Yoga mats are home to lots of dirt and sweat, let’s be honest. Their entire purpose is to cushion you from the floor while you break a sweat. So it’s natural that they can get dirty fairly quickly. But how do you keep them clean? Are yoga mats machine washable?
Most yoga mats cannot be cleaned by a washing machine. They are best washed by cold handwashing followed by air drying.
Let’s break down how exactly to clean a yoga mat.
How To Wash a Yoga Mat
As far as washing goes, you have a few options. You can concoct your own wash with vinegar and tea tree oil, but DIY may not be the best option when it comes to keeping such a dirty surface clean. You can rely on yoga mat cleaner, made specifically for that use, or you can purchase something like Clorox wipes, as well.
If you’re going with the DIY or store-bought scrub route, you’ll want to apply the mixture while your mat is in a bathtub. The recommended applying method is to treat the mat as if you’re washing your hands; getting each corner and crevice. After giving the mat a decent scrub, rinse all the product out.
Next, airdry the mat by laying it over a surface, preferably outside, like you would when drying a towel. It might be tempting to toss it in the drier, but tumbling it can actually damage your mat.
If Clorox wipes are your mode of choice, make sure you have time for your mat to dry after cleaning it. You won’t want to inhale the chemicals or use the mat for an appropriate amount of time. In the application process, you want to make sure you went the entire surface of the mat with the wipe, otherwise, you’re not getting a full clean. Afterward, wipe the mat of the chemicals so that they don’t hang around and break down your mat.
While washing is important, you could also be using a tea tree oil after use to keep things smelling fresh. If you get into the habit of spraying down your mat with tea tree oil after each usage, you’re creating an atmosphere for fewer bacteria and dirt to stick around in. You’ll thank yourself later, saving time in the overall cleaning process.
How Often Should You Clean It?
It’s very important to keep a yoga mat clean and free from bacteria, especially if you’re using it with bare feet. Dirt can accumulate rather quickly, so cleaning it should become apart of a routine. Though, it absolutely depends on how often you’re using your mat. If it’s an everyday affair, your cleaning will obviously be more frequent than it would be if you use it once a week.
A good rule of thumb is to clean one a month if used once or less a week. If you’re a more frequent yogi, you should be cleaning at least bi-weekly. Some experts even recommend wiping down after every use, especially if you’re doing an activity like hot yoga. If possible, you should spray it down as frequently as it gets dirty, and do a deep clean as needed.
The amount of cleaning also depends on the time of year. During the summer months, you should be cleaning more frequently, as you’re likely sweating more onto the surface of the mat. Though yoga classes where you’re in a humid atmosphere can also add to bacteria.
Today more than ever, keeping things clean is essential, and your yoga mat is no exception. While yoga mats are not washing machine safe, they are and absolutely should be hand washed. The frequency of washes depends on the dirtiness of your mat and how frequent you’re using it. Overall, you should be, at the least, wiping down your mat when it begins to look dirty. For the more committed of folks to cleanliness, a deep clean every now and again will change the way you look at your mat. Happy cleaning!