How to effectively sanitize a yoga mat
A lot of yogis out there often have to contend with dirty mats and how to properly sanitize them. Sweaty and dirt filled mats harbor millions of microbes which poses a risk of disease contraction. Ailments such as the common cold easily pass on from one individual to the next courtesy of dirty mats. The main agenda therefore is how to clean a yoga mat.
It is no secret that bacteria, viruses and other nasty pathogens love dirty sweaty places. Yoga mats are exactly that; dirty and sweaty with a hint of smelly. Yoga is a recent trendwhose popularity in both men and women is on an upward trajectory. This means that there are a lot of dirty, smelly and germ infested yoga mats out there. The thought makes you want to cringe? Not to worry, this article is meant to discuss the various ways on how to clean a yoga mat and what products to use.
Cleaning yoga mats is a fairly simple affair that is necessary in keeping the mat sanitary, odor-free and free of bacteria and viruses. For instance, the fungus ringworm is notorious for being able to thrive off common dirty surfaces; yoga mats included. While cleaning your yoga mat is essential, it is also important to retain the natural sticky feel. This is achieved by moderating the cleaning methods and products used while at it.
The different ways you can clean a yoga mat
Aggressive cleansing methods and harsh cleaning products can cause damage to your yoga mat. There are a few different means that you can use to sanitize your mat while preserving its intended original properties. Take a look below;
Regular soap and water
This method is the most basic and rudimentary way to cleanse your yoga mat. It is a fairly simple and cheap to perform procedure. The method entails cleaning the yoga mat with a few cups of water and regular soap. It is important to balance out the concentration of soap versus the water. This ensures that upon drying, the yoga mat doesn’t retain a slippery soapy residue. The latter can pose an injury risk.
Using a soft sponge or piece of cloth, scrub the entire mat. Avoid the use of steel wool,coarse scrubbing material or anything prickly. These materials can cause permanent damage your yoga mat. After scrubbing the mat, thoroughly rinse it using clean, hot water. In the case of shared yoga mats, soak the entire mat in a warm soap solution. Throw in some mild detergent to help lift the deeply embedded dirt on the mat. Allow the mat to soak I the warm detergent solution for about an hour after which you can scrub the mat as usual and rinse thoroughly.
A good majority of yoga mats are machine washable. Today, most eco-friendly yoga mats are designed and manufactured to be either hand washed or machine washed. A smaller percentage of yoga mats can likely get damaged or destroyed by washing machine cycles. Wash the yoga mat separately from the rest of your dirty laundry. Avoid the machine tumble cycles and allow proper rinsing.
When that part is done, roll up the yoga mat and squeeze out any excess water. Using a dry towel dry off the mat and lay it out to dry away from heat and direct sunlight. For super absorbent yoga mats, place a dry towel beneath the mat when drying it. Roll up the yoga mat and dry towel together. Alternatively you can apply direct pressure on the mat to squeeze out excess water. Unroll the yoga mat and hang it out to dry away from direct sunlight. Yoga mats can take a night to dry or longer in humid conditions. Avoid tumble drying the yoga mat or using space heating devices to dry the mat.
Ensure you wash your yoga mat every once in a while. Depending on the mat’s usage and your practice schedule, plan a precise cleansing routine. Air out your mat in between uses as opposed to keeping it rolled up. Every time you employ commercial drying methods, spray the yoga mat with your homemade sanitizer.
Alternative to washing your mat is the use of sanitizing products. It is possible to use both commercial mat sanitizing products and homemade sanitizing products. Commercial mat sanitizing products are easy to deploy and are quite as effective as well. Putting together your own home-made sanitizer is no rocket science on the other hand. You will need;
- Tea tree oil: This component is favored for its antifungal properties.
- Lemon: This component harbors antibacterial properties.
- Lavender essential oils also earn a name for themselves by also having mild antibacterial and antifungal properties.
It is important to take into consideration that the above mentioned ingredients can cause allergic reactions in some individuals. Ascertain that you are not allergic to any of the components prior to handling them; unless you plan a trip to the Emergency Room halfway through. In the same regard, ensure that you don’t spray your homemade sanitizer in public spaces such as yoga studios. This can potentially put other people in risk of
Ensure that your water-to-oil ratio is high; for every bottle of pure clean water, add one or two drops of essential oil. If your mat is stinky throw in some baking soda to your homemade sanitizing solution. Shake well before every use and proceed to spray a fine jet of the solution on your yogamat. Using a clean, hot and damp towel wipe the yoga mat.
Commercial mat sanitizers may containalcohol or bleach. A bleach solution is a useful tool in combating most viruses, bacteria and fungi. The same bleach solution can be irritating on the skin to some individuals. Tea tree oil, on the other hand is effective in sanitizing and is by far less irritating. In the event you choose to not use essential oils, you may instead mix up a solution with three parts water against one part hydrogen peroxide.
In summary, common items such as yoga mats harbor a great multitude of potentially disease causing microorganisms. Routine cleansing ensures that the risk of disease transmission especially in the case of shared yoga mats is minimal. I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading through this articles. My aim was to address a hygiene concern that is shared amongst numerous yogis worldwide. Feel free to share your thoughts comments and suggestions in the space provided below. Share with a friend!