How Dirty Is Your Yoga Mat?
The simple answer is… pretty dirty. Yoga mats absorb and store all the sweat, oil, dirt, and grime they’re exposed to during your practice.
If you’re practicing in a studio this includes strangers’ grime from the floor. If you’re practicing at home, then pets, children, and just your own body are going to deposit grime onto your mat. Not to mention, dirty mats can become a source of microbial growth, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
There’s nothing worse than unrolling your mat for yoga time and realizing it’s kinda gross. That’s why I’m sharing with you a simple and effective way to clean and disinfect your yoga mat.
How to Clean & Disinfect Your Yoga Mat
Cleaning your yoga mat is actually pretty simple. If you’ve ever gone to a yoga studio, you’ll notice that everyone wipes down their mat after the practice with a little spray bottle and a towel.
But what is in that spray bottle?
It’s actually a simple solution of equal parts water and white vinegar. The vinegar acts as an antimicrobial, killing bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Oftentimes, there will also be a small amount of essential oils in it such as tea tree oil for its additional antimicrobial effects. Of course, some people use other essential oils just for their smell, usually lavender.
To disinfect and clean your mat:
- Spray the 50/50 mixture of vinegar & water on one side of your mat.
- Grab a towel and begin rubbing it down in small circular motions
- Repeat on the other side
- Make sure the mat is dry
- Roll it up
It’s important to clean both sides of your mat because if you conventionally roll it up, the dirt and grime from the floor will be transferred to the top. For those frequenting yoga studios, that can get pretty gross fast.
How to Clean A Cork Yoga Mat
Cork is naturally antimicrobial, meaning that you don’t need to disinfect them with a vinegar solution as often. Of course, you can if you want.
However, for regular maintenance, you’ll just need a damp cloth to wipe off any dirt or grime that gathers on your mat.
How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Yoga Mat?
You should give your mat a quick rub down after each workout, especially if you’re a heavy sweater. Moisture and warmth are breeding grounds for bacteria and fungi, so it’s important to clean that up before it gets out of hand.
You should deep clean your mat at least once a month to remove the embedded grime and dirt on your mat. This involves the same process as cleaning your mat but putting in more time and elbow grease to really get it clean.
Can You Wash Yoga Mats?
I’d say no. Many people ask if you can just toss your yoga mats into a washing machine and call it a day? You’ll have to check the manufacture’s recommendations for details. However, in my experience, it isn’t recommended or necessary.
If you really want to though, I’d completely avoid top-loaded washing machines with an agitator. They’ll shred your yoga mat. Even if you do wash your mat in a side-loading machine, you’ll probably get some unwanted wear and tear in the process. It’s much simpler to just rub down your mat with a cloth and a 50/50 solution.
Also, if you have a cork yoga mat, you should absolutely NOT put it into a washing machine.
Note: Please don’t put your cat or your cork yoga mat in your washing machine.
Want A Cork Yoga Mat for Yourself?
Is your mat peeling or just not thick enough for your needs & knees. Maybe it’s time to upgrade to a premium cork yoga mat! They’re extra-thick, extra-wide, and are naturally antimicrobial! Click here to get yours.
About the author, Dean Pohlman, Founder & CEO of Man Flow Yoga, Author of Yoga Fitness for Men, Expert on Yoga Fitness for Men.
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