Barbell Maintenance (Bare Steel)

The Supplies You will Need

  • Stiff, nylon brush
  • 3-In-One oil
  • A rag that will be used to apply oil to the bar
  • A rag for cleaning oil off the bar

Step 1: Clean the Knurling

Before oiling the bar, you should clean the knurling. Leaving debris in the knurl, such as left-over chalk or dirt from your hands, can cause the bar to rust over time.

How to Clean your Barbell’s Knurling

  1. Apply a small amount of oil to the bar’s knurling
  2. Use the brush to clean chalk and dirt out of the knurl

 After you’ve cleaned the knurling, you’ll be ready to oil the bar.

Step 2: Oil the Bar

Wiping down the bar with oil will help remove rust and protect the bar. If you want your bar to last a long time, this will be necessary. Especially if it is being used in a commercial gym, which can be a harsh environment for a barbell.

How to Oil Your Barbell

  1. Apply a small amount of oil to the rag and wipe down the barbell with it
  2. Use the brush to work the oil into the knurling
  3. Let the oil dry on the bar for a few minutes
  4. Use the clean rag to wipe down the bar, cleaning up any excess oil

Once you’ve wiped the bar down with oil, move on to the last step.

Step 3: Lubricate the Bushings or Bearings

If you want the sleeves of your bar to continue spinning smoothly, you will have to regularly lubricate its bushings or bearings.

How to Lubricate Your Bar’s Bushings or Bearings

  1. Stand the bar upright, or vertically.
  2. With the bar standing straight up, apply a conservative amount of oil (a few drops) to the beginning, or inside, of the sleeve closest to the floor, where it meets the shaft. Slowly spin the sleeve while doing so to allow the lubricant to reach the entire bushing or bearing.
  3. Use the cleaning rag to wipe up any excess oil.
  4. Flip the bar so that the other end is facing up, and repeat steps 2-3 for the other sleeve. (Remove end cap with snap ring pliers to access the bronze bushing)

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