How to Clean Your Gross Yoga Mat

Posted by on March 25, 2020 in Exercise and Fitness with 0 Comments

If you love doing yoga, then you’ll want to keep your yoga mat odor-free and sanitary. Viruses, germs, and bacteria thrive in the sweaty areas of your recently used yoga mat.

For instance, ringworms can grow on the surfaces of a poorly-maintained mat. Shared mats aren’t any better either, as they also provide a home for bacteria and fungus. As such, you’ll want to bring your own mat to a gym or studio and keep it clean at all times.

Six Steps to a Clean Yoga Mat

While it’s important to clean your mat every few months, being too aggressive with your approach can ruin the mat. When cleansing the yoga mat, do so in a way that allows the mat to maintain its “grip”. Follow the steps below to keep your mat stink-free, sanitized, and “sticky”.

Step 1: Identifying Your Approach

The first step is to identify which cleaning method to use on your mat. There are several ways to approach scrubbing your mat, including not scrubbing the mat in the first place if the surface isn’t too grungy.

If the grossness level is off the charts, then it would be a good idea to use a sanitizing solution to aid in the process. If you factor in the lack of time, then a washing machine is your best bet for cleaning.

Step 2:  Use Soap and Water

There are some really great options for sanitizing your mat, and one of them happens to be the most basic. Clean your mat using a combination of dish soap and water using a ratio of four drops of liquid soap for every two cups of water.

Make it a point to not apply too much soap; this can leave a slippery residue on your mat that could potentially up-end your future yoga sessions.

Step 3: Use Sanitizing Solutions

You can use homemade sanitizing solutions, pre-made ones, or mat-sanitizing sprays—it’s all up to you. Some essential oils and water are all it takes to whip up your own sanitizing spray that’s just as effective as the rest of your options.

Tea tree oil, for instance, is an awesome ingredient because of its antifungal properties. The same goes for lemon and lavender oils, which pretty much have the same properties as tea tree oil but with beautiful scents to boot.

In case you plan on making your own sanitizing solution using oils, choose essential oils that you aren’t allergic to. You’ll also want to avoid spraying your mats at the gym or studio where the spray could come in contact with other students who might react adversely to the ingredients.

Step 4: Using a Washing Machine

If you really need to clean your yoga mat but are pressed for time, a washing machine should be able to come to your rescue. Before you do, though, you should make sure that your yoga mat is washing-machine washable; otherwise, cleaning via washing machine could end up ruining your mat.

If you own an eco-friendly mat, it’s best to use the hand washing method as these mats tend to be made of sensitive materials that could easily be destroyed by the tumbling cycle.

When cleaning your mat using a washing machine, use a tiny amount of detergent that’s gentle on fabric. You should also opt for the gentler machine cycle using cool water. Lastly, never lump in your yoga mat with the rest of your laundry.

Step 5: Drying Your Yoga Mat

Drying your mat requires you to roll it up and squeeze so that you drain all the excess water. Then, using a soft towel, gently rub the mat before hanging it out to air dry.

If you happen to have a mat that’s really absorbent, lay it on a dry towel and proceed to roll the towel and the mat together. Furthermore, you can step on the mat to squeeze out more water prior to hanging it out to air dry.

It will usually take a day to get the mats to dry properly (longer in humid conditions). Keep in mind that a tumble dryer or space heater is no place for drying your yoga mats.

Step 6: Keep Your Yoga Mats Clean

Depending on the frequency of your practice sessions, you will usually need to clean your mats every couple of months. Spray the mat with a cleaning spray or your homemade essential oil spray to keep it sanitized and odor-free.

You don’t need to overdo this part. After all, yoga mats should be kept minimally saturated to keep bacteria, germs, and fungi at bay.

Final Thoughts

Yoga sessions become so much more fulfilling when you have a clean mat that’s free of dirt, bacteria, and germs. Do this every few months to help your yoga mats last longer, and your yoga sessions stay healthy and meaningful.

As it is, your cleaning approach should vary depending on the kind of yoga mat you own. Check out this review on one of the most popular mats in the market to see if it’s as easy to clean as the others.

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