It’s time for a wash. Follow these steps to easily clean your yoga mat

Whether you practice hot yoga or stream a vinyasa class at home, eventually your yoga mat will get dirty and smelly.

Yoga mats look pretty tough, but they are made of materials that can quickly deteriorate if cleaned the wrong way or with the wrong products. To ensure that your yoga mat lasts a long time and still stays fresh and fresh germ-freefollow these simple steps.

But first! Since yoga mats are made from many different materials, it’s always best to look for cleaning instructions from the company that made your mat. If these are not available, continue with the tips below.

How do you know when to wash your yoga mat?

Many downward dogs and vinyasa flows can cause your yoga mat to accumulate sweat, lint, skin oils and other debris. They also get that funky smell thanks to bacteria from your skin and sweat.

Once your yoga mat has accumulated dirt, grime, or a bad smell, it’s time to clean it. Depending on how often you practice, reach that point every few weeks or monthly.

It is important to note that yoga mats are supposed to be sticky. That provides the grip you need to hold your position in slippery poses—downward dog can feel impossible on a slippery mat. When cleaning, be careful not to scrub so hard that you remove the tacky finish.

Wash your yoga mat by hand

You can always hand wash your yoga mat. Here’s how to do it:

1. Mix two cups of warm water with two drops of mild dish soap in a bucket.

2. Dip a cleaning cloth into the mixture and wipe both sides of the mat to remove any dirt or stains. Do not use scrubbing brushes as they may damage the material.

3. Then rinse the mat with warm water and hang it to dry. Make sure you hang it in a place that is not in the sun. Sunlight can also damage the material.

4. When the yoga mat is dry, spray it with a disinfectant that is specially designed for yoga mats. Some spray options are Luna Cleansing Spray and Aurorae Yoga Mat Wash Cleaner. Be sure to read the label carefully before applying the spray to your mat.

5. You may need to let the spray air dry or soak into the mat for a few minutes to kill any bacteria.

Yes, you can put it in the washing machine

If hand washing is too much of a hassle for you, you might want to throw your yoga mat in the washing machine.

1. Use a mild detergent such as Woolite or Dreft. Make sure to put it on the gentle or hand wash cycle with warm water.

2. When the washer is done, let the mat air dry and then spray it with the sanitizing spray.

3. Again, check all available cleaning advice from your yoga mat manufacturer before proceeding, as the washing machine can damage it, especially if you have a top loader. The agitator may nick or tear the mat during washing.

What to do if you don’t deep clean

Since you only need to deep clean your mat a few times a month, you’ll need to clean up a bit in between on other days.

After each use, spray your mat with mat disinfectant spray after each workout. This will prevent the mat from smelling like sweat and prevent the spread of germs picked up from the yoga studio floor.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care professional if you have any questions about a medical condition or health goals.

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