Disinfecting Your Yoga Mat
You should be disinfecting your yoga mat after each use, says Rodriquez-Zaba.
As soon as the class is over, spray both sides down with a disinfectant yoga mat spray. Wait 10 minutes to allow the spray to work, then wipe both sides with a clean microfiber cloth.
The type of disinfecting spray you need will depend on the type of yoga mat you have. PVC and elastomer can stand up to harsh chemical disinfectants like bleach, but with rubber mats youll need to use a vinegar-based cleaner so you dont ruin the surface. Cotton mats just absorb liquids, so sprays arent as effective.
Many yoga mat companies sell disinfecting spray designed to work with their mats, but you can also make your own, says Barrett. Combine equal parts vinegar and water, and add several drops of tea tree oil, a natural antibacterial, in a spray bottle.
For extra protection, you can finish by spraying the mat with an antimicrobial sprayStriemer recommends Microban 24.
Note: People who do yoga in a gym or studio should follow any Covid-19 disinfecting procedures, as most places have their own protocols for public safety.
What To Look For When Buying A Yoga Mat
If youve been doing yoga for a while, you might need a new mat to up your game. If youre a newcomer, you might not know where to start with the yoga mat. While a pretty looking yoga mat is half the battle, youll also need to pay attention to elements that will make your practice a lot more comfortable.
Are you buying your first, second, or 100th yoga mat? We compiled a few pointers to make buying your next yoga mat a breeze.
One of the most important factors to consider when buying a mat is the stickiness. If you have a yoga instructor you regularly see, ask them if they have any recommendations that can help you make your choice. If you choose to buy online and you see reviews saying your intended yoga mat is slippery, stay away from making the purchase, especially if youre a newcomer or dont want to buy grip socks in addition to your yoga mat. The surface of the mat is integral, especially where you intend to practice fast-paced yoga.
An average yoga mat is ¼ thick, and your choice should be based on your needs. Some people opt for thinner mats because its much easier to roll them up and travel with them. If you have sensitive joints, go for a thicker mat. Because its often plush and offers a bit more comfort and balance, most students go for thick mats. If youre just starting out and not sure what will be most appropriate for you, a ¼ mat is more than ideal.
Using The Manduka Yoga Mat Cleaner
This is an ideal way of cleaning Manduka yoga mats as it is specially made for these types of yoga mats. The yoga mat cleaner offered by Manduka is an organic product made by eco-friendly ingredients. The antibacterial property of the cleaner keeps the yoga mat clean and free of bacteria. Manduka currently offers two types of yoga mat cleaners:
The All-purpose Mat Wash that is best for cleaning the Manduka PRO Series line of yoga mats and other brands as well, the ingredients are certified organic essential oils, vegetable oil-based surfactant, phosphate-free chelating agent, and water. There are three scents available for this yoga mat wash: Tranquil Lavender, Energizing Gingergrass, and Soothing Citrus.
The Natural Rubber Mat Wash is formulated with vinegar that is specifically for yoga mats that are made of natural rubber like the Manduka eKO Series. The vinegar in the formula helps restore rubber quality while keeping its natural moisture to prevent this kind of yoga mats from breaking down.
While Manduka yoga mats are made to last for a very long time, it still important that we properly clean them to make sure that the yoga mats are clean. This will eliminate and prevent odor-causing bacteria that could make us uncomfortable in using the yoga mats, at the same time, it will help us maximize and enhance our yoga experience.
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How Do I Clean My Yoga Mat
For regular mat maintenance and routine cleaning, we recommend wiping your mat down with a damp cloth on a weekly basis. If you have a vigorous practice, or are doing hot yoga, we recommend doing so after each use.
We also recommend using our plant-based mat wash which is specially designed for natural rubber yoga mats and can be purchased here! We do not recommend any other cleaners be used on our mats.
The really important thing is to NEVER use alcohol, petroleum based solvents or high concentration essential oils on your mat. Unfortunately these cleaning products adversely impact the natural rubber in our mats, causing it to break down and dry out. Essential oils also may cause your mat to become slippery. We have found that many yoga mat sprays and natural cleaners on the market do have high concentrations of such essential oils.
Clean Your Mat At Least Weekly
Yes, weekly! Thats according to Jordan Westra, studio manager at Yoga Vida in New York City, who spearheads the cleaning of the studiosJade mats. And, its up to you, but if you practice regularly, outside, or sweat a lot, think about a quick wipe down after every session. Its good hygiene, and helps prolong your mats life.
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How To Clean Your Yoga Mat Properly: These Tips Will Help With Any Material
The yoga mat is a constant companion for many. Whether for sports at home or in the gym – the mat should be cleaned regularly. But how?
The yoga mat is a constant companion for many.
Whether for sports at home or in the gym – the mat should be cleaned regularly.
In fact, correct cleaning depends on the material of the yoga mat.
Because other materials also require different cleaning measures.
The best known are probably rubber mats.
But there are also yoga mats made of cotton, PVC and cork.
No matter which mat appeals to you in order to have some of the best yoga mats for home for a long time, it is worth cleaning accordingly.
Manufacturers usually provide instructions for proper cleaning.
Four: Other Buying Considerations
While the information above roughly covers everything you should know before buying a mat for yoga, there are still a few things that we have to get out of the way:
- If youre short on space, you want to look for a mat thats easy to roll up and store. Naturally, if your mat is super thick, you might have trouble doing so. However, there are mats with secure straps that can hold the mat rolled up in storage.
- Speaking of straps, theyre something you want to have if you want a mat you can take with you to a yoga class or on your travels. You should be able to find yoga mat models that come with adjustable Velcro straps that allow you to throw it on your shoulder and be on your way.
- Establish and budget and try to stick to it, because a mat can cost anything between $10 to hundreds of dollars. Naturally, a $10 mat is probably made of plastic, has no cushioning, and emits a strange chemical-like smell. Rubber mats are more expensive, but theyre also eco-friendly and safe for you to use.
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Essential Oil Yoga Mat Spray
- 1 2 oz or 4 oz spray bottles
- Approximately 3/4 cup of water
- 1/4 cup Witch Hazel
- 2 drops eucalyptus oil
- 2-3 drops of lavender, lemongrass, or lemon essential oil
Mix together in a bowl or a measuring cup and pour into your glass or stainless steel spray bottle. Spray over mat and wipe down with a clean cloth and let air dry.
NOTE: Lavender essential oil is toxic to cats , and full strength tea tree oil is toxic to both cats and dogs, so be safe and use this disinfectant spray out of their reach.
Before we sign off, here’s one more handy tip for keeping those floor germs off your hands and face when you’re practicing yoga or pilates.
When you’ve finished your practice, instead of starting at the end of your mat and rolling it up, instead, fold the practicing surface of your yoga mat in half and THEN roll it up. That way the surface that touches your face and hands never comes in contact with the surface that touches the ground.
Do you have another favorite non-toxic mat that we didn’t list? Let us know your favorites in the comments below!
Choosing The Right Yoga Mat
Shopping for your first yoga mat or even just a new one can be an overwhelming experience. Deciding between the various materials, sizes, and thicknesses can feel like an overwhelming amount of information. This guide will cover each of these aspects and more, and should make the decision process a bit simpler.
As you read this, be mindful of who will be using this yoga mat. The yoga mat you choose should reflect your experience and dedication. Basically, if youre new to yoga you should be looking more at basic, entry-level mats.
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Have A Clear Understanding Of The Importance Of Maintenance And Regular Cleaning
As mentioned earlier, sweat, dirt and oils can cause your yoga mat to lose its value quickly. And a degraded yoga mat is quite difficult to exercise on. Routine maintenance of your yoga mat after every use will improve the life of the mat.
If you go to yoga multiple times a week or on a daily basis, it is important that you clean off your mat after every use and properly store it.
For The Advanced Yogi
Youve come a long way in your practice, and youre darn proud of it, too. You cant imagine your life without yoga. You impress your friends with peacock poses, but mostly, you love encouraging them to get started on their own yoga journey.
If youre ready to retire your old one, consider a new yoga mat that is:
- Thinner to keep you steadier in your balance practice
- Extra sticky
Yoga, for you, is not going anywhere, and you want a mat that will stand the test of time alongside you.
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*rugs May Shrink Slightly When Washed
Jade Dharba Grass Yoga & Meditation Mats Wash the mat with a cotton rag. Air dry until dry. Be good to your Jade, and long youll be content with it!
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How To Clean A Fable Yoga Mat
Fable Pro Grip yoga mats are crafted with a natural tree rubber base and PU upper – this is what gives the mat its incredible grip . However, the open cell structure of the mat is a porous surface that absorbs sweat – its this structure that helps it to stay non-slip. This means it will also absorb oils like body moisturisers so skip them before practice.
We recommend diluting some simple dish soap in water and wiping down with a soft cloth after sweaty sessions or when needed.
Where Fable yoga mats are concerned , step away from the essential oils or chemical cleaning sprays which can break down the grippy materials and compromise performance. A simple organic dish wash soap heavily diluted with water is sufficient to cut through any post-practice sweat and dirt.
While you dont want to under-clean, Its also important to avoid over-cleaning your mat and saturating with water as this will wear out the materials faster – while PVC mats can withstand heavier cleaning our mats must be gently hand cleaned and are not suitable for machine washing. After cleaning your mat, leave it to dry fully, before rolling back up.
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Mat Texture And Stickiness
PVC mats tend to be smoother and provide good grip, while eco-friendly mats made with natural materials like jute can feel rougher on the skin. Stickiness helps keep you stable in your poses and when you transition between poses.
In general, PVC mats are best for stickiness, if theyre clean and dry. If you want to prioritize eco-friendliness but still want some traction, opt for a jute, rubber, or cotton mat that has been deliberately given a raised, tactile surface profile. These mats can help give you extra grip without the stickiness of PVC. If you find textured mats distracting to your practice, consider an organic cotton or rubber mat without the textured surface.
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Yoga Mat Cleaning & Care
Even if your yoga mat is advertised as antimicrobial, dont forget to give it a good rub every so often. This will keep bacteria and funky smell at bay.
It feels weird even to mention this but dont wait until your yoga mat gives off bad smell or shows stains to clean it.
Taking good care of your yoga mat will also prolong its lifespan.
You can do a quick clean after every yoga class. To do that, simply wipe your yoga mat with a damp cloth or use water with a vinegar solution. There are also lots of ready-made commercial sprays that kill bacteria and make your mat smell amazing.
You might try adding essential oil, such as tea tree or lavender oil, to make a DIY cleaning solution. Though, some manufacturers who use open-cell technology when producing their mats warn against this practice. Oils may clog the pores of the material, give off a strong smell for the first few days, stain the mat and make it less sticky.
Every so often, give your mat a deeper clean. You can either wipe it with a baking soda solution or submerge it into the bath with a bit of gentle soap. Dont get too generous with the soap, though, as some mats may absorb it and get extremely slippery for the next couple of yoga sessions.
Some yoga mats can even be washed in the washing machine. But make sure to check the manufacturers cleaning instructions on the temperature some materials can break at higher temperatures.
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How Often You Should Clean Your Yoga Mat
You should clean your yoga mat after every use, otherwise, it will accumulate and harbor bacteria over time.
Your skin, even in completely healthy individuals, is home to numerous microorganisms, like bacteria, that can be transferred onto the yoga mat and thrive in the crevices, explains Dr. Elitza Theel, PhD, a microbiologist in the laboratory medicine and pathology department at the Mayo Clinic. These experts study microorganisms, like bacteria, fungi, and viruses, and understand how their communities grow. Dirt, skin cells, sweat, and microorganisms from your skin can all build up on yoga mats, or any surface that is routinely touched but not cleaned.
Although these bacteria are generally harmless, Dr. Theel says some can spawn grisly fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot and ringworm. Commonly occurring in those with sweaty feet, athlete’s foot is a scaly rash that causes uncomfortable itching, stinging and burning.
That’s why it’s so important you clean your yoga mat regularly to keep it fresh between practices.
Which Side Of The Yoga Mat Do You Use
Many yoga mats are reversible, so it doesn’t really matter what side goes to the floor. Gurus Cork Yoga Mat, for example, can be used with cork side up for extra grip when hands get sweaty and flipped to the rubber side when you’re planning to stay dry during your practice.
Sometimes yoga mats have no design but are not meant to be reversible. Take a close look at the surface the bumpy/textured side generally goes up, and the smooth side should stick to the floor.
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How To Regularly Clean A Yoga Mat
Both the CDC and NASM provide guidance and tips for cleaning surfaces, including exercise mats:
- Clean surfaces first to remove residues. Use a clean towel or disposable wipe. Many home yogis and studios use a spray mixture of distilled water, white vinegar, and essential oil like tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is known to have some anti-microbial properties, but researchers can’t say how effective it is or what strains it affects.
- Wipe in one direction only and clean both sides of the mat.
- You can also use a disinfectant spray. Follow product instructions and leave the spray on the surface as long as directed. You can find disinfectant sprays online.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning.
Cleaning and wiping a closed-cell mat is easy with homemade or general disinfectant sprays. An open-cell mat, on the other hand, may require a special cleanser. You’ll find these online on websites that also sell yoga mats. Use recommendations provided by the yoga mat manufacturer.
I Want To Buy A Yoga Mat Where To Start
So what’s a good yoga mat?
Easy-peasy. It’s the mat that perfectly suits your needs.
I strongly suggest that you carve out some time during the day, take a piece of paper and write down answers to these questions:
- How often are you planning to practice? Once a week, twice or every day?
- Where are you planning to do yoga most of the time? Inside of the studio, outside in the park, maybe on the beach? What surface – soft or rough?
- How often do you get itchy feet? Are you planning to travel with your yoga mat?
- What kind of yoga will you be doing most of the time? Restorative yoga with passive exercises and breathing, or maybe you’re an ardent hot yoga fan?
These are just some of the basic questions you have to ask yourself when choosing a yoga mat. Write down anything else you feel is important.
And let’s get into the nitty-gritty.
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