How to Clean a Yoga Mat and Keep it Odor Free

February 25, 2015 2 min read


Dr. Kristie

If you’re a student of yoga, you know how important your yoga mat is to your stretching success. It might surprise you to learn that yoga mats at health clubs can be a source for athlete’s foot due to ineffective cleaning of these mats. If you have your own yoga mat, you’ll need a plan to keep it clean and free of germs and odor. Here’s how to clean a yoga mat and keep it looking fresh:

Clean a yoga mat: Don’t share your mat

This is the first simple rule of avoiding a fungal or bacterial infection from a yoga mat. Buy your own mat and make it exclusively yours. Don’t share it with anyone. Consider your yoga mat to be as personal as your toothbrush and you’ll reduce your risk of contracting a nasty foot infection.

Clean a yoga mat: Use your washing machine

Most people don’t realize they can clean their mat in the washing machine. Use cold water along with a mild detergent and stop the dryer before it goes through the spin cycle. Once removed from the dryer, lay the mat out to dry completely before storing it. Avoid exposing your mat to heat as this can cause the fibers of the mat to break down.

Clean a yoga mat: Cleaning a slightly soiled mat

If your mat only has light soiling and doesn’t require a cycle through the washing machine, you can mix a cup of warm water with several drops of mild detergent to create a dilute, soapy mixture. Use a sponge to gently massage the soiled areas with your homemade solution. Follow up by sponging down with a sponge dampened in warm water. Allow your mat to dry thoroughly.

Clean a yoga mat: Clean it lightly after every use

To keep your mat looking and smelling fresh, spray it lightly with a mat cleaning spray. To make your own all-natural mat cleaning spray, add three drops of tea tree oil, two drops of peppermint oil, and two drops of lavender oil to distilled water. Mix thoroughly and place the solution in a spray bottle. Spray your mat lightly after every use and wipe it down gently with a damp sponge.

Clean a yoga mat: Have a regular cleaning schedule

To keep your mat looking and smelling great, have a regular cleaning schedule. In addition to spraying it after every use, place it in the washer every three to four weeks for a more thorough cleansing.

By having a regular planning for cleaning your yoga mat, you can keep it smelling sweet while reducing your risk of potential foot infections.

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