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The Best Ways to Clean & Deodorize Yoga Mats

December 19, 2023

Yoga requires a specific set of gear. For one thing, you want the proper clothing – something that’s soft, flexible, and comfortable.

You’ll also need a yoga mat. Not only will they provide cushioning but they’ll also help prevent the possibility of slipping. It’ll also mark the space as yours so that no one else will be moving in the same area.

What’s the best way to deep clean a yoga mat? What kind of cleaning solution should you use? Can you use a few drops of tea tree oil? Find the answers here!

How to Choose a Yoga Mat

how to choose a yoga matThere are several things that you want to consider when you’re picking out a yoga mat. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Grip: Grip is super important when it comes to doing yoga – it’s the thing that will prevent you from slipping when you’re doing various poses. Not only that, but it’ll also provide you with balance, stability, and leverage.

Material: Most yoga mats are made from materials such as PVC, TPE, and polyurethane as they are cheap. While that might be, however, they’re not the best for the environment. Consider choosing a brand that uses natural materials like rubber or cork instead.

Cushioning: Pay attention to how thick the mat is—that will determine the amount of cushioning that it provides. For instance, a thin yoga mat can be tough on your joints. At the same time, however, too thick of a mat can affect its portability.

Portability: Do you practice at a yoga studio? If so, you’ll want to get something that’s portable. Choose something easy to roll and store. For instance, some mats come with a strap that allows you to carry it over your shoulder.

Preventing a Dirty Yoga Mat

how to prevent dirty yoga matsYoga mats need to be cleaned regularly, especially if you use it every day. This makes sense when you think about it – after all, it’ll probably be exposed to your sweat.

Not only is it a hygiene problem but the moisture can also increase the risk of slips while you’re doing the different poses.

And if you use your mat outdoors, it can also accumulate dirt and mud, which can easily transfer onto your clothes.

That’s why deep cleaning your yoga mat is so important.

How to Clean Yoga Mat – Best Cleaning Instructions

Here are a few ways that you can keep your yoga mat clean.

Clean Your Yoga Mat In the Washing Machine

Some yoga mats are machine washable. When in doubt, check the care tag label – there should be one on the side of the product.

how to clean a yoga mat in the washing machine

If it’s machine washable, you can place it inside. Just try to arrange it as evenly as possible (avoid uneven folds or bumps) – that will prevent it from being tossed around during the cycle.

Once you’ve done that, put in some ACTIVE Detergent. Next, select your settings – you want to use a gentle wash cycle (anything else will be too harsh). Ideally, you want to use cold water as it’s better for the material, however, warm water will do a better job of sanitizing the mat.

Press the start button and let the washer do its thing. When it’s finished, take the mat out. Lay it out flat to dry in a well-ventilated area. Do not put it in the dryer or under direct sunlight as the heat can cause the material to warm. Wait until it’s fully dry before using it again.

How to Clean Yoga Mats by Hand

Fill a bathtub with warm water. Add a bit of ACTIVE Detergent (mild dish soap will also work in a pinch) and mix it with your hand to create a sudsy solution.

Once that’s done, place your yoga mat in. Make sure that it’s fully submerged – press down with your hand if necessary.

how to hand wash a yoga matAllow the yoga mat to soak for 15 to 20 minutes. From there, you want to wash both sides with a soft cloth. Simply wipe down each side—pay extra attention to the areas where your hands and feet touch the most. How can you tell? The color will likely be a bit different. Remember to be gentle; the last thing that you want is to pull chunks off of it!

Next, rinse off the detergent. To do this, you’ll want to drain the tub. Place the mat under the faucet to remove the soap residue – continue rinsing until the water is clear.

Make sure all of the detergent is rinsed off. If the water doesn’t turn clear, you might have to soak and wash it again with water.

Remove the mat from the bathtub once you’re finished rinsing. To remove the excess water, lay it on a flat surface, place a dry towel on top and roll it up – that will help to squeeze out the leftover moisture. Never twist or wring out the mat with your hands as that can cause it to tear or warp.

Allow it to air dry away from direct sunlight.

Maintaining Your Yoga Mat Regularly

yoga mat cleaning with baby wipesCleaning your mat is important but so is regular maintenance. The easiest way to do that is by using yoga mat wipes. You can also put some homemade cleaning solution (e.g. water and dish soap) in a spray bottle and clean it that way.

Just make sure the damp mat is completely dry before using it again.

Preventing Your Yoga Mat From Getting Dirty – Deodorizing Tips

Here are some things that you can do to prevent odors from developing.

Always Wash Your Hands and Feet Before Practice

It’s a good idea to wash your hands and feet with soap before yoga practice. By keeping your skin clean, you’ll be able to minimize the amount of germs that will be on the mat.

Not only that but you’ll be able to get rid of any cream or lotion that might otherwise cause slips. Don’t have access to a sink? Consider wiping your hands and feet down with baby wipes before starting your session.

Wipe Your Mat After Every Use

how often should you clean your yoga mat

Make a habit of wiping your yoga mat after each yoga session (even if you have a closed-cell yoga mat). It’s one of the easiest ways that you can keep it free of dirt, sweat, and oils.

Place a Towel on the Mat During Your Session

Do you tend to sweat a lot during your yoga session? If so, you might want to place a clean towel on top of your mat—that way, you won’t have to worry about the sweat going onto the mat (it will be absorbed by the towel)!

Air Out Your Yoga Mat

Instead of rolling up your yoga mat at home, lay it flat so that it can air out – that will allow any remaining moisture to evaporate. You can also place it over a drying rack in the laundry room.

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Picture of Sophia Grant

Sophia Grant

Sophia Grant brings her extensive knowledge of laundry and clothing care to the masses with her intensive cleaning guides. Her thorough understanding of fabrics, detergents, and washing techniques helps readers master the art of maintaining their wardrobe. Sophia's advice ensures that anyone can achieve professional-level results at home, keeping their garments looking pristine and lasting longer.

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