Namaste, dirt and bacteria! Learn how to clean yoga mat and maintain a healthy and hygienic practice, one downward dog at a time.
Yoga is a fantastic way to improve your physical and mental health, but as any yogi knows, your yoga mat can accumulate a lot of sweat, dirt, and bacteria over time. Not only can this be unpleasant to practice on, but it can also be unhygienic and potentially harmful to your health. The fungi and bacteria that are responsible for athlete’s foot, plantar warts, staph infections, and ringworm, among others, are commonly found on yoga mats since they thrive in warm, dark, moist environments. (Quite a schmorgasborg, right?) Regularly cleaning your yoga mat is an essential part of maintaining a safe and enjoyable yoga practice. We’ll help you learn how to clean yoga mat with our guide to washing by hand or in the washing machine!
How Often Should I Clean My Yoga Mat?
How often should you clean your yoga mat? It depends on the frequency and conditions with which you use it. If you practice yoga every day, it's a good idea to clean your mat at least once a week to prevent the buildup of sweat, dirt, and bacteria. If you practice less frequently, you may be able to go a bit longer between cleanings. However, if you practice hot yoga or use your mat outdoors where it may come into contact with more dirt and bacteria, you may need to clean it more often. Ultimately, it's up to you to determine the right cleaning frequency, but as a general rule of thumb, it's best to err on the side of caution and clean your mat regularly to keep it fresh and hygienic. Luckily, cleaning yoga mat isn’t hard or time consuming!
How to Clean Yoga Mat by Hand
- Shake out your mat and lay it flat.
- Spritz your mat with dish spray then scrub it firmly with a microfiber cloth. Be careful not to scrub too quickly in order to help keep the naturally sticky nature of your mat intact. Be sure to spray and scrub both sides of your mat!
- Dissolve a 123Wash mini Laundry Pod in warm water to create a cleaning solution. Dip a microfiber or dish cloth in this solution and wipe down the yoga mat. This extra deep cleaning step should remove any body oils and residual oils. Be sure to wipe down both sides!
- Allow your mat to air dry.
How to Wash Yoga Mat in a Washing Machine
- Check the care instructions for your yoga mat. Some mats are designed to be washed in the washing machine, and may have special washing instructions.
- Wash your yoga mat on a cold, delicate cycle with a gentle detergent. We recommend our Freshengo 123Wash Laundry Pods.
- Lay your mat out flat to air dry. In general, it’s good to keep yoga mats out of direct sunlight. They can fade and become brittle if they are exposed to too much sun.
Pro Tip: Avoid using skin creams or oils before your practice to minimize transferring dirt to your mat in the first place. To help eliminate odors and absorb oils from a less-than-grippy mat, sprinkle and rub on baking soda. After 15 to 30 minutes, brush or vacuum off the excess.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have more questions about how to clean yoga mat? We have answers!
How do you clean a rubber yoga mat?
Always check the care label or manufacturer website to determine the best way to clean yoga mat. Some mats are able to be washed in the washing machine, while others should be washed by hand only. Once you have determined your preferred method, you can follow the above guides.
What can I spray on my yoga mat to clean it?
Looking for a quick way to refresh your yoga mat in a pinch? Combine water and white vinegar to create a disinfectant spray! Vinegar is a great natural disinfectant that you likely already have in your home. Always check your yoga mat's care instructions and test any new cleaning solution on a small area first to avoid damaging your mat.