How To Clean Pilates Straps (6 Easy Steps)

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After each use, your Pilates straps accumulate dirt, germs, and sweat, making them unhygienic and raising risks to your health. So, what’s the best and easiest way to clean Pilates straps? 

Here’s how to clean Pilates straps in six easy steps: 

  • Clean with antibacterial wipes after each use.
  • Wash with soap and warm water once a month.
  • Check if you can machine wash your Pilates straps.
  • Allow them to dry naturally. 
  • Apply talcum powder if the straps stick together.
  • Consider a smarter strap system.

This article will explain how to make cleaning your Pilates straps easy and fuss-free. 

1. Clean With Antibacterial Wipes After Each Use

As Pilates is a full-body workout it’s common for you to work up a sweat, and your perspiration can soak into the straps. With a wide range of moves, you often pick up and put down equipment on the floor, and in a gym or studio environment, that floor will likely be dirty.

Cleaning your straps after every use is essential because it helps prevent dirt, sweat, and bacterial build-up and if others use your straps, they can transfer harmful microorganisms onto them and make the next user ill. 

Also, wiping the straps after use shows courtesy to the following user and encourages them to do the same. 

The most convenient way to clean straps is to keep a small pack of antibacterial wipes and give them a quick wipe-down after you’re done with your session. 

If you don’t have antibacterial wipes handy, you can also clean using one of the following: 

  • Baby wipes. Baby wipes aren’t as effective at killing germs as antibacterial wipes, but they’re cheaper and can remove surface dirt. 
  • Moist toilet tissue wipes. Moist toilet wipes contain a mild cleaner that can effectively remove sweat and dirt. 
  • Clean and damp rag with antibacterial cleaner. If you work out at home, it’s probably more convenient to wipe down your Pilates straps with a wet rag and a few drops of antibacterial cleaner. 

Fortunately, it only takes two or three minutes to wipe your Pilates straps. Consider keeping your antibacterial wipes next to you while working out, so you don’t forget this essential step. 

2. Wash With Soap and Warm Water Once a Month

Pilates straps can accumulate dirt and look grimy and unattractive without a regular and thorough clean – definitely not ideal for a Pilates session! Cleaning your straps thoroughly every month is essential, but you may want to do this more frequently if you use them every day or if a lot of people use them. 

Here are easy steps to wash your Pilates straps each month using soapy water: 

  1. Fill a bucket or large plastic container with warm water and a mild detergent. According to the FDA, warm water is more effective at removing germs than cold water. Also, mild detergent will remove dirt build-up and any stains.
  2. Submerge a clean rag or microfiber cloth in the water-detergent solution. It’s best to avoid using abrasive brushes or tools on your Pilates straps as they could damage the latter or leave them with loose fibers or scratches. 
  3. Gently clean your Pilates straps, and repeat if needed. Use a gentle dabbing motion and soak up the excess moisture with a dry microfiber cloth. If your straps are very dirty, you may need to repeat this process. 
  4. Consider sanitizing your Pilates straps. Warm water and good quality detergent are effective dirt and germ removers for the most part. But if you want your Pilates straps to be almost 100% germ-free, consider sanitizing them. To do this, wipe them with an antibacterial cleaner or sanitizer. Bleach is also effective, although it can leech the colour from fabric unless they’re already white to begin with. 

3. Check if You Can Machine Wash Your Pilates Straps

If your Pilates straps are removable, you can probably machine wash them. This can make cleaning much easier, though you’ll want to check the label or manufacturer’s instructions first before using this cleaning method.  Many fabric straps are machine washable, and some plastic straps are safe to put in the washer as well. 

Before throwing the straps into the washer, check if they have any metal or wooden parts that could damage the machine. If you can’t remove the hard parts, place the straps inside a pillowcase first. That way, the impact from the hard parts will be minimized when your straps spin at high speeds within the washer. 

If you want to wash your Pilates straps in a washing machine, choose a cold water cycle, so the straps won’t shrink. You can also wash them on a delicate or short cycle and use a mild detergent to maintain their integrity. Don’t forget to add a little fabric softener to help condition the fibres of fabric straps. 

4. Allow Them To Dry Naturally

It’s not a good idea to tumble dry Pilates straps as the dryer’s heat can shrink them and distort their shape. Instead, after cleaning your straps, gently reshape them and allow them to air dry in a warm, dry place. Avoid placing your straps under direct sunlight as this can damage them and cause the colours to fade. You can dry the straps faster by gently pressing a clean, dry cloth against them to absorb the excess moisture. 

5. Apply Talcum Powder if the Straps Stick Together

If you have latex Pilates straps, you might notice that they stick together after they’ve dried. When this happens, apply a little talcum or baby powder to separate them. If you don’t have that, you can also use corn starch. Some people find that a tiny drop of fabric softener can also help prevent straps from sticking together. 

6. Consider a Smarter Strap System

Do your Pilates straps get dirty very quickly, and do many people use them every day? If so, consider a smarter Pilates strap system. Instead of replacing your current strap with ones that are easier to clean, you may want to do the following instead. 

  • Cover your fabric Pilates straps with vinyl. Fabric straps are prone to dirt, making them more challenging to clean. If you have these straps, it may be a good idea to cover them with vinyl, which is easier to wipe down. 
  • Use clean gloves or socks when using Pilates straps. One easy way to keep your straps as clean as possible is for everyone to wear clean gloves and socks while using them. 
  • Allocate a set of Pilates straps to each person. If your studio has regular clients, you can request a set of straps for each person. This may be costly, but the reduced cleaning time can make up for the cost. 
  • Keep a wipes dispenser close to your Pilates equipment. That way, you can encourage (or at least remind) people to clean the straps after each use.

Final Thoughts

Keeping your Pilates straps clean and hygienic is essential to prevent the transmission of germs and dirt. Ideally, you should clean your straps after every use. This only takes a few minutes, and you can use an antibacterial wipe for a quick wipe-down. 

If the straps are filthy, a more thorough monthly clean may be needed. You can use warm water and a mild detergent to clean your straps by hand, or you can machine wash them as long as the label says they’re washer-safe. Sources

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