Rubber yoga mats are not as common as your traditional cotton and suede yoga mats. However, they do provide a high level of comfort and grip during intense sessions.
Since they can get extremely dirty and stinky with regular use, it is best to know the proper way to clean them in order to prevent any lingering odors or stains, but do you know how to clean a rubber yoga mat? If not, read on for the complete guide.
The first step in cleaning your mat is washing off any dust from it by using a mild soap and then rinsing with clean water. But there’s more: you also need to make sure that the mat dries completely after washing it so bacteria doesn’t grow on the surface of the material.
You can use a fan or hair dryer to help speed up this process. When drying, be sure to place one end of the mat against something like a wall or chair leg so air can flow through both sides evenly as well as make sure not to place it in direct sunlight.
What Not to do When Cleaning a Rubber Yoga Mat
In order to keep your yoga mat as fresh as the day you bought it, you need to know how to take care of it properly. Here is a list of what NOT to do when cleaning a rubber yoga mat:-
- Never use anything but water and mild soap on the mat. Strong chemicals like bleach or disinfectants can damage it
- Don’t scrub too hard with an exfoliating mitt
- Never wax the mat as this will make it slippery
- Do not dry near the fire, direct sunlight, or next to something that will transfer heat
- Do Not Use Bleach or Detergents with Ammonia on Your Yoga Mat
How Often You Should Clean Your Mat
There are different schools of thought when it comes to how often an individual should clean his or her mat. The most popular idea is that you should wash your yoga mat at least once a month if you’re practicing every day, but some say you shouldn’t need to clean it more than once every six months.
The ideal way to clean a rubber yoga mat is by following all the instructions mentioned above, but if you don’t have time to do that or you just want to get rid of any leftover odors from sweat then spray some baking soda on your mat and let it sit overnight.
Why You Should Be Cleaning Your Mat
Aside from improving the aesthetic appeal of your mat, keeping it clean also has a number of benefits that will help you to get more out of your yoga practice. By cleaning your mat regularly:-
- Your grip will improve since bacteria won’t build up on the surface
- Sweat and other bodily fluids can be removed quickly when they land on the mat
- You can prevent chafing due to sweat which can be especially beneficial if you’re practicing hot yoga.
- Always remember that the bottom line is taking care of your mat will extend its lifespan and keep it looking fresh as new no matter how often you practice.
More Yoga Mat Cleaning Tips and Tricks
Here are a few more quick and easy yoga mat cleaning tips that can help you maintain its cleanliness:-
- Store your mat in a breathable bag to keep it from catching dust
- Don’t forget to wipe down any equipment, such as blocks and straps, after each use
- Keep your yoga mat away from windows and direct sunlight.
- If you want to keep the mat clean in between washings, sprinkle a layer of corn starch or baby powder on it after each use to absorb any sweat from your practice.
How to Regularly Clean a Yoga Mat
- When you’re in the shower, use a mild soap like Dr. Bronner’s Baby-mild Liquid Soap to wash off dust particles and clean the mat.
- Then rinse thoroughly with clean water.
- Use a fan or blow dryer to speed up the drying process.
- If you don’t have a fan, you can dry the mat by placing only one end against something like a wall or chair leg and letting it hang to air dry.
- Do not place it in direct sunlight or next to anything that will transfer heat.
Conclusion & Final Thought
There are many reasons why you should clean your yoga mat. For starters, it will help prevent the growth of bacteria and mold on your favorite fitness accessory. But more importantly, cleaning a rubber yoga mat is essential for keeping it in good shape so that you can get years out of this piece of equipment.
The above useful tips will help you with cleaning a rubber yoga mat. If in any case, the process is too detailed and you need more assistance in this regard, make sure to contact your local gym or fitness center for more information.