Top Tips For How To Clean A Yoga Mat

how to clean your yoga mat

We’ve been there. You wake up from savasana feeling so re-energised and ready to face the day that cleaning your yoga mat is the last of your priorities. Taking the plunge and purchasing a new mat is a personal investment in yourself and your yoga practice, but it’s a financial one too. Cleaning and caring for your mat properly will ensure it lasts longer and performs better. Not to mention, remove the sweat, dirt and bacteria that your yoga mat is exposed to over time. Because, let’s be real, when your feet and face are touching the same surface a consistent cleaning routine is a must. 

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I CLEAN MY YOGA MAT?

Can’t remember when you last cleaned your yoga mat? Take that as your cue to give it a wipe down before your next practice. Depending on the physical intensity of your sessions, you can go a week or so before your mat needs cleaning. If you sweat a lot, clean it post practice to prevent grime and (over time) bacteria and odour building up. Given the current climate, if you’re heading to the studio we’d recommend cleaning after each session. 

REMEMBER, NOT ALL YOGA MATS ARE CLEANED EQUALLY

Before you clean your yoga mat it’s essential to check the material composition and manufacturer instructions - yoga mats are created from a variety of materials including PVC, cork, tree rubber, jute and more. Each style of mat often comes with different recommendations to clean. In fact, some cleaning methods can compromise your mat performance so if in doubt, always double check. 

cleaning your yoga mat

HOW TO CLEAN A FABLE YOGA MAT

Fable Pro Grip yoga mats are crafted with a natural tree rubber base and PU upper - this is what gives the mat its incredible grip (zero slippery palms over here). However, the open cell structure of the mat is a porous surface that absorbs sweat -  it’s this structure that helps it to stay non-slip. This means it will also absorb oils like body moisturisers so skip them before practice. 

We recommend diluting some simple dish soap in water and wiping down with a soft cloth after sweaty sessions or when needed. 

Where Fable yoga mats are concerned (and those containing rubber and/or PU), step away from the essential oils or chemical cleaning sprays which can break down the grippy materials and compromise performance. A simple organic dish wash soap heavily diluted with water is sufficient to cut through any post-practice sweat and dirt.  

While you don’t want to under-clean, It’s also important to avoid over-cleaning your mat and saturating with water as this will wear out the materials faster - while PVC mats can withstand heavier cleaning (they have a closed cell, non-absorbent surface) our mats must be gently hand cleaned and are not suitable for machine washing. After cleaning your mat, leave it to dry fully, before rolling back up. 

HOW TO CLEAN A MANDUKA YOGA MAT

Understanding the different materials in your Manduka yoga mat is important, as there are different methods needed to clean them based on the material.  Manduka PRO series mats, X Mats, and Begin Mats have a closed-cell surface, which means that they will never absorb moisture, and can therefore be thoroughly cleaned after every use on the surface.  

Manduka eKO series mats are made of natural rubber, which is also closed-cell so they don’t absorb moisture.  So eKO mats can also be easily cleaned, but in addition, the natural rubber needs to be cared for so it stays in the best condition.  

best yoga mat cleaners

GRP Series mats have an open-cell PU (polyurethane) surface, which means that their goal is to absorb moisture.  So cleaning GRP Series mats requires the most attention and care, as the material is very absorbent.  

With any mat cleaners or care products, we recommend spraying the product onto the mat, wiping it with a cloth, and letting the mat dry before you roll it or use it.  Always be careful not to lay a wet yoga mat on a wood floor or any other floor that may absorb the moisture!

Manduka offers a few different mat care products to keep any mat in the best shape.  All of Manduka's cleaning products are made from 100% naturally derived ingredients.  Yoga Mat Wash & Refresh can be used on any Manduka mat – it is formulated for daily use to keep it smelling fresh and free from surface dirt and stains.  

Manduka’s Yoga Mat Restore is designed for rubber mats (Manduka’s eKO Series), and it conditions, restores and extends the life of a natural rubber mat.  The Yoga Mat Restore is not a cleaner, but is designed to keep the rubber in the best shape so your rubber mat can stay effective even longer.  

Manduka Botanical Yoga Mat Cleaner uses Thymol, which is antimicrobial, to give any closed-cell mat a thorough cleaning.  The Botanical Yoga Mat Cleaner is designed for occasional use to give it a thorough clean and can be used on any mat except the GRP Series.

HOW TO CLEAN A YOGI BARE YOGA MAT

Yogi Bare work with natural PU when creating their Paws mat. The top layer of natural PU is kind of like the pores on our skin, as over time this layer can get clogged with sweat and natural oils from our body. Therefore, we recommend cleaning your Yogi Bare mat once ever two weeks if practicing regularly or post an extra sweaty session. 

It's easy peasy lemon squeezy to clean your Yogi Bare mat! We recommend taking one fresh lemon and squeezing the juice into a small bowl (without the pips). Mix and dilute with a little warm water and using a clean cloth, dip into the solution and thoroughly wring it out until damp. It is important to not to soak the mat as this will denature the PU.

The small amount of acid from the lemon will cut through dirt and grease and the warm water will wash away sweat and grime. Wipe the mat down several times,  and don’t be alarmed if it looks darker/ marked - the PU responds to water and quickly dries out. Leave to dry flat, out of direct sunlight.   

Every 4 months or if you feel your Yogi Bare mat needs a deep clean to restore grip and beauty, mix a heavily diluted solution of white vinegar, bicarbonate soda and lukewarm water - heavily wring out a clean cloth until it’s just damp and wipe down 2-3 times. We only recommend this method as a last resort every few months - do not do this regularly as it can cause damage to the mat surface.

USED NOT PERFECT

While it’s essential to clean your yoga mat to keep bacteria at bay, it’s also there to be used. It’s normal for your mat to look less than perfect over time and show some signs of wear and tear. In fact, we like to see these signs of use as commitment to your practice. So enjoy your practice, enjoy your time on the mat - just don’t forget to give it a clean in the process.