How to Properly Clean Your Yoga Mat

November 12, 2018 - 6 minutes read

Remove dirt, stains and bacteria from your yoga mat with a few simple cleaning tips.

Whether your workout of choice is a hot yoga class, a TRX workout in the park or anything in between, your yoga mat will likely pick up a fair amount of sweat, lotion, dirt and dust along the way. If left uncleaned, these substances can penetrate the surface of the mat and produce odours that can lead to a less-than-pleasant olfactory experience during child’s pose.

Luckily, it only takes a few minutes and a couple of easy steps to rid your trusty mat of those bacterial smells, extend its lifespan and keep the surface feeling grippy and slip-free.

How often to clean your yoga mat

The activities you’re using your mat for will dictate how frequently you should be taking it through a deep-cleaning process. Regardless of your activity level, be sure to practice regular maintenance by performing at least a light wipe-down after every use.

If you’re regularly active, consider washing your yoga mat at least once every couple of months. Increase this frequency to monthly if you use your mat on a daily basis, attend hot yoga classes, or participate in other activities that promote a high sweat rate or take place outdoors.

Practicing regular maintenance

After each use of your yoga mat, perform a light wipe-down with a mat cleaner. You can use a pre-made product like this lemongrass and sage cleaner from Manduka or you can make your own using a few simple ingredients.

You will need:

Fill a spray bottle with warm water and add tea tree oil at a rate of approximately 10 to 15 drops per cup of water. Lightly spray the solution across your mat and use a clean towel to wipe it down. Allow the mat to dry then roll it back up and store.

Performing a light clean

If your mat is slightly soiled with sweat, light dirt or if there are bigger sweat spots that are still fresh, undergo this light cleaning process.

You will need:

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 4 drops dish soap
  • Spray bottle
  • A sponge or terry cloth
  • A dry towel

Add warm water and the dish soap into the spray bottle and shake well (be careful not to use too much soap as this could create a slippery  surface upon your next few uses). Lay your mat out flat and spritz it lightly with the solution. Using a clean sponge or cloth, gently rub down the mat from one end to the other, paying extra attention to the soiled areas.

Rinse the sponge out completely then rub the mat down with water to remove all the excess soap. You can also try placing the mat in the shower and running the water to rinse the mat.

Use the dry towel to pat down the mat then hang to air dry.

If your mat needs a deep clean

Use this method if your mat has large sweat stains or is deeply tracked with dirt or mud.

You will need:

  • A bath of warm water
  • A small amount of mild detergent
  • A sponge or terry cloth
  • A large, dry towel

Create a solution in the bathtub of warm water and a small amount of mild detergent (do not use too much as this could cause the mat to become slippery). You do not need to fill the bath to the top, just use enough water to cover the bottom. Submerge the mat in the bath and use the sponge to scrub at any deeply soiled areas.

Drain the bath and re-fill with water (again, you don’t need to fill the tub – save the environment!). Thoroughly rinse.

Roll up the mat and squeeze out as much excess water as you can, then lay the large dry towel out on the ground and place unrolled mat on top. Roll the two up together and step on the roll to allow the towel to soak up as much of the moisture as possible.

Unroll and hang to air dry.


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