How to clean and store yoga mat
A yoga mat is a must-have accessory for performing asanas, breathing practices, and meditation. However, it is not recommended to change such devices frequently. It is believed that the longer a person practices on the same device, the easier it is to perform asanas and the deeper will be the meditation. But products need a certain amount of care.
Does a new mat need to be cleaned?
In Sanskrit, a yoga mat is called a “yoganasa.” When you practice, it absorbs your energy, as well as sweat, dust from clothing, and various impurities. All this leads to an unpleasant odor, and subsequently to the deterioration of the mat itself.
Regular care of the mat is necessary to maintain basic hygiene, increase its life and prevent slipping during exercise. You can begin as soon as you purchase the product. If the mat has an unpleasant smell, it can be aired out on the balcony, wiped with a damp cloth or rinsed under the shower.
It is best to rinse the mat in a soapy solution before using it for the first time. But do not add too much detergent. This will make it difficult to rinse, and the mat may slip later, creating a risk of injury. After washing, the accessory should be hung on a crossbar or placed on a clothes dryer and wait for it to dry completely. After that, you can start exercising.
Please note that this method of mat preparation is only suitable for synthetic materials. If your yoga mat is made of natural jute, you should not immerse it in water. It is enough to wipe with a damp sponge or cloth and dry, ideally in the fresh air.
What is the right way to clean a yoga mat?
It is not necessary to clean the mat after every session, it is recommended to clean it once in 1-3 months, depending on the frequency of exercise and the degree of contamination. It is important to remember that most of these products are deformed by machine washing, so it is better to wash them by hand. To do this, you need to:
- Remove dust, clumped debris and other dirt from the mat – you can use a vacuum cleaner or just shake out the yogamat;
- Dissolve 2-3 tsp. of laundry detergent or some shavings of laundry soap in a basin with warm water;
- Soak the mat in the resulting solution for 5-8 minutes;
- Rub each side with a soft cloth or sponge, paying special attention to the places where your hands and feet are most often exposed during exercise;
- Rinse the mat in clean water until the detergent is completely removed.
Do not squeeze or twist the mat in the process, this can cause it to lose its shape. Microfiber coated yogamats clean well with a brush. To clean a rubber mat, baking soda is suitable. It should be diluted in water and rinse the product in the resulting solution. And for the dirtiest places, it is worth using vinegar. It should be applied to a cloth and wiped over the mat. Due to the reaction of baking soda with vinegar, any stains will disappear.
Soda is also good for polyurethane mats that require deep cleaning. For some yogamats, the manufacturer allows machine washing. In this case, you need to choose a delicate mode, set the temperature to no more than 40oC and turn off the spin. It is desirable to use a special net cover. Powder for white things, detergents with a bleaching effect and chlorine-containing substances are not suitable for this purpose.
Antibacterial treatment of the mat
Despite the fact that yoga mats do not need cleaning after every workout, it is worth doing their antibacterial treatment after the end of the class. There are two ways to do it: to use a disinfectant spray or to make your own mixture.
For such a solution you need to mix water and alcohol in equal proportions. You can add a few drops of essential oil. The best oils are tea tree and orange, peppermint and eucalyptus, pine and lemon, which have a disinfectant effect. The solution should be poured into a sprayer and sprinkled on the mat. After treatment it should be dried and the remains of the liquid should be removed with a napkin. The second option for the preparation of the solution is to mix water with vinegar in a 1:1 ratio and add a few drops of essential oil.
Rules of drying
There are nuances in drying mats. After wet cleaning, you should:
- Roll the yogamat in a towel or spread it out in the bathroom on a board to let the water drain off – rubber mats are good at absorbing moisture, so it will take some time to remove it;
- Shake the mat;
- Hang out to dry in a well-ventilated place (on a balcony, it’s better to throw the yogamat over 2 ropes at once and not to use pegs, which can leave marks);
- To use for training only a fully dried mat (you can check it by pressing on it with a finger).
Do not use an electric clothes dryer in this case. Direct sunlight can be dangerous for the yogamat, especially if it is made of TPE or PVC. Hair dryers are also not used, you should not leave the mat on the radiator. It is advisable to carefully inspect the yogamat while drying: if soapy streaks appeared on it, you will have to rinse the product again.
How to store a yoga mat?
Fans of the ancient practice need to know how to store a yoga mat. The first rule is to use a special case in which the yogamat is in a rolled-up form. Such an accessory is chosen according to the size of the mat and reliably protects it from dirt and the effects of external factors. Usually the cover has convenient handles, so it is suitable for storing and carrying the mat.
It is important to consider some other nuances as well:
- You can not fold the yogamat in 2 or 4 times, this will lead to creases and cracks, and over time, the mat will begin to rub in the same places;
- When rolling up, the upper side should be on the outside, so that later the product will not curl around the edges, and you will not cling to it with your hands and feet;
- Do not roll the yogamat too tightly; it should be loose in the roll;
- All of the above tips apply only to the dry mat. You should not roll a wet yogamat for storage.
After your workout, you should hang the mat out to dry and air it out. This will help to avoid the growth of bacteria and unpleasant odors. If you have taken a break in training and the yogamat has been stored for more than a month in a rolled up state, you should periodically take it out, unroll it and leave it to dry.
What can damage the mat?
In addition to proper storage and periodic cleaning, it is worth following a few simple rules to prolong the life of the accessory:
- Do not apply creams or lotions to your hands and feet before exercising – this not only makes the surface slippery and increases the risk of injury, but also contributes to greasy stains on the yogamata;
- When exercising in a stuffy room, lay a yoga towel on your mat – it will prevent slipping and absorb sweat;
- Never wear shoes, as this will damage the mat and cause it to malfunction quickly. If the room is cool, you can wear socks;
- Take off your jewelry before you practice so you don’t scratch or tear your yogamat;
- If the training takes place outdoors, make sure there are no sharp rocks, sticks, cones or other objects under the mat.
As a rule, the mat should be cleaned especially carefully after outdoor training. Visible dirt should be cleaned immediately.
Hygienic and pleasant feeling
Regardless of the material from which the yoga mat is made, it requires periodic care. By following the rules of cleaning, drying and storing your yoga mat, you can ensure hygiene, reduce the risk of injury, and make your exercise more enjoyable and comfortable.