How To Clean Yoga Mat: 5 Easy Steps

While it is essential to attend your yoga classes with your mat, it is just as important for you to clean it after every session. 

However, you have to be very careful, as there are cleaning solutions that can damage your precious mat. 

To find out how to clean your yoga mat while keeping it in top shape, check out this guide we have prepared for you. 

Why Clean Your Yoga Mat?

For hygienic reasons, it is essential that you clean your yoga mat completely, especially after you’ve just had an intense and sweaty workout.

Yes, you can wipe off the surface of your yoga mat using a damp cloth and air dry it. However, the sweat it absorbs can leave your mat smelling nasty if it isn’t cleaned thoroughly.

If left uncleaned after a long time, your yoga mat will become a breeding ground for germs and may cause rashes, irritation, or skin infections.

Worse, you can get severe health problems like stomach flu and respiratory issues from a dirty yoga mat. 

You’re in the habit of doing yoga to improve your overall well-being, so make sure that the yoga mat you’re using won’t cause you any health problems in the long run by cleaning it well.

How to Clean Yoga Mat

Here are some simple steps that can help you get rid of dirt and bacteria build up in your yoga mat, from wiping it with a wet cloth or towel to using products that are readily available at home:

Use a vinegar and water cleaning solution

You can clean your yoga mat by using 2 products you have at home: water and vinegar. 

However, before you do this, check your yoga mat’s care instructions since this solution is only ideal for some materials and can damage your mat if misused.

To make this cleaning solution, combine water and vinegar in a bowl. 

You can use the ratio of 1:1 if you want a more potent solution. Be careful, as this can leave the mat smelling somewhat sour.

If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, use a 1:4 ratio for a less potent solution. Once you’re done mixing, transfer the solution to a spray bottle.

You can also add a few drops of eucalyptus, lavender, or tea tree oil. These essential oils can help eliminate stinky odors from your mat and cover the smell of vinegar as well.

Start cleaning your yoga mat by spraying the solution all over. Let it sit for around 15 to 30 minutes. Afterward, grab a damp towel or cloth and wipe the mat’s surface and sides to remove sweat and dirt build-up.

Repeat the process on the other side of your mat.

Wipe your yoga mat

If you’re a busy bee and have plenty of things to do after your morning yoga session, the quickest way to clean your mat is to wipe it with a soft cloth.

Use a soft, damp cloth to wipe the surface of your yoga mat. 

You can repeat this process twice to reduce the accumulated sweat and dirt, then repeat the same process on the opposite side of your mat.

Afterward, air-dry your yoga mat by hanging it over a drying rack until completely dry.

(Note: Make sure your yoga mat is 100% dry before rolling and storing it. Doing so while it is still damp can leave it smelling foul and leave you repeating the cleaning process over again.)

Use a yoga mat cleaner

You can always opt for a yoga mat cleaner if you’re not into DIY. Many cleaning products are available in the market; make sure you purchase one specifically made for yoga mats.

Most of these mat cleaning solutions are formulated with antibacterial ingredients that can aid in cleaning your yoga mat without using chemicals that can damage it.

Some yoga mat cleaners come with specific instructions, but generally, all you have to do is apply the product all over the mat’s surface. 

Let the solution sit for a few minutes before wiping it with a soft, dry cloth or towel.

Then, you can repeat the procedure on the other side of your yoga mat. Hang it to dry.

(NOTE: Although these cleaning solutions are formulated for yoga mats, some commercially sold cleaners may contain harsh ingredients you need to look out for, like detergent and alcohol, as these can damage your mat.)

Use warm water and dish soap

Another easy way to clean your yoga mat with materials you have at home is by using warm water and dish soap.

Begin by mixing a decent amount of water and dish soap on your bathtub or wash basin. 

Then, put your yoga mat in and ensure it’s completely submerged in the solution. Soak it for a few minutes to soften the built-up dirt and grime.

Gently scrub it using a soft foam or cloth, and wash off the soapy solution using clean water. This procedure is recommended if you want to deep clean your yoga mat and remove deep-seated dirt, but this would take some time to finish. 

Hang it to dry completely, and make sure it isn’t damp before rolling and storing your mat.

Put it in the washing machine

You can also throw your mats in the washing machine to ensure they’re squeaky clean, but we advise you to check the care instructions first.

There are different types of yoga mats, and most are made of material that absorbs water, making it difficult to air-dry.

Meanwhile, there are mats made of materials like TPE and PVC, which may stretch or tear easily when you throw them in the washing machine.

Nonetheless, some mats are machine-washable, so you can safely clean them in top or front-load washers. Just make sure to put it in a gentle cycle and only use mild soap.

Still, do not put your mat in the dryer; instead, hang it to air-dry. We also suggest you don’t use a washing machine frequently to prevent your mats from breaking or tearing.

It is still ideal to handwash your mats to ensure that they are not stretched and handled carefully. 

How Often Should You Clean Your Yoga Mat?

While cleaning your yoga mat is essential, it isn’t necessary that you deep clean it after every practice. 

Here’s a guide you can follow on when you can give your mat a routine cleaning and when you should start deep cleaning:

Routine Cleaning

When it comes to cleaning your yoga mat, it is recommended that you wipe it using a dry cloth as soon as your class ends to remove sweat and dirt residues before you roll your mat. 

That’s right—this should be done immediately after your class and not when you get home.

If you tend to sweat a lot in class, clean your yoga mat with a mat cleaner as soon as you get home.

Spot Cleaning

Spot cleaning means treating only the stained part of your mat and not the entire thing. This method is ideal for yogis performing basic yoga routines, which means they don’t sweat a lot during class. 

To do this, apply a small amount of mild cleansing solution to your mat’s stained or dirty areas. 

Scrub the soiled spots carefully (you don’t want to make a bigger mess), and remove the soapy solution by wiping it with a damp cloth.

Air-dry your yoga mat before rolling and storing it.

Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning is the answer for extremely stinky, sweaty, and grimy mats. You can do this procedure monthly, every 2 weeks, or weekly if you tend to sweat a lot.

Thoroughly cleansing your mat is essential to ensure that you can prevent bacteria build-up, which can cause skin problems and irritation.

To do this, fill the bathtub with your chosen cleaning solution (you can use a mat cleaner, dish soap, or mild soap) and submerge your mat in the solution completely. 

Soak it for at least 15 minutes, then gently scrub it with a soft cloth and rinse with clean water. 

Do not wring or twist your mat to prevent rips, tears, or wrinkles. Air-dry your yoga mat entirely before rolling and storing it.

Conclusion

You can clean your yoga mat using different procedures and with different cleaning solutions, depending on how frequently you use it and how sweaty you get while performing your yoga routine.

More importantly, always consider your yoga mat’s material when choosing what cleaning product to use in order to prevent damage. 

Always check the care instructions first before trying different cleaning methods. 

Your yoga mat is one of the essential investments you need for your yoga practice, so ensure that you keep it clean in order to extend its useful life. 

FAQs

What happens if you don’t clean your yoga mat?

If you don’t clean your yoga mat, it will become a breeding ground for germs and bacteria, which can cause skin irritations and even more severe health problems like respiratory infections and stomach flu.

Aside from that, you won’t be doing your mat any favors by not taking good care of it, as leaving it dirty often can shorten its lifespan. 

Can I clean my yoga mat with wet wipes?

Yes, you can clean your yoga mat using wet wipes. However, you have to be careful in selecting the type of wipes to use.

Avoid disinfectant wipes that contain Clorox, as this harsh chemical can damage your mat. 

Instead, use baby wipes that don’t contain any soap or alcohol, as these are gentle enough to remove dirt and sweat without damaging your mat.

What is the best cleaner for yoga mats?

The best cleaner for yoga mats is a combination of warm water and dish soap. 

This cleaning solution is mild enough and does not contain harsh chemicals, making it a safe and effective alternative to store-bought mat cleaners.

Share the Post: