing in small circles.
Rinse the plate off wherever the froth from scrubbing makes it so that you can't see the plate clearly. Rinse again once you're finished.
Dry the plate thoroughly and store off the ground to prevent further rusting.
Sanitize the plate according to the instructions above.