Yoga mats are more than just a piece of plastic or rubber. They are a sacred space where you connect with your body, mind, and soul.
However, during intense workouts, sweat drops find their way onto your mat, creating the ideal environment for bacteria and dirt to take up residence. It's like an uninvited guest party you didn't sign up for.
In this article, we show you how to make your own DIY mat cleaner and how to clean a yoga mat in less than 5 minutes.
What you’ll need
- Mild detergent or yoga mat cleaner
- Spray bottle
- Soft cloth or sponge
- Towel or paper towels
How to Clean a Yoga Mat
To clean a yoga mat, mix one part mild detergent with ten parts water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on your yoga mat and scrub in circular motions with a soft cloth or sponge. Rinse the mat thoroughly and hang it to dry. Don’t dry the mat under direct sunlight; it can cause fading or deterioration.
Here are three detailed methods for cleaning a yoga mat with DIY mat cleaner.
Method 1: Mild detergent and water
To clean your yoga mat with detergent and water, follow these steps.
Prepare your cleaning solution
Mix warm water and a small amount of mild detergent in a spray bottle. If you're unsure about the ratio, a general guideline is to use one part mild detergent to ten parts water.
It’s essential to use only a small amount of detergent when cleaning yoga mats, as some of them are made of materials such as rubber or PVC, which can be sensitive to certain chemicals. Also, too much detergent can leave behind a soapy residue that may make the mat slippery or affect its grip.
Spray the cleaning solution
Hold the spray bottle a few inches away from your yoga mat and evenly spray the cleaning solution over its entire surface. Remember to cover both sides of the mat. The cleaning solution will work to break down dirt, sweat, and any other residue that might have accumulated on the mat during your yoga sessions.
Now it's time to give your mat a gentle scrub. Take the soft cloth or sponge and start scrubbing in circular motions.
Pay extra attention to areas that look particularly dirty or stained. Don't worry about applying too much pressure; just be gentle to avoid damaging the mat's surface.
Once you've given your mat a good scrub, rinse it with water to remove any remaining cleaning solution. Ensure you remove all traces of detergent or cleaner to prevent any residue from affecting your grip on the mat during your yoga sessions.
Dry the yoga mat
You have two drying options: lay the mat flat on a clean towel, making sure it's spread out evenly, or hang it over a drying rack or clothesline. Also, allow sufficient time to air dry completely before rolling it up or using it again.
Method 2: White vinegar
White vinegar is another great DIY mat clear. Here’s how to use it to clean your yoga mat.
- Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
- Evenly spray the vinegar and water solution over the entire surface of the mat.
- Use a soft cloth or sponge to gently wipe and scrub the mat.
- Wipe the mat with a damp cloth to remove the vinegar solution.
- Lay the mat flat on a towel or hang it to air dry.
Method 3: Baking soda
To clean your yoga mat with baking soda, follow these steps.
- Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda evenly over the surface of the yoga mat.
- Let the baking soda sit on the mat for about 10-15 minutes to absorb odors and loosen dirt.
- Use a soft cloth dampened with water to gently scrub the mat in circular motions.
- Use a damp cloth to remove the baking soda residue.
- Lay the mat flat on a towel or hang it up to air dry completely.
How often should I clean my yoga mat?
To maintain a clean and hygienic yoga mat, it is advisable to wipe it down after every use to remove sweat and dirt. Then, at least once a month, give it a deep cleaning to prevent bacteria, sweat, and dirt buildup.
Can I clean a yoga mat in the washing machine without ruining it?
If your yoga mat states that it is machine washable, you can safely wash it on a gentle cycle. However, if your mat doesn't expressly state it, it's best to err on caution and opt for hand washing. This is because most yoga mats are not designed for machine washing, and subjecting them to it could damage the mat.
Can I clean a yoga mat with Lysol or Clorox wipes?
Don’t use Lysol or Clorox wipes on yoga mats as they contain bleach and disinfectant that can degrade the mat's surface, leading to discoloration, breakdown of the material, and loss of grip. Instead, stick to mild detergent or yoga mat cleaners for safe cleaning.
Clean your yoga mat without ruining it
A pro tip is to allow your yoga mat to dry thoroughly before rolling it up to prevent moisture and potential odor issues. Additionally, regularly cleaning your yoga mat ensures a clean and enjoyable practice every time and extends the mat’s lifespan.
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