Yoga mats are necessary and provide the comfort you need when doing yoga or other exercises. However, sweat, dust, dirt, body grease, and other debris can pile up on the mat you often use so that makes your mat slide and it is difficult for you to practice yoga.
You may see various answers that teach you to wash the yoga mat with different methods but the truth is that's may not completely correct. Why does your yoga mat need cleaning and maintenance? How to clean your mat with different materials?
How often should you clean and maintain a yoga mat? How to maintain your yoga mat regularly? Check below to find the answers accordingly.
1. Why does your yoga mat need cleaning and maintenance?
It is crucial to clean and maintain your mat regularly. Obviously, uncleaned yoga mat may cause skin problems: the fungi and bacteria that are responsible for athlete’s foot, plantar warts, staph infections, ringworm. They are commonly found on yoga mats since they thrive in warm, dark, moist environments. How horrible it is!
Doing the simple maintenance on your yoga mat after each use can help extend its' life and decrease how often you need to thoroughly wash the mat. When you open the yoga mat every time, the mat will be like a fresh lotus leaf and bring you the most natural and pure world. When you go to the yoga studio or practice at home, and you get a more pleasant mood with the spotless mat and practice yoga more comfortably.
2. How to clean your yoga mat with different materials?
Washing the yoga mat regularly should be one of the good rituals that you bring into your yoga practice. You should pay attention to its' hygiene to keep your mat in a healthy and fresh state. However, with improper cleaning methods, your yoga mat will be damaged and the life of it will be shortened. Check the mat instructions carefully first and then you need to know about the different mat materials.
-For 4 materials:
- TPE: Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE)material is the latest technological improvement to the traditional yoga mats. No latex, non-toxic, or any harmful chemicals. They are truly eco-friendly, healthy, and recyclable. It offers higher density, durability, and rebound resilience.
- PVC: A PVC mat is made of PVC resin powder and anti-tearing fiber open-cell foamed under high temperature. Open-cell technology means the mat retains sweat (good for gripping, but bad for bacteria) and oils, but making it more difficult to clean.
- Rubber: Rubber's name comes from one of its early uses—like an eraser. Friction is what makes rubber the ideal material for an eraser. It's also the quality that makes it a great non-slip Yoga mat. And rubber is sturdy, flexible, sticky, and provides excellent cushioning. The rubber yoga mat is a great choice for eco-conscious yogis, it is fully biodegradable.
- Cork: The cork yoga mat is environmentally friendly and non-toxic. The wood has a more natural feel and is non-slip in dry and wet conditions.
What you need:
- soap(For TPE mat)
- diluted yoga mat cleaner spray
- Please use a cloth with soap water to wipe the mat.
- Rinse with water and wipe dry with a towel or cloth. If the water does not clear quickly, consider washing it off again with the soft cloth. Leave it in the shade and dry completely, avoid direct sun exposure.
- Add two cups of water and four drops of yoga mat cleaner spray, and then wash the mat.
- Wipe the water off from the mat with a towel or a dry cloth. If the water does not clear quickly, consider washing it off again with the soft cloth. Leave the yoga mat in the shade and dry completely, avoid direct sun exposure.
-For suede mat:
The suede yoga mat is made with high-end soft and absorbent suede. It will soak moisture and sweat. An absorbent suede yoga mat was designed to be the ultimate yoga companion.
Before use, it is a good choice to practice after spraying the surface with water (the feature for suede is: The more you perspire on hands and feet, the better grip you will have on the mat). It is designed for Hot Yoga and a perfect fit for Bikram Yoga.
What you need:
- diluted yoga mat cleaner spray
- Daily cleaning: clean with a wet towel to wipe and leave it in the shade and dry completely, avoid direct sun exposure.
- Partial cleaning: clean the mat with a yoga mat cleaner spray and a small towel, then wipe it twice with a wet towel and leave it in the shade and dry completely, avoid direct sun exposure.
- Deep cleaning: fill the bathtub with cold water and add washing powder. (The less washing powder achieves good results because any residue will make the yoga mat slippery in the future) Then wipe the mat with a damp cloth and rinse. Finally, absorb excess water with a dry towel and leave it in the shade and dry completely, avoid direct sun exposure.
- We do not recommend brushing: because it will damage the suede so affect the slip resistance.
- Never put your yoga mat in a washing machine: because the mat is a compound of suede and rubber, machine washing will destroy the composite surface so the quality of your mat will significantly degrade and make it impossible to practice on the mat because it is too slippery.
- Be sure to avoid exposure: after exposure, the material is denatured and softened, so the daily normal use will be affected to some extent.
More Yoga Mat Cleaning Tips:
- Some sources suggest using vinegar to wash your mat. Be aware that this can leave a lasting and unpleasant scent on the surface of your mat, which could make practicing yoga less enjoyable. Depending on the material of your yoga mat, vinegar may also degrade the quality of the mat.
- Avoid using harsh cleaners and solvents. For rubber mats, skip products containing essential oils.
- Don't apply skin creams or oils before using your mat because they can transfer and stain the mat.
- To help eliminate odors and absorb oils from a less-than-grippy mat, sprinkle and rub on baking soda. Let sit 15 to 30 minutes, then brush or vacuum off the excess.
- If the mat looks permanently dirty（you have tried every method but still doesn't work）or its’ peeling or pieces of it is adhering to your clothes, consider purchasing a new one.
3. How often should you clean a yoga mat?
-What is the correct cleaning frequency?
How often to clean your yoga mat can vary by brand and the mat’s materials. Cleaning the mat regularly can not only extend the life of your mat but will also keep it from smelling and transferring bacteria to you.
- You practice yoga regularly: it is recommended to clean it at least once a week. Clean your mat after practicing and allow a day before your next practice when you get daily practice.
- You are new to yoga and don’t practice often: clean it before you use it each time.
- You sweat a lot, practice outdoors on dirt or grass or have pets or kids that play with your yoga mat: please clean it right away.
-What happens if too much or less cleaning?
It is important to clean your mat at regular times. What happens if the cleaning frequency is more or less? According to related research, too much washing will cause your yoga mat to absorb too much water, and the anti-slip lines on the surface of the yoga mat will also be washed away, thereby increasing the difficulty of yoga asana practice and ultimately reducing the anti-skid performance of the mat. It is clear that less washing leads to the mat stain or smelly, so it will need more attention. Nobody likes to practice on the stinky mat, which is extremely harmful to health.
4. How to maintain your yoga mat regularly?
-Store it properly:
- Keep your mat in a cool, dry, location out of direct sunlight. This will also keep it from degrading. It will also avoid it accumulating excess moisture, which can help bacteria or fungi breed.
- Don’t keep your mat in the car for extended periods of time when it’s hot outside.
- Don’t throw it in the garage or closet and heap some of your other gear on top of it.
- Don’t use it as a beach towel, flotation devise or any other “dual-purpose”.
-Wash feet and hands before practice:
Your hands and feet will constantly touch your mat, and these areas of the body tend to be dirty. Using your mat with clean skin can help extend the life of your mat and help bacteria from spreading between your skin and mat surface. Washing your hands and feet will also wash off any lotions or creams that can degrade the mat and make you slip during practice. If you cannot wash your hands and feet prior to practice, consider using gentle baby wipes so that you can wipe off your palms and soles.
-Air out the mat regularly:
Most of you will roll up your yoga mats after each use and cleaning and either store it in a mat bag or in a corner of their home or studio. Ideally, allow your mat to air out regularly to help evaporate lingering sweat or moisture and keep it smelling fresh.
-Use a yoga towel:
If you sweat a lot, you are in a hot room or just want a layer between you and your mat, place a small aid tool: a yoga towel on your mat. A regular towel may slip around during use. It can become a hazard.
The function of a yoga towel is to spread sweat on your yoga mat. It is made of 100% premium microfiber. So it is super comfortable, skin-friendly, durable, and odorless. The yoga mat towel has large friction and absorbs sweat more slippery, perfect for hot yoga. Also, it is a perfect fit for almost all yoga mats.
In addition, a yoga towel can prevent the human body from inhaling bacteria on the yoga mat, because some facial movements need to be close to the yoga mat, and there is a risk of inhaling bacteria or dust mites. Another advantage of a yoga towel is that they are easy to clean, and some can even be machine washed.
So consider placing a yoga towel on the mat because these super-absorbent towels come with special grips that will keep the material and you from slipping all over your mat.
5. How often should you maintain a yoga mat?
No matter what brands and materials the mat are, the maintenance frequency should obey the times you use a mat. After washing the mat, just do regular maintenance according to the above maintenance methods.
It is easy to clean and maintain your yoga mat with correct methods in the proper period. Exact methods vary by the mat’s materials. Your yoga mat may feel like a security blanket when you take a yoga class inside or practice alone outside. If you love and cherish your yoga mat, consider the above methods for cleaning and taking care of it carefully. In this way, your yoga mat can better serve you with each adventure.
How to clean and maintain your yoga mat?
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