Why is it important to clean your yoga mat?
As you are probably well aware, a very natural side effect of yoga or fitness is perspiration, but fear not as cleaning your yoga mat comes just as easy as cleaning your yoga leggings. It’s important to keep our yoga mats clean and fresh to limit the amount of harmful bacteria that can potentially form; this and the fact it smells nicer when it’s clean. You wouldn’t walk all over your carpet without cleaning it, so why do it with a yoga mat?
You may not think it, but a yoga mat can silently harbour a lot of sweat, dirt and moisture on both sides even after the first use, that’s why it’s a good idea to give your yoga mat a scrub regularly even if it doesn’t look dirty or have a bad smell.
Think of it like doing your washing and try to get into a routine of a simple wipe down especially after a long yoga session, or if you’re using your yoga mat outdoors. Keeping your yoga mat fresh and hygienic to use will prolong its life, which means more yoga - yay!
How to clean your yoga mat
For a simple wipe down it’s easiest to do with a clean cloth, warm water and a squeeze of lemon juice. The acid from the lemon will cut through dirt and grease and the warm water will wash away sweat and grime.
For a more substantial wash of your yoga mat, every month pop into the washing machine on a low temperature around 30 degrees with a small splash of detergent. A top tip for washing this way is to use a sensitive or non-bio detergent, this will help prolong your yoga mat’s life without build up of chemical scents and flavours.
If you live in a hot part of the World, or in the summer an easy and quick way to clean your yoga mat is to simply give it a hose down in the garden. But be careful not to leave your yoga mat out to dry in the sun as this will damage the material. Alternatively in the winter you can run a shallow warm bath and pop your yoga mat in with some detergent to soak; this method is more gentle than a washing machine and means you can just give it a quick dip.
How often should you clean your yoga mat?
It’s best practise to give your yoga mat a simple clean and wipe down once a week, or after every session of yoga if you practise hot yoga or often do heavy sweating movements and routines. For a more thorough clean you can invest some time into washing your yoga mat in the washing machine or by hand with some detergent or fresh lemon water on a monthly basis.
How should you let your yoga mat dry?
It may seem like a great idea to pop it on the washing line and air dry in the sun, but your yoga mat will meet an untimely and crinkled end if left to dry this way. There may also be discolouration and become stiff or lose its stickiness. Alternatively leave to dry on an airer inside, away from any harsh sunlight, this method will allow your yoga mat to keep its texture, colour and shape.