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How Do I Clean My Yoga Mat

Instructions From Individual Brands

YOGA MAT SPRAY // how i clean my yoga mat

Here are tips for cleaning from several yoga mat brands, based on information from company websites and, in most cases, emails from company representatives. You can look up the company that makes your yoga mat below to see their specific care instructions and warnings on what to avoid. Several brands, such as Manduka, also recommend using their own mat cleaning sprays. If you dont know what brand you have, our general tips above should help. For more information on the yoga mats from each brand, see our yoga mat review.

What Are Some Other Ways To Take Care Of My Yoga Mat

Skip lotions or oils on your hands and feet before practice. Removing any jewelry, such as rings and bracelets, will protect both your skin and your mat.

Always store your mat in a dry place, keeping it away from sharp objects and making sure it is not pressed down or against something as this may damage its shape.

Q: How Often Should I Clean My Mat

A: Every time you use your mat, your body is releasing skin and sweat onto the surface. Over time, those materials invite bacteria to grow . We recommend using Mandukas Mat Wash andRefresh after every practice to help reduce stains and odor buildup. At least once a week you should follow the instructions to clean your mat, using more of the solution and scrubbing common touch point areas. Generally speaking, you only want to disinfect your yoga mat when you feel it has been exposed to germs. If you are practicing at home and no one in your home is sick, you really dont need to disinfect your mat very often. Having said that, given the current asymptomatic spread of COVID-19, disinfecting once a week is probably a good idea. If you practice at a studio, you should disinfect your mat after your class. We recommend you only use Mandukas Botanical Disinfecting Cleaner to deep clean and disinfect your mat.

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Do Yoga Mats Need To Be Washed

You should thoroughly clean your yoga mat every couple of months, and even more frequently if you dont do regular maintenance or if you practice yoga on a regular basis. This will not only help to extend the life of your mat, but it will also help to prevent it from stinking and spreading bacteria to you.

Can I Clean Yoga Mat With Alcohol

How Do I Clean My Yoga Mat?

Isopropyl alcohol should be used to disinfect your yoga mat. Fill a small spray bottle with isopropyl alcohol and liberally mist your yoga mat with it. Repeat as needed. The alcohol will kill any germs that come into touch with it, as well as eliminate perspiration smells. Allow for a few hours of drying time before using your yoga mat.

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More Yoga Mat Cleaning Tips

  • Keep them out of direct sunlight. They can fade and become brittle.
  • Avoid using harsh cleaners and solvents. For rubber mats, skip products containing essential oils.
  • Allow a mat to dry fully before rolling it up and storing it away.
  • Don’t apply skin creams or oils before using your mat because they can transfer to and stain the mat.
  • To help eliminate odors and absorb oils from a less-than-grippy mat, sprinkle and rub on baking soda. Let sit 15 to 30 minutes, then brush or vacuum off the excess.

How To Clean A Yoga Mat Disinfecting

Water Towel Dish soap

Disinfecting your yoga mat is just as important as cleaning it. Yoga mats can carry all sorts of germs, bacteria and fungus on the surface, including the ones which cause athletes foot and plantar warts, not to mention ringworms. So, you need to get in the habit of disinfecting it at least once a week or between each use if you take your mat to a studio.

Make sure to check your yoga mats cleaning instructions before you start. Some dont recommend vinegar-based cleaning solutions. Follow your manufacturers guidance for cleaning, and if no info is available, follow the below.

1. You can create your own disinfectant spray using water, white distilled vinegar and tea tree oil in an empty spray bottle. You need to mix equal amounts of water and vinegar, and then add a splash of tea tree oil to get the proportions right. Alternatively, you can buy a dedicated disinfectant such as Anti3 Protect Disinfectant Spray ).

2. After mixing the spray, apply it liberally to the first side of your yoga mat. You want to leave the mat looking quite wet so dont be shy apply from about 8 inches away, top to bottom.

3. Leave it to stand for a couple of minutes, then use a microfiber cloth to wipe in the solution using circular motions. Or follow the sprays directions for application if youve purchased one.

4. You can then leave the yoga mat to air dry if you intend to clean it straight after, or use a towel to dry it.

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Can I Use Clorox Wipes On My Yoga Mat

If you can even find Clorox wipes for sale right now, consider yourself lucky! But you should save them for surfaces other than your yoga mat as they contain harsh chemicals and you can do the same type of disinfecting with less-abrasive options.

If you do opt to disinfect your yoga mat with Clorox wipes, Stiff says you should plan to clean it after youve waited long enough for their chemicals to kill germs. “In order for a disinfectant to be effective, the entire surface needs to be visibly wet for a certain period of time, he says. After waiting the appropriate time, you absolutely must rinse your mat off and wipe it clean to remove as much of the product as possible.

This way, you can get rid of the germs, but you leave less time for chemicals to sit and potentially break down or affect your matyou also reduce the chance of them causing skin irritation next time you use it.

How Can I Deep

How To Clean a Yoga Mat!

Pop it in the tub and use cold water and oil-free soap to rub it with a sponge and remove any stains. If your mat is heavily soiled, you can leave the soap to act for a few minutes before rinsing it off. Its best to use minimal amounts of soap and water to prevent getting your mat waterlogged. Be gentle to your mat as quality products are made from non-slippery materials that you dont want to damage.

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How To Clean A Pvc Yoga Mat

PVC mats the lightweight foam mats you’ll find in many yoga studios are ‘closed-cell structures’, meaning they can withstand a lot more in terms of rigorous cleaning and don’t absorb water, or in fact sweat. However, this doesn’t mean other germs won’t gather on the surface.

Essentially PVC mats are non-porous, which means you can use soapy water and a towel to remove grime from the surface. Don’t be afraid to give these types of mats a good dousing of soapy water they can take it. Using a disinfectant after this initial clean is a good idea to ensure any bacteria are fully removed.

PVC mats are the most robust and can also be cleaned rigorously by soaking them in water in the bath or shower, for example, if you ever need to give them a deep clean. A spray of water and essential oils can be used on this type of mat for a pleasant smell next time you use it.

Our Pick Of The Best Yoga And Pilates Mat Cleaners

You can make your own vinegar and water spray as above but many mat manufacturers encourage you to use their . The advantage is that they are geared towards preserving the integrity and life of the mat, so you get the best experience. They are also likely to smell a bit better than simple water and vinegar. Check the ingredients to avoid for oils if you have a PU sticky mat.

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How To Clean Your Hair Ties

One item thats often overlooked but important to clean are your hair ties to avoid build-up of sweat and hair products. You can either hand-wash them in the sink, or you can gather them up in a cotton mesh bag that zips and pop them into the washing machine. Lay them flat on a dry towel to air dry.

Open Cell Vs Closed Cell Yoga Mat


Open Cell mat absorbs moisture to make the mat grippy even when wet. This means liquid can absorb into the mat, so you should not disinfect an open-cell yoga mat or spray the cleaner directly on the mat surface.

A closed Cell mat, on the other hand, wont absorb sweat and moisture. It tends to get slippier when wet. It is easier to disinfect and clean a closed-cell mat because it wont soak liquid.

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What Is The Difference Between Gaia And Gaiam

Gaia, Inc., formerly known as Gaiam, is an American alternative media video streaming service and online community that focuses on fringe science and yoga, among other things. Its brands include Gaiam TV, which changed its name to Gaia in 2016 after a decade of operations. Yoga, psychedelics, and pseudoscience are among the topics covered on the site, which also includes video and textual pieces.

How To Clean Your Mat

Add warm water and a few drops of dish soap into a spray bottle. Spritz your mat with the solution then scrub it firmly with a microfiber cloth. Dont be too vigorous with your scrubbing though, since you want to keep the naturally sticky nature of your mat intact. Be sure to spray and scrub both of its sides. To finish, rinse off your mat with warm water and allow it to air dry.

Wash your mat with soap and water at least once per month. Lilleston typically washes her mats once per month, but shell do it more frequently if she takes a few hot yoga classes. Although the mats odor is a good indicator of when it needs a wash, by the time it starts to reek it has already absorbed a lot of sweat and dirt that coats your body with every use, so sticking to cleaning it once per month will ensure that your mat never gets too bad.

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How Do You Clean A Yoga Mat Without Vinegar

A drop of mild dish soap should be added to an old sponge before it is wetted with warm water. Scrub your mat on the softer side of your sponge to avoid damaging the surface of your mat. Once your mat has been thoroughly cleaned and dried, wipe it off with a damp paper towel or wash cloth. Allow for complete drying by air.

How To Clean A Polyurethane Yoga Mat

How to Clean a Rubber Yoga Mat

If your mat is polyurethane, never soak it in water. These mats are considered open-cell structures’ meaning they are porous and water can leave long lasting stains. If you are tempted to use your own mix of water and essential oils to remove any nasty smells, think twice with these mats. Oils can leave stains so avoid using homemade concoctions.

We advise to only ever spray these mats down with a little soapy water and a soft cloth. Using anything else may remove the mat’s non-slip properties or leave you with ugly looking stains.

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The Best Way To Clean And Disinfect Your Yoga Mat

The best way to clean and disinfect your yoga mat is to combine one part white vinegar and two parts warm filtered water in a spray bottle. This is an inexpensive mix that can easily be made fresh each time it is used.

I also like the idea of making sure it’s organic because we’re spraying our mats with chemicals! You can add essential oils for extra cleansing properties if you wish – tea tree oil works well here too thanks to its antimicrobial properties!

A few sprays and a quick wipe with a towel is all you need. The vinegar smell will fade away in no time! If this mixture doesn’t cut the grease, then try adding baking soda to your mix for another powerful cleaning agent.

How Often To Clean A Yoga Mat

Depending on the intensity of your sessions, you can usually go a week or so before your mat needs a good wipe down. If you sweat a lot or the mat retains an odor, clean it more often, though some mats caution that over-cleaning can cause them to wear out more quickly.

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Don’t Worry About Tossing Your Mat In The Washing Machine

Lauren Imparato, founder of I.Am.You yoga in New York City, who provides mats for her students, is very particular about mat hygiene. Even if you wipe them down thoroughly after each use , “throw yours in the washing machine once a month. No soap. Then into the dryer on medium to high heat.” They hold up, she swears.

Best Diy Mat Disinfectants

Clean Your Yoga Mat

Interestingly, placing your mat in the sun is a natural bleacher and disinfectant.

You can also make your own disinfectant spray with water, rubbing alcohol, and a tiny amount of tea tree oil, or, my favorite and what I use for my mat, just tea tree oil and water in a small spray bottle. Vinegar and water with a little lemon is also an effective recipe.

Another Do-It-Yourself mat disinfecting spray recipe is found here. This recipe is particularly good because it contains all-natural antifingal and antibacterial ingredients.

One of my readers suggests Citra-Solv plus tea tree oil and water. Ive been using it for years.My equipment looks great, and clients love the smell so much they dont mind cleaning up!

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Hose The Thing Down Like Its On Fire

Good for all mats except PU and cork.

Every few weeks or months, depending on how often you practice, give your mat a thorough wash in the bath or shower, although not if its is a PU mat, which has a porous surface designed to absorb your sweat. They dont like being drenched, says Laura. They stain a bit like leather . Cork yoga mats are naturally antibacterial, easy to clean with a mat spray and rarely need a really good wash.”

For other mats, a good old soaking will really dredge the dirt out, dislodging any oils and odours while using a mild detergent or a shampoo and a soft sponge or flannel.

Only super cheap plastic mats will weather a good scrubbing/scouring. I use a soft cotton cloth on mine, adds Laura

Remember that any residue of soap left on the mat will make the surface slippery and we all know a slippery yoga mat is enough to make any zen master fly off the handle.

Remember too that the more you soak them the longer they take to dry.

S To A Cleaner Yoga Mat

Use a towel. To keep your mat cleaner from the get-go, Emily Schmookler, a CorePower Yoga senior yoga trainer based in the Bay Area, suggests laying a towel down on top of your mat when you practice, especially one that is moisture-wicking and will absorb sweat. The mat will stay cleaner and you can throw the towel in with your laundry. Preferably get one that has the sticky buttons on the bottom, she says, and dont use fabric softener when washing it.

When in doubt, use soap and water. Cleaning your yoga mat with a wet cloth and a small amount of soap or detergent is probably your best bet in most cases. That will remove dirt and grime from the surface as well as physically destroy or remove plenty of microorganisms without the need for sanitizing or disinfecting chemicals.

Consider a mat spray. Several yoga mat companies recommend cleaning your yoga mat with a specialized mat spray as an alternative to soap and water. Its also possible to make your own cleaner by mixing vinegar and water plus two or three drops of an essential oil you enjoy.

The experts and companies we reached out to had different suggestions on the proportions of water to vinegar, and a few companies have specific recommendations for their mats . Schmookler suggests making a spray with water and witch hazel, rather than vinegar, plus a few drops of tea tree oil. However you make your mat spray, she says, remember that diluting with water is very important.

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Heres What Can Build Up On Your Yoga Mat

Your skin plays host to microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and even microscopic mites. This might sound gross, but it doesnt necessarily mean anything bad for your health. These microorganisms are usually harmless, Elitza Theel, Ph.D., a microbiologist in the laboratory medicine and pathology department at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, tells SELF. They are, however, capable of transferring onto your yoga mat while you pretzel yourself into different poses.

Throughout the day, you also shed skin cells , produce body oils, and secrete sweat, all of which can get onto your mat during your workout. Not to mention, if you share your mat or borrow a communal one from your gym, youre now exposed to all that…stuff…from previous users.

The likelihood that microorganisms will develop and multiply increases with each day you dont clean your yoga mat, Pratik Banerjee, Ph.D., an associate professor in the division of epidemiology, biostatistics, and environmental health at the University of Memphiswho conducted a study on the microbiology of fitness center surfacestells SELF. Because microbes generally thrive off moisture, this is especially the case when your yoga mat is exposed to humid environments…like the kind in a steamy yoga studio or other workout class.


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