How To Clean A Yoga Mat In The Bathtub
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 all 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 instruction 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 its 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. Dish washing soap or mild liquid detergent may also be used to the minimum.
- Homemade cleaning solutions are growing in popularity these days. You can basically DIY. One popular solution is 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 as well as to remove dirt that clings to the surface. 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. Leave it to air dry. 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 from 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. This is recommended by experts to ensure proper hygiene
- If manual washing on a weekly basis is tiring, you can machine wash to deep clean your yoga mat.
It is important for your health and hygiene 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 on training your mind to peaceful meditation.