We receive many emails enquiring about the best way to clean a yoga mat. Well, firstly, it is really important to clean your mat regularly as oils from your skin, as well as sweat, and dirt can penetrate the surface of the mat making it unhygienic and also slippery to practice on. By washing your mat regularly and keeping up with regular maintenance, you can extend the life of your yoga mat and continue to enjoy a clean, fresh-smelling and slip-free practice.
Firstly, never put your yoga mat in the washing machine or tumble dryer. Once a month, soak your yoga mat for about five minutes in the bath using a mixture of warm water and a little mild detergent (not too much – just enough to have a cleaning effect, no bubble baths please!) such as washing up liquid. This will help dislodge dirt, oils and any odours. Some people recommend using a vinegar solution to wash your mat but I think the smell lingers and depending on the material of your yoga mat, vinegar may also degrade the quality of the mat.
Once your mat has soaked for a few minutes, use a soft cloth to wash both sides of the mat. Thoroughly wipe each side, concentrating on the areas that your hands and feet touch most often.
Drain the bath and rinse the mat thoroughly with clean water. This will help remove any residue from the soap and minimize the risk of having a slippery mat. Remove excess water from your mat, then lay the mat flat on a dry towel and roll the two together to squeeze out remaining moisture.
You can step on the rolled up mat and towel, which is more effective at getting out excess water Hang your mat to air dry. If you use pegs these may leave a mark so just lay it over an airer or washing line. Only use your mat again once it is completely dry.
It’s also worth, following these simple maintenance suggestions to cut down the number of times you need to thoroughly wash the mat.
Wash your feet and hands before you practice to keep your mat clean and to prevent bacteria from spreading between your skin and mat surface.
Cleaning your hands and feet will also wash off lotions and creams that can degrade the mat and make you slip. If you practice hot yoga or just sweat a lot, use a yoga towel to absorb excess moisture and make it easier for you to get a good firm stance.
Air out your mat regularly. Most people will roll up their yoga mats after each use and cleaning and either store it in a mat bag or in a corner of their home or studio. Allow your mat to air out regularly to help evaporate lingering sweat or moisture and keep it smelling fresh.