Even if you prefer practicing vinyasa or Iyengar form of yoga over the hot sweaty power yoga, eventually your yoga mat gets dirty, accumulates bacteria, and starts to smell. Yoga mats, and other equipment like straps, blocks look pretty tough and are made from very durable material but cleaning it in the wrong way or with wrong cleansers can be damaging, making them deteriorate quickly. So, to make sure they last longer and to keep them clean, germ free, this article will be helpful to you.
Can yoga mats be cleaned?
Yoga mats are made up of different different materials. There of plenty of variations and ranges available in the market depending on the user’s requirement and affordability. It also depends on the fact where the yoga mat or props are going to be used – indoor or outdoor. It is always best to look for the user manual or cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturing company for the correct way of cleaning them. If there are no instructions available then you can follow the methods given in this article which are safest, ensuring the undamaged cleaning of dirt and germs.
How to know its time to clean your yoga mats and props?
Through many inverting poses and asanas your yoga mat starts to accumulate dirt, sweat, oil, and other types of debris. It may also start giving out some funky smell thanks to the sweat and bacteria. Once you start observing such dirt accumulation and smell, its high time to clean it. But it is always best to clean it at least once a week, or two times a week if you sweat a lot during the practice. Yoga mats, blocks, straps are supposed to be tacky to assist in proper grip, make sure you don’t mess up it’s sticky finish while scrubbing and cleaning.
Cleaning methods for yoga mats and equipment
You can always go for a handwashing a yoga mat, blocks and straps. But how to do it?
- Take some warm water and mix few drops of mild dish washer soap into it.
- Take a cleaning cloth and dip it into the mixture. Wipe the yoga mat and equipment from each sides with this cloth to get rid of the stains, or dirt. Don’t use the scrubber or brushes as it can damage the fabric or upper layer.
- After that you can rinse it with warm water and leave it to air dry for at least an hour. Don’t directly put them in the sun as this can be damaging to for the material.
- After it is dry, spray the sanitizers especially designed for the yoga mats. You can wait till the spray air dries or soak into the minutes in few minutes to kill all the germs and bacteria.
What to do when you are not deep cleaning?
If it is not possible for you to deep clean the yoga mat and other equipment frequently due to busy schedule, then you can have in between cleanups on other days. This can be followed every day to make sure no bacteria or germs get accumulated. After every use, spray your mat and other stuff with mat cleaning and sanitizing spray. This will prevent them from smelling bad, and prevent spreading the germs it picked up from the home, garden or yoga studio floor.
There are many options available in the market but you can make your spray by yourself too. These includes cleansing agents like lemon juice, vinegar, witch hazel. Mix it with cleansing essential oils to remove the smell and kill germs like eucalyptus, tea tree oil. Add few drops of aromatic essential oils such as lemon grass, lavender or mint to elevate your mood during and after the practice. Mix all these ingredient with the distilled water and store it into a spray bottle for 2-3 weeks.
Cleaning the yoga mats and materials used in the practice makes up the important niyama to be followed in yoga practice. It also makes them durable and ensures healthy environment for the sessions. It is best to spray it with sanitizing solutions daily after the use and deep clean it every month (if not possible every week). Make sure to replace your yoga mat every twelve months as practicing on worn out mat can be dangerous leading to serious injuries.