Considering yoga mats are used for exercise, it’s important to clean them regularly. Depending on your routine, you could be getting pretty sweaty, which isn’t the most pleasant thing to be lying on.
But can you put yoga mats in the washing machine? Let’s take a look.
Can You Put Yoga Mats in the Washing Machine?
Whether or not you can put your yoga mat in the washing machine ultimately depends on what it’s made from.
The chances are that you can machine wash it, unless it’s something like cork or another natural material.
Most synthetic mats should be fine to put in the washing machine, but check the care instructions first. It’s safest to only put it in the washing machine if the care label or manufacturer’s instructions advise doing so.
Some yoga mat materials include:
- Synthetic rubber
- Natural rubber
The bottom three materials are natural, so you should avoid putting them in the washing machine.
The rest are synthetic and should be fine. However, make sure you use a cool wash (30 or 40 degrees Celsius) and a small amount of laundry detergent.
Washing your yoga mat in a washing machine risks degrading the materials, especially if you do it often. It might be better just to give it a gentle clean by hand.
What Is the Best Way to Clean a Yoga Mat?
Arguably, the best way to clean a yoga mat is by hand. It’s suitable for all mat materials and gives you much greater control over the amount of water used.
Also, even if a material is suitable for the washing machine, the agitating motion can cause it to degrade faster.
Some options for cleaning your yoga mat include:
You should ideally give your mat a wipe down after every session, as this’ll reduce bacteria and grime build-up.
Use a solution of mild laundry detergent and water in a spray bottle.
- Spray your mat with the solution and give it a minute or two.
- Wipe down with a clean, dry cloth.
- Using a different cloth, rinse it in clean water and wring it out.
- Wipe the mat down with this cloth to remove any residue.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Hang to dry on a shower curtain rail or over a door.
If your yoga mat can be submerged in water, it’s worth giving it a deep clean every couple of months.
Check the care instructions, as these should tell you how often you can do this, and whether you can submerge it in water.
- Fill a bath or large basin with warm water.
- Add your yoga mat and leave to soak for 5 minutes. Move it around slightly and work the soap into the mat with a cloth.
- Drain the water and replace with clean water.
- Rinse the mat off and shake it over the bath to remove water.
- Hang to dry.
If your mat can’t be submerged, follow the regular clean instructions above but add 1 part white vinegar to the solution.
Cleaning a yoga mat doesn’t need to be a difficult job. Plus, if you do it regularly, it should be quick and easy. Whatever method you use, make sure your mat has plenty of time to dry so it doesn’t get smelly.
Jacob is a freelance writer based in Wales, where he lives with his partner and two dogs. All his work is fuelled by extensive research and buckets of coffee.