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Show Your Mat Some Love – 7 Tips for Yoga Mat Care

If you own your own mat, you probably consider it an essential part of your yoga practice. And if you own an expensive mat, you probably consider it an investment. Caring for your mat properly will not only keep it clean, sanitary, and odor free, but can also extend the life of your mat. There is so much advice online on how to clean and care for yoga mats, that it can be a bit overwhelming. Over the years, I’ve tried a variety of commercial mat washes. One pricey, natural mat cleaner left my mat smelling faintly like vinegar. I’ve washed my mat in the bathtub and I’ve also made some DIY mat cleaning solutions with varying results—you can find lots of recipes online.

Here are some basic tips to consider when caring for your yoga mat.

Tip #1

Follow your manufacturer’s care instructions. It seems obvious, but yoga mats can be made of a variety of different materials--PVC (vinyl), natural rubber, recycled rubber, jute, cork and cotton--how you care for your mat will depend on its material. If you don’t have the instructions that came with your mat, you can probably find them online.

Tip #2

Sometimes the simple solution is the best. You can use a spray bottle with warm water and a soft cloth or sponge to clean your mat. Be sure to let it air dry before rolling and using again.

Tip #3

If you want to buy a commercial mat wash (including sprays and wipes), select a product that is appropriate for your mat (see Tip #1) and only use cleaning solutions meant for yoga mats.

Tip #4

If you Google “mat cleaning” on the Interwebs, you’ll also find lots of DIY recipes. Some include essential oils, such as lemon and lavender, that have mild antibacterial and antifungal properties. Again, make sure that the solution you use is suitable for your mat.

Tip #5

If your mat is heavily soiled, you can submerge it briefly in a tub of water and use a small amount of soap. Be careful not to use too much soap to clean your mat as it can become slippery. Rinse it thoroughly, roll it up in a towel to squeeze out excess water, and let it air dry