Your yoga mat is not just an accessory that you use on a regular basis for your yoga practice sessions.
Ultimately, there are real emotions attached to your yoga mat. If you’re like most people, you’ve probably cried, laughed, smiled and even sweated on your yoga mat.
However, with regular use of these mats, it’s also important to keep them clean and hygienic.
So how exactly do you clean your yoga mat?
Well, there are several ways that you clean your mat and ultimately you’ll need to decide which is the best option for you.
In the following article, we’ll take a closer look at the different ways in which you can clean your mat and this will help you decide on what’s the best method for you.
- 1 Different Ways to Clean Your Yoga Mat
- 2 A step by step guide for cleaning your mat
- 3 How often should you clean your mat?
- 4 Related Questions
Different Ways to Clean Your Yoga Mat
There are several options or methods of cleaning a yoga mat, and you’ll need to decide which is the best one for you.
You can choose to take your yoga mat outside and hose it down, soak it in the tub or make your own detergent to clean your mat.
Some people also choose to machine wash their yoga mat, and if it is permitted on the instruction label, then go ahead and do it.
A step by step guide for cleaning your mat
Yoga is probably one of the best ways to relieve stress by encouraging meditation and relaxation.
However, it’s quite hard to relax when using a yoga mat that is wreaking with odors.
Thankfully, there’s an easy solution to this problem, and it involves cleaning your yoga mat.
Yoga mats come in all shapes and sizes and are made in a variety of materials such as hemp, cotton or rubber, and PVC.
However, each material can be cleaned by following some easy steps.
In order to properly clean your yoga mat, you will need the following supplies:
- Yoga mat
- Spray bottle
- Mild soap
- Tea tree oil which is optional
While there are some great commercial yoga cleaning solutions on the market, if you’re worried about the ingredients used in these solutions, you can choose to make your own cleaning solution.
Start by adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of white vinegar into a spray bottle and then filling it to the top with cold water.
If you’d like, you can add a few drops of tea tree oil, but this is not essential. Close the top of the spray bottle and shake to mix the ingredients.
The white vinegar basically acts as an antibacterial with the water diluting it to avoid harming the materials in your mat.
The vinegar also acts to remove strong odors. Tea tree oil is believed to have antifungal properties and also gives a pleasant scent to your mat.
You can choose to use lavender oil instead, which also has a great scent and combines antibacterial properties as well.
This technique should be used immediately after your yoga session because it is portable and quick, as well.
In order to help your yoga mat stay disinfected, the spray will remove sweat and germs after each use.
So you can also take this cleaning solution with you to your yoga sessions and perform this technique immediately after each session.
After you spray your mat, take your washcloth and wiped down the entire mat.
Thereafter you can repeat the process if necessary. Allow your mat to air dry completely before rolling it up again.
There are times when your mat will be in need of deep cleaning and not just a simple vinegar mist.
This is especially if you haven’t cleaned your mat for quite some time or after a few sessions.
What you can do in this case is to add a few drops of mild dish soap to a sponge and dip it in warm water.
Soak the sponge in warm water, and with the softer side of the sponge, rub down your mat, so you don’t damage the surface.
Once you’ve thoroughly washed the mat, wipe it down with a wet paper towel or washcloth and then allowing it to air dry.
This technique works based on rubber and PVC yoga mats.
It will not work as well on hemp and cotton mats, and this is not an issue as you can simply wash your cotton and hemp mats.
This technique is recommended for hemp and cotton yoga mats; however, it can also be used on some types of PVC and rubber mats.
This step includes putting your yoga mat in a front-loading washing machine and setting the machine to soak while adding a few mild laundry detergents.
Woolite is an excellent recommendation for washing your yoga mats.
It’s important to note that you should wash your yoga mat on the delicate and gentle cycle, alternatively just soak your mat if you’re worried about it getting damaged in the washing machine.
Once the cycle is complete, you can dry your mat by hanging it up on a wash line.
A tumble dryer is not a good option for drying your yoga mat since they have the tendency to get too hot and may potentially ruin your mat.
This is the last step in cleaning your yoga mat and requires you to take a deep breathe in to ensure that your mat is clean and ready for action.
This also ensures that you can take it to the next yoga practice session and perform your child’s pose with complete peace of mind.
How often should you clean your mat?
Before we discuss how often you need to clean your yoga mat, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you definitely should be cleaning it.
Your skin is home to millions of microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, and microscopic mites.
Although it sounds gross, they are not necessarily bad for your health.
Usually, they are harmless; however, they are also quite capable of moving onto your yoga mats while you pretzel yourself into different postures and poses.
You also shed skin cells every day. In fact, you shed approximately 30,000 to 40,000 skin cells daily.
Additionally, your body produces oil, secretions, and sweat, and all of this gets onto your yoga mat during your practice sessions.
Ultimately if you share your mat or borrow one from a communal gym, you are exposed to even nastier stuff.
Therefore the likelihood of microorganisms multiplying on your yoga mat is highly likely.
The question is, can these microorganisms make you sick?
Although you may not experience any health blowbacks by not cleaning a yoga mat, you could probably pick up a skin infection from an unclean yoga mat.
If you use shared yoga mats, you could potentially end up with skin conditions such as ringworm, athletes, and warts.
These are fungal infections, and they can create scaly and itchy skin between your toes and the ringworms usually form a circular rash on any part of your body.
These skin infections develop when organisms creep into minor cuts and abrasions in your skin.
If you have a compromised immune system, then you’re even more at risk of developing skin conditions.
So the best way to avoid this from happening is to clean it and ensure that your yoga mat is free from all types of microorganisms
So how often should you clean your yoga mat?
Experts suggest that you clean your yoga mat after each use; however, this is just a guideline.
The number of times and the consistency that you wash your yoga mat will depend on the material that it is made from and how often you are using it as well.
Yoga mats usually come with detailed instructions and are often based on the materials it is made from.
While some brands may recommend that you clean it with warm soapy water, others may recommend that you only use specially made yoga mat cleaners.
Ultimately, your yoga mat should be cleaned after each and every use. This is irrespective of whether you use it seven days a week or once a week.
It should also be cleaned using the appropriate cleaning solution and supplies, and it should be thoroughly dried before loading it up and storing it away.
Should you use special yoga mat cleaners to wash your mat?
This depends on the care instructions from the manufacturer.
Usually, if your mat is made from PVC and rubber, you can use store-bought or made cleaning solutions.
However, you should never use abrasive cleaning supplies and a washcloth or sponge is sufficient for cleaning.
How often should you wash your yoga mat?
It is recommended that you wash it after each use.
Do you necessarily need to clean your yoga mat?
Hundreds of microorganisms build up on your skin daily and this transfers to your mat during your practice sessions.