How To Sanitize Your Yoga Mat

Introduction

Yoga is an ancient practice and spiritual science which originated in India more than 5000 years ago. Its purpose is to bring physical, mental, and spiritual balance and harmony by synchronizing the body, mind, and breath through various postures or asanas. Since then, it has become increasingly popular in many parts of the world for its many physical and psychological benefits. Keeping your yoga mat free from dirt and germs is essential for practicing yoga safely. Not only does it improve the quality of your practice but also protects you from any bacterial infections. In addition, it gives you a deeper understanding of your own physical presence as well as promotes mindfulness in each movement. That’s why it’s important to keep your yoga mat clean with these simple steps!

Gather Your Supplies

Gather your supplies: an antibacterial spray, white vinegar, a bucket or sink with warm, soapy water and a non-abrasive cleaning cloth. You may also wish to collect microfiber cloths for spot cleaning and rubber gloves for extra protection when handling the mat and cleaning supplies.

Pre-Cleaning

Vacuuming your yoga mat can be a quick and easy way to get rid of dirt, dust and other debris before you begin an effective deep-cleaning of your mat. Here’s how:



Step One: Set up the vacuum cleaner in line with the length of the yoga mat.

Step Two: Begin by running the vacuum over the top section of the mat with short, gentle strokes. Make sure to cover all of the surface area and use enough suction for any debris to emerge from within your mat’s fabric.

Step Three: Move gradually down your mat until you have finished vacuuming it from top to bottom. When finished, turn off your vacuum cleaner and retrieve any debris that may have been untied or undone during cleaning.

Step Four: Give your newly vacuumed yoga mat a once-over using a lint remover or brush for any remaining pieces that escaped from regular vacuuming.

Pre-Cleaning

Before deep cleaning your yoga mat, it is essential to spot clean it. There are a variety of cleaning products on the market specifically formulated for hand-wiping yoga mats. Opt for an all natural and non-toxic solution made with ingredients like distilled water, plant oils and essential oils. Alternatively, you can use 1 cup of apple cider vinegar diluted with 2 cups of water as an inexpensive and effective cleaning solution. Gently apply the solution to the surface using a microfiber cloth or soft rag and thoroughly wipe down the entire area. Be sure to pay attention to corners that tend to accumulate dirt and sweat more quickly than other areas.

Deep Cleaning

Washing Machine – To deep clean your mat with a washing machine, use a gentle detergent in cold water. Place your mat in the washer and ensure that it is well balanced inside the machine to avoid damage to its surface. Depending on the type of machine, set the cycle mode either to a gentle or hand wash setting. Once washed, hang your mat outdoors to dry completely before storing it away again.

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Vinegar and Water Solution – To create a vinegar and water solution that can be used to deep clean your yoga mat, simply mix 1/4 cup white vinegar or cleaning vinegar with 23/4 cups of warm water in a spray bottle. Make sure that you shake it properly before using the solution so that both ingredients combine thoroughly. Spray this solution onto your yoga mat until it is lightly dampened and wipe it off with a damp clean towel or cloth. Wipe it down nicely till no streaks remain and then hang out your mat for drying before storing away once again.

Dry the Mat

Wipe the Mat – Take a damp cloth or microfiber towel with a neutral soap and wipe down the surface of your yoga mat. Try to get into all of the nooks and crannies that regular washing typically doesn’t reach. After wiping, rinse off the cleaning solution with cool water. Let air dry until completely done.

Spray the Mat – Create a sanitizing solution by mixing one part vinegar to four parts water. If you wish to add smell, you can also add essential oils such as tea tree oil or lavender to the mixture. Spray your mat with this solution multiple times in order for it to penetrate deep down into crevices for an effective cleanse. After spraying, wait until it is completely dry before reuse.

Scrub It Well – Use a soft scrub brush dipped in dish soap and hot water. Scrub both sides of your mat giving extra attention to seams, handles, and corners as they often trap dirt and germs more quickly than other areas on your yoga mat. Stir up lather by stroking gently over the entire surface so that dirt particles are dislodged from any crevices not reached by other methods. After scrubbing, rinse it off well to remove all traces of soap residue and hang it up outside in direct sunlight for several hours for thorough drying before reuse.

Disinfecting

Sanitizing and disinfecting are slightly different, though the terms are often used interchangeably. Sanitizing is the process of reducing germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This is typically done with chemical agents such as alcohol, special detergents and hypochlorite solution (bleach). Disinfecting is the process of killing 99.9% of bacteria, fungi and viruses on surfaces or objects. This is usually done with biocidal products like phenols and quaternary ammonium compounds.

To properly sanitize a yoga mat, you should first spot-clean it using a cloth dampened with soapy water to remove dirt and sweat residue. Then spray a disinfectant onto the surface and wipe down with a damp cloth to remove excess product. Take care not to soak your mat in water; this can damage its structure. Allow your mat to dry completely before use. If you prefer to use natural products, diluted white vinegar can also be used for sanitizing.

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Special Considerations

To prevent the growth of mold and bacteria on your yoga mat, it is important to deep clean it on a regular basis. This is especially true if you are practicing in damp or humid conditions. It is also a good idea to store your mat in a cool and dry environment, such as inside a yoga bag or hanging from a hook on the wall.

When cleaning, use warm water and an all-natural soap or vinegar solution for best results. Gently scrub the mat with a soft brush or washcloth and rinse thoroughly. Allow the mat to air dry naturally after cleaning by laying it out flat rather than rolling it up until it’s totally dry; this provides more surface area so that moisture can evaporate more quickly. Avoid using any harsh chemical cleaners on your yoga mat, as they can damage some lighter-colored mats.

Conclusion

In conclusion, keeping your yoga mat clean and sanitized is an important factor in maintaining a healthy practice space. Cleaning and sanitizing your yoga mat regularly with the right products is an easy step that can help protect you from germs and bacteria. For extra precautions, you may also want to consider using an antimicrobial spray between practices. To find out more about how to keep your yoga practice space clean, please reference the following resources:



• Yoga International’s Guide To A Safe Practice Space

• Well + Good’s Guide To Cleaning Yoga Mats At Home

• Information and Tips on Keeping Your Yoga Studio Clean on Yogapedia

Furthermore, if you should develop any concerns over mat sanitation or allergies due to any material components used in constructing your personal yoga mat, it is recommended that you contact the stated manufacturer of your mat for further advice.



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