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How to Clean a Yoga Mat

Keep in mind these do’s and don’ts for keeping your yoga mat clean and injury-free.

Our yoga mat serves as our mental and physical retreat. We hit the mat daily to detox, re-energize – and sweat. Even if we use a yoga towel for Bikram or hot yoga, our mats gather plenty of germs and bacteria. Yoga studios strongly encourage yoga mat maintenance and offer these tips for yogis who want to keep their mats in clean and healthful conditions.

Like our minds and bodies, we need to continually take care of our yoga mats. Regularly caring for your yoga mat will prevent bacteria from growing and maximize its longevity. The goal is to maintain the stickiness and softness of your yoga mat.

Cleaning Your Yoga Mat

What You’ll Need:
  • Yoga Mat
  • Bathtub
  • Detergent
  • Sponge or terrycloth
  • Towel

Tips for Cleaning a Yoga Mat

  1. Run cool or warm water and create a shallow pool of water in your bathtub
  2. Add a small amount of mild detergent; avoid adding too much soap because rinsing your mat too much will cause it to become slippery and slick, which can cause injury during your practice
  3. Soak the entire mat in the soapy water for a few minutes; soak longer for a more thorough cleaning
  4. Rinse the yoga mat with clean water, ensuring that there are no soap remnants
  5. Lay the damp yoga mat onto a dry towel and roll it together tightly; the towel will absorb the moisture, drying the mat
  6. Squeeze out any excess water
  7. Unroll and hang to air dry over the shower rod or bathroom towel rack; make sure the mat is completely dry before storage to prevent mold from growing
Thoroughly cleaning your yoga mat after each yoga class isn’t necessary. Maintain its cleanliness by spraying it down after each use. Make a homemade cleaning spray by mixing water with a small amount of tea tree oil. Lightly spritz both sides of your yoga mat with the solution after each practice.

To maximize your health and yoga mat cleanliness, avoid the following:

- Don’t scrub your mat with a sponge; the roughness of the sponge can damage the surface of your yoga mat over time
- Don’t keep your mat rolled up after a sweaty yoga practice. Moistness can cause bacterial and mold growth.
- Don’t lend your yoga mat for others to use. Our yoga mat is for personal use. You wouldn’t be comfortable sharing your deodorant or eye liner, would you?

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