Whether you run a commercial facility or have a decked-out home setup, you can’t overlook the value of a well-maintained floor for your gym. A dependable floor is the difference between an extra rep and an awkward injury, and you can only ensure its reliability when it’s clean. And if keeping it safe also means you can stop it from stinking like days-old sweat? That’s a bonus anyone could enjoy.

Thankfully, cleaning gym flooring won’t be a workout if you know what you’re doing. We’re dealing with rubber floors here, and many cleaning solutions we might recommend for other materials could spell disaster for the integrity of the tiles. If you want your space to stay fresh, we’ll explain how to clean rubber gym floor tiles and rolls for safer, more comfortable exercising.

What You’ll Need to Clean Rubber Gym Floors

How to Clean Rubber Gym Floors

You can maintain rubber gym floor mats with weekly vacuuming and mopping every 2–4 weeks if you use a home gym. In commercial fitness centers, you may need to mop once daily or even more in heavy-traffic areas. In either case, you can rely on mild solutions and a few simple steps for a quick, thorough, and satisfying clean.

Step 1: Sweep the Floor

Sweep the floor of dirt, dust, and debris with a soft-bristled broom or a vacuum cleaner with a soft beater brush. Move your vacuum slowly in a straight line to ensure you grab as much dirt as possible, working across the room with each vacuumed row slightly overlapping the one next to it.

Step 2: Prepare the Cleaning Solution

Mix your commercial rubber floor cleaning product in a clean bucket following the package directions. If you use a mild dish soap or liquid laundry detergent, use only a small amount in warm or hot water to make a sudsy solution. For an extra hint of freshness, you can also add a few drops of your favorite aromatic essential oil.

DIY Rubber Gym Floor Cleaning Solution

If you want to use what you already have to clean your rubber gym floor, reach for a pH-neutral dish soap or laundry detergent. Dawn dish soap is a classic choice, but nearly any mild liquid dish detergent will suffice. Mix a small amount with warm or hot water in a mop bucket, and you’re ready to clean!

Step 3: Spot Clean Hard-to-Reach Areas and Stubborn Stains

Before mopping, clean any tricky areas or glaring stains on the floor. Dip a soft scrub brush in the cleaning solution, and scrub out these trouble spots.

Step 4: Mop the Floor

Dip your mop in your bucket, and wring it well until it is slightly damp. Although rubber floors are moisture-resistant, excess water can seep between tiles and potentially damage the underlying floor.

Change the mop water frequently to avoid reusing dirty cleaner. A two-bucket system with a cleaning solution bucket and a rinse bucket filled with plain water will help you keep your cleaner fresh and reduce the number of water changes.

Follow the product directions carefully. Some cleaners will have specific dwell times or require a post-rinse with fresh water.

Step 5: Let the Floor Dry

Let the rubber flooring dry for 24 hours or at least overnight. Open the windows to take advantage of the cross breeze, crack on fans, or use a dehumidifier to speed things along.

Step 6: Seal Rubber Flooring (Optional)

Sealing your gym floor will maintain the rubber’s integrity and keep it looking its best for many years. The glossy finish adds a bright, crisp look while repelling water, stains, and common marks from shoes, weights, and equipment. 

After mopping and letting your floor dry, apply a rubber floor finish with a squeegee or damp mop. It typically takes multiple thin coats to complete a sufficient seal, with each coat having enough time to dry before the ensuing application to prevent hazing.

Best Commercial Rubber Gym Floor Cleaning Products

Although you can’t attack dirty rubber flooring with harsh cleaners, you still have several practical specialty, all-purpose, and DIY neutral-pH cleaner options for mopping. Top commercial products to consider include:

Best Rubber Gym Floor Mop

A cotton mop might be the worst choice for cleaning a rubber floor. It is hard to move and leaves lint in its wake, often making rough floor surfaces look worse than before. Here are the two styles I recommend instead:

  • Microfiber mop: A microfiber commercial mop head will more easily glide across a grippy floor without leaving behind linty flecks
  • Flat mop: A flat mop like this one from Mr. Siga is a wet/dry microfiber multi-surface mop to push across rubber gym flooring

You can use a sponge mop with a wringing mechanism, but from personal experience, I’ve found these to be the most ineffective. A poor-quality sponge will shred on a coarse gym floor and stick to it as you push. It should work if you have nothing else, but mops are cheap enough to make an upgrade to a microfiber head easy to justify.

Use an Auto Scrubber for a Commercial Rubber Gym Floor

An auto scrubber is a heavy-duty rubber floor washing machine that will take over when your space and cleaning demands take more than a mop and bucket. It’s expensive and bulky, but gym owners trying to manage an exhausting scrubbing schedule will appreciate the hours of cleaning they’ll save each week and the impressive end product. 

The Best Cleaning Solution for a Home Gym Rubber Floor

The best tool to clean rubber gym floor mats at home isn’t a mop – it’s a CrossWave. A Bissell CrossWave may already be a staple in your cleaning arsenal, and if so, pull it out to give your gym floor a solid cleaning in about half the time it would take to clean with a mop. 

The CrossWave vacuums while it mops, lifting debris and dirty water with the help of a soft beater bar built for this kind of work. It’s less than half the price of an entry-level auto scrubber, and the versatility across numerous flooring surfaces will make any home gym owner glad they made the investment.

How to Disinfect Rubber Gym Flooring

I’m sure it’s no surprise to hear that gyms are pretty disgusting. Sweeping and mopping are great, but if you want to know that your workout space is clean and healthy, you’ll need a disinfectant to eliminate germs in the mats. A commercial rubber floor cleaner and a mop will do the trick, or you may invest in a steam cleaner for safe and straightforward sanitizing.

You can steam clean rubber gym floors to lift dirt and destroy odors with affordable products like the Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner, an easy-to-use tool that kills 99.99% of pathogens. Available attachments for many steam cleaners let you use them on gym equipment, windows, and other surfaces, making them all-purpose solutions for cleaning around the entire fitness center.

Can You Disinfect Rubber Gym Floors with Bleach?

Bleach can disinfect rubber floors to a degree, but I wouldn’t recommend it as a primary option. Like acids, harsh alkaline cleaners can degrade rubber over time. You can dilute a 1:48 ratio of bleach and cool water to mop the floor without much fear of damage. Even then, you shouldn’t make this your standard routine. You’ll get better results with less fuss by sticking to a non-toxic commercial cleaner.

What Will Dissolve Rubber Flooring?

Only use slightly alkaline or neutral-pH cleaners to mop your rubber gym flooring. Oil-style cleaners like Murphy’s Oil Soap or PineSol could dissolve rubber, as can solvents (e.g., rubbing alcohol, acetone, butyl degreasers), some of which carry an added toxic threat from frequent use.

Mild cleaning tools should accompany your mild cleaning solutions. Rather than use a firm brush or abrasive cleaning pads that might scratch or wear down the surface, pick a soft-bristled broom or a vacuum cleaner with a soft beater bar. Rubber is damage-resistant and can likely tolerate some abuse, but the smooth, protective finish won’t last long if you dig into it with stiff scrubbers.

Can You Use White Vinegar on Rubber Gym Floors?

Acids and alkaline substances are generally ill-advised options for cleaning and disinfecting rubber, but your all-purpose white vinegar cleaner probably won’t do much damage if you have to use it in a pinch. Standard distilled white vinegar is already heavily diluted. Combining it with water will ensure it won’t have a lasting effect when used infrequently. Mix it in a 1:16 vinegar-to-hot water ratio as a deodorizing refresher for your floor.

Why Should You Clean Rubber Gym Flooring?

Rubber mats and gym flooring are slip-proof and impact-absorbing, letting you push your limits while avoiding the risk of injury or floor damage from dropping weights. The moisture-resistant material keeps liquids at the surface for simple cleaning and stops mold and mildew from fouling up the floor.

The only thing a rubber gym floor can’t do is take care of itself. You can get well over a decade of use from it, but failing to clean the floor surface regularly will make it look ugly, smell terrible, and degrade quicker. Maintenance isn’t challenging when you keep a schedule. And you’ll appreciate the long-lasting shine and resilience that will keep you from replacing the floor prematurely.

How Can I Make My Rubber Floor Shine?

With a practical schedule, keeping your rubber gym floor clean and odor-free takes little effort. Frequent sweeping stops dirt and debris from scratching and dulling the surface. Meanwhile, mopping clears away remaining contaminants, refreshes the color, and whisks away odors. Take it to the next level with a floor finish and sealant, and your rubber gym floor will look like new and maintain its performance for decades.


Noah Hoit