Your yoga mat is always there whenever you need it, but have you really been there for your mat? It’s important to keep your mat clean for a number of reasons, mainly to keep germs away. If you think about all of the traveling that your mat does from floor to floor and the things that can be collected along the way, you'll probably cringe. Check out these four quick and easy ways to clean your yoga mat and keep it in like-new condition.
1. Cotton towel and spray bottle cleaning solution
Fill a spray bottle with water and add a few drops of tea tree oil. Spray your mat and wipe clean with the towel. If you prefer not to create your own spray, you can always purchase a mat spray at most large retailers or sporting goods store. This option is great if your mat doesn’t get much use or you don’t sweat profusely in between uses. It’s also a great idea to do this after each class so you don’t develop a buildup of germs and other debris.
2. Water hose
If the weather permits, you can always take your mat outdoors and spray it down with your water hose. You can use a mild soap detergent and towel if you feel it needs a good wash. Immediately afterward, hang your mat up to air-dry. It could take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours (or more) to dry completely, so be sure you have a backup option.
If outdoor washing isn’t your thing, you can always give your mat a nice little wash in the tub. Again, you can use a mild detergent then hang it to dry over the shower rail. Be sure to have something underneath the hanging mat to soak up the dripping water.
4. Washing machine
I highly suggest checking with the company that created your mat before trying this option. Some companies suggest that you don't place their mat in the washing machine for a variety of reasons. But if you’re like me and have owned a mat since college (that you just can’t part with), then this could be a great option for you. Place the cycle on hand wash or gentle, then hang dry immediately. With regular care, your mat will be there for you for many more yoga classes to come.