Yoga is like entering a sacred place and a huge part of that process is maintaining cleanliness all through. For most people, keeping a yoga mat clean is an afterthought. There is nothing worse as having to keep using a dirty yoga mat for weeks on end. Days-old sweat will not only make your yoga mat dirty but also be a source of infection due to the bacterial build-up.
How often you should wash the mat depends on how you use it. If you practice yoga daily, deep clean the mat monthly. If you use it once in a while, then wash it after every few months. Remember, you should practice regular maintenance such as wiping it clean after every one to three uses.
To help you out here is a simple guide on how to clean a yoga mat.
Step 1: Gather the Necessary Cleaning Materials
Yoga mats are made from different materials and this will determine the type of cleaning materials you use. Nonetheless, the basic cleaning materials include clean water, mild detergents, and soaps and cleaning cloth or soft brush.
Step 2: Find a Cleaning Location
The spot where you want to clean your mat is very important. Flat concrete surfaces are the most appropriate. Washing your mat on stony areas or the lawn might lead to it tearing from scrubbing force. Besides, the place you choose should allow water to drain freely.
Step 3: Start the Mat Cleaning Process
Soak your yoga mat in a solution of clean water and recommended yoga mat detergents for a few minutes. Doing this will help you to dislodge off dirt, sweat, and odors from the mat and it will make it easy to clean.
Proceed to spread your yoga mat on the cleaning surface and apply extra detergents or cleaning agents. Scrub gently from the top using a soft cloth as you work your way down.
Remember, the yoga mat has two sides so start with the bottom part then turn to the top part. Repeat the process 2-3 times for a clean scrub.
If your yoga mat is made from light material, then you can hand wash it. Focus more on the areas that are usually in direct contact with your body.
Step 4: Rinse with Clean Water
Once you are done with the gentle scrubbing, take the mat and hang it on a solid and firm rail. Connect your hosepipe to the tap and gently spray your mat to remove soap residue. You can also opt to rinse it in your bathtub or a big basin. Repeat the rinsing process until the water is clean.
Afterward, remove excess water from the yoga mat by shaking it off. You could also dry the mat using a towel. With the mat laying flat, place a dry towel on top and then roll them together. The towel will absorb excess moisture. Do not wring the mat as it will make it to wrinkle or tear.
Step 5: Drying
After you get rid of excess water from the mat, hang it, or lay it flat so that it can dry. Avoid drying under direct sunlight.
Step 6: Aftercare
Once it is completely dry, roll it gently and secure it with a band. Next store it in a clean and secure place. Do not store it when it has not dried fully as it will develop molds and bad smells.