How To Clean Your Yoga Mat

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How To Clean Your Yoga Mat

How To Clean & Disinfect Your Yoga Mat & Equipment

There’s no question that COVID-19 has changed the way we live and practice. In answer to the heightened concerns about mat and equipment hygiene, we’ve worked with our scientists and studios to develop the following guidelines for how to clean your yoga mat and equipment the right way.

Even outside of a pandemic, it’s still important to know how to clean your yoga mat properly.

Know Your Mat Before You Clean & Disinfect It

Understanding the different materials used in our Manduka mats is important, as there are different methods needed to deep clean them.  

  • PRO Series – PRO, PROlite, PRO Travel – These mats are made using a closed cell material, meaning nothing can be absorbed into the mat, and the mat can be cleaned thoroughly on the surface every time.  

  • eKO Series – eKO, eKO Lite, eKO SL – These mats are made of a natural rubber, also a closed cell material. These mats can also be easily cleaned and disinfected, but need to be dried properly.  

  • GRP Series   GRP, GRP Lite, Adapt – These mats are made from an open cell PU and rubber construction.  Their goal is to absorb moisture and provide maximum grip as they get wet, so thoroughly cleaning these mats requires the most attention and care because this material is very absorbent.

  • Entry Series –  Manduka X, Begin & Welcome Mats – These mats are made using a TPE closed cell material, meaning nothing can be absorbed into the mat, and the mat can be cleaned thoroughly on the surface every time.

    FAQ’s: 

    Q: What makes Manduka’s Mat Wash and Refresh better than homemade solutions?

    A: To put it simply: ingredients and preparation. It’s true, our product, just like homemade solutions, is built on water and essential oil. But, as we all know, water and oil don’t mix – at least not without a lot of help. That’s why we add a bio-based fragrance solubilizer that not only helps our cosmetic level organic essential oil spread evenly through our purified water, but also ensures it stays there (versus separating and floating to the top). Then we thoroughly mix our three simple ingredients in an industrial mixer at 1700 rpm (a home stand mixer tops out at about 280 rpm). That ensures every spray from our bottle delivers the right balance of water and essential oil to your mat.

     

    Q: Why does using purified water matter?

    A: If you’ve ever shopped the water aisle at the grocery store, you know there are many variations of water available, from natural spring to reverse osmosis. When producing cleaning products, many companies use deionized water which is a rapid an inexpensive way to remove minerals. Unfortunately, this process does not remove any microscopic organic molecules, which over time could lead to development of mold. To combat this, many companies add a biocide to their cleaning formulas. We prefer to start by purifying our water to remove not just the minerals but any microscopic organic molecules as well. While it’s a more expensive process, it means we don’t have to add any chemicals to our formula.

     

    Q: Won’t essential oils make my mat slippery?

    A: Most yoga mats are closed cell construction, meaning they don’t absorb any liquid. Therefore, when you apply any liquids to the surface, they stay there until removed. If you were to apply essential oil directly to your mat, it would become quite slippery. By thoroughly mixing our solution, Manduka’s Mat Wash and Refresh delivers a light even layer of essential oil and water all over the mat. While some essential oils can build up over time, our floral based cosmetic grade all-natural essential oils are less likely to build up and negatively affect performance of your mat.

     

    Q: How often should I clean my mat?

    A: Every time you use your mat, your body is releasing skin and sweat onto the surface. Over time, those materials invite bacteria to grow (which is what causes odor). We recommend using Manduka’s Mat Wash and Refresh after every practice to help reduce stains and odor buildup. At least once a week you should follow the instructions to clean your mat, using more of the solution and scrubbing common touch point areas. Generally speaking, you only want to disinfect your yoga mat when you feel it has been exposed to germs. If you are practicing at home and no one in your home is sick, you really don’t need to disinfect your mat very often. Having said that, given the current asymptomatic spread of COVID-19, disinfecting once a week is probably a good idea. If you practice at a studio, you should disinfect your mat (both front and back) after your class. We recommend you only use Manduka’s Botanical Disinfecting Cleaner to deep clean and disinfect your mat.

     

    Q: Why can’t I just use Disinfecting Wipes on my mat?

    A: Using these products on your yoga mat probably isn’t the best solution. To begin, in order for a disinfectant to be effective, the entire surface needs to be visibly wet for a certain period of time (usually 4 to 5 minutes). This may be difficult to achieve with a small wipe of a large surface like your yoga mat. Second, the active ingredients in these disinfectants (that’s what actually kills the viruses) can have a negative impact on the life of your yoga mat. Finally, if you do use these products on your mat, after waiting the appropriate time, you absolutely must rinse your mat off and wipe it clean to remove as much of the product as possible. Many people experience mild to severe allergic reactions after prolonged skin contact with these chemical disinfectants. That’s why Manduka’s Botanical Disinfecting Cleaner is specially formulated to not require rinsing after use and is proven to be non-irritating.

     

    Q: Can you clean a yoga mat with Lysol/Clorox wipes?

    A: Using these products on your yoga mat probably isn’t the best solution. To begin, in order for a disinfectant to be effective, the entire surface needs to be visibly wet for a certain period of time (in the case of Lysol or Clorox wipes, it’s 4 to 5 minutes). This may be difficult to achieve with a small wipe of a large surface like your yoga mat. Second, the active ingredients in these disinfectants (that’s what actually kills the viruses) can have a negative impact on the life of your yoga mat. Finally, if you do use these products on your mat, after waiting the appropriate time, you absolutely must rinse your mat off and wipe it clean to remove as much of the product as possible. Many people experience mild to severe allergic reactions after prolonged skin contact with these chemical disinfectants. In fact, the active ingredient in Clorox wipes is Sodium Hypochlorite, which the EPA has assigned the highest degree of toxicity for causing severe damage to skin and eyes. While the active ingredient in Lysol wipes, Alkyl Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride is considered highly irritating to eyes and skin by the EPA.

     

    Q:  How often should you disinfect your mat? (Not just clean it)

    A:  This is a great question. Generally speaking, you only want to disinfect your yoga mat when you feel it has been exposed to germs. If you are practicing at home and no one in your home is sick, you really don’t need to disinfect your mat very often. Having said that, given the current asymptomatic spread of COVID-19, disinfecting once a week is probably a good idea. If you are venturing back out into studios, you should disinfect your mat (both front and back) after your class.

     

    Q:  If the Lysol/Clorox wipes aren't good for your yoga mat, why? Is there an alternative they recommend instead?

    A:  At Manduka, we’ve been doing a great deal of research on this topic ourselves. We have launched our own Botanical Disinfecting Cleaner which is a plant-based solution that disinfects in one-step and requires no rinsing or wiping after use. .

     

    Q: How long do you have to leave disinfectant on your yoga mat before you clean it off?

    A:  As mentioned above, it is very important to let the disinfectant work. Consult the product’s directions for disinfecting to see exactly how long to leave the product on the surface. It’s probably longer than you think. And as stated above, make sure and rinse the mat thoroughly after the disinfectant has worked. Also, it is very important to note that disinfectants should only be used on non-porous surfaces. Mats designed to absorb moisture like (GRP Series) those used for hot yoga should never be treated with disinfectant as the liquid will be absorbed into the mat and then cannot be cleaned out.

     

    Q: Can I use bleach on my mat?

    A: We do NOT recommend bleach. That is one of the harshest cleaners both for the mat and for the user. We would recommend using one of the EPA approved disinfectants listed above, following all the directions for use, and making sure to thoroughly rinse the mat afterwards. Steer clear of solvent based products or harsh chemicals as these will degrade the mat.

     

    Q: Can I wash my mat in the washing machine?

    A: No. The most effective clean you can give your mat is by hand with a soft cloth with the appropriate cleaning solution. A washing machine will damage your mat and cause rapid aging.

     

    Q: Does the eKO mat oxidize like other rubber mats on the market?

    A: Oxidation, or changes in color and texture, is a byproduct of all-natural rubber products. Storing your eKO mat in a dry environment out of sunlight, will prolong the life of the mat. For optimum care, wipe down your mat with water before each use and clean as needed with Manduka’s Natural Rubber Yoga Mat Restore.

     

    Q: My natural rubber mat has white spots on it. Is my mat ruined?

    A: Natural rubber experiences a process known as oxidation when the mat is exposed to oxygen and light. We do not recommend leaving your mat in direct sunlight over an extended period of time.  Discoloration or white spots can occur as a result of too much sunlight.  If this occurs, don’t worry your mat can be cleaned with our mat cleanser that is manufactured specifically to renew your mat to it’s natural state. 

     

    Q: How do I clean my eKO mat?

    A: Without soaking or submerging, use a generous amount of Manduka’s Natural Rubber Yoga Mat Restore over the entire surface, paying close attention to any areas of decolorization.  Allow the cleaner to sit for 5 minutes and then gently Use a clean cloth to wipe mat dry before rolling or using.

    We do not recommend cleaning your mat with a garden hose, putting it in the bathtub, shower, washing machine, or using a vacuum cleaner, as any of these will likely damage the mat beyond repair. Do not leave the mat exposed to excessive amounts of sunlight. Do not use any type of soap for cleaning, as it will compromise the performance and integrity of the mat. The salt method is not intended for eKO mats. 

     

    Q: How do I care for my PRO mat?

    A: Your PRO mat will continue to improve through use and as the mat ages, creating more surface roughness and reduced slippage.

    Keep your PRO mat in its best condition by wiping it down after every practice with Manduka’s Mat Wash & Refresh. Spray the entire surface of the mat. Use a clean cloth to wipe the mat dry before rolling or using. . Never soak, shower or submerge your mat in water. Store in a cool, dry place.

    For a Deeper Clean: Spray generously until the mat is visibly wet. Let sit 1-2 minutes. Use a clean cloth to gently scrub any areas that have dirt or stains. Dry your mat before rolling or using.

    To Thoroughly Disinfect Your Mat: Use Manduka's Botanical Disinfecting Cleaner.

     

    Q: How do I care for my GRP mat?

    A: Mats designed to absorb moisture (GRP Series) should never be treated with disinfectant as the liquid will be absorbed into the mat and then cannot be thoroughly cleaned out.

    Use Manduka’s GRP Yoga Mat Restore to condition, clean and prevent buildup on the surface of your mat, while maximizing the performance and lifetime of your mat.

    Wet a clean cloth with water and squeeze out excess water.  Pump foam onto damp cloth, apply pressure and wipe down surface of your mat.  Use between two to four pumps of restorative solution for each application.  Repeat this process until entire mat surface is complete.  Rinse cloth thoroughly and wipe down mat with fresh water.  Use a dry cloth to soak up any excess water.  Hang mat to dry before rolling and storing.

     

    Q: How do I care for my Begin mat?

    A: Keep your mat in its best condition by wiping it down after every practice with Manduka’s Mat Wash & Refresh. Spray the entire surface of the mat. Use a clean cloth to wipe the mat dry before rolling or using. . Never soak, shower or submerge your mat in water. Store in a cool, dry place.

    For a Deeper Clean: Spray generously until the mat is visibly wet. Let sit 1-2 minutes. Use a clean cloth to gently scrub any areas that have dirt or stains. Dry your mat before rolling or using.

    To Thoroughly Disinfect Your Mat: Use Manduka's Botanical Disinfecting Cleaner.

     

    Q: How do I care for my Manduka X?

    A: Use Manduka’s Mat Wash & Refresh to keep your Manduka X mat smelling fresh and clean. Spray the entire surface of the mat. Note: Due to the rough surface texture of the Manduka X, you might find it easier to use a damp clean cloth to wipe the mat clean. Apply more mat wash as necessary. Dry before rolling or using. Never soak, shower or submerge your mat in water. Store in a cool, dry place.

    For a Deeper Clean: Spray generously until the mat is visibly wet. Let sit 1-2 minutes. Use a clean cloth to gently scrub any areas that have dirt or stains. Dry your mat before rolling or using.

    To Thoroughly Disinfect Your Mat: Use Manduka's Botanical Disinfecting Cleaner.

     

    Q: What types of disinfectant cleaners do you recommend if I don’t buy from Manduka?

    A: While we’d love to provide you what we feel is the best mat care solution to go with our specific mat materials, we recognize and appreciate this is not always possible. In this instance, here are some disinfectants we recommend:
    1. Seventh Generation Disinfecting Multi-Surface Spray 
    2. Lysol Spray Cleaner
    3. Clorox Spray Cleaner

    With all three of these options, length of time on the mat and proper rinsing is key. The cleaner must remain on the mat for approximately 5 minutes to do its job, and you must thoroughly rinse afterwards to remove as much of the product as possible, since skin irritation and/or respiratory difficulties may occur. Please be sure to carefully follow all directions listed on the cleaner’s packaging.

    Note:  This process works for Pro Mats, eKO mats, Manduka X, Begin & Welcome Mats. Mats designed to absorb moisture (GRP series) should never be treated with disinfectant as the liquid will be absorbed into the mat and then cannot be thoroughly cleaned out.

     

    Q: How do you recommend to clean yoga blocks?

    A: Use Manduka’s Mat Wash & Refresh to keep your yoga block smelling fresh and clean, and to ­­­thoroughly disinfect your block: Use Manduka's Botanical Disinfecting Cleaner.

     

    Q: Is Manduka's Mat Wash and Refresh and Natural Yoga Mat Restore all natural?

    A: Yes.  The Fragrances are made with 100% Aromatic NATURAL RAW MATERIALS as defined by ISO 9235:2013.  That is the highest standard in the fragrance industry. Specifically, it states: 

    ISO 9235 defines natural aromatic raw materials as being physically obtained from plants using distillation, expression and extraction. Synthetically reconstituted essential oils, synthetic nature-identicalingredientsand intentionally chemically modified natural raw materials (e.g. chemical acetylation of essential oil) cannot be used infragrancecompounds that are described as being natural. The Natural Products Association goes one step further to not permit the use of petrochemical solvents in the extraction process, so concentrates and absolutes made using hexane are not permitted. 

     

    Q: What makes Manduka's Botanical Disinfecting Cleaner different from other household disinfectants? 

    A: Manduka’s Botanical Disinfecting Cleaner is an all-natural plant-based solution that disinfects in one step.  Other household cleansers are not plant-based, meaning they made of solvents or harsh chemicals that will degrade mats.Manduka’s Botanical Disinfecting Cleaner is specially formulated with no harsh chemicals to not require rinsing after use and is proven to be non-irritating. 

    For other questions please email us at [email protected] or visit our help center

     


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