How to clean a yoga mat

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Use a towel. To keep your mat cleaner from the start, Emily Schmookler, CorePower Yoga Senior Yoga Trainer based in the Bay Area, suggests laying a towel on your mat when you practice, especially one that will wick away moisture and will absorb sweat. . The mat will stay cleaner and you can throw the towel away with your laundry. “Preferably take one that has sticky pimples at the bottom,” she says, “and don’t use fabric softener to wash it. “

If in doubt, use soap and water. Cleaning your yoga mat with a damp cloth and a small amount of soap or detergent is probably your best bet in most cases. This will remove dirt and grime from the surface and destroy or physically remove many microorganisms without the need for sanitizing chemicals or disinfection.

Consider a matte spray. Several yoga mat companies recommend cleaning your yoga mat with a specialized mat spray as an alternative to soap and water. You can also make your own cleanser by mixing vinegar and water plus two or three drops of an essential oil you like.

Experts and companies we contacted had different suggestions on the proportions of water and vinegar, and a few companies have specific recommendations for their rugs (see below). Schmookler suggests making a spray with water and witch hazel, rather than vinegar, plus a few drops of tea tree oil. Regardless of how you set up your spray mat, she says, remember that diluting with water is very important.

Keep in mind, however, that some brands do not recommend the use of vinegar or essential oils as they may damage some carpets.

Walk lightly with disinfectants. Several people I’ve spoken to have advised against using a disinfectant wipe on a yoga mat due to the potential damage, to avoid contact with harsh chemicals, or even because of the nasty chemical smell. that it might leave on your carpet. The American Cleaning Institute told me that while a disinfectant wipe might be a reasonable choice for a non-absorbent, closed cell mat, it might not be the best for a porous open cell mat.

If you decide to use a wipe or disinfectant, make sure you have cleaned the carpet first to remove any dirt or grime. Check the label to find out how long the disinfectant needs to stay on the surface to be effective.

Clean thoroughly using a washing machine or your shower. If, and only if, your carpet is machine washable (check with the manufacturer), this can be an easy way to do a deep cleaning, which you might need if your carpet gets smelly or particularly dirty. The American Cleaning Institute says you should use a gentle cycle with a mild detergent. But many rugs cannot be cleaned in a washing machine. It is therefore important to make sure before trying it.

Other deep cleaning methods are available if you cannot use your washer. Bingham recommends soaking the mat in a tub of lukewarm water with a small amount of detergent, although at least one yoga mat company, Manduka, says their mats should not be submerged. You can also use a lightly soapy sponge to clean both sides of your carpet, then use your shower to rinse it thoroughly.

Always dry completely. Whichever cleaning method you choose – scrub with soap and water, wipe down with a carpet spray, or deep clean in the tub or washing machine – it’s important to let your carpet dry completely. “If it’s stored when it’s wet, it can start reproducing microorganisms again,” says Pettis.

So once you’ve cleaned your carpet, drape it over something like your shower curtain bar to make sure it can dry completely. Or use the sun. Several people I’ve spoken to have recommended that you let your carpet air dry in the sun for up to 30 minutes. Be careful not to leave it outside and forget about it. Several yoga mat manufacturers claim that too much sun could damage the mat.


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