Can You Put Yoga Mats In The Washing Machine?

Yes, you might be able to put your yoga mat in the washing machine, but it depends on the material.

Synthetic yoga mats are generally machine-washable, but it’s crucial to check the care label first. Yoga mats made from natural materials like cork should not be machine washed. 

However, in most cases, hand-washing is the safest option for all types of yoga mats. This gives you more control over the cleaning process and helps to prolong the life of your mat.

But there’s still more to learn in looking after yoga mats. Have you ever thought about what might be hiding on a mat that’s not washed? Or how a common item from around the house could stop it from being slippery? 

Read on to learn all these interesting facts and more about keeping your yoga mat in good condition.

Should You Machine Wash Your Yoga Mat?

person looking at washing machine

While some synthetic yoga mats can tolerate the washing machine, it’s important to proceed with caution. Machine washing can damage the yoga mat. The harsh spinning and tumbling motions can break down the material over time. 

It’s better to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If the label says “do not machine wash”, then stick to hand-washing.

If you do decide to machine wash your mat:

  • Opt for a cold wash (30 or 40 degrees Celsius) on a delicate setting.
  • Use a small amount of mild detergent.
  • Rinse the mat thoroughly after washing to eliminate detergent residues.
  • Air dry your mat completely. Never put it in the dryer, as the heat can damage the material.

How To Hand Wash A Yoga Mat

person holding a yoga mat

Usually, hand-washing is the most suitable and safest method for cleaning yoga mats. This approach is appropriate for all types of mats and helps preserve their condition over time. 

To hand-wash your yoga mat:

  1. Create a mild cleaning solution by mixing a small amount of laundry detergent with water in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the solution lightly across your mat and let it sit for a few minutes to break down dirt and oils.
  3. Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe the mat.
  4. After the initial wipe-down, rinse another cloth in clean water, wring it well, and use it to remove any detergent residue.
  5. Repeat the cleaning process on the opposite side of the mat.
  6. Hang the mat on a door or shower rail to dry, ensuring it is thoroughly aired out.

Pro-tip: When you hang your yoga mat to dry outside, make sure it’s not in direct sunlight. The sun can make the mat lose its colour and turn brittle over time.

How To Deep Clean A Yoga Mat

For a deeper clean, you can use one of these methods depending on your mat’s material:

For water-resistant mats:

  • Fill a bathtub or large basin with warm water and a small amount of detergent.
  • Soak the mat for 5 minutes, gently rubbing it with a cloth.
  • Empty the soapy water and rinse thoroughly with clean water.
  • Shake over the bath to remove excess water.
  • Hang the mat to dry completely.

For non-water-resistant mats or if submerging isn’t possible:

  • Use the regular cleaning method described earlier but add a small amount of white vinegar to the cleaning solution. White vinegar is a natural disinfectant that helps kill bacteria.

How Often Should You Clean A Yoga Mat?

Cleaning frequency largely depends on your usage and the intensity of your workouts. 

A good rule of thumb is to wipe your mat after every use to prevent bacteria and grime build-up and to perform a deeper clean weekly or more often if noticeable odours or stains appear. However, avoid excessive cleaning as it can wear out your mat prematurely.

What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your Yoga Mat?

Without regular cleaning, your yoga mat can turn into a breeding ground for bacteria and germs, much like other exercise equipment. This accumulation is due to sweat and body oils, and without cleaning, these elements degrade the mat’s quality and hygiene. 

Additionally, using moisturisers or oils before yoga can transfer to the mat, compromising its grip and increasing the risk of slipping. 

To solve this, sprinkle bicarbonate of soda on the mat, leave it for 15 to 30 minutes, and then vacuum or brush off the residue. Use a grip-enhancing yoga towel over your mat during intense sessions to maintain cleanliness and traction.

SEE ALSO: Can You Put Door Mats In The Washing Machine?

Frequently Asked Questions

Are yoga mats washing machine safe?

Yoga mats are not universally washing machine safe. While some synthetic mats can be machine washed on a delicate cycle with cold water, it’s crucial to check the manufacturer’s care instructions. Natural material mats, such as cork, should not be machine washed.

What is the best way to wash a yoga mat?

The best way to wash a yoga mat is to hand-wash it. This method allows for gentle cleaning and control over the process, helping to maintain the mat’s integrity and prolong its lifespan.

How do you clean a yoga mat?

To clean a yoga mat, start by creating a mild cleaning solution with water and a small amount of laundry detergent. Spray the solution lightly across the mat, wipe it with a dry cloth, and then use a damp cloth to remove any residue. For a deeper clean, fill a bathtub with warm water and a bit of detergent, soak the mat for 5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Hang the mat to dry completely away from direct sunlight. For non-water-resistant mats or to add a disinfectant, mix a small amount of white vinegar into the cleaning solution.

Can you tumble dry a yoga mat?

No, you should never tumble dry a yoga mat. The heat from the dryer can damage the material and affect the mat’s structure and appearance.

Should you clean your yoga mat after each use?

Yes, you should clean your yoga mat after each use to prevent bacteria and grime build-up. A quick wipe down with a suitable cleaning solution is adequate for regular maintenance, with deeper cleans scheduled as needed.

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