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How to Clean and Maintain Rubber Dumbbells and Weight Plates (The Ultimate Guide)

How to Clean and Maintain Rubber Dumbbells & Weight Plates

If you have rubber dumbbells and weight plates, you are probably wondering how you can maintain and clean them properly.

Luckily for you, you do not have to wonder any longer.

I have created helpful guides and a list of tips that you should know about to maintain your rubber gym equipment!

Why Should I Clean and Take Care of My Rubber Dumbbells and Weight Plates?

Cleaning and maintaining your rubber dumbbells and weight plates are important because it will make them last longer. You will be able to get your money’s worth by simply taking care of them, so you will not have to worry about buying new gym equipment!

That’s what happens when you don’t clean your dumbbells

In this article, I cover a few topics on how to care for your rubber gym equipment, which includes:

  • How to Clean Your Rubber Weight Plates and Dumbbells
  • How to Clean Residue off of Rubber Dumbbells and Weight Plates
  • How to Clean Neoprene Dumbbells and Weight Plates
  • How to Maintain Your Rubber Dumbbells and Weight Plates

How to Clean Rubber Dumbbells and Weight Plates

Cleaning your rubber dumbbells and weight plates is extremely easy and all you need are a few simple materials like mild dish soap, water, and clean cloth! 

Now, here is a step-by-step guide you should follow to clean your rubber dumbbells and weight plates.

The Fastest & Easiest Way to Clean Your Rubber Dumbbells and Weight Plates (Step by Step Guide)

The Materials That You Need: 

  • A gallon of water
  • Mild dish soap
  • Several clean cloths

How Much It Will Cost: Probably around $2-5 or nothing if you have mild dish soap and clean cloth in your home.

How Long It Will Take: 10-15 minutes

Instructions to Clean Your Rubber Dumbbells and Weight Plates:

  1. Put a gallon of water into a bucket.
  2. Mix a few drops of your mild dish soap into the water in the bucket.
  3. Put a clean cloth into the soapy mixture in the bucket to make it wet.
  4. Wring out your now wet cloth. It should not be soaking wet – you only want it to be damp.
  5. Use the damp cloth to wipe down your rubber dumbbells and weight plates. Make sure you wipe down every part of it so it is completely clean.
  6. Drying your rubber equipment is optional, but I strongly suggest you use another clean and dry cloth to gently wipe off any excess moisture on your dumbbells.
  7. If you want to dry them without using a clean cloth, then let them air dry away from sunlight. 

And that is it! Cleaning your rubber dumbbells and weight plates is a breeze and barely takes up any of your time or money.

If you are looking for mild dish soap that you can use to clean your rubber dumbbells and weight plates, you can click here to see this mild dish soap that you can buy<<.

Don’t want to clean dumbbells and weight places often?

If you have high-quality dumbbells or weight plates, taking care of them is going to be less often than you think.

That’s one of the main reasons why I’ve invested and also bought these:

My favorite adjustable dumbbells that need very little cleaning

Click Here to check my favorite dumbbells latest price on Amazon <<

The main reason why I like them so much is the fact that they are made from really high quality materials and don’t leave any residue at all. In addition they are way easier to maintain and clearn.

But what about rubber plates?

At this point, you might be wondering what a good set of rubber weight plates look like.

If you want some high-quality rubber weight plates, then I strongly suggest that you check these ones here.

Click here to check these weighed plates I like <<.

I own a couple of them I love them because they have handles and don’t leave any rubber residue behind.

They are great for both home use and competition use, and they are color coded so you can easily grab whatever weight you want!

But what you have to do if your dumbbells and weight plates feel like rubber but the packaging says that they are neoprene?

How can you clean them?

Keep reading to find out what the difference is between rubber and neoprene!

What Is the Difference Between Neoprene and Rubber?

The difference between neoprene and rubber is that neoprene is a type of stronger rubber. Rubber is flexible and has flame and weather resistance, but neoprene has more resistance to weathering and has excellent fire retardancy.

So now that we covered the differences, you might be wondering what are the best dumbbells?

Neoprene or rubber?

If you want more in-depth information about which ones to buy, then you should read my article about the Top 5 Dumbbells You Should Get<<.

Inside, I go a lot more indepth about the different kinds of dumbbells and how you can benefit from them!

But still, how do you clean and care for neoprene dumbbells and weight plates?

Let’s find out!

How to Clean Neoprene Dumbbells and Weight Plates

In order to clean neoprene dumbbells and plates, you can use a soapy water mixture and a simple cloth. Disassemble everything and use the soaked cloth to wipe everything slowly. Then use another rag to dry everything nicely.

As you can see cleaning neoprene dumbbells is pretty much the same process as cleaning rubber weights.

It’s easy, fast and it’s definitely worth it!

How Often Should I Clean my Rubber and Neoprene Dumbbells and Weight Plates?

Ideally, you should clean your rubber dumbbells and weight plates at least once a month. Doing so will help your rubber dumbbells and plates last longer and look like new for a very long time.

However, if you want to make sure that your weights are always clean I would suggest that you clean your rubber gym equipment once every 1-2 weeks.

Just take 5 minutes of your time and follow the techniques I showed earlier and your workout equipment will look brand new.

So, now that you know how to clean your rubber and neopreme dumbbells, there is one more important thing we have to talk about…

rubber residue…

Check out my next step-by-step guide to learn how to remove rubber residue from your clothes, carpet, floor, skin, and workout equipment…

How to Clean Rubber Residue Left on Rubber Dumbbells and Weight Plates

The first place that gets dirty and full of rubber residue is the dumbbells and plates themselves.

Here’s how you can clean it fast:

The Materials That You Need: 70% isopropyl alcohol and clean cloths

How Much It Will Cost: Around $5-20 unless you already have these items in your home

How Long It Will Take: About 5-10 minutes


  1. Put your rubber dumbbells or weight plates onto a clean surface.
  2. Pour some of the isopropyl alcohol on your gym equipment.
  3. Use a clean cloth to rub off any sticky residue. How hard you will wipe depends on how tough the residue is. Just try not to rub it off too hard to avoid damaging the rubber.
  4. Rinse the rubber gym equipment in water after then use another dry and clean cloth to dry it off.

This method works because according to this study [1], 70% isopropyl alcohol can get rid of bacteria. It is also known to get rid of any stubborn residue that is stuck on rubber.

Keep in mind that you should not do this cleaning method too much. You should only do it when you absolutely have to.

According to this study [2], repeated and prolonged use of alcohol on rubber equipment can make them swell up and harden. The study also states that it can bleach the rubber, which means your equipment may become discolored.

If you want some good alcohol to clean residue off of your rubber equipment, then you can click here to check out this one that I recommend<<.

But what to do if your rubber gym equipment is leaving stains and rubber residue on your clothes, flooring, carpet, skin, etc.?

How to clean it?

Well, read the next part to learn how to get rid of rubber residue.

How to Remove and Clean Rubber Residue from Dumbbells and Plates (The Ultimate Guide)

Are you frustrated because your rubber gym equipment is leaving residue all over the place?

Don’t know what to do?

Here are several proven methods that will help you clean fast and efficiently rubber residue:

How to Remove Rubber Residue from a Carpet

Put isopropyl rubbing alcohol on a towel then use the towel to gently rub the rubber residue until it is gone.

Make sure that the alcohol does not touch the carpet’s backing.

How to Remove Rubber Residue Stains from Clothes and Fabric

Put tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil on a wash rag then use the wash rag to dab the stain. Spray cold water on the stain then dab the oil using a clean towel.

Launder your clothes as you normally would.

How to Remove Rubber Residue Stains from Hardwood Flooring

Use an item that has fuzzy fibers like a thickly threaded washcloth or a tennis ball to quickly rub the stain back and forth to make heat and friction.

Once the rubber sticks to the item you used to scrub, you can sweep up anything leftover on the floor.

How to Remove Rubber Residue from Your Skin

The fastest way is to try and wash it with some regular soap and warm water. If for some reason you can’t clean it entirely you can use a little baking soda as well.

Put a little baking soda on your skin on top of the residue spot and lightly scrub it and rinse off with water. You can also use toothpaste if it has baking soda in it.

However, if you have very sensitive skin, you should use only a little baking soda and mix it with water and very lightly rub it.

Instead of baking soda, you can also use an oil like baby oil, olive oil, etc., too. Just soak a cotton ball in oil then rub the affected area for a few minutes then rinse it off using warm water.

That would make sure all the residue is removed.

Sometimes, rubber dumbbells and weight plates have a really strong smell coming from them, especially when they are new.

So, what should you do to get rid of that smell?

Keep reading to learn about how you can get rid of the rubber odor from your rubber dumbbells and weight plates!

How to Get Rid of Strong Rubber Odor from Your Rubber Gym Equipment

Most rubber gym equipment will have a very harsh smell when they are brand new that tends to fade over time. However, if you wanna get rid of the smell faster, here are 3 things that you can do.

Tip 1: Increase Ventilation

You can increase ventilation in the room where you put your rubber dumbbells and weight plates. According to this study [3], increasing ventilation in a room can help remove the odors.

There are many ways you can increase ventilation. For instance, you can open the windows, use fans to blow more air around, etc. 

Tip 2: Use Direct Sunlight

You can put your rubber weight plates and dumbbells under direct sunlight to help eliminate the smell. However, you should never do this for longer than 1 hour because there is a chance you could damage the rubber.

Tip 3: Soapy Water

You can actually use the cleaning method that I explained above to clean your rubber dumbbells and weight plates to try getting rid of the smell!

But do you want more tips on how to take care of your rubber dumbbells and weight plates? Keep reading to find out!

How to Maintain Your Rubber Dumbbells and Weight Plates (5 Things You Have to Do)

Other than cleaning your rubber dumbbells and weight plates regularly, there are other things that you can do to maintain them like storing them properly, using the right products to clean them, and much more!

Here are my top 5 tips to help you maintain rubber dumbbells and weight plates to make them last longer.

Tip 1: Keep Them Out of Direct Sunlight

When you are not using your dumbbells, make sure you store them properly away from direct sunlight. 

This study [4] shows that frequent exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun damages the rubber, which makes it weaker and brittle. 

Try to keep your rubber equipment covered or keep them indoors so they will not be damaged by UV rays. 

Tip 2: Avoid Harsh Chemicals and Products

Most harsh chemicals and cleaning products, especially ones that contain bleach or acids like acetic acid, can seriously damage your rubber gym equipment.

That is why I mentioned you should very sparingly use alcohol to get rid of sticky residue because frequent use of it can ruin your rubber dumbbells and weight plates. 

Instead, you can use gentler cleaning solutions like water and mild dish soap.

Tip 3: Be Gentle

Even if your dumbbells or weight plates say they are durable and heavy, you should still be careful with them.

You should not clank them together or throw them on the floor. The rubber surface will get damaged whenever you do that. 

Tip 4: Keep Them Away from Sharp Objects

Storing your rubber dumbbells or weight plates with sharp objects could ruin the rubber surface.

Make sure you keep them away from any sharp items like scissors, tools, etc. to keep the rubber surface pristine.

Tip 5: Keep Them Away from Water

While most rubber dumbbells and weight plates will tell you that they are weather resistant and can handle some water, but that does not mean you should leave them soaking in water all day.

Letting the rubber equipment lie in water for long periods of time can lead to mold, mildew, odor, and many other problems.

Plus, if your equipment has some metal parts, it could lead to rusting.

For example, if your rubber dumbbells have metal handles, they can get rusty and dirty if you leave them wet or soaking in water.

So, now that you know all of the cleaning methods and maintenance tips, how long will your rubber and neoprene gym equipment last? 

How Long Will My Rubber and Neoprene Dumbbells and Weight Plates Last if I Maintain Them Properly?

There are no definite length of time your rubber and neoprene dumbbells and weight plates will last if you maintain them properly. However, you can practically have them for a lifetime if you can take care of them properly!

The rubber coating may wear down after many years, but you can lengthen the lifespan of your equipment by properly maintaining them. 

The key to having dumbbells and weight plates that last you practically forever is by buying good quality ones.

When you mix regular maintenance and good quality gym equipment, you will be set for a long time.

All in All

Learning how to properly clean and maintain your rubber dumbbells and weight plates by using soapy water, keeping them out of sunlight, storing them properly, etc. is a wise choice if you want to make them last.

If you want to read my other articles about dumbbells and weight plates, you can check out any of my other articles below:

Remember, maintaining your gym equipment can help you make your equipment last a lifetime and help you continue your fitness journey!


Hey there, my name is Bozhidar and I'm a certified online personal trainer with University Degree in Sports and Nutrition.

With the help of my knowledge and over 8 years of workout experience, I can help you get on the next level. I own a home gym, do calisthenics, little gymnastics, and love to ride a bike.

About me