Yoga mats are an essential accessory in the yogic lifestyle. It can help you perform the yogic poses in a much easier and safer way. However, regardless of how you use it over time, it can be a place to build up germs.
In yogic practice, especially with the more active yoga style such as the vinyasa and Bikram or Hot Yoga, it’s expected that you will sweat a lot. And as soon as the sweat touches your mat, it can inspire bacterial growth and bad odors.
It’s worth cleaning such accessories every after using or treating and giving it a deep clean every other week or so. In this guide, we’ll teach you ways on how to clean a yoga mat, stop bacterial growth, and eliminate unwanted odor, which can keep your mat good as new!
But First, Why Do You Need to Clean a Yoga Mat?
When practicing yoga, you both heal your body and put it to work all at once. So it’s only natural that your yoga mat will have to deal with all the sweat you have made and other dirt, dust, and germs or bacteria that may accumulate and even multiply over time. Ew!
But still, cleaning your yoga mat is not your number one priority in your daily routine. For the most part, such accessory is neglected right after your yoga class or practice has ended.
As a result, those nasty odors and gunk that harbor into your yoga mat will worsen. It will make your yoga mat a camping site of germs and bacterias. Plus, it can ruin your yogic experience the next time you decide to roll it out in the class or wherever your yoga routine will take place.
Cleaning the yoga mat helps you practice proper hygiene as your bare hands, feet, and face will touch the mat in different yogic poses; plus, they touch many other surfaces too. It can cause your feet to catch infections from a nasty yoga mat like staph infection, athlete’s foot, plantar warts, and even ringworms.
One more reason why you need to clean a yoga mat regularly is for your safety. You have to make sure that your mat is not slippery and that there is no sweat building up on the mat’s surface.
And lastly, cleaning a yoga mat regularly will increase its lifespan. When you handle it properly, it will take care of you well as well. Otherwise, without proper cleaning, the yoga mat will become irrecoverable and needs to be replaced. And yes, at some point, you would need to replace your yoga mat, but seriously it is not necessary if you take care of it properly.
4 Easy Ways on How to Clean Yoga Mat
Because you sweat a lot in a yoga practice, your hands, feet, and yoga mat will become the dirtiest possessions you have in no time. But fortunately, they are super easy to clean and disinfect. Below are the four easy ways on how to clean a yoga mat. Continue reading.
1. Using soap and water
The easiest way to clean your yoga mat is with soap and water. Many yoga mat brands recommend using gentle dish soap and have your yoga mat a nice scrub. But still, be careful not to go over a little too much with the soap. Too much soap application will make your yoga mat slippery, unsafe when performing a tricky and complicated yoga pose.
2. DIY Solution
If soap and water don’t satisfy you, you can make your own DIY yoga mat spray for a deeper clean experience. You can mix regular water and white vinegar components, and you can add your own choice of essential oil, like eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree oil, etc.
Put the DIY Solution inside an empty spray bottle, spray it you your yoga mat and wipe it down well with a clean towel. The white vinegar and the essential oil will act as an antimicrobe that can eliminate all the bacteria and fungi camping in your yoga mat.
3. Skip DIY, buy your sanitizing spray
The easiest to do is to buy yoga mat-friendly sanitizing sprays. There are a lot of yoga sprays available today that save you from making your DIY Solution. A notable advantage is that most of them smell good too!
Our personal favorite is the Manduka Organic Yoga Mat Cleaner that is $14.00 only (cheap, and the bottle is reusable once appropriately cleaned).
This is an all-in-one and vegetable oil-based yoga mat spray that is safe to use whenever your yoga mat needs a deep clean. It is composed of essential oils that can help provide a refreshing lavender scent removing the stinky odor lingering from your yoga mat.
4. With a washing machine
It’s best if your yoga mat is machine washable, but how to find out? This can be checked on the brand’s website if their products can be thrown in the washing machine. Just make sure that your yoga mat is entirely dry before putting it away, as a warm, damp yoga mat can be a camping site for bacterias and fungi.
To dry effectively, put and hang your yoga mat over the back of a chair or anywhere as long as there is a proper circulation of air. It is never suitable to dry a yoga mat in the dryer.
As soon as the mat is dry, make sure you roll it up tightly and put it somewhere with good ventilation. Roll the yoga mat out every few weeks, even if you are not using it just to allow air circulation. When your mat starts peeling, or the surface begins to stick to other parts of your body, it’s best to buy a new one for a safer and powerful practice.
How often should you clean a yoga mat?
This depends on a few factors: how clean the place you are practicing, how much you sweat, etc.), but the common rule of thumb is: if you practice yoga always, you should clean your yoga mat weekly. But, just remember that with some yoga mats, cleaning them from time to time can decrease their lifespan as it causes them to wear out faster. If you want to learn more about the yogic way, click here to learn more!