I don’t know about you, but spring always brings out the cleaning bug in me. And not just surface level, I’m talking deep cleaning, purging, scrubbing – fresh and clean!
My yoga mat resides in the trunk of my car or at the backdoor waiting to be grabbed on the way to my next class. I practice yoga at least once a week, and sometimes up to three practices. However, I got to thinking, how clean is this thing..really?
The gym I go to provides cleaning wipes that I use at the end of each practice to get the sweat and soil off. But after all of my hot yoga classes and thinking about general upkeep, I decided I needed to give my beloved mat a good washing.
I love my Lululemon yoga mat. It’s cushy and soft on my hands and wrists. It’s perfect for hot yoga classes. It’s just the best…in my opinion. When I first got it I had no idea how to clean it. I was getting various suggestions like just use lemon juice or just baking soda and water. I went on forums only to see frustration that whatever it was people were using wasn’t working. Well, this simple (very, very simple) recipe seems to work fine for me. The thing is I clean it right after class. I don’t let it saturate in the sweat (I know that sounds disgusting). I also never let it dry in the sun which I feel like brings out the smell of the rubber.
Here’s what I do:
Add about a teaspoon of baking soda to a small cup, then a squeeze of lemon which will make the baking soda bubble (hee, hee, pretty cool), then add water. I take a rag, dip it in the concoction and wipe the mat down thoroughly. Then I rinse out the rag, keep it damp and wipe it down again with just water. Then I let it air dry in the shade or in the house.
That’s it. It’s simple, kind of a pain, but a necessity if you do hot yoga. I love my Lululemon mat! I’ve had for a couple months and it’s as good as new. So hopefully this will help those of you out there that are kind of lost on what to do when it comes to cleaning your mat. Even though it’s made for hot yoga, I still use a towel over it as well. I don’t know if that helps keep it newish longer, but that just what I prefer.
Now, I need to figure out how to prevent hot yoga from ruining my hair. I just chopped off most of my hair because it was so parched from the heat. Hot yoga does a body good, but hair? Not so good. I will keep you all posted on my hot yoga hair experiments to see what works.
Without knowing the best step, I took to the internet to find out how to clean this bad boy. I actually stumbled upon several approaches.
- Vinegar and Water – A simple solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle will do the trick, and you can add any essential oil you like to leave a pleasing scent and add to your meditative experience. Favorites include tea tree, lavender or eucalyptus oil.
- Use a Spray or Wipes – Several companies sell cleaner spray or wipes that can be used either daily or weekly. Or Gina created a great make-at-home natural spray with just a few ingredients.
- Damp Cloth or Sponge and a Non-Solvent Household Cleaner – Mix 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of laundry detergent or dish soap with 1 gallon (3.7 l) of lukewarm tap water. Mix thoroughly in a spray bottle and lightly spray the surface of the yoga mat with the mixture. Lightly scrub with a sponge to ensure everything is clean.
- Toss the mat in the washing machine for a deeper clean. Simply wash the yoga mat in the washing machine using cold water with a mild detergent. Rinse off the soap with room temperature or lukewarm water after washing. Pay careful attention to the washing machine while you wash your yoga mat. Remove the yoga mat before the washing machine starts the spin cycle. Please note that not every mat can take this type of cleaning. It is best to double check with the manufacturer before tossing in your mat. I have heard this approach does not work for all mats.
A few other tips I found:
- don’t submerge your mat in water as it could become waterlogged. Be sure to throughouly rinse and remove all water.
- hang dry but not in the direct sun. The sun can actually be too harsh on the material and cause it to crack.
Ready to retire your mat? You can recycle your mat with the Boulder Mat Company who will clean and refurbish it and then donate it to yoga charities here in the United States and internationally. Pretty cool!
Do you clean your yoga mat? Any other spring cleaning you’re doing?