Can You Tumble Dry A Yoga Mat? (here’s what happens)
Although it is important to clean your yoga mat regularly, especially if you practise some of the more energetic forms of yoga like Bikram or Vinyasa.
You should never tumble dry your yoga mat, even at low temperatures it could get destroyed in the tumble dryer.
Why It’s Important To Keep Your Yoga Mat Clean
Many yoga mats are made from porous materials which make the perfect breeding ground for germs and bacteria.
As your sweat drips onto the yoga mat, it becomes trapped in the fibres of the mat. This is especially true of any yoga mat that has an open cell construction.
Close cell construction yoga mats are less porous but can still harbour germs.
How To Care For Your Yoga Mat
We recommend wiping down your yoga mat after every use with a proprietary yoga mat cleaner or a mixture of white vinegar and water (4 parts water to one part vinegar) mixed with two or three drops of your favourite essential oil.
This mixture should be sprayed onto the yoga mat and gently rubbed in using a lint free cloth. Do the same on both sides and allow at least 8-12 hours to dry.
Many yoga mats can be washed in a washing machine on a cool wash cycle but you should always check the care label first.
Under no circumstances should you tumble dry your yoga mat.
What The Tumble Dryer Symbols Mean On A Yoga Mat
Almost everything carries a wash care label nowadays and you should always check before washing or more importantly, drying.
Below we have listed all of the symbols relating to tumble dryers.
There are probably only one or two that will ever apply to yoga mats but we have included them all for your reference.
- Square With White Circle And A Black X On Top – This is the most likely symbol to be found on any yoga mat. It is the symbol that indicates that the item cannot be tumble dried. If you see this symbol, DO NOT TUMBLE DRY.
- Square With White Circle – This symbol indicates that the item can be tumble dried. It is highly unlikely to find this symbol on your yoga mat.
- Square With Black Circle – This symbol indicates that the item can be dried in a tumble dryer using no heat. Even if your yoga mat does carry this symbol (which is unlikely) we recommend finding an alternative way to dry your yoga mat.
- Square With White Circle, One Black Dot In Circle – This indicates you can dry on a low heat. It is unlikely to find this on your yoga mat.
- Square With White Circle, Two Black Dots In Circle – This indicates you can dry on a medium heat and is also unlikely to be found on any yoga mat.
- Square With White Circle, Three Black Dots In Circle – You can dry on a high heat setting. It is extremely unlikely that you’ll find this on a yoga mat.
How To Dry A Yoga Mat Without A Tumble Dryer
As you cannot tumble dry your yoga mat, you’ll need to find an alternative means of drying it.
We have found it is best to roll the yoga mat up in a towel and gently squeeze any remaining moisture from the mat before attempting any of the following methods to speed up drying times.
Once your yoga mat is completely dry it should be rolled up and stored in a cool dry place until you need it for the next yoga session.
Below we have listed the best ways to dry your yoga mat. They include;
Air Drying Your Yoga Mat Laid Flat
After cleaning your yoga mat, place a clean sheet or a large towel on the ground and just unroll your yoga mat and lay it on the sheet or towel.
Check to see if it is dry on the side facing you, when it is, turn the mat over to dry the other side.
Air Drying Your Yoga Mat On A Washing Line
You can simply drape your yoga mat over a washing line, rotary line or retractable clothesline.
The weight of the mat should hold it in position unless it is very windy. Take care if you do need to secure the yoga mat to the line as pegs can sometimes cause damage to the mat’s structure.
Always position the yoga mat in the shade as sunlight can harm your yoga mat.
Air Drying Your Yoga Mat On An Airer
You can drape your yoga mat over the bars of an airer to dry. This can be done indoors or outside.
Never position the yoga mat in full sun or in front of a radiator.
Reduce Drying Times Indoors Using An Electric Fan
If you position an electric fan so that it is pointed directly at your yoga mat as it dries indoors, you can reduce the drying time considerably.
Be sure to open a window to allow an adequate air flow through the room.
Using A Dehumidifier To Speed Up Drying Times Indoors
Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air. The less moisture there is in a room, the faster your yoga mat will dry.
By placing a dehumidifier in the same room as your drying yoga mat, you can reduce drying times dramatically.
What Happens If You Tumble Dry A Yoga Mat?
Yoga mats should never be tumble dried, if you were to ignore this advice, your yoga mat is likely to be;
They Could Get Structurally Damaged
Due to the material that’s used in the construction of yoga mats, they should never be tumble dried. Not even on a no heat setting as the material can become damaged simply due to the motion of the drum.
They Could Melt
The material used to construct yoga mats can melt if subjected to high temperatures.
They Could Get Totally Deformed
If the yoga mat doesn’t completely melt it is likely to become misshapen and deformed.
They Could Become Very Brittle
Certain materials become brittle if they are subjected to high heats. This can lead to them crumbling as soon as they are touched.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is never safe to put a yoga mat in a tumble dryer. The rough action of the rotating drum is likely to damage the mat even on a no heat setting. High heat is likely to damage the structural properties of the yoga mat making it useless as a yoga mat.
You need to check your care label. Some yoga mats can be washed in the washing machine on a delicate cycle. However, there are some others that should never be washed in a washing machine.
Without tumble drying, you can dry your yoga mat by rolling it up in a towel and gently squeezing it to remove excess water. Then lay it on the ground or over a washing line or airer, keep out of direct sunlight and never expose the yoga mat to high heat.
You can spray your yoga mat with a solution of 4 parts water to 1 part white vinegar with 2-3 drops of your favourite essential oil. Rub the liquid into the mat using a lint free cloth and allow to air dry.
You should take care when drying the yoga mat outdoors as too much heat from the sun can damage the yoga mat. It is best to dry it in the shade on hot sunny days and check on it often.