Keeping an elliptical machine in good working condition requires regular cleaning. Without this, your machine quickly builds up dust and gunk that affects the machine's ability to operate smoothly and puts more wear and tear on the engine.
Read your manufacturer's book to find their recommendations on cleaning your elliptical machine. There should be directions on how to remove any casing for the machine to allow access to the rails, wheels and motor. Make sure not to void the warrant on your machine by improperly cleaning it.
Wipe down the machine after every workout. Be sure to wipe down every part of the elliptical machine, including the handles, the seat, the pedals and the computer. A cloth dampened with water works well to remove surface sweat. To remove sweat that's been left overnight, you can use a mild cleanser.
Clean the rails and wheels. Clean both sides of each rail, including the inside tube where the wheel slides. Leaving dirt in this area causes the elliptical machine to become jerky and can slow the machine down. You can use a cloth that has been sprayed with silicone spray to wipe these areas down after dirt has been removed.
Vacuum under the machine every other week to prevent dust from collecting in the elliptical rails and motor. Every three months, you need to vacuum around the motor casing.