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How to clean a yoga mat

Check out our easy tips to keep your yoga mat sweat-free, hygienic and fresh using your trusty household cleaning products.


how to clean your yoga mat

Key steps

  • Clean your mats regularly.
  • Always read the directions on the label of your yoga mat first.
  • Remember to always let the mat air-dry before rolling it up and putting away.

Even though you may not be running around, you’re still going to sweat, especially if you’re new to yoga, or if you’re trying out new positions that are really pushing you to your limits. This means that it’s very important to keep a good yoga mat hygiene, in order to prevent a build-up of germs, dust and mold.

To prevent your yoga mats from developing an unpleasant sweat odour in-between cleans, roll out the mat and sprinkle the entire surface with dry baking soda. Leave it overnight and sweep it off the next day: problem solved.

Why do you need to have good yoga mat hygiene?

It’s only once bacteria has multiplied within the dark, damp conditions of the gym bag that we really discover just how bad it is. Unclean, damp mats can lead to mycosis or other infections, due to contact with dirty floors and surface, which is why Cleanipedia has created the ultimate guide on cleaning a yoga mat. Keep on reading if you want to learn top tips and advice on how to clean a yoga mat at home.

Yoga mat cleaner

You can use a homemade solution or a commercial cleaning product. Depending on the type of yoga mat you have, dishwashing liquid may be able to help clean stains and smells. Remember – always read the directions on the label of your yoga mat first, as some materials may have specific cleaning requirements.

Make sure you read the directions on the label of your chosen cleaning product as well and test any product on a small area first.

There are two recipes for making your own yoga mat cleaner:

  1. You can use dishwashing soap – just mix a small amount of dishwashing liquid with warm water and apply to the yoga mat. Remember not to use too much soap.
  2. You could also create a homemade solution using cold water and white vinegar – vinegar is known for its antibacterial properties. Aim to use equal parts of each. Although the smell of the vinegar isn’t very pleasant, it will fade. However, if you’d like to create a more aromatic homemade cleaner, try adding a few drops of essential oil, such as lavender. Pop this solution into a clean spray bottle and keep it handy.

How to clean a yoga mat at home

Every so often it’s a good idea to wash your mat thoroughly to remove any bacteria, oils, dirt, and germs that have built up over time. Here are a few methods you can use for cleaning your yoga mat at home. But before you do anything, check the label on your mat carefully, as some mats can simply be washed in the machine, as you’ll discover below:

Method 1

How to wash your yoga mat using a washing machine. Pop your yoga mat into the washing machine with some of your favorite mild laundry detergents. Set the temperature to a cold setting (30 degrees or cooler) and use a delicate cycle.

Method 2

Wipe the mat with a sponge applying the mixture of soap or vinegar.  Rinse it off with clean water and let it dry completely before storing.

Method 3

Using a tub. Yes! Use cool water and a small amount of dishwashing liquid or detergent and leave it to soak for a few minutes. Scrub any stains before rinsing thoroughly and then leave it to air dry thoroughly.

It’s important that you always allow a yoga mat to dry naturally, either outside on the washing line, inside on a clotheshorse, or even hanging above the bathtub. Some people like to fold their yoga mats inside towels, which can help absorb any excess moisture, but be careful of doing this as it could encourage your yoga mat to dry in a curved manner. If possible, always dry flat.

Now you can choose the best way to clean your yoga mat at home, in a way that suits your lifestyle. Say goodbye to smelly downward-facing dogs! 

Originally published