If your yoga mat has become your at-home workout buddy this year, odds are that it's in need of a good cleaning. In fact, Danielle Smith Parker, the founder of Detroit Maid, tells Hunker that regularly cleaning your yoga mat is essential for preventing the spread of bacteria.
For cleaning your yoga mat as often as possible — after every workout would be ideal — Parker offers the following simple steps.
Using a clean towel and cleaning spray, clean the surface of the yoga mat first to remove any residue. You may also use disinfectant spray to clean the mat. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides a list of approved disinfectants for use against COVID-19 here.
For the cleaning spray, Parker recommends a combination of white vinegar and distilled water at a 1:4 ratio in a spray bottle for cleaning both porous and non-porous mats. If you'd like your spray to be lightly scented, add 2 to 4 drops of essential oil into the bottle.
If you'd prefer not to use vinegar, Natalie Barrett, the service quality supervisor at Nifty Cleaning Services, tells Hunker, "Mix 2-4 drops of liquid dish soap with 2 cups of warm water into a spritz bottle … Be careful not to add more than a few drops of detergent since the mat surface may become slippery."
Using your towel and spray, wipe in one direction on the mat and make sure to clean both sides.
For fabric yoga mats, Barrett says, "If you have a front-loader washing machine, you can opt in for a cold water washing with no spins. Keep in mind to use only a small amount of detergent." You'll also want to wash the mat with nothing else, since the dyed fabric might bleed.
Allow your mat to dry. Sean Parry, a cleaning expert at the house cleaning company Neat Services, tells Hunker that to help the process along, you can rub the mat dry with a towel and then hang it in a safe place to air-dry.
If your mat ends up absorbing a lot of water, Parry states that you can try squeezing some of the water out. He adds, "If your mat is very absorbent, lay it open on a dry towel. Roll the mat and towel together. You can step on the mat to squeeze out even more water."
Once you get out as much water as possible, hang the mat to dry. Do not put it in a dryer or near a heating device.