Yoga mats, like laundry, get stinky and dirty from use over time. Performing yoga postures is no easy feat. They require focus, balance, coordination, and flexibility. And while you are not jogging or heavy-lifting, you are stretching and possibly sweating a lot during your yoga session. In time, all the dirt and sweat could accumulate on your mat, making it stinky and dirty.
Your yoga mat should be clean for your health and safety. Regular wiping and spraying can keep the surface of your mat clean. Commercial wipes and sprays are available to do the trick. But, deep cleaning, occasionally, is recommended to ensure the cleanliness of your mat throughout. Washing your yoga mat in a tub is one way of deep cleaning it manually.
What to do before you toss your yoga mat into a tub of soap and water?
- Read the care instructions of your yoga mat. If you cannot find the manufacturer’s care instructions on the mat or its package, you can try researching online. Yoga mats are not cheap. To prolong the life of your mat, you need to properly clean it according to the specifications suited for its material. Some materials, such as eco-friendly mats, get damaged or scratched when washed and sun-dried regularly.
- Check if you can wash, machine, or manual your yoga mat. Some yoga mats can be machine-washed at low to medium tumble and machine-dried at low temperatures. Some mat owners, however, are against machine-washing yoga mats. To be sure, read the instructions and go with what is advised.
- Check what chemicals are recommended and what’s best to avoid for your yoga mat. Some chemicals are effective in removing dirt as well as germs. But some chemicals are also harmful to the material of your mat. In general, it’s best to use gentle cleansers on your mat.
- Check if you can sun dry your mat or not. Some yoga mats, especially those made of PVC or foam, easily tend to crack or crumble when overly dried under direct sunlight.
Types of Cleaning Agents You Can Use
- Commercial agents that are chemically prepared for yoga mats are available in the market. Dishwashing soap or mild liquid detergent may also be used to the minimum.
- Homemade cleaning solutions are growing in popularity these days. You can DIY. One popular solution is the 1:1 vinegar to water ratio or 1:2 vinegar to water ratio. Vinegar is very effective in removing the stinky smell from your mat. But, the unpleasant smell of vinegar is going to linger a while before completely fading. You can also use aromatic essential oils of your choice. Popular choices are hazel witch, lemongrass, and lavender.
Steps to Clean a Yoga Mat in a Bathtub
- Fill the tub with enough cool water to soak the mat. You do not need to fill the tub to the brim.
- If you are using commercial mat cleaners, follow the cleaning instructions that usually come with the product. If you are using detergent or dishwashing soap, add this to water using the ratio of 1 tablespoon of dishwashing soap/detergent to a gallon of water. Minimize soap use as this can damage your mat.
- Soak for about 15 to 30 minutes to soften stains and dissolve dirt. You can also add baking soda to remove the smell and stubborn stains.
- Wipe the surface using a damp cloth. Scrub stains gently using a soft brush. Take care not to scratch the surface of the mat.
- Rinse the yoga mat thoroughly with water to remove all detergent/ soap residue. Use the shower to rinse the soap from the mat and remove dirt that clings to the surface. The detergent residue left unwashed can cause discoloration on your mat. It also leaves an unpleasant odor. It could also cause your mat to become slippery the next time you use your mat. And some detergent ingredients could also be harsh on your skin.
- Hang your yoga mat to drain the water. Please leave it to air dry. Please do not roll your mat as you leave it to dry to avoid having a curved mat. Use a towel to wipe the water off the surface from top to bottom and front to back. Air drying can take up to two days. Use a fan and direct air to the mat to speed up the drying process.
- Make sure your yoga mat is fully dry before using it again. A moist mat can be a haven for microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi to multiply. Better yet, have an extra mat as an alternative. Sundry your mat if it is indicated in the care instructions. But, make sure not to over-dry the mat, or it will crumble.
How To Maintain a Clean Yoga Mat
Here are some additional tips on how to care for your yoga mat.
- Place your yoga mat on a clean flat surface.
- Wash or bathe before yoga. Wipe your sweat during rest periods to minimize sweat trickling down your mat.
- Wipe your yoga mat after every use. Spray with essential oils to remove the smell.
- Air dry after wiping. Leave your yoga mat to hang occasionally.
- Store your mat in a clean bag.
- Wash at least once a week if you use your mat regularly. Think of your mat as part of your laundry. Experts recommend this to ensure proper hygiene.
- If manual washing weekly is tiring, you can machine wash to deep clean your yoga mat.
Your health and hygiene need to keep your yoga mat clean and pleasant-smelling. Make it part of your daily routine to wipe or spray cleansers on your mat. And make sure your yoga mat gets the occasional wash in the tub to ensure thorough cleaning. This way, you can focus on perfecting those yoga poses and training your mind to peaceful meditation.
Why you need to clean your yoga mat
To keep your mat looking fresh and clean, wash it regularly. If you practice at a studio, ask the staff what cleaning method they recommend. You may also want to bring your own cloth or towel to wipe down your mat after class. Wash your hands before touching your mat. If you’re practicing at home, you might want to invest in a reusable mat cover. A cover will protect your mat from spills, stains, and other damage.
How to Deep Clean a Mat
I think it’s important to note that even if you’re diligent about cleaning your mat, there’s still a chance you’ll need to deep clean it. This is especially true if you do hot yoga regularly. You might also need to deep clean your mats more frequently if you use them for other activities like running or lifting weights. The best way to clean your mat is to soak it in lukewarm water with a few drops of dish soap. Make sure to thoroughly rinse the mat after soaking it. If you have a large area rug, you may need to deep clean yoga mat at least once every few months. You can either hire someone to come in and do it for you, or you can do it yourself.
Can I clean a yoga mat in a washing machine?
Yoga mats are made from natural materials, like cotton or bamboo, and are often machine washable. Some yoga mats even double as blankets when folded in half. If you’re concerned about washing your mat, just follow the directions on the label. Don’t turn your washing machine on unless instructed to do so, and don’t add any harsh detergent. Also, if you fold your mat in half before washing it, it will keep its shape better.
Can I use Clorox wipes on my yoga mat?
If you are looking for an alternative to bleach, there are many natural ways to sanitize your mat. You could also try baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, essential oils, and essential oil blends. Be sure to read the labels carefully before buying any cleaning products. Some ingredients can irritate sensitive skin or cause allergies. You can clean your mat using natural products like baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, salt, or soap. These ingredients will help remove dirt and bacteria while leaving your mat soft and smelling fresh. You can even add essential oils to your cleaning solution to give your mat a pleasant aroma.
In conclusion, cleaning a yoga mat in the bathtub is a great way to get rid of any dirt or bacteria that may be on the mat. Fill your bathtub with warm water and add 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid soap per gallon of water. Make sure to use hot water and soap, and scrub the mat well. Rinse it off with clean water, and allow it to air dry. Keep in mind that sometimes the acids in white vinegar degrade the fabric.