Practicing yoga is a great way to stay physically and mentally healthy, but it's important to keep your yoga mat clean to maintain good hygiene for several reasons. A dirty mat can harbor germs, fungi, bacteria and even viruses which can cause all kind of skin irritations and even infections. Studies show that an unclean mat can contain eight times as many germs than found on a toilett seat. These are also the main culprit for bad odors, can distract you from your yoga experience. Furthermore, built up it can make your mat slipery. Cleaning your mat regularly can even extend its life. In this post, we'll discuss the best ways to keep your yoga mat clean and fresh.
Disinfecting - After each session
After each yoga session, it's a good idea to clean your mat with a disinfectant spray. Especially communal mats should be disinfected after each session as germs and viruses can survive easily for a couple of days on the mat. Disinfecting will help to remove any sweat or bacteria that may have accumulated on the surface of the mat during your practice. It also helps to avoid nasty ordors. Simply spray the disinfectant onto a cloth or paper towel and wipe down the entire mat.
While there are some disinfecting sprays especially for yoga mats available on the market, it is important to check that those sprays do not contain any alcohol, such as phenols. The problem with alcohol is that it damages the surface and texture over time, making the mat slippery and porous, thus, reducing the lifetime of your mat. Using alcohol to disinfect isn’t a great solution either, because the alcohol is likely to evaporate off larger surfaces too quickly to be effective at neutralizing germs. Some sprays contain teatree oil or other ingredients which can be very aggressive, may cause skin irritations and while some of them may have disinfecting properties, they are not truly virucide, fungicide, and bactericide. You can find a good disinfectant spray that is gentle to your mat, as it does not use any alcohol yet eliminates germs effectively in our shop. This spray is clinically tested and can be used on all kind of mats, but is also suitable for other surfaces which makes it ideal to disinfect all your exercise equipment.
Deep Cleaning - On a regular basis
While a quick spray of disinfectant after each session is a good start it is not enough to thoroughly clean your mat. Therefore, it's important to give your mat a deep cleanse every 2-3 weeks. This will help to remove any buildup of dirt and bacteria that may have accumulated over time and is draped deep inside your mat. Just think about it - your clothes go in the laundry after a sweaty practice but we rarely give the same treatment to our mat. However, there are several methods for deep cleaning your yoga mat, including:
1. Soap and water: Mix a few drops of gentle, non-toxic soap with warm water. Use a cloth or sponge to clean the entire mat, then rinse thoroughly with water and let it air dry.
The disadvantage is that the lye in the soap may cause the mat to suffer and quickly lose its grip. In addition, soap alone does not completely clean the mat and especially not the deeper layers of the mat.
2. Vinegar and baking soda: Mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the mat, then sprinkle baking soda over the entire surface. Scrub the mat with a brush or cloth, then rinse thoroughly with water and let it air dry.
Vinegar and baking soda cleans the mat more thoroughly. However the smell of the vinegar is not very pleasant and can stick to the mat for a long time. In addition, the vinegar also attacks the surface of the mat, depending on the material and, thus, quickly reduces the grip.
3. Yoga Cat Products: Yoga Cat offers a range of cleaning products specifically designed for all kind of yoga and exercise mats and have been thoroughly tested in the lab and by yoga teachers. These products are mat-friendly, have a pleasant scent, do not contain any harmful ingredients and are sustainably produced in Germany. Simply follow the instructions on the product to give your mat a deep and thorough cleaning.
The deep cleaner from Yoga Cat has been developed for an effective mat cleaning experience. Additionally, Yoga Cat teamed up with the renowned parfumer Thorsten Biehl to create pleasant aromatherapeutic smell. Usually, one 500ml bottle will last you a year and even longer.
In conclusion, it's important to keep your yoga mat clean to maintain good hygiene and extend its life. After each session, clean your mat with a disinfectant spray, and give it a deep cleaning every 2-3 weeks. Consider using Yoga Cat products for the best results. With a clean and fresh mat, you can focus on your practice and enjoy all the benefits of yoga without worries.