How To Clean A Treadmill Belt (Explained With Video)
By Simon Gould
Your home treadmill represents a substantial investment in your health and future. Regular use can make the world of difference to your quality of life. Plus they cost a lot of money to buy. If you get a decent one we're talking $1,000 and upwards. Some of you may use your treadmill a lot while others might use it only when the weather is bad and you can't run outside.
With all this in mind a treadmill can last for years if you regularly maintain it. You may get an annual service done by a professional technician but that isn't often enough. A treadmill needs care every time you use it. You should always clean a treadmill after use and tighten screw, nuts and belt regularly. But there's a bit more you need to do.
Cleaning the treadmill belt
One of the components that need a lot of attention is the belt. This has to deal with the motor pulling it round and your body weight pounding it multiple times a second. For this reason the belt needs special attention. We all know that you should lubricate the belt every 3 months or so with silicone based lubricant or lube your manufacturer recommends in their manual.
You should also clean the belt weekly and this is something that doesn't require all the effort that lubrication needs. You should clean the belt before lubrication and every week or so as part of your general treadmill maintenance. You need to do this even if you think it maybe doesn't need it or isn't visibly dirty. Dirt builds up between the belt and the deck.
You should vacuum your home weekly and when you do, pay some attention to vacuum the treadmill too. To get rid of any dust build up around the belt which could easily get underneath it. Vacuum around the belt and under the deck. Give it just a quick work over while taking care not to use any force that could damage it. Don't use any cleaning products or abrasive chemicals on the belt.
To clean the belt you need a terry towel that's long enough to fit underneath the belt width ways and have enough towel left over the other sides, all will become obvious as to why. You pass the towel between the deck and belt and hold it down on the sides of the machine so it can't move. You have to do this with some strength because we'll be moving the belt using the motor.
Dampen the towel or cloth slightly with warm water. Cleaning solutions will affect the lubrication and could damage the treadmill. Make sure there's not too much water to make it start dripping. Don't leave the treadmill this way, dry the moisture from the towel or cloth with a paper towel. Once this is done you can concentrate on cleaning the treadmill while it's operating, which is what you need to do.
So the towel is held into place and then you turn on the treadmill so it does a couple of revolutions. You mustn't let go of the towel otherwise it may get caught in the machinery of the treadmill. Once it's revolved a few times turn off the treadmill and slide the towel away. You should notice some dirt and grime on the towel that has been removed from between the belt and the deck.
You'll be surprised by the amount of dirt that comes out and that's why you need to do it regularly. That dirt can affect the motor and performance of your treadmill. It's a simple thing to do that will take minutes but greatly extend the life of your machine. Once this is done the lubrication can take place. Bare in mind you can lubricate every 3 months. So the majority of the time, you're just cleaning the belt.
Here is the video going through the cleaning in detail, as a reference to everything we've said above.
Thinking of buying a treadmill? Here's my favorite, I always recommend it when asked*