Whether you enjoy traditional hot yoga or fast-paced Vinyasa classes, one thing is for certain: no matter how often you use your yoga mat, it will get dirty and eventually wear out. In order to extend the life of your yoga mat and keep odors at bay, you need to clean it regularly and carefully maintain it whenever you use it. We’ve listed some yoga-mat-cleaning tips to help you get started.
Creating a mat-cleaning solution is simple – simply mix a tablespoon of detergent and about a gallon of lukewarm water in a bowl. If your mat is particularly stinky, make sure you add a teaspoon of baking soda to douse the smell. You can either drop your mat into the solution and quickly pull it out, or apply the solution to the mat with a small spray bottle or a clean sponge.
Clean your mat with a good spritz. You can easily find a spray bottle at any department store. In addition to the cleaning solution above, we also recommend mixing one part water to three parts white vinegar, and applying the solution over the surface of your mat. If your mat seems especially dirty, let the solution sit and soak in a bit before rubbing it off. Alternatively, you can add a couple drops of essential oil to create a nice scent. Some essential oils, such as eucalyptus, lavender, and tea tree oils, have antibacterial properties, and therefore will help eliminate the germs on your mat.
If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, you can always put the mat in the washing machine. Get started by arranging your mat in the machine as evenly as possible. Then add a couple of drops of mild detergent. Baby detergent works well here, because it is formulated to get rid of body-related residues. Run the machine on the gentle cycle using warm water. If the drum becomes unbalanced, turn off the machine and arrange the mat so that the weight is evenly distributed.
The best way to dry a yoga mat is to let it air dry on its own. Roll your mat up with an absorbent towel and gently step on it to squeeze out the excess water. Leave it unrolled while it dries, in order to avoid moisture being trapped between the folds. Then either lay it flat on the floor, hang it on your towel bar, or even spread it outside if it’s not too hot. It may take anywhere between 24 and 48 hours to fully dry your mat.
Don’t forget to wipe your mat clean each time you use it. Try to always wipe soil or dirt off your feet before stepping on the mat, too. These are the easiest ways to keep your mat clean and free of dirt, sweat, and dust, as well as prolong its life.
Your mat keeps you from slipping in standing poses, and gives you cushioning for seated or reclining poses. Therefore it makes sense to provide it with the cleaning and care it needs. Want more yoga tips and tricks? Get in touch with us today.