How To Clean And Care For Your Yogamat Sustainably

Long gone are the days when we would walk into a yoga studio and borrow/rent a yogamat. In many countries, the new normal dictates that we must bring our own mats and props with us. With that goes the mandatory cleaning of the equipment on a regular basis. Even if you are quite not ready to join a public class (Zoom classes are definitely here to say), you do want to show some care for your hardworking yoga mat from time to time.

I am sure many of us have just showed our yoga mats to the washing machine and be done with it. This can be done, however I do not recommend it. Why? First of all, machine wash can be a bit rough on your mat, and it can lose some of its grippiness as a result. Secondly, depending on the material and make of your mat, there might be small pieces of the mat that break away. Not great for the mat but also, not great for the pipes, nuts and bolts of your washing machine!

With the gyms and yoga studios opening here in the UK this week (and cleaning being something we all do A LOT these days), here is how you can clean your yoga mat at home in a sustainable manner, staying kind to your washing machine and enviroment alike.

Read below the steps to take to clean your yoga mat in an eco-friendly way

  1. Have any type of spray bottle at hand (I use an old magnesium spray bottle)
  2. Use filtered or otherwise purified water
  3. Have some white vinegar, leftover vodka (or other type of clear spirit) or lemon juice.
  4. Fill the bottle with mainly water, then add few drops of vinegar/alcohol/lemon juice in the mix (I never measure anything, but here I am talking about actual drops)
  5. Then shake the bottle well (before every cleaning), spray the mix all over the mat and wipe it dry with a clean cloth

If there are bigger stains in the mat you can use a soft sponge to gently rub them. Be careful though as this might damage the surface of the mat! Some people recommend using mild ecological soap but be watch out with this one. Any soap residue will make your mat very slippery and we do not want that.

Be also mindful that some mats stain easier than others (you can read about different types of yoga mats here.) For instance, whilst adding few drops of essential oil to your homemade cleaning solution can have its benefits (e.g. tea tree is naturally antibacterial, lavender has a calming smell…), they can also contribute towards staining. At the end of the day though, a stain from cleaning your mat is always better than a stain from months and years of usage.

If there is residue water left on the surface from your cleaning, you can take you mat out to the sun to dry. Don’t leave it out for too long however, strong sun is not a friend of any yoga mat in large quantities as it makes the material more fragile.

Store your yoga mat away when not practising

After use it is always a good idea to roll up your yoga mat and tuck it away for the next use. I know it is tempting to leave your mat lying on the floor. However, especially if you have any furry family members (or ones with any type of sharp claws), you give longer lease of life for your mat if you store it away between practises. You might also want to think about having one mat for your home practise, and another to take with you socially distanced studio class. A good quality mat that is well cared for will last you for years, also making you an environmentally friendly yoga practitioner!

Enjoy cleaning your mat and continue enjoying your practice!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top