Whether you practice yoga at home or in a studio, your mat is absorbing sweat and dirt during each session. This combination of moisture and dirt not only begins to exude an unpleasant odor, it can breed bacteria and other things to disturb the serenity of your savasana. As such, it is very important to learn how to clean your yoga mat.
Follow the directions
There are many different types of yoga mats out there, so when you purchase one you like, keep and follow the cleaning instructions that come along with it.
How often should you clean your yoga mat?
This depends on several factors, from where you practice and how often you practice, to what type of yoga you practice. Yoga instructors advise practitioners of Bikram or other hot yoga disciplines to clean their sticky mats after each session
What cleaning solution should you use?
Registered yoga instructors recommend a solution of half clean water and half vinegar with a couple of drops of tea tree oil Mix it in a spray bottle and then wipe your mat down with this antimicrobial solution after each use.
Can you throw a yoga mat in the washing machine?
You may be tempted to do so if your mat is extremely soiled, but many mats cannot hold up to the agitation. Additionally, detergents can cause sticky mats to lose their stick and can infuse your mat with unpleasant chemicals and distracting scents. Instead, soak it in the bathtub with the water and vinegar then rinse thoroughly with water.
How do I dry my yoga mat?
There is a four-step process for drying a yoga mat: squeeze most of the water out, then place the mat on a large towel and roll it all together. Step on the roll to extract even more water and then hang to complete the drying process.
Talk with your yoga instructor about other ways to keep your mat fresh so you can enjoy the benefits of yoga without the potential unpleasant side effects of a dirty yoga mat.
Raskin, Donna. "Cleaning Your Mat." Yoga Journal.