After yoga class, sweat among other things can attract germs, bacteria and viruses! Since we want yoga to do the opposite of get us sick, it’s a good idea to remove these germs right away. I have learned a few cleaning methods and heard of some other popular methods to easily and effectively clean your yoga mat.
Interestingly, cleanliness itself is part of the yoga tradition. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika text explains that by keeping the body and mind pure, clean, and simple you can access spiritual wisdom without obstacle.
It is not as hard as you may think to clean your yoga mat. You can clean your mat by:
Using Soap and Water
This is an easy and affordable method. Make sure to keep the solution on the watery side to avoid taking off the sticky part of your mat, which prevents slips and injuries.
To make a soap solution dilute dish soap with water in a container. Lightly scrub your mat with a damp sponge or rag. Avoid scrubbing with harsh materials like steel wool. Finish, by rinsing your mat with hot water.
Submerge Your Yoga Mat in Water
If your yoga mat at is very dirty, you can submerge your mat in warm water with dish soap or mild laundry detergent like Woolite. Pat dry with a towel, and hang dry outside, overnight.
Use Essential Oils
Essential oils are a natural and pleasant way to clean your mat. Make a solution, in a spray bottle, of one or two drops of essential oil with water. Spray down your mat and rinse with hot damp towel. Try:
- Tea tree oil: antifungal
- Lavender oil: mild antibacterial and antifungal properties
- Lemon Oil: mild antibacterial and antifungal properties
- *Baking Soda: to reduce odors, add a teaspoon of baking soda to your solution.
I actually haven’t tried this method personally, but I have heard that you can actually wash your mat in the washing machine! As long as your mat is not meant to be hand washed, you can put it in the washing machine on the gentle cycle with cool water. Use a small amount of a gentle detergent like Woolite.
Commercial Yoga Mat Cleaners
These are convenient but may contain more chemicals. To use these just spray a fine mist over your mat and wipe clean with a hot towel. Try not to use too much water so it will dry quicker!
To dry your mat you can also place a towel over the mat, roll it up, and squeeze out the water. Follow by drying it again with a terry cloth a hang drying it for a minimum of one night. One thing you don’t want to do is throw it in the dryer!
I clean my mat by lightly spraying lavender oil on it after practice and hang my mat to dry. Every couple months I will give it a deeper clean, depending on my schedule. Cleaning your mat is easy and a great way to remove negative energy from your area.