Yoga mat care

Learn To Take Care Of Your Yoga Mat

Now a days yoga mats come in various types of materials, styles, and colors.  Keeping yoga mats clean is essential to avoid getting sick. Those who practice yoga must know what type of yoga mat they have and how to take care. Another reason to learn how to clean and store yoga mat is, most of the yoga mats are expensive.

The common mistakes we make with any types of yoga mats are

  1. Improper storage
  2. Tossing yoga mat on the floor or in the corner
  3. Improper folding
  4. Wearing shoe on the mat and not cleaning
  5. Using harsh chemicals for cleaning
  6. Not cleaning regularly
  7. Using cheap mats that need frequent replacement

To extend the lifespan of yoga mats it is essential to understand what material your yoga mat is made of. Generally, the manufacturing label will explain the material and give care instructions. The four common yoga mat types are:

  • PVC mats: these materials are durable and easy to clean. You can soak and wash them using soap. If it is a closed cell mat, which means it doesn’t contain polyurethane layer coating on PVC then you can use certain chemicals like alcohol to wipe the mat. Polyurethane absorbs certain chemicals and damages the mat. However, remember that some PVC mats if damaged, are not easy to dispose.
  • Natural rubber mats: These mats give more cushion for the body. It is easy to clean natural rubber material and have more demand. People who are allergic to latex should avoid using rubber mats.
  • TPE mats: TPE stands for thermoplastic elastomers. These mats have similar properties as PVC and silicone. These are durable and are recommended for yoga next to natural rubber mats.
  • Cork mats: Cork mats are known as anti-slippery mats.  These are sustainable. non-toxic, durable, and cushioned, perfect for all types of yoga poses. Cork mats are non-foldable and can be pricy too.

How to clean, wash and store the mats?

The more you practice yoga, you might need to wash mats more regularly. The more you soil the mat, washing thoroughly helps to keep you safe. If you are practicing yoga every day, then wipe the mat after practice and wash the mat once a week.

If you are hand washing:

  • Soak the mat in dish soap liquid or mild detergent for half an hour to one hour.
  • Use a soft cloth and brush the surface (do not use harsh brush).
  • Rinse in warm water
  • Hang the mat to drain excess water and dry off

If you are using machine:

  • Use light cycle, gentle wash, or quick wash option.
  • Use mild detergent.
  • Instead of using dryer to dry the mat, hand the mat outside in Sun.

Using white vinegar and water liquid wipe: After yoga session clean the surface to remove sweat and soil. If not the bacteria and other microorganism will cause issues. Use equal part of white vinegar and water spray and wipe with microfiber cloth. Wipe gently from top to bottom so that there is no damage to mat. Air dry after wiping the mat then role it.

Wipe your hands and feet before stepping on the mat: It is good to practice yoga in barefoot. Wearing shoe is not recommended for yoga practice as the poses are challenging and need balancing. Also, shoes can spoil the mat. Before stepping on mat, wipe your feet and clean hands. For those poses that you need to lay down on the mat, place a towel on the mat and then lay down.

Storing yoga mat: Use yoga mat hanger, basket, or bag to store the mat. Before storing make sure the mat is dry. Air out the mat regularly.  Some people immediately after the yoga practice role and store mat in the yoga bag. It is good to wipe the sweat and dirt and then store the mat in the bag. At home you can wipe the mat and hang it in rack or hanger. These precautions help to keep mat dry and clean.

Read manufacturing instructions to clean the material. General steps to clean the mats are:

Avoid sharing your mat with others. In case you must share, wipe or wash the mat before you use. Taking care of yoga mat makes it lost for long time and practicing on clean yoga mat gives a sense of happiness and energizes the body.

Image credit: Image by Ekaterina Ershova from Pixabay (CC by 0)

Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: January 10, 2023

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