A yoga mat will get dirty and sweaty, no matter how often you use it. It absorbs sweat, oils, and grime exposed to it. Whether it is in your regular work out space or during a trip, your travel yoga mat will require some form of care to prevent deterioration. Lack of cleaning causes discomfort as you might find it gross or even reduce your grip, making you slide in between poses. We look at the process of cleaning and maintaining a yoga mat down below.
How to Clean and Maintain a Yoga Mat
1. Washing the Mat
Washing and maintaining your mat every couple of months or more often if you practice yoga regularly to extend its life. If the mat appears to be soiled, wash it thoroughly to maintain high levels of hygiene. When you start noticing it peeling, then its time to get yourself a new one.
2. Soak Your Mat
Wash it in warm water with soap or detergent. Allow it to soak in for some minutes to break down the oils and dirt. Use a minimal amount of soap to avoid making the mat slippery and challenging to practice on. Also, avoid strong detergents since they may leave an overpowering smell that may irritate you afterward.
3. Hand Wash
Some mats cannot be washed in a machine hence require to be hand-washed with a cloth. On the other hand, some yoga mats quality can get degraded as they are not machine friendly. After soaking, gently wipe it down on both sides until clean.
4. Rinsing of the Mat
This stage is quite crucial. Use clean water to remove all soap residue. Do it till the water is clear, an indication that all dirt is gone. Remove the excess water by shaking it off and use a dry cloth or towel to pat it dry or squeeze the remaining water. It is important to note that the wringing of the mat is terrible as it might tear or wrinkle, making it difficult for you to lie flat.
5. Hang it to Dry
Hang it outside or in an airy place to dry. Avoid direct sunlight to prevent damage. You can use hangers or a drying rack for convenience.
Maintaining the Yoga Mat
Clean and maintain your yoga mat regularly. Know when to clean it and understand its importance of doing so. Ensure your hands and feet are washed before stepping on it and wipe it off after practice to prevent the accumulation of dirt using dump towels or wipes. If you sweat a lot, consider laying down a towel to absorb the sweat and avoid sliding, which can be a hazard. Air it out frequently to prevent dampness and lousy smell that emanates from it. A mat carrier is essential while transporting it to keep it dry as the moisture evaporates, and the breeding of fungi and bacteria is controlled.
Yoga mats are an essential tool during exercise. When it is clean, you can comfortably use it and relax, thus creating harmony between you and the environment.