With or without regular use, yoga mats can get dirty, sweaty, and even smelly. The oil, sweat, and dirt secreted by the skin will penetrate the surface of the yoga mat and accelerate its aging. These substances on the yoga mat can also make you slip, making it harder for you to practice yoga on it. Regular cleaning and routine maintenance of your yoga mat can extend the life of your mat so you can continue to enjoy your workouts without worrying about hygiene and slipping hazards.
1. Pay attention to when cleaning the yoga mat
Yoga mats need to be thoroughly cleaned every few months, and the interval should be shorter if you don’t usually maintain your yoga mat or practice yoga every day. This will not only prolong the life of your yoga mat, but it will also prevent odors and bacteria from getting on your body.
If you practice yoga every day, you should clean your yoga mat every month, especially on hot days.
The more stains you see on your yoga mat, the more it needs a thorough cleaning.
If the skin on your yoga mat starts to peel, or if debris gets onto your clothing, you might consider getting a new one.
2. Soak yoga mat (some material yoga mats cannot be soaked in water)
Use a mild detergent such as warm water and dish soap to make a solvent. Soak the yoga mat in the tub for a few minutes. This helps remove dirt, grease and odors. Dishwashing liquid and hypoallergenic laundry detergent are great options when it comes to choosing a gentle cleaner for your yoga mat.
Do not add too much detergent to the warm water, just enough to clean the yoga mat. Excessive detergent will make the yoga mat slippery and increase the difficulty of practicing yoga asanas.
Add 15 ml of laundry detergent or dish soap to every 3.7 liters of warm water.
Some sources recommend using vinegar to clean yoga mats. Be aware that vinegar may leave an unpleasant odor on the mat that can interfere with your yoga practice experience. Also, some yoga mats can be damaged by exposure to vinegar.
3. Use a soft cloth to hand wash the yoga mat
After soaking for a few minutes, clean both sides of the yoga mat with a soft cloth. Be thorough when scrubbing, paying attention to the areas where your hands and feet touch the most. These areas are easy to identify because they may be slightly darker than other areas of the yoga mat.
When scrubbing both sides, move—be careful not to damage the mat or cause it to fall off in clumps.
If you don’t see bubbles in the detergent, then that’s correct. Remember, the amount of detergent and air bubbles is enough to clean the yoga mat, but too much will make the yoga mat slippery and counterproductive.
Don’t throw your yoga mat in the washing machine. Doing so can greatly damage the quality of your yoga mat, making it too slippery to exercise on it.
4. Rinse the yoga mat with water
Put the water soaked in the yoga mat in the bathtub, and rinse with clean water to wash the yoga mat. Doing so will rinse the mat out of residue from cleaning products and minimize the risk of your yoga mat becoming slippery.
Rinse the yoga mat until you see the water running down.
If after rinsing for a while, the running water has not cleared up, consider washing it again with a soft cloth.
5. Remove excess water from the yoga mat
Shake – Shake the yoga mat to shake off the surface water. Lay the yoga mat flat on a dry towel and roll them together to squeeze out any remaining moisture. Do not twist the yoga mat! This will wrinkle, tear or deform the mat.
You can step on rolled up yoga mats and towels, which can squeeze out excess water more efficiently.
6. Hang the yoga mat to dry
After squeezing out excess water, spread out the yoga mat on a towel and hang it to dry completely.
You can use a trouser hanger to hang your yoga mat, but be aware that this may leave pinch marks on the mat. If you have a drying rack, you can hang your yoga mat on it so both sides of the mat can dry quickly.
Do not put yoga mats in the dryer. Doing so will not only damage the yoga mat, it may also cause a fire.
Be sure to wait until the yoga mat is completely dry before using it. Gently press down on the yoga mat with your fingers to help you determine if there is any remaining water in it.