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How to Clean Your Yoga Mat? Follow These Tips!

Published on 20 Jan 2022

How to Clean Your Yoga Mat? Follow These Tips!

Yoga Mats provide us with a companion to strike the stretchiest of poses in comfort. But at the same time, it is the recipient of our sweat, oil, and grime. If you are into Vinaya or Bikram Yoga, you might sweat a lot and your yoga mat would be plagued by a pungent odor.

However, that is a very common complaint amongst yogis. It is wise to clean your yoga mat after every practice as well as cleanse it thoroughly every month or so to wash off the unwanted dust. If you pander in the practice of cleaning your mat in an orderly fashion then you can keep the mat's grip and extend its useable lifespan.

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Fret not! We have got the ways on 'how to wash yoga mat' but first let us start with the why and some basics.

Why do you need to clean a Yoga Mat?

Yoga mats in studios are cleaned deeply and remain in a tip-top shape. Like one would expect!

When it comes to yoga mats used by people practicing yoga at home, it can be a game-changer. You would be alarmed to know that the fungi and bacteria prevalent in causing athlete’s foot, plantar warts, staph infections, and ringworm, among others, are commonly found on yoga mats since they thrive in warm, dark, moist environments.

So, to dodge nasty germs and overcome unpleasant odor, cleaning your mat seems like a good enough reason! 

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Although, do remember that merely cleaning would help in removing those stubborn germs, applying disinfectants would kill the germs off of your mat. At last, you want to take away good energy as you hop off your yoga mat, not germs!

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How often should I clean my Yoga Mat?

  • Wipe your yoga mat after every practice with a store-bought cleaning agent or home-made ones.
  • Once in every month or so, do a deep cleaning of your mat to get rid of the stocking filth.

We will divulge in the details below.

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Should I wash my yoga mat in the washing machine?

Now that is a question better asked to the care instructions tag attached to your yoga mat or the packet it came in. 

Some yoga mats can be machine durable, but some would come apart if went through a washing machine.

Check the tag for more clarity. 

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Yoga Mat Cleaning Alternatives

Some yoga mats are highly porous (closed-cell mats are thinner and water-resistant) and won't be able to quickly soak in the liquid wash. On the flip side, thicker yoga mats (open-cell construction) can soak up more liquid thus housing more bacteria. 

Let us dive into some of the best ways to clean your yoga mat. Peruse through them and try out the ones seeming fit to your yoga mat. 

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For Cleaning After Every Practice

  • Spray bottles containing a mixture of equal parts distilled water and white vinegar, with a splash of tea tree oil, are commonly used as an organic disinfectant in yoga studios.
  • You can even use DIY-Yoga mat cleaners or go for store-bought ones when it comes to spraying and cleaning your mat.

How to Clean a Yoga Mat with Spray Bottles?

  1. Spray the cleaner on your towel, then use circular motions to clean your mat’s entire surface.
  2. Make sure to wipe both sides down before you roll up your mat at the end of practice.

Note: Before you pick a cleaner, check your mat’s care tag instructions. Some brands don’t recommend vinegar-based solutions while others discourage high concentrations of essential oils. 

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For Deep Cleaning Yoga Mats

While routine cleaning of your yoga mat after every practice might help it won't result in a squeaky-clean mat. For that, you need to lean on the good old waster and soap scrubbing method. 

However, the quality of your mat would call for a different method of yoga mat cleaning. Open-celled ones require being scrubbed clean by dish soap submerged in water. The closed-celled ones would come apart if put through that, so spot cleaning comes to your rescue.

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How to deep clean an Open-Celled Yoga mat?

  1. Choose a sizeable sink or bathtub and fill it warm water. Add dish soap equivalent to just 1 tablespoon for every gallon of water. Then, place the mat in that mixture of warm water (avoid hot water at all costs, as it is damageable to the mat) and dish soap.
  2. Let it submerge and wait for it to soak.
  3. After 5 minutes, start scrubbing the mat lightly with a soft cloth.
  4. Time to rinse off the soap residue from your yoga mat with clean water.
  5. Once it is all washed, allow it to be air-dried till it becomes moisture-free.

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How to deep clean a Closed-Celled Yoga mat?

  1. Find a flat surface to lay your yoga mat on.
  2. Get a bowl to add warm water and a few drops of dish soap.
  3. Use a cloth to dip in the mixture and start cleaning the mat from top to bottom.
  4. Focus on the dirty spots in a circular motion.
  5. Wipe it off with a big towel at last.
  6. Give it 30 minutes to air-dry.

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Where/How to Dry Yoga Mats?

Do check that your mat is completely dry before using it as a damp mat can provide for a breeding ground for bacteria. 

  • To dry completely, hang your mat over the back of a chair or over a porch railing.
  • Once the mat is dry, roll it up tightly and store in a place with good ventilation.
  • Open the mat every few weeks, even if you’re not using it, to allow air circulation.

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Your mat is naturally going to show some scarring like peeling off or dark spots but let it be its badge of honor. Know when to clean your yoga mat and when to replace it!

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Meet the writer

Jessica

Handles content and writing for BWT Experiences.


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