No matter how hard you try, and believe me I have tried, barbells in the garage gym will simply collect dirt and moisture…which will lead to rust….
Here at End of Three Fitness we have gone over a lot of how-to’s:
- How to Shop for and Buy Good Barbells, Bumper Plates, etc…
- How to Program Strength Into CrossFit
- How to Properly Work Up to a 1 Rep Max
- How to Make Paleo Pumpkin Muffins
- How to Become a Member of “The Garage”
- DIY Projects
- The list goes on….
Some people like the look of rusty plates and barbells, but I am not one of them. To me, rust is metal cancer. It will get all over your bar, create a mess and actually decrease the performance of a barbell (i.e. spinning collars).
Barbell maintenance is something you only have to do once every six months and even that is a bit aggressive, as long as you are taking care of the bar throughout the year. Those of you that live in humid climates may have more trouble with a rusting barbell so you may want to do some barbell maintenance more regularly.
The following steps should take no more than 10 minutes…unless your bar is in serious trouble.
Step 1: Coke
Have you heard of this one before?? Coke used to clean rust. That’s right, I read about it on a forum somewhere a long time ago and decided to give it a try. If you have a real rust problem you can actually soak your plates or barbell in coke and it will clean them up quite nicely. While the Mythbusters would have you believe that this is not possible, I disagree.
I used the coke to clean the entire bar. I just dabbed it liberally on a paper towel and scrubbed the bar down. I had a few small rust spots that required a little extra elbow grease, but in the end I had it looking pretty nice.
Make sure to rub the bar with a dry paper towel after to get as much of the coke off as you can. At first, I thought I don’t want a sticky bar, but would that actually be a bad thing? It will save you money on chalk 🙂
Don’t worry! This did not make my bar sticky at all, especially with what we do in the next step.
Step 2: Lube
Now we apply wet lube (WD-40) and dry lube (Liquid Wrench). One thing you do not want to do is spray your entire bar down with WD-40. That will leave a greasy film that will last a long time and not be good for any of your lifts.
WD-40: Use the WD-40 in small amounts just on the inside of the collars to insure they will keep a good spin. Again, don’t spray the entire bar!
Liquid Wrench: This stuff is similar to WD-40 but it does not leave a film and dries very quickly. It has properties, like WD-40, to prevent any corrosion on metal. I use this stuff as a protectant.
I use Liquid Wrench quite liberally. Usually, I spray down the entire bar and give it about a minute to drip and dry off (that’s all it takes). Then I go over the entire bar with a dry paper towel.
Bottom line…Take care of your crap!!