How to clean a yoga mat

Christine McGuinness practises yoga in lockdown

A sizable 31 percent of people wear their dirty gym kit for up to four sessions before washing it, new research from Showers to You has found. Fitness enthusiasts are just as neglectful when it comes to yoga mats, with studied mats proven to hold more than eight times the amount of bacteria on a toilet seat! chatted to cleaning expert Lisa Evans from My Job Quote to find out how to clean a yoga mat.

All workout equipment is ridden with bacteria, fungi, and potentially harmful microorganisms.

The nasties living on your yoga mat could cause athlete’s foot, warts, ringworm, and other infectious skin conditions.

You can also catch the flu from unsanitized equipment such as yoga mats because influenza bacteria is commonly found on gym equipment.

So how do you clean a yoga mat, and how often should you clean it?

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How often should you clean a yoga mat?

You should aim to clean your mat once a week if you use it every day.

If you share a mat with someone else, you should clean it after every use.

If you work out or practise yoga on the mat about once a week, clean it monthly.

Use your common sense and clean the mat after a really sweaty workout, especially when it’s hot outside.

How to clean a yoga mat

The easiest way to clean a yoga mat is to make your own spray that can be quickly used before and after each session.

Lisa said: “Whether you are a yoga teacher or a dedicated yogi, it is vital that you keep your mat clean before and after every session.

“To do this you can purchase a yoga mat cleaning kit or save money by making your own solution.”

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Lisa recommended making a cleaner out of vinegar and water.

Mix equal parts of the liquids together and pour the solution into a spray bottle.

She explained: “This should be sprayed onto the yoga mat and wiped away with a washcloth to remove any sweat and additional germs.”

You could also add some tea tree oil for extra antibacterial power.

If you can’t be bothered with the hassle of making your own cleaner, you can buy one.

There are plenty of yoga mat cleaners on the market in lots of scents.

For example, the Yogamatters Revive Yoga Mat Cleaner has a fresh sea breeze scent and contains natural anti-bacterial properties.

Follow up by burning a candle of your choice, such as the Yogamatters Festive Magic Soy Wax Candle or Beefayre’s Bee Calm candle to really cleanse the room and enjoy your yoga session.

If you haven’t cleaned your mat in a while, you may want to do a deep clean.

Lisa said: “For a more thorough clean, rub lightly across the mat with a sponge and some washing up liquid mixed with water.”

However, you can only use this method if you have a PVC or rubber yoga mat.

She added: “For hemp or cotton mats, you can place them in the washing machine, however, make sure to check the instructions first.”

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