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  • Towels out, wet wipes in...why?

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eriha@illinois.edu Oct 15, 2014 8:20 am

You are correct. We have moved ot the Gym Wipe system. We also did do research and thought about the change for a long time. We benchmarked against other schools and we did a cost anaylsis (hard and soft costs). The gym wipe system is the most popular method used in gyms across the country to clean and disinfect fitness equipment. We feel confident that the patrons will figure out how to adapt to this proven system. In addition, our student staff cleans/disinfects every piece of fitness equipment daily.

The biggest concern with the old system was cross-contamination. Especially now when transmittable disease is a big topic. We had many complaints from people who hated our towel system because they felt they were just putting old germs right back on the machines, they hated touching wet towels, and we saw people use the towels to wipe their faces with them - not sanitary. The towel system was also a very time-consuming process to manage 300 spray bottles and triggers and to do laundry all day long to keep the system working. There was a great expense in actual dollars and staff time to manage the system. The new system is more sustainable moving forward. 

We have to rely on members to take the initiative to clean their fitness equipment before and/or after each use. Members always have the option to bring their own towel to provide an adequate barrier.

There will be a learning curve on behalf of our facilities staff, and I will work with that area on minimizing those problems. We always recommend to those patrons that are concerned about their safety to bring their own towel and to wear clothing that provides a barrier between them and the equipment.

Once again thanks for sharing your concerns.

Reply to eriha@illinois.edu at 8:20 am