Cleaning your yoga mat should be part and parcel of your practice. For every yogi, their mat is sacred and thus shouldn’t be left all sweaty or smelly. Also, cleaning the yoga mat is simple and shouldn’t take more than 20-25 minutes even when deep cleaning but since all yoga mats are different neither should they all be cleaned in the same way.
Here’s how to clean different yoga mats.
In case you’re using a mat rented from a nearby store or a share a mat at the studio it’s important to sterilize it first as it may have germs such as bacteria or viruses and dirt carried forward from the other users which can, in turn, cause skin infections and allergies.
For that, it’s important to use a good antibiotic or germ cleaner. Check out with the studio and for a good wipe down before you begin or carry your own mat wipes.
Rubber mats have small rubber cells only visible upon close inspection of the mat. These poured or cells can fill up with water if you use a shower or sprayer for cleaning which in turn makes it slippery and heavy. Also, do not use any cleaning oil as it harms the rubber.
To clean such mats, use a light salt water solution and scrub the mat clean. For an even deeper clean you can use a mixture of baking soda in lukewarm water with a few drops of lemon and wipe it top to bottom and let it dry.
Foam mats are probably the best value for money yoga mats that you can buy and the best part about these mats is that they are the easiest to clean. Hassle-free cleaning is what you get with foam mats because pretty much everything and anything that cleans can get the job done but not the washing machine though.
You can use oils, shower or scrub it clean or wipe it down with a mixture of lemon and water but dumping it into the washer may break down the foam causing irreparable damage to your favorite mat.
Most manufacturers will tell you these mats can clean itself up but do really believe that? Yes, they soak up all the sweat and oils and do not stain easily as compared to other mats but to get rid of the dust or dirt it’s better to wipe it using a damp cloth and hang it to dry for an hour or two.
Polyurethane Rubber Mats
The problem with these mats is that they catch moisture really quickly and thus can become slippery, so do not spray or use a shower to clean it rather just wipe it clean with a damp cloth. You can also use the previously mentioned baking soda blend to clean it.
Also, avoid using any oils or other cleaning agents on the mat as they reduce stickiness making the mat slippery.