If you leave your mat unwashed for too long, it could become soiled and start to smell.
It, of course, will make you feel self-conscious and uncomfortable and may even cause you to skip future yoga classes.
However, there is a simple way to get rid of this residue without washing your mat all the time. Follow these steps, and your Bikram mat will be as clean and fresh as new.
Check the mat’s website for instructions.
Some mats are machine washable; some are not. If you are unsure about cleaning your yoga mat, refer to its manufacturer’s website for cleaning instructions.
Wipe down your mat after every practice.
You can wipe down your mat with a thin towel or even use a thin layer of baby powder to absorb any excess sweat. Remember, wiping the mat after every class will help it to stay cleaner, longer.
In a pinch, an antibacterial hand wipe or antibacterial spray will suffice. Instead of antibacterial choices, you might be better off using a 50-50 vinegar and water spray and a clean towel in the long run.
(If your gym or studio doesn’t have this option, ask them to add it.)
Check to see if the cleaning you're using is safe for porous surfaces and human skin. Allow the meat to dry completely before rolling it up.
Deep clean your mat regularly.
If you are serious about keeping your mat clean, it is probably best to purchase a machine-washable mat.
There are various levels of washability, with some mats being fully machine washable and others being handwash only.
It’s essential to thoroughly research the mat’s type, thickness, and fabric composition before purchasing.
Soap & Water
There are several soaps and household products that you can use to clean a yoga mat.
However, it is recommended that you use something gentle like dish soap, baby soap, or Dr Bronner's Pure-Castile Soap instead of laundry detergent or bleach, as they may damage your mat's fabric or rubber component.
Also, before taking your mat to the sink (or bathtub!), read the label first to ensure it is appropriate for handwashing rather than machine washing.
Roll your mat up and squeeze out any extra water to dry it. Dry it with a terry cotton towel before hanging it to dry.
If your mat is exceptionally absorbent, open it on a dry towel. Next, you need to roll the mat and towel together.
You can use your foot to press out even more water by stepping on the mat. The mat should then be unrolled and hung to dry. It will typically dry overnight, although, in humid weather, it may take longer.
Do not store your mat in the dryer or near a radiator or space heater.
Signs you should replace the mat
Tears in the mat
The first sign that you should replace your mat is if there are tears or rips in it. Rips can develop at any time, but usually, they occur within the first few months of use.
If the lining inside your mat shows signs of wear and tear, you will probably want to replace it with something durable and longer-lasting.
If you begin to notice an odour on your mat, there is a good chance it is mould or mildew. If left untreated, these issues can lead to serious health problems and should be dealt with as soon as possible.
Air the mat out and wipe it down often to prevent this from happening.
Breakdown of the material
The material that makes up your yoga mat has a limited lifespan, no matter how well you take care of it. So if it begins to crack or tear, you should replace it to ensure using a quality product.
Seeping sweat stains
If your yoga mat is still in excellent condition but becomes saturated with sweat during practice, you might consider upgrading to a more durable one.
Bikram yoga is a kind of yoga practised in a room with a temperature of 105 degrees and humidity of around 40%.
The 150 minutes you spend doing the poses and breathing exercises in this studio could easily make your towel or mat dirty.
But you do not need to worry. If you follow the steps mentioned above, your mat will be as clean as new and fresh after doing the Bikram yoga!