How to Clean a Rusty Barbell

How to Clean a Rusty Barbell

How to Clean a Barbell

 EZ Curl Barbell - Ohio Fitness Garage

Image Source: Pixabay


Purchasing a barbell that’s right for you is a big decision. Ideally, you should do a bit of research and purchase something that you’ll be sure to love for years to come. What you choose will depend on your own preferences, but the main types of bar you’re likely to find include standard bars, Olympic weightlifting bars, hex bars, safety squats bars, cambered bars, EZ curl bars, and powerlifting bars. All of these barbells have their pros and cons and will help you to attain different goals.

After you’ve chosen your barbell, you’ll need to consider maintenance down the track. If you want your barbell to last a lifetime – or at least for as long as possible – it’s important to clean it properly. While there’s no set rule of how often you’ll need to clean your barbell, there are a few factors that will contribute to faster decline: if multiple people are using it, for example, or if it’s kept in a humid area, you’ll need to be more consistent with your cleaning. To maintain your barbell like the experts do, follow this guide:

Keep your barbell rust-free

The major problem with maintaining barbells is that they’re prone to rust, especially in humid climates – but not to worry, you can avoid this pesky problem. Chalk is a major contributor to rust, as it holds moisture, so clean the chalk out of your bar’s knurling after each use by using a stiff-bristled brush and a mild detergent. By getting rid of any chalk that remains after your session, you’ll be minimising your chances of rust – and leaving your barbell clean for the next user, whether it’s someone else at the gym or yourself.

Wipe down your bar

If your barbell is part of a home gym, you can do this step twice a month, while if it’s being used by other people in addition to yourself, you might like to do it once a week. Spray WD-40 or a similar oil onto a rag and wipe thoroughly, making sure that your whole bar is covered. Leave your bar overnight, and repeat in the morning. Wipe off any excess oil afterwards, and your bar will be sparkling clean.



Store your barbell well

Outside of cleaning, storage is the main key to minimising any decline in your barbells. Before you put yours away, make sure you strip it – there’s no need to keep the plates on any longer than necessary, and in the worst-case scenario, they may actually cause damage if left on too long.

The best way to store your bars is in a bar holder, but you can also lean them vertically – although preferably not on the ground! If possible, store them in a climate-controlled room to minimise their exposure to humidity.

Other important things to note

Try your best never to drop your bar, even if it’s empty. Although you may not notice any problems, this can cause issues inside the bar, which will result in its declining much faster than necessary.

Check the sleeve of your barbell as part of your maintenance routine. If it has a small oil hole, you’ll be able to drop a little oil into it, helping it to keep spinning freely.

You might like to consider investing in a small maintenance kit to keep your barbell cleaning and maintenance routine nice and simple.


Remember that it’s much easier to keep up with cleaning than having to find a new barbell because yours became rusty because of lack of maintenance or improper storage. Be thorough with your barbell maintenance, and your barbell will serve you well – for life, with any luck.


Dancing is Harper’s favourite way to work out, but she also loves swapping out with her usual workout routine with weekend running and weights. As a fun-loving health buff, she has enjoyed opportunities to collaborate with fitness sites such as Jumpflex AU. You can find more of Harper’s work on her blog.

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