If you’ve been practising prana yoga for a while, you might have noticed yellowing in your mat. That’s because it’s normal for a yoga mat to yellow over time.
But what if you're not a prana yoga practitioner, and you don't want to invest in a new one?
If you are a yoga lover, you know how important it is to maintain your mat correctly. It’s the one thing that makes or breaks a yoga session. Unfortunately, the mats used in hot yoga classes are rubber, which can quickly get dirty.
If you don't clean your yoga mat regularly, it could lose its ability to absorb moisture, which can cause it to become dry and flaky.
Here’s how to clean your mat without spending money or ruining it.
Part 1: Clean the mat by hand with soap and water
One of the best ways to clean a yoga mat is water and soap. Not only is this easy, but it’s also highly effective.
First, soak your mat in warm water. Soak it for about five minutes or until the top surface wrinkles up slightly.
Then, use a scrub brush to remove dirt from the concrete floor. You can scrub your mat for about 10 minutes or until you notice that the dirt has disappeared.
However, some choose to use mild dishwashing soap to clean their yoga mats without damaging their equipment by using harsh chemicals.
Part 2: Use a soft brush to clean the mat
If you use soap and water to clean your mat, you might notice that its dirt is still there. However, using a soft brush can help remove some debris from your yoga mat.
You can use an upholstery brush or something softer like even silk for this. Rub it on the top surface of your prana yoga mat for about a minute, depending on how dirty it is. Then, rinse it away with warm water.
Part 3: Clean the mat with a vacuum cleaner
The next step is to clean your mat with a vacuum cleaner. It is very effective in removing dirt and debris from your yoga mat.
You can either use your regular vacuum or buy one specifically for yoga mats. In addition to cleaning up the dirt on it, you can also clean up any stains on it.
To do this, place your prana yoga mat on a textured surface so that you can use both hands to handle the vacuum cleaner nozzle properly.
Then, put in the appropriate level of suction and press down firmly but gently while vacuuming over all surfaces of your mat.
Part 4: Clean the mat with a vacuum cleaner and cotton
You can also use the vacuum for cleaning your mat, but instead of using suction, you will use cotton.
Place all materials that you need for this, including a cotton pad, into a flat box with other tools like toothpicks and tweezers to make things organized inside.
Then, mix some food colouring in water. The more food colouring you use to colour the water before you dip the cotton candy into it, the darker it will be when it dries on the mat.
Next, cut off a piece of cotton candy and place it on your yoga mat so that it's not too small—about 10 inches in length is good. Then, dip the end into the coloured water and wring out gently.
Then, use a toothpick to pick it up and place it gently in your vacuum cleaner’s centre intake. Finally, blow out all the air from your vacuum so that you don’t pack the cotton candy too tightly and damage your mat.
Part 5: Clean any stains on the mat with a carpet steam cleaner
If there is still dirt and stains on your yoga mat that you cannot remove by hand or with soap and water, use a carpet steam cleaner on it to remove them. You could get rid of those stubborn stains like grass, moss or algae from your yoga mat using this method too.
Here are some steps that you can take to clean your mat properly:
- For this step, you will need a carpet steam cleaner to remove the dirt and stains on your mat. First, start with pre-treating the stains or dirt in the area by soaking a sponge in rubbing alcohol or acetone, then wipe it gently over the area.
You can also use a pad of paper towels soaked in rubbing alcohol or acetone first to give it a light stain removal treatment.
If you don’t have these tools available, place dirty towels in hot water with bleach and white vinegar until they are all dry and you have removed most of the stains from them.
- Next, start cleaning the area with the steam cleaner. Ensure that you are wearing gloves and goggles for protection as you use a carpet steam cleaner to clean your mat.
Use a vacuum tool or an upholstery brush to remove dirt and debris from your mat so that you can better clean it using the carpet scrubber. The carpet scrubber will loosen up those hard spots while removing any remaining set-in dirt.
- Using warm water, wipe off the mat’s surface, so there is no leftover residue or soap residue on it to keep it fresh.
You need to take care of your yoga mats if you want them to last many years before they lose their absorption abilities, and you have to buy new ones.
Also, if you don’t clean them properly, they can dry out and become brittle. So, if you take care of your yoga equipment, you will also take care of your health and your finances.
Part 6: Clean the mat with baking soda
After using the vacuum cleaner on your mat, wipe it using yoga towels with baking soda to get rid of any leftover water that might have dried on it.
The last thing you want to do is leave moisture or water residue on your yoga mat because this can result in mould growth and other problems. Mould will look unsightly, but it could cause an allergen for other people who use it.
If you have any shampoo, soap, or other cleaning agents that have a sweet smell on them, you can use these to help clean your yoga mat.
These are easily removable with a paper towel or damp cloth when you've finished cleaning your mat.
Part 7: Clean up the area with old rags and toilet paper
What’s left after using the baking soda and before drying your mat? Well, there’s still dirt and debris, so you will probably want to remove it with old rags and toilet paper.
You can place rags on all sides of the mat to remove any remaining dirt on it. Then use toilet paper to wipe down all sides of the mat.
Part 8: Drying the mat
When you finish cleaning your yoga mat, you should let it air dry for a day before using it again. Then, you can use a fan to blow the remaining moisture off of your yoga mat and to speed up the process of drying without damaging the surface.
Part 9: Oil your mat
If you’ve done everything correctly, your prana yoga mat should be dry by now and ready for some oiling.
However, it's still a good idea to remove any shininess from the tea tree oil after applying it so that there is nothing left on your mat.
It did not take much time to clean the mat. However, if you do it regularly, you will prevent any stains and dirt from building up on your prana yoga mat.
This way, you don't have to break out the cleaning supplies every time before your next yoga class.
The next time you use your prana yoga mat, make sure that you check the instructions on how to care for it before using it.
Now that you know all of these methods for cleaning your yoga mat, there's no reason why you can't keep yours looking brand new!