How To Easily Clean Your Yoga Mat - Sweatbox

Yoga brings calmness and peace. But to do that, you need peace and comfort while doing the practice. How can you get to that point when you don’t clean your mat?

A dirty yoga mat is a breeding ground for bacteria and foul smell – factors you can easily take care of without buying a new mat. 

This can come in handy since yoga live streaming classes have experienced a boom in Singapore since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. And yoga experts are optimistic the trend will continue despite the pandemic worries easing out. 

If cleaning yoga mats sounds tasking that you’d rather do away with it, you may have to do double the cleaning with your floor. And besides, they provide convenience and comfort while doing the exercises. A yoga mat also serves as a prop and your protection when doing complicated yoga poses.

This article will try to make it easier (and more appealing) for you to clean your mat. May this serve as a reminder that you have to clean your yoga mat and clean the mat regularly – the entire mat, so you can easily and safely pull out your mats whenever needed.

Let’s walk through the three simple steps to ensure your mats won’t be a breeding ground of dirt and bacteria lurking around.

3 Steps in Cleaning Yoga Mat 

You have to regularly practice and make it a habit to clean your mat. Stay healthy by doing yoga using mats that are as clean as the ones provided at yoga studios or a new mat bought from a fitness store.

Here are the three essential steps in cleaning your yoga mat:

Step 1: Prepare soft cloth, tea tree oil, and other things you’ll need to disinfect yoga mats

You can buy a cleaning solution or make your own formula for a mat cleaner. You also have to keep the following handy in case you need to clean dirty spots or clean the yoga mat’s entire surface:

  • Soft cloth

  • Tea tree oil or other essential oils

  • Dish soap

  • Spray bottle/spray bottles

  • Your preferred cleaning solution

  • White vinegar

  • A baby wipe or disinfectant wipes

  • Microfiber towel or any clean towel 

  • Mild soap 

  • Clorox wipes (for stains)

  • Mild detergent

  • Baking soda

Don’t worry; you will not use all these materials at once, not unless your mats have become unrecognizable from all the grime.  

Some of the cleaning materials are enough for spot cleaning. But there are also times when you need to follow specific care instructions to clean a yoga mat thoroughly.

Step 2: Regular cleaning of your yoga mat

Cleaning your mat is not a one-time deal. It is a must to keep your mat clean all the time. 

These rubber mats absorb dirt and sweat. You must wipe them off from dirt and sweat and let them completely dry before your next yoga session.

It is crucial to keep the mats clean and soft the same way you keep your clothes and bedding clean. To keep the mat clean regularly or do spot cleaning, you will likely need the following:

  • Mild dishwashing liquid or dish soap

  • Soft cloth

  • Warm water

  • Spray bottle

  1. Prepare the solution

Mix two cups of warm water and a few drops of the dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle. You will use the solution to spot clean the dirty spots on the front and back sides of the mats.

  1. Spray the solution

Spray the solution to the material, ensuring you have covered all the dirty areas with the liquid. Use a soft cloth to wipe off the grime from the wet mats. 

  1. Rinse off the solution

Dip a clean cloth in warm water and use it to rinse off the solution from the yoga mats. Wring the mats.

  1. Check the mat if thoroughly clean

Lay each mat flat on the floor to check if you have missed some filth.

  1. Dry the mat

Hang the mats on a shower rod to allow them to dry fully before rolling and reusing them in your next yoga session.

Step 3: Deep cleaning of the yoga mats

If the mat is heavily stained or you have stinky yoga mats that you can no longer spot clean or wipe off the grime, it’s time to deep clean the mats. Prepare the following materials to deep clean your mat:

  • Cold water

  • A few drops of tea tree oil

  • Dish soap

  • White vinegar

  1. Check the product’s website

Before you deep clean your mat, check the product’s website for the mat’s care instructions. You need to ensure that you can use the product you have in maintaining the mat or if it is okay for the mat to be washed in the machine.

  1. Machine wash or hand wash

If it can be machine washed, do so in a gentle cycle. If not, hand-wash the mat in soapy water. 

  1. Use a solution

If the mat can’t be soaked, you can make a solution of three parts water and one part vinegar to clean your yoga mat. Wipe off the mat with the solution until you have gotten rid of all the filth.

  1. Rinse well

Regardless of how you do your yoga mat’s deep cleaning process, ensure that you rinse it well. You can mix tea tree oil with water or use a dish soap to remove any filth left behind.

  1. Hang dry

Use a try towel to wipe off excess water before you leave it to hang dry.

Additional Tips in Cleaning Your Yoga Mat

Here are some more tips on maintaining your yoga mat, depending on the grime you’re dealing with. Your goal is to kill germs, deep clean the mat, or practice regular maintenance of your mat.

  • Oily mat

If the mat feels oily, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda and rub it all over. Leave for half an hour before brushing it off. You can also use a vacuum cleaner to remove the powder from your mat.

  • Proper use

You can prevent the mat from getting oily or from staining by using it properly. Practice using the material with bare skin, meaning you don’t apply oils or lotion. Any cream you apply on your skin will likely transfer to the mat as you sweat while doing the yoga exercises.

  • Air drying

Air dry the mat after each use and when you clean it. It must dry completely before you can roll and store it.

  • Use the right products

Ensure you don’t use products containing oils when you have rubber mats.

  • No harsh solvents

Refrain from treating your mat using harsh solvents and cleaners.

  • Avoid direct exposure to sunlight

Air dry the mat but keep it away from direct sunlight. The heat will cause the yoga mat’s color to fade easily and the material to become brittle faster.

How Often Should You Clean a Yoga Mat?

Check the following tips regarding how often you should keep and maintain the mats:

  • Wiping

Practice wiping the mat after each use. You only have to wipe it with a mild solution you made or bought. This way, the it will look and smell fresh in your next yoga session.

  • Deep cleaning

Deep clean your mat once a month. The antibacterial properties of the solution will kill germs. The buildup of dirt in the mat can cause athlete’s foot and other skin problems when you use it without wiping the mat first.

  • Depending on your sweat

The more you sweat after each practice, the longer you need to wipe off the dirt and sweat from your mat.

What’s the Proper Way of Drying and Storing a Yoga Mat?

You can’t put the yoga mat in the dryer to dry. Instead, you have to leave it hanging to air dry.

Never roll up your yoga mat before it’s completely dry. Any dampness will attract germs and bacteria to grow and thrive.

When the yoga mat is not used for a long time, open it every week or two to allow air circulation. This way, the yoga mat will remain fresh-smelling when it’s time to use.

Besides, you will enjoy vinyasa yoga and other exercises when you have a clean and good-smelling yoga mat.

Final words

You can practice yoga at home and enjoy its full benefits as long as you do it properly. It doesn’t have to be done in a yoga studio. You will enjoy the process more when your yoga mat is clean each time you practice yoga.

It is also crucial to use clean props, clothes, mat towel, and yoga towel or yoga towels during the practice.

If you are not fond of maintaining your yoga mat, you can try booking a class at the best yoga studio Singapore. Aside from providing you with a clean yoga mat, you can practice yoga along with a group of people who are all eyeing to get fit and fab by trying this mind-body exercise routine.

About the Author​

Lynette is fully dedicated to the support and empowerment of the growing community of committed yoga students and teachers. As one of the Lead Instructors for Yoga Teacher Training, she is here to share tips on how to grow your profile as a yoga teacher or build a yoga business either physically or digitally.