How to Clean Your Yoga Mat | The Ultimate Guide

What’s The Best Way to Clean Your Yoga Mat?

Have you ever wondered “How to Clean Your Yoga Mat?”

It probably needs a good cleaning much more than you think. Between sweat, dirt, and bacteria, it can get pretty dirty pretty fast.

And as we know, germs thrive in sweaty areas. It’s important to clean it on a regular basis to keep it sanitary and odor-free.

But with so many different cleaning suggestions out there, it can be difficult to choose which is best. Well, we’re here to help.

Continue reading to discover the most effective step-by-step instructions. Your mat’s going to look and feel brand new in no time.

Let’s Get Started On How to Clean Your Yoga Mat!

We’re going to reveal to you the top five best cleaning methods, along with some unique tips and tricks along the way.

Method #1: The Natural Approach

Essential oil - how to clean your yoga mat

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Try out this homemade solution. Have you ever wondered how you should disinfect it? Check out the essential oils that contain anti-bacterial properties mentioned below.

  1. Gather supplies.
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 4 to 5 drops of essential oils
  • Spray bottle
  • Cotton cloth
  1. Pour ingredients into a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the mixture all over the surface.
  3. Let the cleaner sit for a few minutes. This is an especially important step if excessive dirt has built up.
  4. Wipe with a cotton cloth.
  5. Repeat above steps on the other side.
  6. Allow to air dry for 5-10 minutes. If possible, let it hang somewhere to dry.

*Note: Essential oils such as clove, lavender, cinnamon, tea tree, thyme, rosemary, and lemon contain anti-bacterial properties. These oils are great for disinfecting.

Method #2: The Basic Approach

If you’re looking for a simple way to clean it at home, give this method a try.

  1. Gather supplies.
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Damp sponge or rag
  • Mild laundry detergent (optional)
  1. Make a solution with a ratio of two cups of water to four drops of dish soap. (Note: do not use too much dish soap. This will leave behind a slippery residue).
  2. Scrub with damp sponge or rag. Make sure not to use a soft sponge or rag when doing this step. If you use something rough and abrasive, it could cause damage.
  3. Rinse thoroughly with hot water.
  4. Repeat on another side.
  5. Optional: If it’s very dirty, submerge it completely in warm water mixed with a mild detergent such as Woolite. If you choose to do this step, usually letting it soak for 5-10 minutes is sufficient.
  6. Allow to completely dry. It’s a good idea to allow up to 24 hours to dry for drying.

Method #3: The Salt Water Approach

Try out this simple and natural solution for a quick-fix.

  1. Gather supplies.
  • Water
  • Regular table salt or sea salt
  • Spray bottle
  • Cloth rag
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • Fresh lemon (optional)
  1. Fill a spray bottle with water.
  2. Add a few pinches of salt.
  3. Optional: Add a pinch of baking soda for a more thorough cleaning job and a squeeze of fresh lemon for a fresh scent.
  4. Spray down entire surface.
  5. Wipe with a cloth rag.
  6. Repeat on another side.
  7. Hang to dry.

*Note: The salt water approach is especially great for rubber versions. If you have a rubber mat, you want to avoid completely submerging it in water or using essential oils on it frequently.

Method #4: The Sunshine Approach

This simple solution will is an effective disinfect along with the help of Mother Nature.

  1. Gather supplies.
  • Water
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Witch hazel
  • Essential oil(s)
  • Spray bottle
  • Damp towel
  • Sunlight!
  1. Fill spray bottle ¾ full with water.
  2. Fill the remaining ¼ with equal amounts of distilled white vinegar and witch hazel. (Note: leave enough room at the top for a couple drops of essential oils).
  3. Add a few drops of your chosen essential oil(s) to the mixture.
  4. Shake spray bottle.
  5. Spray down entire surface.
  6. Wipe with clean, damp towel.
  7. Hang outside until dry. The sunlight will dry your mat as well as help to kill microbes and eliminate odors.

*Note: If you don’t have witch hazel, you may substitute extra distilled white vinegar in its place.

Method #5: The Washing Machine Approach

People often question whether it’s safe to clean it in a washing machine. The answer is that it depends on the type that you have.

Many are machine washable, but many aren’t.

Check to see if there is a tag that specifically says “do not place in washing machine.”

This means it will most likely not be able to withstand the agitation of the washing machine.

If there is no such warning, it’s still a good idea to check with the manufacturer first.

If you wish to continue, follow the steps below:

  1. Place in washing machine. (Note: Arrange in the machine as evenly as possible). This will reduce the chances damage occurring.
  2. Add a little mild detergent. Baby detergent works especially well for this.
  3. Run washing machine on gentle, warm cycle.
  4. Once clean, squeeze out excess moisture.
  5. Lay flat on the ground or hang it.
  6. Allow time to air-dry. (Note: This can take between 24 and 48 hours). The heat of the dryer can damage your mat.

Tips On Selecting a Store-Bought Cleaner

If you prefer not to go through the hassle of making the cleaners mentioned above, fear not. There are hundreds of cleaners on the market today. With that being said, it’s important to know which products are best.

Typically, you’re going to want to look for a cleaner’s also a disinfectant. Many spray cleaners are anti-bacterial. Usually, these sprays contain essential oils such as the ones used in the DIY sprays mentioned above.

It’s a good idea to choose a spray with all-natural ingredients. After all, your face touches you’re the surface, so you don’t want any unknown chemicals on there.

If you don’t want to use a spray, check out the wipes that are on the market. Most of them contain no alcohol and dry very quickly. However, they can be a bit pricy.

We believe it’s best to make your own cleanser using one of the methods above, but if you insist on a store-bought one, make sure to do your research first.

Tips On Drying Your Yoga Mat After It’s Washed

  • If possible, always hang to air-dry. This allows it to dry evenly. (Note: Your shower rod is a great place to hang it).
  • Lay a clean towel on top of the surface, then roll the two of them up together. Squeeze out excess moisture, letting towel absorb it. Unroll and hang mat to dry. If you don’t have a good place to hang it, lay it out flat somewhere.
  • Place a fan near your clean mat.

Note: The main thing to remember is to always leave it unrolled as it dries. If it’s not, moisture will become trapped between the folds.

Note: If you don’t allow it to completely dry, mildew and mold can grow.

Tips On Maintaining a Clean Surface

  • If possible, give it a quick and light spray down after each use. Focus especially on the areas where hands and feet touch the surface the most. (Note: You can use either a commercial cleaner or a homemade cleaner for this).
  • Even if you spray its surface after each use, make sure to still properly clean it using one of the methods above at least once a month.
  • Clean your hands and feet before practicing. This is especially important in the summer when we frequently walk around barefoot.

Tips On Storage

It’s best to fold or hang it rather than rolling it up.

With a rolled mat, bacteria can easily be transferred from the side that was on the ground to the side you put your body on.

However, when it’s folded, the side you just used is protected from the other side that’s full of exterior dirt and germs from the floor.

If it’s possible, hang on a towel rack or a shower rod to allow it to receive full ventilation.

That’s It!

So there you have it, you now know how to clean your yoga mat and keep it sanitary for future use. Disinfecting is vital, as bacteria grows quite easily in sweaty areas.

If you don’t properly clean the surface at least once a month, you’re putting yourself at risk and also exposing yourself to unpleasant odors.

Whether you choose to make your own cleanser, wash with old-fashioned soap and water, or purchase a pre-made spray, just remember to be thorough and follow the steps outlined above.

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