Yoga is a spiritual and physical practice that combines the power of meditation, breathing, and exercise. Relaxing as it may be, it can get pretty distracting if you have a dirty yoga mat. Knowing how to clean your yoga mat is important if you want to practice on a germ free mat. Most people practice Yoga at a studio, but it is also important to have a clean yoga mat if you practice at home because it will come in close contact with your whole body as you perform your poses. Whether you focus on basic poses, such as Downward Dog or more advanced yoga exercises, you’ll produce sweat that most likely goes onto your mat.
So, how do you clean a yoga mat? First, let’s talk about why you need to clean it.
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How Gross Can Your Yoga Mat Get?
A yoga mat is a perfect breeding ground for stubborn bacteria. Whenever you sweat and your skin touches the mat, you transfer unpleasant microorganisms on it. Remember that most yoga mats are made of porous materials and bacteria, viruses, and fungi love to cuddle into those tiny moist pores and breed.
Using a shared yoga mat is worse. Even if you use a yoga towel on top of it, imagine all the germs your towel, face, hands, feet, and the rest of your body come in contact with when it’s your turn to use it. But if you are the sole user of your yoga mat, you won’t spread germs to other people but it could still be unsafe for you to use a soiled one. Any dirty yoga mat can make you sick. Now that you are aware of how awfully dirty a yoga mat can get, the more that you need to learn how to clean a yoga mat, so let’s get on it.
Quick and Easy Way to Clean Yoga Mat
The best way to clean yoga mat at home is by putting it into the tub and give it a good scrub using some mild dish soap. Rinse the soap out, let it air-dry, and roll it up.
How to clean your yoga mat when you’re on the go? Another way to clean your yoga mat when you are out and about or don’t have a yoga mat is to use yoga mat disinfectant wipes. They won’t get deep-seated dirt out but will effectively remove dirt from the surface. Then make sure to air-dry before rolling it up.
Best Yoga Mat Maintenance Tips
Keeping yoga mat clean and dry is very important if you want it to last long and stay durable. It’s a good thing that yoga mat maintenance is not at all complicated. Here is a breakdown of what you can do to maintain your yoga mat before and after use, from storage, and during travel.
If it’s new, you don’t have to clean yoga mat at home. But how to clean a yoga mat if it was on display or has a factory smell? You can give it a few wipes to help remove any dust and unpleasant odour.
Knowing how to clean yoga mat after use, while the sweat is still fresh and just at the top layer, will definitely help keep germs at a minimum. You can use wet wipes to disinfect yoga mat immediately after your session. It takes extra effort on how to clean yoga mat after hot yoga though because it involves more sweating and it is laid out open on the floor in a very humid room, so make sure to dry it thoroughly before rolling it up.
You have to deep clean yoga mats that you are taking out from storage after a long break from yoga. If it was stored without being properly cleaned, the dirt may have seeped in further into the material and hardened. So, you have to give it a good spray of dish soap and let soak for a few minutes to soften hardened dirt, making it easier to scrub and rinse.
On The Go
If you are juggling your yoga session along with work, meetings, choosing a great yoga outfit (yes, that’s important!) and other things, you don’t really have the luxury to clean your yoga mat at home. So, how to keep your yoga mat clean no matter where you are?
If you are often out and about or frequently travel out of the country, how to clean a dirty yoga mat should be highly convenient. Bring a pack of yoga mat disinfecting wipes with you for wiping down your mat after every use. For deeper cleaning, in a hotel or wherever it is possible, spray a cleaning solution on your mat, let seat, and rinse well. If you don’t have the time or space to air-dry your mat, use a portable hair dryer to quickly dry it out before rolling and storing it.
Easy to Clean Yoga Mats: See Top 5 Reviewed Mats for Easy Cleaning
1. Gaiam Essential Support Yoga Mat
This 5mm-thick yoga mat comes with extra cushioning and a ridged, light-tac surface that can easily be wiped down for quick cleaning. Other notable features include:
- Extra-grip surface
- Provides great support
2. Coogee Beach Yoga Mat
This yoga mat has a microsuede top layer and a base made of 100% natural tree rubber. You can clean yoga mat at home in a washing machine. Additional features include:
- Biodegradable and recyclable
- Highly absorbent
- Water-based print
- More sweat, more grip
3. Mandala Galaxy Performance Yoga Mat
This 4mm yoga mat is made of a microsuede surface and a natural tree rubber base. If you are looking for an easy-to-clean yoga mat, this only needs to be wiped with a soft cloth and a non-oil-based cleaning spray. Notable features include:
- Soft and absorbent
- 100% recyclable and ethically sourced
- Anti-warp design
LovEarth Charcoal Travel Yoga Mat
This 2mm foldable mat is made of jute and natural tree rubber. It can easily be cleaned with a sponge and a mix of water and apple cider before drying and storing. They also sell their own detoxifying spray. Other impressive features include:
- Fully biodegradable
- Non-slip surface
- Colored with Binchotan charcoal
5. Adamo Luxury Yoga Mat
This 3mm yoga mat is made of a microfiber towel surface and a natural tree rubber base. It can be wiped clean with a damp cloth and soap or deep-cleaned in the washer in a delicate setting. Notable features include:
- Recyclable and biodegradable
- Non-slip surface
- Ethically sourced natural fibers
- Multi-purpose exercise mat
DIY Yoga Mat Spray: Cleaning Solution Recipe
It is crucial to keep your yoga mat clean and thoroughly dry. Fortunately, there are many yoga mat cleaning products available in the market today. But if you prefer making your own, there is a DIY yoga mat spray you can mix right in your own kitchen. It contains natural ingredients so you can rest assured that it will be safe to use. But if in doubt, spray it on a small part of your yoga mat first to check for any unpleasant reactions. So, check out this yogi-approved yoga mat cleaning solution recipe:
- Small 2-4-ounce spray bottle
- 2-3 ounces distilled or spring water
- 2 drops of tea tree essential oil
- A drop of lavender essential oil
- 1-ounce witch hazel or white vinegar
First, fill ¾ of the bottle with water then add the essential oils. Give the bottle a good shake to blend them all together. You can use it as it is to freshen up your yoga mat or you can add witch hazel or white vinegar for disinfecting and cleaning really dirty mats.
How to use:
Spray some of the liquid on your mat and use a clean towel or cloth to scrub the mat and spread the solution. Wipe off any excess liquid and air-dry before rolling or storing the mat.
5 Best Yoga Mat Cleaning Solutions for a Germ-Free Exercise Session
1. Gaiam Performance Mat Sanitiser
This spray yoga mat disinfectant helps kill 99.9% of germs on your yoga mat. It is perfect for immediate cleaning when you are on to go.
- Plant-based, non-toxic formula
- Relaxing coconut and lavender scent
2. Bondi Wash Yoga Mat Spray
This natural yoga mat cleaning solution comes in a spray bottle and is formulated to freshen, deodorise, and sanitise. This antibacterial spray is mild and won’t damage your mat even with regular use.
- Plant-derived ingredients
- Low alcohol content
- Safe to spray around babies, kids, and pets
3. Emilia Rose Yoga Mat Spray
This yoga mat cleaner spray is designed for use before and after your yoga sessions. It stimulates the senses while cleaning the mat.
- 100% natural formula
- Contains essential oils, witch hazel, and demineralised water
4. Ritual Sanitiser Yoga Mat Sanitiser
This sanitiser is made especially to sanitise yoga mats and the floor upon which you lay the mat on. This helps prevent bacteria from the floor to transfer onto the mat.
- Contains lemon myrtle and sage
5. ZONE Yoga Mat and Room Spray
One of the best yoga mat cleaners is this yoga mat and room spray. It can be used on your mat and on the floor that you lay your mat on, making those surfaces sparkling clean and smelling fresh.
- Contains a blend of lemon myrtle, mint, and eucalyptus
- 100% pure Australian essential oils
Yoga Mat Cleaning FAQ
How often should I clean my yoga mat?
How often to clean yoga mats depends on how often you use them. If you use your yoga regularly, it is best to wipe it clean after every session and give it a good deep-cleaning once a week. If you use it for anything else (not yoga) then a monthly cleaning should suffice.
What yoga mat material is the easiest to clean?
There are many tips on how to clean PVC yoga mats or how to clean a rubber yoga mat as well as other types of yoga mat materials. But just as you would carefully choose the best workout material, so should you be when choosing an easy-to-clean yoga mat material. The easiest is cleaning a cork yoga mat. Although manufacturers claim that you don’t need to know how to clean a cork yoga mat since it has self-cleaning properties, it is still best to wipe it down and let it dry thoroughly after every use.
What should I clean my yoga mat with?
It can be a struggle to determine what to clean your yoga mat with since such mats come in a variety of materials. The safest is just plain water and mild dish soap. However, there is no guarantee that this mix can effectively kill germs. So, if you must choose a yoga mat cleaning solution, choose one that uses natural ingredients as chemicals may break down the form and build of your mat.
How will I know if my yoga mat needs to be replaced?
Wear and tear will help you determine if your yoga mat needs to be replaced. If the padding or cushion is uneven and there are rips or cracks on the mat, then you need to get a new one. It is also important to check if the mat has become too slippery as that would mean that some areas have gone bald and overused. This may cause you to lose your balance and give your joint pain. Is it starting to smell weird and no amount of washing can remove the odour? Then it’s time to replace the mat.
Can I wash yoga mat in washing machine?
While wiping it down and giving it a good scrub can make a yoga mat clean and fresh again, a lot of people still wonder “Can you wash yoga mats in washers?” There’s no surprise there. To be able to wash yoga mat in washing machine will be the ultimate convenience any yogi can have. There are specific types of yoga mats that can be washed in washing machines. It is important to check with the manufacturer and know if their product is machine-washable. If it is, you must know how to clean yoga mat in washing machine. You should wash it on its own, not mixed up with your workout clothes. Often, you would have to use a delicate cycle and cold water. And no tumble-drying, please. Air-drying your mat is still the best option.
How to clean yoga mats naturally?
If you prefer cleaning your yoga mats the chemical-free way, there are natural products you can use. Cleaning yoga mat with essentials oils, like the DIY solution mentioned above, is a great way to freshen your mat and make it more relaxing to use. You can also use a natural soap for washing but make sure to check with the manufacturer first. For deep-seated dirt and unpleasant odours, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda, rub it on the mat, and let seat for 15-30 minutes before brushing it off.
Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom. ― Buddha
If it’s your first time venturing into yoga, one of your biggest worries would probably be whether you’ll develop the ability to pull off difficult poses like the lotus, crow pose or headstand. You might also be wondering what to wear to yoga and which yoga accessories you need to support your practice.