Tips For Maintaining an Elliptical Machine

While it’s good to own an elliptical trainer, proper cleaning is what determines if it would last or not. With your busy schedules, it’s very easy to overlook even the basic elliptical machine maintenance techniques.

Sadly, not many people realize how important routine maintenance is for an exercise machine like elliptical trainer. However, the importance of routine maintenance is an underpriced luxury.

A well-maintained elliptical machine will last longer, lead to more working hours, low repair costs, increase the value of the machine, and improve efficiency.

Besides these, you need to consider the safety implications too. Regularly maintaining your elliptical machine will cut down the potential risks of injury. And, if you own a gym, you may want to consider a contract with a gym maintenance company.

In this article, we will explore the various maintenance techniques to keep your elliptical trainer in top-notch condition and avoid excessive maintenance.

Cleaning and Maintaining an Elliptical Trainer

The external parts of the machine are always in contact with users and their sweat. This can pose a health threat especially if the machine is used by more than one person.

Harmful microbes and their diseases can spread through this means. This is why cleaning keeps it germ-free. Asides from that, the sweat can also get into the machine parts and cause damage. Below are cleaning tips and tricks to help keep your elliptical machines in a better condition.

Familiarize Yourself with the User Manual

Sounds a bit odd, right? No. The many problems that accompany the use of a machine can be avoided if you just grab the manual and study it before use. There are bits of valuable information you can learn from that practice.

A manual, for example, can provide you with information on how you should clean the machine and how often. No need to get frustrated by the obscure buttons on your elliptical. This issue can also be avoided by reading the manual.

Furthermore, you could learn a thing or two from the safety guidelines provided in the instructions manual. The good news is, even if you have gotten rid of your manual, you can always find a digital copy online.

External Cleaning

This is very important because these are the parts exposed to you, your sweat, and even your saliva. To clean these parts, dip a soft cloth in a solution of warm water and mild detergent or soap solution and wipe. The wiping should be carefully done to avoid scratching the surfaces.

You should also avoid soaking the cloth up in too much water as too much water can get into the machine and damage it. Over time, it can also cause corrosion. Avoid using a wet cloth to wipe the console too. Instead, use a dry microfiber cloth.

Cultivate the good habit of cleaning the machine after each workout with a microfiber dust cloth. This helps in preventing the build-up of dirt, sweat, and dust. PS. Avoid the use of aggressive chemicals such as ammonia, phthalates, bleach, vinegar, etc.

What to Consider When Buying an Elliptical Machine

Internal Cleaning

Internal parts must also be cleaned. However, this could prove difficult. What should be done then? Use a vacuum cleaner around and under the machine to pick up dust, dirt, or debris that may be stuck in the flywheel or in between parts of the machine.

To get the best of the cleaning method, you may have to remove the covering of the elliptical by using a screwdriver to unscrew the nuts and bolts.

Carefully remove the shell of the elliptical and vacuum thoroughly. This helps you get rid of dust and debris stuck inside there. You do not have to do this often. Twice a year is fine.


One of the most important aspects of maintaining the health of any machine is lubrication. During operation, parts move against each other leading to friction. This preventive maintenance procedure can prolong the life of any machine or equipment.

Take the elliptical trainer for example, it has many moving parts that rub against each other. In the long run, without lubrication, it can lead to the squeaky sound you hear, and the wear and tear of your elliptical experience. Some of these trainer failures could be avoided with regular lubrication.

Some elliptical trainers come with their lubricant; if yours did not, avoid using household lubricant as this may be ineffective or cause more damage to the machine.

Some ellipticals use red or white lithium, ball-bearing grease, or it could even be silicone-based. However, before spraying on any parts that need lubrication, read the manual first.

Read Elliptical Workout Benefits and Drawbacks

Check Nuts and Bolts

The key areas of concern include the seat nuts, handlebar, pedals, stabilizer bolts, monitor, etc. Check if they are screwed properly especially as they were during initial assembly. Ensure to check other connections, too, such as the machine’s frame bolts.

If any part is loose, screw it tight immediately. Sometimes, over time, the screw heads can become worn out or stripped and will need replacement. This explains why regular checking will prevent severe consequences from loose nuts and bolts.

Unplugging After Use

Many users just jump off the elliptical trainer after use and walk away, forgetting they are supposed to run checks on the machine and unplug it.

Since you invested so much money in purchasing an elliptical, you might as well want it to last long, right? It begins with simple actions such as unplugging! Though there may be no disadvantages to unplugging the machine, there are sure many advantages.

Firstly, it saves electricity which translates to cheaper bills. The thing is, simply switching off the elliptical is not enough. Like almost any electric device, power still runs through the machine as long as it’s plugged.

PS. If your socket has a power switch, there may be no need to unplug the device. Unplugging also improves lifespan. Constant power running through an electric device can cause it to malfunction.

Stabilizing it

If your elliptical is not stable, movements can become awkward or wobbly. Before you try to stabilize it, test if it’s stable by rocking it from side to side. Carrying this process out will give you a clue on which part of the machine needs to be stabilized.

Secondly, the floor your machine rests on needs to be a solid or concrete even floor. If your floor is hardwood, ensure it doesn’t have divots or warps. If it’s still not stable, check if the machine’s frame bolts are tightened well enough, or its feet are leveled.

If you’ve exhausted all the above methods and still nothing changes, it’s time you got an equipment mat, consider applying plywood, or stick the machine to the floor.

Check Drive Belts

Not all ellipticals come with a drive belt. However, most have one that provides a connection between the pedals to the flywheels.
You could run checks to ensure it’s not too tight or too loose. Too tight means it will put too much pressure on your bearings and vice-versa. The key thing is it should be tight enough to prevent it from slipping. Adjust accordingly if otherwise.

Sometimes, these belts can wear or tear. When that happens, it means one thing: it’s time to change the belts. Except you have experience, call in a certified mechanic to change the drive belts for you.

Check Batteries

Your console is probably powered by a rechargeable battery or by a battery that doesn’t require a power outlet. If the latter is the case, you may want to consider checking or replacing it, depending on the condition.

All you have to just do is to unscrew the lid behind and check the batteries out. It won’t take much of your time. Try to replace batteries at least yearly. This is because older batteries may leak and cause malfunction.

Check Room Conditions

Whether you’re working out at home or at the gym, it’s important to make sure that your exercise equipment is in good condition. After all, your fitness goals won’t be achieved if your machine isn’t functioning properly.

One of the most important factors in maintaining your equipment is the weather. Extreme heat or cold can damage delicate components, while humidity can cause rust and other problems.

That’s why it’s vital to keep your exercise machine in a room that is temperature-controlled and free from weather elements. By taking this simple step, you’ll ensure that your equipment has a long lifespan – and that you’ll be able to reach your fitness goals.

How much space is enough?

Well, this might be a tricky question to answer. The functional space depends on the size of your elliptical trainer. Depending on the size, the floor should be at least 4′ by 8′ and the ceiling high enough, so your head doesn’t go bumping in it.

Secondly, where you put your elliptical also matters; basement, garage, sitting room, etc. Whatever your choice is, just ensure you observe the safety rules for setting up one, and the room has enough ventilation and a lighting system.

Plus, it’s best when your elliptical is placed against a load-bearing wall. PS. Putting your elliptical upstairs may not be a good idea but if there is no ground space available, then just go ahead.

Proper Cleaning Routine

Cleaning is a very important preventive maintenance measure to carry on your elliptical. Below are some of the schedules to can follow to keep your machine top-notch for a long time.

  • Daily Goals: After each workout, use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe down sweat, dust, and dirt from the machine. You could also use a lint-free towel.
  • Weekly Goals: Dedicate at least one day a week to giving your elliptical a thorough cleaning.
  • Monthly Goals: Run maintenance checks on the machine. Check the pedals, frame, console, ensuring bolts and nuts have not become loose or too tight.
  • Yearly Goals: Run a thorough maintenance check, or you can invite a pro to help run checks on your elliptical. At the same time, you could also consider applying lubricants at least twice a year or once. There are no hard and fast rules on this.

In a Nutshell

The best time to start taking care of your machine is the moment you purchase it. It’s a bad practice to wait till things get really bad. We guarantee the health of your elliptical if you follow all the advice dished out in this guide to the tee. If in the end, you don’t remember anything from this piece at all, just remember one thing: always wipe your machine after each workout!

How long should i spend on each machine at the gym?

The average person should spend at least 30 minutes on an elliptical machine, but the best way to determine how long you should spend on it is to find your target heart rate and stay within that range.

The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or a combination of both.

So if you’re trying to achieve the recommended amount of weekly exercise, you would need to break it up into at least five sessions of at least 30 minutes on the elliptical machine.

How many calories an elliptical machine burns per hour?

There’s no definitive answer to this question since it depends on a number of factors, including the person’s weight, intensity of the workout, and so forth.

That said, a 2014 study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness found that elliptical trainers can burn anywhere from 5 to 10 calories per minute.

So, depending on the person’s fitness level and how long they’re working out, it’s possible to burn upwards of 600 calories in an hour-long elliptical session.

Keep in mind that none of this is set in stone and that everyone burns calories differently, so it’s always best to speak with a doctor or certified trainer before starting any new exercise regimen.

What are elliptical machines?

Elliptical machines are exercise devices that allow you to mimic the motion of running or walking without putting any impact on your joints. They’re a popular choice for home gyms and health clubs because they’re relatively low-impact and easy to use.

An elliptical machine typically has two large pedals that you stand on and hold onto the handrails for balance. As you start pedaling, the pedals will move in a smooth, circular motion.

You can adjust the resistance level on most ellipticals, which makes it harder or easier to pedal depending on your fitness level. Some elliptical machines also have moving arm bars that give you an upper-body workout as well.

Who can service an elliptical machine?

If your elliptical machine is under warranty, you’ll want to check your agreement to see if protections against defects are included. In some cases, the warranty might only cover specific services or parts. Once the warranty expires, you might be responsible for all service and maintenance costs on the equipment.

Generally speaking, anyone who is experienced in servicing similar fitness equipment should be able to service an elliptical machine. This could include a certified personal trainer, an electrician, or even an athletic trainer, or a product specialist.

If you’re not sure who to contact, your best bet is to reach out to the manufacturer of the elliptical machine for guidance. They may have a list of recommended service providers in your area.

Is rowing machine and elliptical the same thing?

No, a rowing machine is not the same as an elliptical. A rowing machine simulates the motion of rowing a boat, while an elliptical trainer is a stationary device that provides a cardiovascular workout by moving your legs in an elliptical pattern.

Both machines offer different benefits and work different muscles, so it’s important to choose the one that’s best for you. Rowing machines are used seated and use 85% of body muscles while elliptical trainers are used standing.

Will cross trainer help lose weight?

Yes, working out on a cross trainer can help you lose weight. If weight loss is your goal, be sure to pair your workouts with a healthy diet.

Remember that you need to create a calorie deficit in order to lose weight, so you’ll need to burn more calories than you consume each day. A cross trainer can help you burn calories and tone your muscles, making it an excellent choice for those looking to lose weight.

In addition to helping with weight loss, working out on a cross trainer can also improve your overall fitness level. Cross trainers offer a full-body workout, which means they can help strengthen and tone all of the major muscle groups in your body. This can lead to better posture, increased bone density,

Will cross trainer build muscle?

The cross trainer is a great way to tone your muscles and lose weight. It is also a very effective workout for building muscle. The reason the cross trainer is so effective for building muscle is because it works your entire body.

It burns a lot of calories, which helps you build muscle. It also works your quads, hamstrings, and glutes, which are all major muscle groups. If you want to build muscle, the cross trainer is a great option.

Running machine vs elliptical?

The two most popular pieces of cardio equipment in the gym are the running machine and elliptical. So, which is better for you? It really depends on your goals.

If you’re trying to lose weight, then the most important factor is how many calories you burn. And, in that case, the elliptical wins hands down. A 155-pound person can expect to burn around 400 calories in 30 minutes on an elliptical, versus only about 300 calories on a treadmill at a 6-mph pace.

But if you’re training for a race or looking to improve your speed and endurance, then the treadmill is going to be your best bet. Why? Because when you run outside, you not only

How much maintenance an elliptical machine needs?

As with any piece of exercise equipment, the amount of maintenance your elliptical machine needs will depend on how often you use it and how well you care for it. If you use your elliptical regularly and keep it clean and properly lubricated, you can expect it to last for years with minimal maintenance.

However, if you neglect your elliptical or only use it occasionally, you may find that it starts to show signs of wear and tear more quickly. In this case, you’ll need to put in a bit more effort to keep it in good working condition.

At a minimum, you should make sure to dust off your elliptical machine after every use and wipe down the pedals and moving parts with a damp cloth.

Elliptical machine teaching points?

First and foremost, an elliptical trainer is a great way to get in a low-impact cardio workout. This means that it is easier on your joints than something like running, which can be tough on your knees and ankles. Additionally, an elliptical trainer can be a great way to mix up your workout routine and add some variety. That being said, here are a few things to keep in mind when using an elliptical trainer:

  1. First, make sure that you are using the machine properly. This means setting the correct resistance level and making sure that you are using a full range of motion.
  2. Start off slow and gradually increase your speed as you get comfortable with the machine. There are also exercise applications like iFit that provide hundreds of on-demand rowing and elliptical workout.

Sayed Hamed Hosseiny
Sayed Hamed Hosseiny

Hi, my name is Sayed Hamed Hosseiny. I am a professional health and fitness trainer with nearly 20 years of experience using ellipticals, rowing machines, and spin bikes. I also have my own EU-based Rock Fitness Pro fitness brand where I design, import and sell exercise equipment such as rowing machines and spin bikes. I and writers on my team also often receive fitness equipment to review and evaluate their functionalities and performance from tens of different exercise machines manufacturers. Fitness equipment tips, guides, reviews, and comparisons on this website are my opinion (and opinions of my fitness expert colleagues) based on tens of criteria. I never accept payment to write reviews of products or say positive things about fitness equipment products. If brands are interested to have me review their rowers, ellipticals, or spin bikes, they can get in touch with me via email provided on the contact page and send a sample of their product.