How to Clean a Yoga Mat

Submitted by Bonnie Sedan on February 11, 2013

Yoga is a rejuvenating practice that is meant to bring inner peace and calm and improve the strength and flexibility of the body. This may be slightly difficult to achieve if the mat one uses is grimy and dirty.


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Regular yoga practice will naturally lead to the wear and tear of the mat. It may get soiled with one’s sweat, and therefore, it is only hygienic to clean it at regular intervals. This simple act can eventually lead to a more fulfilling yoga practice.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind while cleaning a yoga mat:

  • If the mat is only slightly grubby, then one can clean the soiled areas by spraying a soapy solution on it and rubbing it with a clean cloth. The solution is easy to make, just a few drops of liquid detergent in a mug full of water. After cleaning, hang the mat to dry.
  • If the mat is really dirty, then soak it in warm soapy water. Take care to add just enough detergent, too much can be difficult to wash off. Once the mat has been soaked for an hour or so, hand-wash it thoroughly. Scrub the grimiest areas and spray some more detergent in case of stubborn stains. Rinse with clean water until all the soap has been washed away. If soap remains on the mat, it can become slippery and pose a threat for the user, so take care when washing out the soap. Squeeze out the extra water and hang to dry.
  • The washing machine is another way to clean the mat. It is best to wash the mat alone with mild detergent instead of throwing it in with the rest of the laundry. The cold water cycle is ideal. Remember to pull the mat out before the start of the spin cycle. You can dry the mat in the dryer on low heat.
  • Tea tree oil is an anti-fungal oil that can help to eliminate fungus on the mat. You can make a solution with a few drops of the oil in a cup of water. Spray it on your mat after each yoga session. It will help keep away unwanted bacteria that are attracted to the moisture on the mat.
  • Sprinkle baking soda on the mat and leave it untouched for a couple of hours. This can help remove smelly odors. A vinegar and water solution also helps to do the same thing.
  • Washing your feet and hands before stepping on the mat also contributes to yoga mat maintenance.
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