How to Clean Your Yoga Mat Safely

Yoga is the most effective and non-invasive therapy that can provide you with a healthy body and a healthy mind. Yoga has numerous poses growing increasingly popular with each passing day, and millions of people are now moving toward adopting a yoga lifestyle.

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Be it pain, stress, trauma, anxiety, or a non-healthy lifestyle; yoga is the answer to all these problems. However, certain yoga accessories are involved in this exercise that you need to keep clean and tidy, one of which is the yoga mat.

Here in this article, you read about why you need to clean your yoga mat, how you can clean it and what natural products you can use for the most effective cleaning.

Significance of Yoga Mat for Yoga Sessions

A yoga mat is one of the essential yoga accessories that you certainly can’t perform yoga without. Performing difficult and strengthening postures on the ground would be much more difficult than on a mat.

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Secondly, a yoga mat is important for taking note of certain kinds of measurements to maintain distance and posture for specific yoga postures and stretches. This amazing mat greatly helps you have a soft surface beneath you when you go down on your knees, stomach, butt, or back; also saving you from the dirt and germs of the floor sticking to your body.

One can’t have an impactful or effective yoga session without a yoga mat. There are also plenty of great options of yoga mats available in the market now and online that you can buy according to your preference and need to accommodate your comfort and necessity.

Importance of Keeping Your Yoga Mat Clean

When you practice daily yoga sessions and experience the benefits of yoga, there can be nothing worse than finding a sticky and smelly yoga mat one day, just before a session. Because you use it daily, your yoga mat can easily absorb all your sweat, grime, odor, and dirt from the ground.

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These mats are mostly made up of absorbent materials and are more prone to absorbing sweat, grime, dirt, and odor faster than other materials. Intense yoga postures and stretches can often make you all sweaty and wet. Hence, your mat catches and absorbs all the dampness.

Maintaining a clean and tidy yoga mat is not only important for your better health but also for a consistent and productive yoga regime. To keep yourself motivated and going to have healthy yoga sessions each day, you need to have a clean environment and an always ready-to-use yoga mat.

However, some yogis believe in the idea of ‘dirty hippie yoga,’ which is far from any fundamental norms of today. Yogis of the present times believe in and recommend having the utmost cleanliness, safety, purity, and freshness around and within when practicing yoga.

 Plus, you wouldn’t want to catch any skin allergies or health issues due to an oily and dirty yoga mat full of dirt, oil, grime, sweat, and germs. A recent article has also published a study where a normal yoga studio mat used by many people had over 3 million environmental bacteria counts.

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While a personal yoga mat had around 12 million bacteria counts because the mat is not cleaned often, cleaning your yoga mat regularly removes the germs, and disinfecting the mat kills the germs and bacteria effectively. Let’s see how often you should clean your yoga mat and the best ways to clean it.

How to Clean Your Yoga Mat Safely?

There are many factors that you need to consider when you decide to clean your yoga mat safely, such as how often you should clean it, how to give your mat a deep clean, is it an open-pore yoga mat or a closed-pore mat, how to dry it, and so on. We’ll go by each of these things for a thorough study.

How Often You Should Clean Your Yoga Mat

Typically yoga mats are used almost daily or approximately five to six days a week. In this scenario, because you sweat every day and your feet touch the mat innumerable times daily, you should give your yoga mat a quick cleaning every week to avoid getting it all sticky and oily.

You should schedule a monthly cleaning session for deep and detailed cleaning of your yoga mat to disinfect it and give it a good wash. Once a month, deep cleaning is fairly manageable and necessary to keep your yoga mat tidy.

However, some mat manufacturers do not recommend such often cleaning. This is why you should always read your yoga mat’s cleaning instructions before starting to do anything on it.

Things you Need to Clean your Yoga Mat

To clean your yoga mat efficiently, here are the things you need:

  1. Soft Cloth: A soft cloth will be used to wipe your mat. You can have any soft cloth or even buy cleaning cloths online.
  2. Spray Bottle: You will also need a spray bottle to spray a homemade cleaning solution evenly on the mat for regular cleaning and even for spot cleaning.
  3. Dish Soap: When dissolved with water, mild dishwashing soap can easily remove stains and dirt from your yoga mat. Use a good quality dishwashing soap that isn’t too harsh for the material.
  4. White Vinegar:  White vinegar is an extremely useful natural agent that helps clean, disinfect, and deodorize your yoga mat.
  5. Tea Tree Oil: This ingredient is optional; however, tea tree oil is widely known for its antifungal and antimicrobial properties, which can help clean your yoga mat safely, based on the amount of liquid you use in your homemade solution. Additionally, it provides a very pleasant smell to your mat.
  6. A Professional Mat Washing Liquid: If unsure and comfortable with the DIY washing liquid, you can opt for a professional mat washing liquid from any reputable company. Try to choose a product of good quality and one that imposes no side effects on your mat. 
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Natural Things You Can Use for Cleaning Your Yoga Mat Safely

The reason that yoga mats mostly have sensitive fabric, it is recommended to mostly use natural products for cleaning yoga mats, so they don’t get harmed or affected by harsh elements. The most common natural things that you can use are:

Water:  You can simply use water mixed with a cleaning liquid to effectively clean your mat.

Soft Cloth:  A soft cloth is needed to gently rub and or tap the yoga mat to remove dirt, stains and grime from it.

Vinegar: Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and cleaning agent that can effectively kill germs and bacteria to a great extent.

Tea Tree Oil: Essential oils like tea tree oils are also known for their disinfecting properties. Additionally, they also provide a very pleasant smell to your yoga mat if you use it for cleaning.

Steps on How to Clean Your Yoga Mat Safely

Be sure to keep yourself safe during the cleaning process by wearing gloves or protecting your mouth and nose in case you are sensitive to cleaning agents like vinegar and dishwashing soaps. Here is the step-by-step guide on how you can clean your yoga mat safely and efficiently:

  • Combine vinegar and water in a spray bottle in an equal ratio. You can use many ratios to combine water and vinegar, such as 1:1 and 1:4 ratios. While most ratios provide the same cleaning effect to your yoga mat, adding more vinegar can slightly increase the tingeing smell in your mat, affecting the mat’s fabric and material if it’s sensitive to vinegar or hard cleaning agents.
  • Let the liquid sit down on your mat for a few minutes. Vinegar can also act as a disinfectant for killing germs and microbes, but you need to let the liquid settle down on the mat for at least fifteen to twenty minutes for disinfection. Leaving the liquid on for only five to ten minutes will also do if you wish to clean the yoga mat.
  • Use a soft cloth now to wipe down your yoga mat. Just wipe it nicely and softly with the cloth, as rubbing it vigorously can affect or destroy your yoga mat’s surface.
  • Repeat the whole process to keep it clean on both sides. Cleaning just one side won’t do any good to you or your mat, as the dirt from the other side can easily make the clean side of the mat filthy again.
  • Let your mat air-dry completely now. It is better to hand it on a hanger or higher so the wet surface doesn’t touch the ground and stick to germs. Drying the yoga mat completely after a cleaning session is important, as a damp mat is an ideal place for mold and bacterial growth.
  • Once you have nicely cleaned your mat, roll it over and place it in a secure mat. Make sure not to place it where it can be directly in contact with the sun or UV rays, as the rays can break down the plastic foam and rubber of your yoga mat.
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How to Spot-Clean Your Dirty Yoga Mat?

To spot-clean your dirty yoga mat, you need to use a dishwashing soap liquid instead of vinegar, as dishwashing liquids can effectively clean stains and spots. Just be sure to use dishwashing soap that is not too harsh for the fabric of your mat. Here are steps to spot-clean your yoga mat:

  • Fill your spraying bottle with one cup of warm water and add two to four drops of liquid dishwashing soap. Shake the bottle gently to combine the solution.
  • Now spray out the solution on the spot or stained area of the mat. Just be careful not to over-spray your mat, as a soapy liquid can leave a slippery effect and residue on the mat.
  • Use a soft cloth to scrub the stained spot gently to eliminate the stain.
  • Now wipe the yoga mat with a damp cloth to remove the soapy liquid off the mat.
  • Lastly, let the yoga mat dry out completely by hanging it on a rod or drying rack.
  • When completely dry, fold and place the mat in a secure area.

How to Deep Clean Your Yoga Mat Safely?

Your yoga mat requires a deep cleaning every month to stay clean and tidy for regular use. Deep cleaning also protects your yoga mat from any germ, mold, or bacterial growth over time so you can enjoy healthy and peaceful yoga sessions.

For a deep clean, you must soak your yoga mat in a tub filled with soapy water to eliminate all the stains, grime, bacteria, and dirt. Here are the steps to deep clean your yoga mat:

  • Fill a bathtub with water, enough to soak up your yoga mat completely.
  • Add a teaspoon full of dish soap to it.
  • Soak your yoga mat in this soapy water and let it rest for five to ten minutes.
  • Now scrub the entire mat with a soft cloth and focus on the stained and grimed areas.
  • Drain the tub now and rinse the mat until clear water comes out. Gently squeeze the mat to get rid of any water residual in the mat.
  • Give your yoga mat a little shake.
  • Let the yoga mat dry out by placing it on a drying rack or a shower curtain rod. The drying-out period could take a day or two, depending on the mat’s condition.
  • When dried out completely, fold and store the mat in a secure place.
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Important Tips to Consider While Cleaning Your Yoga Mat

Here are some of the key points to consider while you clean your yoga mat:

  • Some mats can surely be washed in washing machines; however, it is best to avoid such a method. Rubber mats and plastic mats can stretch and tear greatly when washed in a washing machine. Rubber mats also absorb a lot of water and are slower to dry than other materials, leading to fabric and material damage in the long run.
  • Keep your mats out of direct sunlight and UV rays, as they can make your mats brittle and faded.
  • Do not use harsh solvents and cleaners on your yoga mats; especially avoid essential oils for cleaning if you use a rubber mat.
  • Do not roll or fold your mat until it is completely dried, as damp mats absorb the most bacterial and germ growth.
  • Avoid using oils and skin creams before using your mats for yoga sessions, as they can transfer to the mat material and leave oily stains on them.
  • Use baking soda on your yoga mat if you want to eliminate odor and absorbent oils from entering your yoga mat. You can sprinkle and rub baking soda on the mat and let it do its work for fifteen to thirty minutes. Then vacuum or brush off the excess from the yoga mat.
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Related Questions

Here are all the related questions that you need to know regarding cleaning your yoga mat safely:

Why is it important to clean your yoga mat?

Yoga mats are mostly used in daily yoga sessions and are prone to absorb sweat, germs, bacteria, odor, and dirt that need proper cleaning for appropriate and efficient usage. A yoga mat used in a yoga studio is used by many people and hence can get dirty due to usage by multiple people. At the same time, a personal mat is used daily and needs proper cleaning to avoid future health issues.

What dangers can a dirty yoga mat impose?

A dirty yoga mat can get stinky and stained with time. This can greatly interfere with your daily yoga routine. A dirty yoga mat can also impose dangers like skin allergies and health issues to the user because of its dirt, germ, bacteria, and mold growth.

How often should you clean my yoga mat?

A personal mat should be cleaned weekly for a quick clean-up to avoid bacterial or germ growth. However, deep cleaning should follow once a month to avoid stains and grime build-up in the mat.

How can you clean your yoga mat safely?

To clean your yoga mat safely, you can use a homemade or DIY cleaning solution to clean and disinfect your mat effectively. Making a natural solution of water and vinegar or water and dishwashing soap with some drops of tea tree oil can keep your mat clean, pleasantly smelling, and tidy altogether.

What are the best natural products to use for cleaning yoga mats?

The best natural ingredients for cleaning your yoga mat are water and vinegar, as vinegar is a mild disinfectant and can effectively eliminate germs from the surface. Alternatively, you can use dishwashing soap to remove stubborn stains and grime. Essential oils like tea tree oil are also wonderful natural agent that disinfects and provides a sweet smell to your yoga mat.

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 Cleaning your yoga mat regularly is a favor you should do yourself every once a week and once a month to have healthy yoga sessions. In this article, we have discussed why you need to clean your yoga mat, how to clean it, and tips to consider for effective cleaning.