Fitting yoga into your busy
schedule is a challenge without having to worry about spending time
cleaning your mat! However, regularly washing your yoga mat will:
- Keep it soft and sticky.
- Prevent bacterial growth.
- Maximize the life of your mat.
The only way to keep most yoga
mats clean is to wash them by hand, so here are some tips to show you
how to wash a yoga mat easily.
Wash your yoga mat before
You will probably want to wash
your yoga mat before its first use to remove any “rubbery” odor
For its first wash, or whenever
your yoga mat seems particularly dirty, you will probably want to give
it a really thorough cleaning.
- Run a few inches
of cool or slightly warm water into a bathtub or large laundry sink
and add a few drops of mild, non-oily detergent. Make sure you don’t
add too much soap or it will be difficult to rinse away completely,
leaving your yoga mat unnecessarily slippery.
- Submerge the yoga
mat in the water. Let it soak for a few minutes (the longer you let
it soak, the more thoroughly it will be cleaned).
- Gently rub down
both sides of the mat, top to bottom, using the soft side of a sponge,
a piece of terrycloth, or even just your hands. This will help the mat
to develop that soft, grippable surface for which sticky yoga mats are
- Rinse the yoga mat
out very thoroughly in clean water, making sure you get rid of any soap
- To dry your yoga
mat, lay it on top of a dry towel and tightly roll mat and towel together
like a cinnamon roll. Squeeze out excess water by pressing with your
hands or feet. Unroll and hang to air dry. Make sure you let it dry
out completely before storing to prevent mold.
For lighter, more frequent
maintenance cleaning and a quicker drying time, you can just clean your
mat with a spray bottle and soft cloth.
Homemade Yoga Mat Cleaner
It is very easy to make a spray-on
mat cleaner that will break up sweat and dirt and kill odor-causing
molds and bacteria while at the same time extending the lifespan of
your mat. Try either of these recipes.
For a very simple, natural
antibacterial/antifungal mat spray, simply mix 1 part warm water with
3 parts white vinegar. You can also try adding a few drops of essential
oils like eucalyptus, lemongrass, lavender, mint, or tea tree oil to
add a nice aroma and increase the germ- and odor-killing potential.
Another easy cleanser is a
simple soap solution of 2 or 3 cups of water and a few drops of mild
Spray Cleaning Instructions
- Spray your yoga
mat cleaner over the surface of your mat. If you are using a soapy cleanser,
spray very lightly or your mat may become slippery. If you are using
a vinegar cleanser, you can spray liberally. If your yoga mat seems
especially dirty, let the cleanser sit and soak in a bit before cleaning
- Wipe the yoga mat with a wet cloth or sponge. When the cleanser has been thoroughly removed, rub the mat down with a soft dry cloth, like a small towel or washcloth. Now repeat on the other side.
- Allow your mat to
air dry, which should take only about 5 to 10 minutes. If it takes longer
than this, then try rubbing your mat down some more with a towel to
remove the excess water and accelerate drying time.