The Ultimate Guide on How to Clean Your Yoga Mat

How to Clean Your Yoga Mat

Yoga is a great way to keep in shape and live a healthy lifestyle. It’s also how we get our daily dose of exercise, fresh air and mindfulness. But how do you know if your yoga mat is clean? Is it safe for you to use your own cleaning method or should I follow the manufacturer’s recommendations? If you’re wondering how to clean yoga mat, this article will tell you!

First, it should be emphasized how important it is to clean the yoga mat. Many people ignore this topic, we know yoga mats are home to a lot of bacteria and sweat. If you don’t want infections or illness, it’s really important to clean your mat after every practice wherever at home or yoga studio!

If you exercise outdoors, you probably put it on the grass. You could say that life goes on on a yoga mat. A lot can happen on it, and not only from the point of view of the asanas performed. With regular practice, bacteria, microbes, dust and sweat will stay on the mat, and this is a fact.

And here we come back to our question – how to clean yoga mat?

It depends.

There are many effective ways to clean your mats. It’s just like cleaning your home. Everyone has their own habits and ways of dealing with household cleaning.

Additionally, the material used to make the mat should be the main factor in determining the cleaning method. Mats made of the same material should be cleaned in different ways depending on the production method and the finish of the product. Here are some ways to deal with carpet contamination on the mats:

Wiping the Mat with a Damp Cloth

This is one of the easiest and fastest methods. Simply dampen a clean microfiber cloth with warm water and wipe the surface of the mats. This cleaning method can be used daily and is more than sufficient for light stains.

This method is one of the most versatile and can be used with all mats available on the market. If the mat has a decorative pattern or a printed logo, these areas should be wiped very gently or avoided altogether to prevent damage.

However, it should be remembered that water alone may not be enough when the yoga mat is dirtier. 

It is worth using a small amount of mild detergent in addition to clean water, which will be much better at removing dirt. The cloth should be clean and only slightly damp, so that excess water does not cause discoloration.

If you decide to add a detergent to the water, you should only use and exclude natural, mild agents like grey soap. Products that contain solvents that could disturb the structure of the yoga mat are excluded.

Also, you need to remember that rubber mats should be wiped only with a damp sponge or cloth, without adding any cleaning agents. Even a little soap can make it a mat made of natural rubber will become slippery.

 Cleaning Yoga Mat with Water and Vinegar

Cleaning Yoga Mat with Water and Vinegar

Another simple cleaning method is to use boiling cool water with a little vinegar in a spray bottle. A small amount of essential oils with antiseptic properties can be added to the solution; eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, and peppermint oil are all worth trying. They have a strong antiseptic effect and give a pleasant scent to the yoga mat.

A solution of a damp cloth with cold water, vinegar, and fragrance oil is a natural yoga mat cleaner. When spraying and wiping your mat, avoid leaving prints, patterns and logos on your mat. This is an ideal solution for people who are looking for an ecological approach to yoga mat care at an affordable price.

Lazy Solution: Get a Special Cleaning Mat

If you don’t like to prepare your own cleaning products and prefer ready-made solutions, specialized yoga mat cleaning kits are the perfect solution for you.

They are usually produced by professional brand names that have been dealing with yoga accessories for years. The cleaners are formulated with gentle ingredients to completely remove sweat and dust dirt from your yoga mat. They are antibacterial and help keep the mat hygienically clean.

The cleaning kit is available in a choice of sizes. 50 ml bottles are very convenient and perfect to take with you to yoga classes. Therefore, you can sanitize your mat before or immediately after your practice, depending on your needs and preferences.

The larger capacity of 500 ml would be an excellent cleaner for wiping down your mat at home. The question that arises here is whether every mat can be cleaned with a special mat cleaner?

Unfortunately, not all of them.

You will need to pay attention to the information on the bottle or visit the manufacturer’s website. Usually, special cleaners are dedicated to PVC and TPE mats. Manufacturers of yoga mats often specify that rubber mats should not be cleaned with cleaners.

Machine Washable Yoga Mat

This is one of the quick and easy ways of cleaning your personal yoga mat.

PVC mats can usually be soaked and washed at low temperatures, but they must have an open-cell construction. Some rubber mats can also be machine washed, but always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

If automatic washing is possible, this should be clearly stated in the mat instructions. Adjust the switch to a water temperature of 30 degrees and use a little mild detergent. You can treat the yoga mat as if it were a shirt made of very soft cloth,the wash should be an as gentle cycle as possible, without strong spinning.

After washing your yoga mat, lay it flat or hang it up and allow it to dry completely. Do not roll or fold your yoga mat when it is wet. Under no circumstances should a mat be dried in a dryer or exposed to direct sunlight.

What Happens if We Clean Yoga Mats in Wrong Way

What Happens if We Clean Yoga Mats in Wrong Way

It can be damaged. Mat manufacturers usually have clear instructions on how to clean branded yoga mats.

You should also find information about keeping your mat clean in the product descriptions in the online store.

If we clean the mat against the recommendations and damage it, the manufacturer/online store where we bought the mat may not accept a complaint, so it is worth choosing the right cleaning method for our yoga mat manufacturing material. The most common yoga mats on the market are:

PVC Mats

The advantage of PVC mats is that they are easy to care for . You can clean them very intuitively , not necessarily using special cleaning agents for mats . All you need is a wet cloth or sponge and warm water with a little light detergent, e.g. gray soap.

Washing method is as follows:

  • Dedicated cleaning method: wiping with a cloth with water, a mild detergent / vinegar / fragrance oil / a specialized mat cleaner
  • Machine wash and hand wash acceptable, as long as the mat has an open cell structure
  • Simple, intuitive to care for

Natural Rubber Mats

  • Dedicated cleaning method: wiping with vinegar and fragrance oil
  • Demanding in care
  • They are usually not machine washable
  • Usually, you cannot clean the mats with detergents
  • A specialist agent for cleaning rubber mats

NOTE – important information regarding rubber mats

  • Oxidation or changes in color and texture are a side effect of all natural rubber products. 
  • Natural rubber yoga mats degrade and oxidize over time and with use. 
  • This process applies to every natural rubber yoga mat on the market. 
  • Storing the rubber mat in a dry environment, out of sunlight , will extend the life of the mat. 
  • Vinegar renews the rubber, adds moisture and adhesion to the mat, extending its life.

PU Mats

  • Dedicated cleaning method: wiping with a damp sponge
  • Difficult to keep clean
  • The surface of the mat is susceptible to scratches and dirt
  • Do not use detergents and alcohol-based agents

NOTE – important information about mats with PU surface:

  • The polyurethane tends to change color as soon as it comes in contact with moisture, thus creating areas of the mat that are darker. 
  • It may also happen that the mat comes into contact with moisture during production, creating fluctuating surface colors. 
  • This does not affect the functionality of the mat in any way.

Microfiber Mats

  • Dedicated cleaning method: wiping with a cloth with water, a mild detergent / vinegar / fragrance oil / a specialized mat cleaner
  • Easy to care for

NoteNOTE – important information about mats with Microfiber surface:

 In the case of larger dirt, the mat can be washed in a washing machine or by hand, but you should make sure that the manufacturer recommends this type of cleaning. Yoga Design Lab mats available in our offer can be washed in a washing machine.

Jute mats

  • Jute mats should be cleaned with a wet sponge or cloth. 
  • Do not soak the mat so that the jute fibers do not soak up too much water. 
  • Jute mats must not be machine washed.

Natural cork mat

  • Dedicated cleaning method: wiping with a damp cloth
  • It has antistatic properties, is resistant to dust and sweat
  • Easy to care for and keep clean
  • It must not be washed in a washing machine, soaked, or used with detergents

Natural cork mats are biodegradable. They degrade over time and may have a tendency to crumble. Under no circumstances should they be washed in the washing machine or soaked.

The Bottom Line

When we manage to choose the appropriate method of cleaning our mat, it is worth remembering how to properly dry a yoga mat. Regardless of what material it is made of, the rules for drying the mat are universal, less complicated and definitely worth remembering.

  • The mat should be left unfolded until it is completely dry
  • The mat can be rolled up only when it is completely dry
  • Do not tumble dry the yoga mat
  • Do not dry them with hot air from a hair dryer
  • The mat must not be heated with an iron
  • The mat should not be left in the sun

Remember that if you are unsure about the care and cleaning of your yoga mat, it is always worth seeking advice from the manufacturer who should provide detailed information.

Henry James

Henry James

Founder of I am a web content writer and editor who focus on studying and writing articles about health and wellness ,and believe that it is these qualities could make people healthier in life.

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