With everything you’ve got going on during the week, finding the time to clean your Yoga Mat can certainly seem low on the totem pole of important things to do. But when it’s time to wind down and use your mat for yoga or a workout, making sure it’s clean can bring much more peace and relaxation than you might realize, especially once you learn about the nasty little germs that might have turned your yoga mat into “home sweet home.”
Today, we’ll share the dirty details of why and how often you should clean your yoga mat, including the different methods for how to wash yoga mats to keep bacteria, viruses, infections, and fungi at bay.
How to Wash Yoga Mats 101: Everything You Need to Know
Why is Cleaning Your Yoga Mat Important?
Do you know what’s living on your yoga and Fitness Mat?
Long Island College Hospital’s Dr. Cohen does, claiming the 50 percent spike he’s seen in patients with athlete’s foot and plantar warts is likely due to unclean exercise mats. Essentially, your yoga mat serves as the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and microbes to multiply, especially when they are used or stored in moist and humid environments like a yoga studio.
He’s not the only one skeptical about germ-harboring yoga mats causing skin and fungal infections, either. Even Dr. Robert Lahita, Professor at Rutgers School of Medicine, claims:
"Many yoga mats are packed with little holes and these organisms like to live in that, especially if you're sweating and you're providing a very nice environment of warm saline, which comes from your skin.”
Dr. Lahita also points out the chance for contamination even for yoga mats that never leave the home, whether from someone sneezing on it, touching it with unclean hands (hello, kids!), stepping on it with dirty shoes, or from the bacteria the sweat, skin cells, and body oils you shed daily, leaving you susceptible to infection every day it goes uncleaned.
So, what’s a Yogi to do? Knowing how to wash a yoga mat is a great place to start.
How Often Should You Be Cleaning Your Yoga Mat?
Whether you’re finding your Chi at home or your favorite hot yoga studio, you should adopt the healthy habit of cleaning your yoga mat after each use (at the very least). We recommend cleaning it before and after each use. After all, it takes just a minute or two and gives you the peace of mind that you’re working out on a freshly sanitized yoga mat.
Can You Wash A Yoga Mat By Hand?
Yes. Learning how to clean your yoga mat by hand is recommended for anyone who uses their mat on a daily or weekly basis since it can be done much more quickly and frequently than machine washing.
All you’ll need is a spray bottle or bowl, water, and an alcohol-based disinfectant (think Lysol Wipes) or a quat-based detergent. If organic yoga mat cleaning solutions are more your thing, Yoga Journal recommends a mixture of equal parts distilled water, white vinegar, and a splash of tea tree oil, a tried and true antimicrobial to kill fungus and bacteria. There are also several types of pre-made yoga mat cleaning solutions available on the market to make washing your mat even easier.
How to Wash a Yoga Mat by Hand
To wash your yoga mat by hand, simply create a solution of water and your disinfectant of choice and spray both sides of your mat, using a towel to wipe off the solution.
You can also rid your mat of residue or smell using dish soap, warm water, and a gentle scrub using a microfiber cloth. Rinse with warm water and allow to air dry. We recommend doing this once a month in addition to regular sanitizing.
Can You Wash a Yoga Mat in the Washing Machine?
If your yoga mat requires a deep clean, try giving it a good ol’ spin in the washing machine. You may want to do a little research ahead of time to see what your specific mat requires in terms of washing, but it is often recommended to wash on a gentle cycle in cold water with a mild detergent and always allow to air dry.
Now that you know how to wash yoga mats, you’ll be able to breathe a little easier at your next session knowing you’ve got a clean and sanitized mat to work on. Of course, if you want to start fresh with a brand new yoga mat, that’s fine too! The LA BALEZA™ YOGA MAT - 24" X 71" is a high-quality yoga mat to give you the clean start you need to relax after a long day and the perfect mat to practice your new yoga mat cleaning routine with.
Have other vinyl exercise mats in your home or studio you’d like to disinfect? The Husky Vinyl Cleaner can help. This one-step disinfectant works wonders on vinyl Wrestling Mats, Gymnastics Mats, and Fitness Mats, with a concentration effective against several viruses, fungi, mold, mildew, and bacteria, including Staph, MRSA, Strep, and more.
No matter what kind of yoga you do, We Sell Mats™ has helpful tips and high-quality yoga mats to help you make the most out of your workout. Browse our incredible selection of exercise and yoga mats today to find your new favorite workout mats for home or gym!