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How to Clean a Yoga Mat the Right Way? Expert Tips

Cleaning a yoga mat properly not only extends its life but also safeguards your health, so what is the right way to tackle this essential task?

In the pursuit of purity, the key lies in a simple yet effective routine: a gentle scrub with a soft brush, a homemade solution of water and mild soap, and a thorough air dry. This trio acts as the cornerstone of mat maintenance, keeping your mat hygienic and sticky for a slip-free practice. Yet, there’s more to it than just scrub, rinse, and repeat.

Find the difference between a quick wipe and a true clean. Ready to roll out your mat with confidence? Let’s unravel the secrets to a pristine practice space, one breath at a time.

Understanding Your Mat’s Material

It’s essential to understand your mat’s material as it will determine the cleaning method. Whether you own a PVC, TPE, rubber, or cotton mat, each requires specific care to maintain its integrity and non-slip surface.

PVC Mats

To maintain a PVC yoga mat’s longevity, a straightforward cleaning mixture is effective for regular upkeep. As PVC mats are notably resilient, they can withstand an intense cleaning routine without deteriorating. A thorough clean of your PVC yoga mat ensures hygiene and performance are not compromised.

TPE and Rubber Mats

TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) and rubber mats, on the other hand, are more eco-friendly but require a gentler touch. These materials can degrade if exposed to harsh chemicals. So a mild organic cleaner is preferable.

Cotton and Other Natural Fibers

For cotton or natural fiber yoga mats, using a specialized yoga mat cleaner that penetrates the fibers is crucial to eliminate trapped moisture and odors. Such mats benefit from a deep cleansing with a yoga mat cleaner formulated to break down sweat and residue without damaging the material. It’s important to allow ample drying time after using a yoga mat cleaner on these absorbent mats to ensure they are fully dry before the next use.

Deep Cleaning Your Yoga Mat

A step-by-step process not only revives your mat but enhances your practice, ensuring a pristine foundation for your asanas.


Gather all supplies before cleaning your yoga mat. You need water, mild detergent or mat cleaner, and a soft brush. Get two towels, one for washing and one for drying. Organize your materials for an efficient cleaning process. Preparation makes the cleaning thorough and efficient.


Vacuum your yoga mat to remove dirt, dust, and debris. No vacuum? Shake or brush the mat outside. This step preps it for a thorough wash. A clean mat ensures a more effective wet clean later.

Spot Cleaning

Identify any stains and lightly scrub with a bit of detergent and a soft brush. Use gentle motions to prevent mat damage. Focus on discolored areas for a targeted clean.


Mix a small amount of gentle detergent in a bowl with warm water. Dampen one of the towels in the solution and wring it out so that it’s moist but not dripping. Wipe the mat down thoroughly, using circular motions to clean the surface.


Use a clean, damp towel to wipe down the mat, removing any soap residue. It’s important to ensure all the detergent is removed. As it can make the mat slippery.

Disinfecting (Optional)

To disinfect your yoga mat, consider a natural mix of diluted tea tree oil or vinegar with water. Lightly spray the solution on the mat. Then wipe with a clean towel for a fresh, sanitized surface.


Place the mat flat to dry in the air, steering clear of direct sunlight to prevent damage. Confirm that the mat is fully dry before re-rolling. Sunlight can degrade certain mat materials. It’s crucial for the mat’s longevity to be thoroughly dried before storage.

Rolling Up

After your yoga mat has dried, roll it with the clean side facing out to avoid curled edges. Rolling it this way helps to keep the mat’s edges flat. Ensure the mat is completely dry before rolling to maintain its shape.



Consistently wipe your mat after each session to hinder the accumulation of sweat and oils. A post-practice wipe-down helps maintain cleanliness and hygiene. This routine care keeps your mat fresh and extends its usability.

What to Avoid When Cleaning Your Yoga Mat?

Avoid Harsh Chemicals
Strong chemicals can damage your mat’s fabric and diminish its durability. Such substances may also lead to a reduced lifespan of your mat. Additionally, they pose a risk of causing skin irritation.

No Excessive Scrubbing
Scrubbing too hard can wear down your mat’s surface, reducing its traction. This may increase the likelihood of rips and tears. Gentle cleaning maintains the mat’s grip and integrity..

Drying Your Mat Properly

Air Drying
The best way to clean a yoga mat includes proper drying. Always air it out flat or hang it in a shaded area. Direct sunlight can lead to fading and make the material brittle. For optimal care, avoid direct heat when drying your cleaned mat. To maintain your mat’s condition, choose a cool, dry place for air drying. This method preserves the mat’s quality and extends its life.

No Tumble Dry
Avoid using a dryer for your yoga mat. Because heat can distort and contract the fabric. The dryer’s warmth can misshape and reduce the size of your mat. High temperatures may damage your mat’s structure and texture. Air-drying is the safest method to preserve your yoga mat’s integrity.


In conclusion, learning how to clean a yoga mat properly is crucial for maintaining both hygiene and the longevity of the mat. Regular cleaning eliminates bacteria, dirt, and odors, ensuring a safe and pleasant practice environment. Whether using a gentle homemade solution or a commercial cleaner. It’s important to adhere to best practices. Using soft cloths, avoiding harsh chemicals, and allowing the mat to dry completely before rolling it up.
A clean yoga mat is crucial for a safe and comfortable practice.

Remember, taking care of your mat is also a form of self-care. So, clean your mat regularly and step onto a fresh, inviting surface every time you practice.


What is the best way to clean a yoga mat?

The best way to clean a yoga mat is to mix warm water with a mild detergent, gently scrub with a soft cloth, rinse thoroughly, and air dry it away from direct sunlight. This method ensures the mat stays hygienic and its material integrity is preserved. Always check the manufacturer’s care instructions for specific guidelines.

How often should I clean my yoga mat?

Your yoga mat should be cleaned after each use to prevent the buildup of sweat and bacteria. For casual practitioners, a deep clean once a week is adequate. However, if you practice yoga daily or perform hot yoga, consider wiping down the mat more frequently with a mild cleaning solution to ensure cleanliness and longevity of the mat.

Can I use household cleaners on my yoga mat?

It’s generally not advisable to use harsh household cleaners on a yoga mat as they can damage the material. Opt for mild, natural solutions such as diluted vinegar or a gentle soap. Always refer to the mat’s care instructions, as some materials may require specific cleaning agents. And ensure to rinse any cleaning solutions off thoroughly to prevent residue.

Is it safe to machine wash a yoga mat?

Whether you can machine wash your yoga mat largely hinges on its specific material and design. Always consult the manufacturer’s guidelines first. Certain mats might be fine on a gentle wash setting with a soft detergent, but some could be damaged. If your mat is machine-washable, use cold water and skip the dryer. Air drying it fully to preserve its condition and shape.

How do I dry my yoga mat after cleaning it?

After cleaning your yoga mat, rinse it well and shake off any excess water. Lay it flat or hang it to dry, away from direct sunlight and heat sources, which can degrade the material. Allowing it to air dry naturally is essential to retain the mat’s texture and grip. Avoid the tumble dryer to prevent shrinkage or warping.