Cleaning your yoga mat will ensure that its lifespan is extended and there is no bacteria or fungus growing on or in it. It is important to give your yoga mat regular TLC. So, how often should you clean your mat? How should you clean your mat accordingly?
How often should you clean your mat?
Perspiration and bodily oils are the main causes of bacterial growth in your mat, resulting in unpleasant smells. The regular rule of thumb is that the more you practice or the more you perspire during your practice, the more regularly you should clean your mat.
Here are more details:
- If you practice regularly: clean your mat once a week
- If you practice occasionally: clean your mat before each practice
- If you perspire a lot during your practice: clean your mat immediately after your practice
How to clean your mat
The cleaning method depends on the material composition of your mat.
Generally, all mats are easy to clean. Just be mindful of some practices in order to preserve the lifespan of your mat.
We break down the ways you should care for your mat according to the material it's made of below!
Foam yoga mats (PVC mat)
Foam mats are the easiest to clean.
Simply run them under the shower or you may do a spray down with some warm water and your favorite essential oils.
Do not machine wash/dry your foam mat as the machine would break the structure of the foam, causing your mat to deform.
Thermoplastic elastomer mats (TPE mats)
TPE mats are easy to clean and care for. You may make your own cleaning product with vinegar, water, and tea tree oil.
Liberally spray down on top of the mat with it, and let it sit for a while. Wipe it, and allow it to air-dry indoors.
Do not machine wash/dry your TPE mat as it will deform and weaken the glue that holds the mat together.
Also, do not dry your mat in direct sunlight as this will also deform your mat.
Rubber yoga mats
Rubber mats are delicate and require some special care.
Do not run your rubber mat in the shower as the rubber will bloat with water and will become heavy.
Avoid using too many essential oils as they may break down the rubber.
It is recommended to use a salt-water spray or an occasional salt-water scrub.
For less frequent cleaning, you may make a spray solution by blending a little baking soda, warm water and some fresh lemon juice.
Spray it over the entire mat and hang it to dry indoors.
Similar to the other mats, do not dry your rubber mat under direct sunlight as the sun rays will damage your mat.
Polyurethane-rubber yoga mats (PU mat)
To clean your PU yoga mat, simply use a moist towel to wipe your mat and hang dry it after each practice.
You may also sometimes use the baking soda spray mix from above to do a deeper clean.
This mat material is usually anti-microbial, which is rather resistant to any kind of fungal growth.
Do not soak your PU mat or use essential oils directly on the mat, as it will lose its stickiness and grip.