HOW TO WASH OR CLEAN A YOGA MAT

By | 25 February 2010

A short article giving you the information you need to keep your yoga mat sweet and clean.

Sweaty, smelly and slightly disgusting after yoga? Well, YOU can jump in the shower but what about your yoga mat? Yoga mats are made of all sorts of things so it is always best to follow your manufacturer’s cleaning instructions but, here are a few guidelines.

Standard Sticky Yoga Mats

I’m not given to preaching but, if you bought a cheap PVC yoga mat to start out with please read up on the health hazards of phthalates and the environmental impact of PVC production. Read my article ‘discount yoga mats’ and you probably won’t bother to clean that yoga mat, you’ll just throw it away and buy a decent one. Enough said.

Eco Friendly Sticky Yoga Mats

Many of the premium eco yoga mats are fully machine washable at high temperatures but, if you’re not sure, machine wash at a lower temperature or, for the more faint-hearted, try just wiping your yoga mat with soapy water or give it a cool bath (I take mine in the shower)

NEVER TUMBLE DRY!

Many yoga stores sell solutions, sprays and wipes specifically for cleaning your  yoga mat but normal cleansing wipes will do just as well.

Cotton Yoga Mats

The big advantage of cotton yoga mats is that they should be easily machine washable. I’d recommend a low temperature as they can shrink and, be careful of natural colors running.  Again, if you’re unsure, hand wash your yoga mat in the bathtub.

The deep, thick, padded cotton yoga mats will come with specialist cleaning instructions from the manufacturer.

Rubber/Latex/Yoga Mats

Always follow the manufacturers guidelines.  These yoga mats are biodegradable so must be stored and washed with great care. They will degrade more quickly if left in the sun so don’t leave them in your car.

Keeping it clean

  • Your skin is naturally oily so wash your hands well before using your yoga mat
  • Lemon is a natural cleanser so mix fresh lemon juice with water to gently clean your yoga mat. If you keep this in a spray bottle in your yoga bag you can do it straight after yoga.
  • Avoid the use of lotions or creams on your hands or feet before yoga
  • Keep a cotton towel with you when you practice yoga to wipe sweat from yourself and your yoga mat.  I use a golf towel.  It’s about 3 inches wide and 4 feet long and doubles up as a strap.
  • Yoga mat bags are not just for decoration, many are designed to absorb sweat, so maybe invest in a yoga mat bag.

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