Rowing Machine Maintenance and Care Tips

A rowing machine is a fantastic investment for your fitness and overall well-being, offering a low-impact, full-body workout that engages multiple muscle groups.

To ensure your rowing machine remains in excellent working condition and continues to provide effective workouts for years to come, proper maintenance and care are essential.

So, here are our tips to help you keep your rowing machine working as good as new for years to come.

Regular Cleaning of Rowing Machine

1. Regular Cleaning

While it might sound unnessary, keeping your rowing machine clean is crucial for its longevity and performance.

Sweat and dust can accumulate on the machine, affecting its functionality and potentially leading to deterioration.

After each workout, wipe down the rowing machine's surface, seat, and handles with a soft, damp cloth.

For a more thorough cleaning, use a mild solution of water and soap, ensuring you don't let excess water seep into any electronic components. Then use a second dry towel to ensure the machine is dry to prevent rust.

The salt in your sweat is another cause of rust and more reason to clean you machine after each use.

Lubricating Rowing Machine

2. Lubrication

Proper lubrication is essential to maintain smooth and quiet operation. Refer to the manufacturer's guidelines for the specific type of lubricant recommended for your rowing machine model. Commonly, rowing machines require periodic lubrication on the chain, seat rollers, and other moving parts.

Follow the instructions provided in the user manual to apply the lubricant correctly. Regular lubrication will prevent unnecessary wear and tear and ensure a comfortable rowing experience.

If your manufacturer recommends a silicone based silicone, we tend to use 3 in 1 silicone lubricant which you can pick up from most DIY stores such as B&Q.

Check and Tighten Bolts of Rowing Machine

3. Check and Tighten Bolts

Periodically inspect all the nuts, bolts, and screws on your rowing machine to ensure they are properly tightened. The machine's constant motion can cause these fasteners to loosen over time.

Using a wrench or screwdriver, tighten any loose components to prevent potential accidents and maintain stability during workouts.

This step is especially important after you have first received your equipment and used it a few times. Sometimes when a machine is newly assembled it won't have had any weight applied to it and might settle slightly and need retightening.

Cover for Rowing Machine

4. Store Properly

When not in use, store your rowing machine in a dry and clean environment. Avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, or high humidity, as these conditions can lead to rust and damage to the machine's frame and components.

Humidity can be an issue in garage gyms and some manufacturers won't cover a warranty if it is stored in a garage. So, if possible, cover the rowing machine with a protective cover that will hopefully prevent some of the moisture condensing on the machine in the cold winter months.

Monitor Tension of Rowing Machine

5. Monitor the Tension

Rowing machines usually come with adjustable tension settings to control the resistance level. Regularly check and adjust the tension according to your preference and workout requirements.

Avoid using excessively high tension as it could strain the machine and lead to premature wear. On the other hand, very low tension might not provide enough resistance for an effective workout.

Inspect the chain of Rowing Machine

6. Inspect the Chain

The chain is a critical component of a rowing machine, as it connects the handle to the flywheel or fan. Inspect the chain regularly for any signs of wear, rust, or damage.

Related: Rowing Machine Types Comparison

If you notice any issues, follow the manufacturer's instructions for maintenance or replacement. Keeping the chain in good condition will ensure smooth and efficient rowing motion.

Follow the User Manual of Rowing Machine

7. Follow the User Manual

Every rowing machine comes with a user manual that contains specific maintenance instructions and guidelines. It's essential to read and follow these instructions carefully. The user manual will provide valuable information on lubrication, cleaning, and troubleshooting common issues.

Following the manufacturer's recommendations will help extend the lifespan of your rowing machine.

Avoid using excessive force on Rowing Machine

8. Avoid Excessive Force

While rowing machines are designed to withstand regular use, it's essential to avoid using excessive force during your workouts. Row with smooth and controlled movements, avoiding jerking or yanking the handles.

High-impact rowing can lead to unnecessary stress on the machine's components and may cause them to wear out faster.

Related: Correct Rowing Machine Form


9. Register the Warranty!

If you are reading this article you might be a bit too late to register the warranty. But a number of manufacturers require you to register the warranty within a certain time from to qualify for the full warranty.

Otherwise you might find yourself with a short warranty that has run out. While we hope you never need to use your warranty it adds an extra layer of protection worth mentioning.


Keep Your Rower in Top Shape

Even if you buy the best rowing machine on the market, if it isn't properly looked after and maintained its lifespan will be reduced. 

So make sure to look after your rower and it provide you with years of effective and enjoyable workouts.

Regular cleaning, lubrication, and proper storage are essential aspects of maintenance.

Additionally, monitoring tension, inspecting the chain, and following the manufacturer's guidelines will ensure your rowing machine remains in excellent condition.

By incorporating these maintenance and care tips into your routine, you'll be able to make the most of your investment and enjoy a consistent and effective rowing experience for years to come.

Author's Photo

William Parrett

Will, co-founder of Home Gym Supply, launched the company in 2019 after 15-years in the fitness industry. His expertise stems not only from his professional background but also from his athletic pursuits. A former competitor in the World Beauty Fitness & Fashion (WBFF) and a competitive rugby player, Will has always been dedicated to health and fitness.