How to Clean Yoga Mat

How to Clean Yoga Mat?

Medically reviewd by Ashley Rosa

Writter by Better Yoga Life Staff

Yoga is a practice that involves a lot of sweat that eventually leads to the yoga mat harboring germs and dirt. Due to this, it’s normal for you to have a dirty yoga mat. To help you get rid of this buildup of dirt and sweat on your mat, this article will be providing you all necessary about how to clean yoga mat.

Why Do You Need to Clean Your Yoga Mat?

A yoga mat is a material that you constantly use if you are serious about your yoga routine. This simply means you sweat on it daily whenever you do yoga. As you use it, sweat drop from your body drops on it and keeps accumulating. With time, this accumulation leads to the rapid growth of germs and other harmful bacteria which are dangerous to your health.

Aside from the accumulation of sweat drops on your yoga mat, practicing yoga regularly clearly means you will always have your mat on the floor you can’t guarantee how clean it is. The exposure of your yoga mat to surface dirt also means you are going to have a dirt yoga mat that is not hygienic.

Cleaning your yoga mat regularly helps you to prevent the accumulation of these harmful germs and avoid the nasty mat smells that come as a result of the sweat you leave on your mat. Also, if you are practicing yoga in a yoga studio, there is a high probability that you might have to share your mat with someone else. If you have to, you can’t afford to make the person feel uncomfortable because of the dirt on the surface of your mat or the nasty sweat smells that your mat emits. All of these clearly show why it’s so important for you to clean your mat regularly.

What Are the Best Ways to Clean & Disinfect Your Yoga Mat?

When it comes to cleaning a dirty yoga mat, there are different ways to approach this, but that doesn’t mean all the approaches are good for your mat. There are several products out there that appear to be all you need to clean your yoga mat, but the fact is that most of them leave residues that are not friendly on the surface of your mat. If you want to clean your yoga mat and get the best, the most appropriate thing you can do it to physically wash the mat and use a disinfectant to disinfect the mat, preferably a homemade disinfectant.

If you want to clean your dirty yoga mat physically, you can either use a towel soaked in water to rub the dirt off the surface of the mat. This is considered a surface cleaning, but if you want to deep clean it, you can consider soaking it in warm water and then washing it properly. To deep clean your yoga mat, you can also consider using a washing machine. This might seem like an easy alternative, but it’s not the best. The use of a washing machine might cause some physical damage to the surface of your yoga mat. Therefore, it’s not the most preferred option in our opinion.

Lastly, to make a homemade disinfectant that you will use to disinfect your yoga mat, you will need to mix equal parts of white vinegar and distilled water, with tea tree oil. By applying this mixture to the surface of your mat, you will be able to kill all the germs on the surface of your yoga mat.

How to Clean Yoga Mat?

Before you set out to clean your yoga mat, you need to know if it is dirty or not. To know your yoga mat is dirty, there are some obvious signs that you will see. For example, you will notice some discoloration on the surface of the mat and awful smells coming out from the mat. If you notice any of these, then it is time for you to clean your mat and disinfect it.

Due to the nature of the yoga activities, you need to consider deep cleaning your dirty yoga mat once a month. Spot cleaning is not a good idea, so don’t bother using it as a cleaning alternative. Maybe you are not familiar with how to clean your yoga mat? The following steps will guide you on how to do that thoroughly.

But before we set out to explain this, you need to understand the fact that there are two types of mats and each requires different cleaning approaches. You either have an open-cell yoga mat or a closed-cell yoga mat. Below is the cleaning approach for the two types of yoga mats.

To Clean an Open-Cell Yoga Mat:

  • To clean an open-cell yoga mat, the first thing you need to do is prepare a washing solution. To prepare this, all you have to do is to add a tablespoon of dish soap into every gallon of warm water you pour into your bathtub where you will be washing the mat.
  • After preparing the washing solution, you will need to dip the yoga mat into the bathtub and allow it to soak for 5 minutes. After proper soaking, you can then go ahead to scrub it lightly with a soft cloth to help remove all the sticky surface dirt.
  • Rinse your clean yoga mat with clean water to remove the soap residues on it and make sure all the soap is removed. You can rinse the mat with clean water severally just to be sure.
  • Finally, shake it off and allow it to air dry completely before using it for yoga again.

To Clean a Closed-Cell Yoga Mat:

Cleaning a closed-cell yoga mat requires a completely different approach. Due to the nature of the mat, the cleaning approach explained above can’t work for it. The following are the steps you will take if your dirty yoga mat is a closed-cell yoga mat and you want to clean it

  • To clean this type of mat, the first thing you have to do is to lay the mat on a flat surface and spread it out.
  • Afterward, prepare a soap solution in a bowl. Unlike an open-cell yoga mat, you only need to mix a few drops of dish soap in a bowl of warm water, as there won’t be a need to soak the yoga mat.
  • Dip a clean rag into the already prepared soap solution and use the rag to wipe the surface of the mat from top to bottom, putting more priority on the dirty spots. Preferably, you can do this in a circular motion just to achieve the best.
  • After wiping off the dirt, you will need to use a clean towel to clean the surface of the mat to remove the soap residues. Lastly, you will have to leave it for about 30 minutes to dry before use again.

How to Disinfect Your Yoga Mat?

Disinfecting your yoga mat is as important as cleaning it. While regularly helps to remove the dirt on the surface of the mat, disinfectants help to kill the accumulated germs, fungus, bacteria, and other harmful microorganisms on the yoga mat. This simply means that aside from learning how to clean yoga mat, you need to also familiarize yourself with how to disinfect it.

Although there are several disinfectants for yoga mats out there, we strongly recommend that you make your disinfectant. Those commercial disinfectant have a way of leaving residues on the surface of your mat that affects the surface over time.

Aside from putting you through how to disinfect your yoga mat, we will also be sharing all you need to know about how to make your disinfectant at home. The following steps will put you through the process. 

  • To make your disinfectant spray, you will need to mix equal amounts of water and white distilled vinegar and add a splash of tea tree oil. With this, you will be able to disinfect your yoga mat without damaging it or leaving residues on the surface.
  • After mixing the yoga mat disinfectant, you will need to apply it to the surface of the mat. There is nothing wrong with spraying the mat until the surface is wet, so take your time to do it well.
  • Leave the disinfectant to stay on the surface of the mat for some minutes before using a clean microfiber cloth to gently wipe it off in circular motions.
  • Finally, leave it to dry properly. For the best result, you can also repeat the process for the other side of the mat just to be sure you no longer have germs on both sides.

Frequently Asked Questions about How to Clean & Disinfect Your Yoga Mat!

Q1. Can I Clean a Yoga Mat in a Washing Machine?

Cleaning your yoga mat with a washing machine is not the best because of the harsh condition it is subjected to while washing and the inability of the washing machine to prove spot cleaning which is highly needed when cleaning a yoga mat. However, you can still use a washing machine if you really can’t go through the stress or you don’t have the time to carry out spot washing.

When it comes to cleaning your yoga mat in a washing machine, there are a lot of things that come into consideration. The first thing is the brand of the yoga mat. Some brands support the use of washing machines to clean your yoga mat while others don’t. Before you carry on to use a washing machine,  make sure the maker of the mat clearly states that you can use a washing machine to clean It. Without that, try to avoid the use of it to clean your mat.

If you are to use a washing machine, make sure you avoid the use of harsh detergents. These kinds of detergents will affect the surface of your mat and make it lose its value. Also, you need to avoid the use of a tumble or spin cycle and dryer while using your washing machine. Provided you can keep all of these in check, you can use a washing machine without damaging your yoga mat.

Q2. Can I Use Clorox Wipes On My Yoga Mat?

The use of Clorox wipes is another welcome idea to clean your yoga mat. It helps clean your yoga mat and also kills the germs on the surface of the mat. Without the presence of harsh chemicals, you can be sure of it helping you to remove all the germs and dirt on the surface of your yoga mat. Also, the use of Clorox wipes helps to reduce the chances of it irritating you when you use your mat for yoga.

It is a better option compared to all the disinfectant and yoga mat cleaning materials out there for sale. If you are unable to buy Clorox wipes, it is better to consider the use of all that has been described above. 

Q3. Can Using a Yoga Towel Help You Avoid Cleaning Your Yoga Mat?

Yes, using a yoga towel can help minimize the accumulation of germs on your yoga mat, as the towel will be the one collecting all the sweat from your body. Also, it helps prevent slipping while you practice your yoga routine and facilitate effective moisture absorption. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t have to clean your yoga mat at some point. The yoga towel is just meant to reduce the regular cleaning of the yoga mat. But it does work well to help reduce the accumulation of germs on your mat.

Having shared all you need to know about how to clean yoga mat, cleaning your dirty yoga mat should be a walk-over for you. So don’t hesitate to try this out when you feel your mat needs to be cleaned.

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