Irrespective of whether you practice yoga 7 for 2 days a week, if you use a yoga mat it’s bound to get dirty because of all the sweat, dirt or body oils that seep through the surface which can make it stink and deter your yoga sessions. In the long run, it can also lead to skin infections and allergies.
Cleaning a yoga mat is easy. Here’s all that you need to do.
1. Wash it regularly
A yoga mat doesn’t need a daily wash but if you’re a regular user then we’d advise giving it a complete wash every 2-3 months and once every month if you’re an occasional user as it may gather up some dust and dirt lying around. You can use a standard vacuum cleaner for dry cleaning it.
The more the dust, dirt or sweat stains on the mat the more likely you’ll have to wash it. Also, if you notice the mat material getting peeled or sticking to the clothes its time to get a new one.
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2. Soak the mat
For soaking purposes always use warm water with a little bit of detergent. Let it rest in the water for 5-10 minutes till all the dirt, sweat and oil stains etc. are removed. Dish soap or mild laundry detergent are acceptable cleaners.
Excess detergent makes a mat slippery and will require more rinsing. Vinegar too is often used for cleaning purposes but can leave a strong foul odor making your yoga experience a yucky one. And may effect mat durability too.
3. Hand washing the mat
Once the mat has been soaked long enough with a cotton cloth gently rub both the sides to get rid of the dirt and stains. Pay special attention to the areas in contact with your shoes or body.
Go slow and gentle. Also, avoid pulling out any thread or chunks of the mat as it can reduce durability and cause unevenness.
Warning: NEVER and we mean never ever use the washing machine to clean your mats. The spinning and rotation of the machine can damage the upper surface and make it slippery.
4. Rinsing and drying the mat
Once you’re done with the cleaning part it’s time to rinse and dry the mat for it to be usable again. To get rid of the excess water simply cover the mat with a dry cotton cloth or towel and roll the two together. This will squeeze out any excess water.
While a slow walk or small jumps on the rolled carpet are ideal ways to get rid of the excess moisture avoid any other abrasive actions as it can lead to tears or wrinkling on the mat.
To further dry the mat, you can hang it at a convenient spot but never use a dryer to do so as it may tear or spoil the upper surface of the mat and in some cases even cause a fire. Also, do not leave it too long in the sun. Remove the remaining moisture with a new dry towel.