How to properly care for your Olympic barbells

There are two things we can not deny.

First one is when you combine steel with dampness and water it will start to rust. And the second: when you train, you sweat.

The problem is not that few drops of sweat that land on your Olympic barbell when you are doing your “Cleans”. No, it is the magnesium you use in your training. The magnesium absorbs all the dampness from your sweaty palms. And that magnesium also gest into the crevices of the knurl marks of your barbell.

That is why the barbells usually have a protective coating. We can differentiate the coating by look, feel, by price and the resistance of the coating. If we would sort the coating by resistance starting with the least resistant it would look like this: black oxide, galvanized zinc, chrome, and hard chrome being the most resistant coating of them all.

Besides buying a barbell that has a resistant coating it is also on us to maintain the barbell and thus lengthen its lifespan.

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So, how to maintain a barbell?

Cleaning the barbell regularly

How often you should clean the barbell depends on your environment and the frequency of usage.

Cleaning the Knurl marks.

Cleaning the magnesium residue from the knurl marks should be done quite regularly. Use a brush with hard nylon bristles and clean your bar after every use. You can also use a technical spray like WD-40. You apply it to the knurl marks, leave it a few hours to work its magic and then wipe it off with a dry cloth (be careful, DO NOT use WD-40 on your barbell’s bearings).

Cleaning the bearings.

Most of the barbells on the market have bearings that are already oiled, so you don’t need to clean them very often.

Every so often you should take the bearings apart, use a clean dry cloth to wipe off any accumulated dirt and add a few drops of silicone oil to the rolling part of the bearing (DO NOT use WD-40 for cleaning your bearings).

How to properly store your Bar?

Having the dedicated spot for your barbell is important. It will prevent any scratches and other damage to the barbell.

Having a wall or floor barbell storage system can also make more room in your training area. There are many storage systems for barbells: horizontal wall hangers, vertical wall hangers, floor stands and so on. You can check them out in our online store.


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