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How To Clean A Treadmill Belt Properly

How To Clean A Treadmill Belt

A treadmill is one of the largest investments in a home gym. Home treadmills bring with them many benefits in terms of cardiovascular training, calorie burn and convenience. To get the most long-term benefit from your investment, however, you need to know how to maintain it. That includes knowing how to clean a treadmill belt.

In this article, I’ll provide you with the knowledge you need to be able to clean your treadmill belt with confidence so you can maximize the life of the treadmill and get the most performance from it. I’ll also alert you to the signs that the treadmill belt needs cleaning and answer the most frequently asked questions to do with cleaning your treadmill belt.

The Importance Of Cleaning Your Treadmill Belt

Cleaning the treadmill belt and deck is an important part of the maintenance of your treadmill. It doesn’t take very long for dirt, debris, grime and dust to accumulate on the top and bottom surfaces of the walking belt. Too much dust and dirt buildup can cause friction that interferes with the smooth operation of the walking belt. As a result, the belt movement can be jerky and inconsistent.

Improves Safety

The inconsistent movement that can occur when a dirty treadmill walking belt causes jerkiness can be very unsafe. It may cause you to suddenly lurch forward or even fall backward during your workout.

Removes Bacteria

A greasy treadmill deck may also cause your feet to slide as you are running. Remember to also wear running shoes to help avoid slipping. Regular cleaning of the belt of your home treadmill will also get rid of bacteria that build up on the treadmill. It is especially important to clean the belt, along with the rest of the treadmill to get rid of bacteria if different people are using the treadmill.

Sweat Removal

Regular cleaning of the belt and deck will also remove sweat that drips down onto the belt during the workout. You should remove sweat as soon as possible after the workout. This will avoid bacteria build up as well as avoiding the possibility of sweat stains. Planning on losing weight by walking more? Learn how long it takes to walk 3 miles here.

Maintain Warranty

Another reason that it is important to keep up regular maintenance on your treadmill in general, and the treadmill belt, in particular, is that it may actually void the warranty conditions put out by the manufacturer. This information is usually hidden away in the fine print. Regular maintenance will, therefore, avoid costly repairs.

How To Know When Your Treadmill Belt Needs Cleaning

How To Know When Your Treadmill Belt Needs Cleaning

Making the effort to clean a treadmill belt should form part of the regular maintenance schedule to keep the entire treadmill clean. So, rather than looking for specific signs that the belt needs cleaning, if you follow the schedule outlined below you will avoid any issues.

Daily Cleaning

Every day, after use you should wipe down the treadmill with a soft cloth. Be on the lookout for sweat and debris that have accumulated on the dashboard and the running belt. This should only take a minute or two after your training session.

Weekly Cleaning

Once per week, you should clean the treadmill with a wet cloth and a bowl of water. With your weekly cleaning, spend 5-10 minutes to give the machine, including the running belt, a good going over. You should also use a vacuum cleaner to hoover up any dust and debris that has built up over the week. Be sure to also vacuum under the treadmill.

Once you are done cleaning the treadmill with a wet cloth, always make sure you wipe it down with a dry cloth.

Monthly Cleaning

Once per month, you should remove the motor cover and clean the motor with a soft dry cloth. You should also lubricate the belt of the treadmill on a monthly basis. Remove the motor hood in accordance with the owner’s manual. Do this in accord with the manufacturer’s instructions as outlined in the user manual. Check, too, whether the belt needs to be tightened or aligned.

Steps For Cleaning Your Treadmill Belt

  1. As mentioned already, you should wipe down the surface of the belt with a wet cloth (or paper towel) on a weekly basis. Be especially on the lookout for dirt and sweat stains, giving them special attention.
  2. If a dry cloth and water do not remove the stain or grease from the running belt, try using rubbing alcohol. Rub the alcohol solution vigorously into the stain and then go over it with a damp cloth. You should have paper towels nearby to clean up any mess.
  3. You should lubricate your treadmill mat once a month or every 150 miles. To do so, locate the belt bolts near the head of the treadmill, using an Allen key so that the running belt loosens. This will allow you to lift the running belt and place a lubricant nozzle under the mat. Try to get it as close as you can to the middle of the treadmill. Now squirt a little bit of lubricant at about 5 or 6 places down the length of the running belt. You do not want to get any lubricant on the top side of the belt. You should also vacuum the underside of the mat while it is loosened.
  4. Once a month you should also check to see if the treadmill belt needs tightening. To check if the belt needs tightening, stand on the belt and turn the machine on. If you hear the rollers struggling to get the belt moving, it is a sign that that the belt tension is insufficient. You can do this by adjusting the bolts at the front of the machine.
  5. You should also check the alignment of the running belt each time you lubricate it. Sometimes the belt may slip so check that it is in the proper position on the front and rear roller. If not, adjust accordingly.

Do not clean the belt with the treadmill running as you will not be able to scrub hard enough to remove stains.

Frequently Asked Questions

To clean the underside of a treadmill belt, you need to loosen the belt with an Allen wrench key. This will allow you to get the nozzle of a vacuum attachment under the belt to clean it. You should also lubricate the underside of the belt in this occasion.

The spray you use on a treadmill belt should first be in accord with the recommendation in the treadmill owner’s manual. You should always use a silicone based lubricant or lube. It should be noted that not all treadmills need to be lubricated as some of them are coated with a high performance lubricant in the factory.

You should clean your treadmill belt with a wet cloth and water. If the stain does not remove, try using an alcohol based solution and rubbing vigorously. Then go over the area with a damp cloth. Use a silicone based lubricant for the underside of the treadmill. Never use abrasive cleaners.

No, you should never use WD-40 on a treadmill belt. That is because WD-40 is not a silicone based lubricant. Using it may actually eat away at the rubber surface of the running mat, causing more harm than good. You should only ever use a silicone based lubricant on your electronic belt.

You should expect your treadmill belt to last for around 10 years, so long as it is well maintained in accordance with the recommendations provided in this article. Be sure to clean your treadmill belt on a weekly basis and to lubricate the underside of the running belt every month.


Maintaining your treadmill belt takes just a few minutes but can make a big difference to the performance and longevity of your machine. Follow the simple steps provided in this article on how to clean a treadmill belt to stay on top of your treadmill belt maintenance and get the maximum use from your home gym investment.