How to Clean Yoga Mat?

Are you rolling out your yoga mats just before your practice? There is nothing more worse than noticing grime on the mats and sniffing sweaty smell on them.

Whether you practice yoga at home or studio, one primary thing you ought to do is clean it regularly. Doing it the right way helps in disinfecting the mat and keeps the gunk off it.

Do you remember when was the last time that you scrubbed down your mat? If you do not have the habit of cleaning your mat right after practice, it is time to start doing it. We will tell you how to do it.

Here is an ultimate guide on how to clean your yoga mat the right way. We will discuss everything you need to know about disinfecting and deep cleaning the mat.

Let us dive into the discussion. Before that, let us learn why it is essential to clean the yoga mat.

Table of Contents

Why Is It Necessary To Clean Your Yoga Mat?

How To Disinfect Yoga Mat?

How To Deep Clean Yoga Mat?How Often Should You Deep Clean The Yoga Mat?

More Tips For Cleaning Your Yoga Mat

Dos and Don’ts Of Cleaning Yoga MatsDos When Cleaning Yoga Mat:

Don’ts When Cleaning Yoga Mat:



Why Is It Necessary To Clean Your Yoga Mat?

Your yoga mat retains sweat and accumulates dirt, dust, and odour on it. As a result, it starts getting stinky and builds germs over it. To keep the nasty smell and germs at bay, you should clean the mat on a regular basis. 

Cleaning your yoga mat is mandatory, especially when you practicing yoga at a studio. There are chances of cross-contamination from the sharing of mats or props. Even when practicing at home, there is a low risk of cross-contamination. To combat this, you should clean it as and when needed.

However, cleaning alone will not suffice. It may only remove the dirt, dust, odour, and impurities from the surface. In order to kill the germs, and prevent the spread of infection, disinfecting is the only solution.

Always remember this. When you are just cleaning the yoga mat and not disinfecting it, you are allowing the germs to inhabit your mats. Hence, it becomes imperative to disinfect the mat to get rid of the germs. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends both cleaning and sanitizing your yoga mat completely regularly. Let us see how to disinfect the yoga mats properly.

How To Disinfect Yoga Mat?

Many of the yogis have this question in their mind- how often to sanitize. Well, the answer to this question is entirely dependent on how often you practice on the mat. If you are practicing yoga at home, it is advisable to sanitize it weekly once. Let us say you practice at the studio. In such a case, we recommend disinfecting it before and after each use.

Irrespective of the thickness of the mat, it is always a good practice to wipe it down after each use. You can either use a disinfectant available in the market or even use a DIY yoga mat cleaner for washing. Preparing a disinfectant cleaner at home with the available products is an easy thing to do. 

This is what most yogis try to do. They prepare an organic disinfectant by mixing these ingredients.

  • Distilled Water
  • White Vinegar
  • Tea Tree Oil

This is how they do it:

  • They take distilled water and white vinegar in portions and mix them.
  • To this mixture, they add a splash of tea tree oil. 
  • And voila, your homemade and organic disinfectant yoga mat cleaner is ready.

Let us have a look at the significance of each ingredient used:

We all know that white vinegar has anti-bacterial properties.

Coming to the tea tree oil, it has antimicrobial properties. It works effectively in killing bacteria and fungus that hang on your mats.

Combining these both will give you a double strong disinfectant cleaning mixture.

Let us learn how to sanitize the yoga mats using this homemade disinfectant cleaner.

This is all you need:

  • Bottle
  • Clean Towel


  • Take a bottle and transfer the cleaning solution to it.
  • Sprinkle the solution all over the mat on both sides.
  • Take a clean towel and wipe off the cleaning solution.

This will help in eliminating the microbes from the mat and adds some fresh smell to it. Do not forget to do it on both sides – because there are chances of bacteria and germs migrating from the dirty side to the other side when you roll the mat.

You can follow the same cleaning process when using a commercial disinfectant cleaner, as well.

The other significant upside of using a disinfectant is that it helps in fending off infections, warts, ringworm, etc., apart from cleaning. One should note that having all these on your yoga mat may cause skin irritations and even acne.

Most commercial yoga mat sanitizers contain alcohol or bleach in them. While these effectively destroying help in germs and bacteria on the surface, they can be harmful to your skin. These ingredients may cause skin irritation. 

On the other hand, the tea tree oil used in the homemade disinfectant solution is effective and less irritating. 

If you do not prefer using essential oils for preparing your cleaning solution, you can try this. You may even use hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol as an alternative to the above. This is how you can prepare a cleaning solution.

All you need is:

  • Water 
  • Hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol
  • Bowl
  • Bottle

Instructions for preparing:

  • Take three parts of water in a bowl.
  • Add one part of hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol to it.
  • Mix these together to prepare a cleaning solution.
  • Transfer this mixture to a bottle.
  • You can also use watered-down witch hazel or astringent in place of hydrogen peroxide.

How To Deep Clean Yoga Mat?

What is a deep cleaning of a yoga mat, and why should you do it? We will first answer this question and then learn how to deep clean a yoga mat. If you notice a stinky odour from your yoga mat or if you observe your mat fully stained, it means that your mat needs a deep cleaning. It is necessary to get rid of the stains and smell from it. 

How Often Should You Deep Clean The Yoga Mat?

Well, the answer to this question is entirely dependent on how often you practice on the mat. If you are practicing yoga every day, it is advisable to deep wash it monthly once. If you observe odour from your mat, take it as a clear indication for a deep wash. 

Also, if you observe dirt, dust, and grime on the mat, probably, it is time to give it a thorough cleaning. Let us say you practice in heated rooms or live in warmer locations. In such a case, we recommend deep cleaning it very often.

Let us learn how to deep clean a yoga mat. Firstly, take a mild dish liquid solution for cleaning your mat. You may prefer a harsher solution but check for the cleaning instructions on the user manual. Most mats may not recommend using them, while some may do. Hence, confirm whether it is safe to use on the mat or not. Accordingly, you can proceed with the washing process. 

Below is a step-by-step process to deep clean the yoga mat:

Step 1: Soak the Yoga Mat for a Few Minutes

As the first step, soak the yoga mat for a while. Let us see how to do this:

  • Fill your bathtub or large sink with warm water.
  • Add mild detergent liquid to the water. (Do not use too much detergent as it may leave a residue on the mat. Moreover, it may even make the surface slippery.)
  • You may even add a few drops of essential oils to the cleaning solution. However, it is not mandatory and is left up to your preference. The popular choices for adding the oils would be lavender, lemon, and eucalyptus.
  • Now that your cleaning solution is ready, submerge your yoga mat in it. Let it soak for a few minutes in this solution. This step will help remove dirt, oil, or any odours from your yoga mat.  

Step 2: Hand Wash & Rinse the Mat

Let us move on to the next step.

  • After soaking the mat in detergent water for a couple of minutes, it is time to wash.
  • Take a clean soft cloth and wipe each side of the mat thoroughly using it. Wash the mat properly on both sides. Concentrate on those areas where you place your hands and feet. 
  • After washing, drain your bathtub. Now rinse the mat with clean water. Rinsing will help in removing the soap residue from the yoga mat. 
  • Additionally, it will reduce the chances of slipping. Keep rinsing until there is no water left on the mat. If you feel that water does not go away quickly on the mat, wash it one more time with a soft cloth.  

Step 3: Remove Excess Water From Your Mat

Here is the third step.

  • Now that you finished washing and rinsing the mat, remove the excess water from it. Shake off the yoga mat to remove water on the surface. 
  • To wipe off the remaining moisture on the mat, lay it flat on a dry towel. Now, roll them together to squeeze the excess water, if any. 
  • It is important to note that you should never wring the mat. It will damage the mat by causing tears, wrinkles, or warps on it. 
  • You may step on the rolled mat and dry towel. This will effectively drain the excess water from your yoga mat.

Step 4: Hang The Mat To Let It Dry

The next step is drying the yoga mat.

  • After you finish squeezing out excess water from the mat, unroll it from the towel. 
  • Now hang it up to let it dry completely.
  • You may also hang it on the back of a chair to dry.
  • Before you store it, make sure the mat is completely dry. A wet or moist yoga mat may breed bacteria. If you feel any remaining moisture lingering on the mat, squeeze it between your fingers. 
  • After you finish drying, roll up the mat tightly and store it in a ventilated place. 
  • Even if you are not using the mat regularly, try to open it once every few weeks. This allows air circulation to the mat.

More Tips For Cleaning Your Yoga Mat

Here are some useful and helpful tips for effectively cleaning your yoga mat. You can try out these to get the best results. 

Tip 1: You can use baking soda to eliminate the odours or get rid of oils from your mat. Here is what and how you can do

This is all you need:

  • Baking Soda
  • Brush
  • Vacuum cleaner


  • Take the required amount of baking soda. 
  • Sprinkle it and rub it on the yoga mat.
  • Let it sit for about 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Now take a brush or vacuum cleaner to dust off the excess powder.

Tip 2: Let your mat dry completely before rolling it up and storing it.

Tip 3: Right after your class, hang the mat instead of rolling it up.

Tip 4: If you tend to sweat a lot, we suggest you to use a yoga towel and place it over your yoga mat.

Tip 5: Do not apply skin creams or oils before practicing yoga on the mat. They can get transferred to your yoga mat and stain it.

Tip 6: Never share your mats with others to avoid cross-contamination and bacterial infection.

Tip 7: Always wash your hands and feet before using the yoga mat.  

Dos and Don’ts Of Cleaning Yoga Mats

There are certain dos and don’ts one needs to consider when cleaning or using yoga mats. Make sure you follow these religiously to extend the lifespan of your mat.

Dos When Cleaning Yoga Mat:

  • Wash the yoga mat in the tub or wipe it down.
  • After cleaning, allow it to air dry thoroughly.
  • Always use a soft cloth or sponge to clean or wipe the mat.
  • Use only mild laundry detergent for cleaning.
  • Use a few drops of essential oils in the cleaning solution for extra disinfecting power.

Don’ts When Cleaning Yoga Mat:

  • Do not soak the yoga mat for too long in the water.
  • Do not use harsh cleaners or abrasive scrubbers.
  • Do not wash the mats in a washing machine. Do not dry them in a dryer, as well. You should not do it unless recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Do not hang or dry yoga mats in direct sunlight. It will make the mats fade and even become brittle. 


1. Does using a yoga towel prevent the need to clean the yoga mat?
Ans: You may use a yoga towel on your mat. However, it does not rule out the notion that you should not clean the yoga mat forever. The main reason behind using a yoga mat is that it helps absorb your sweat, dirt or grime, instead of the mat. It is a most beneficial tool for those yogis who sweat a lot. It protects you from the germs that may stick to the surface of the yoga mat when not using a towel.However, you may have to clean your yoga mats – if not frequently, at least seldom. You will have to wash your towel frequently to remove the dirt and impurities and kill the germs.

2. How often should I deep clean my yoga mat?
Ans: How often should you deep clean the yoga mat is entirely dependent on how often you practice on the mat. If you are practicing yoga every day, it is advisable to deep wash it monthly once. Observing odour from your yoga mat is a clear indication that it needs a deep wash. Also, if you observe dirt, dust, and grime on the mat, probably, it is time to give it a thorough cleaning. Let us say you practice at heated rooms or live in warmer locations, or tend to sweat a lot. In such a case, we recommend deep cleaning it very often to ensure the longevity of the mat.

3. Can I clean a yoga mat in a washing machine?
Ans: Not all yoga mats are machine washable. While some manufacturers recommend washing in the machine, others do not. It is always advisable to check for the cleaning instructions recommended by the manufacturers before throwing them in the washer. If your yoga mat is machine washable, make sure you are using only a little amount of detergent. Also, use only a cold and gentle cycle for washing them. Remember to wash them separately and do not use the spin cycle.  Ensure they are well-rinsed in the washer and remove them to dry. Again, do not put them in a dryer. Instead, hang the mats to let them dry completely.Most eco-friendly yoga mats are hand wash-recommended. You cannot wash them in a washer, as it will damage or destroy the mats.

4. Can I Use Bleach On My Mat?
Ans: Using bleach on yoga mats is strictly not recommended. It is a harsh cleaner that is not good for both the mat and also the user. Using bleach on the mat will degrade it and minimize its life span. Moreover, it can be harmful to the skin and cause many skin problems to the user. 

5. Does Noticing White Spots on Natural Rubber Mat Mean It Is Ruined?
Ans: The white spots that you observe on your natural rubber mat are because of the oxidation process. Whenever natural rubber gets exposed to light and oxygen, it undergoes oxidation. This will make white spots appear on it. Hence, avoid direct exposure of sunlight to the mat. Also, do not leave it in the sunlight for a prolonged period. Leaving them exposed to sunlight may result in discolouration or the formation of white spots.


I hope this article gave you clear insights into how to clean a yoga mat. If you have not cleaned your mat before or have been doing it the wrong way, follow the methods mentioned in this write-up. Even if you do not have a habit of cleaning your yoga mat, you should make it a regular practice. This will prevent you from falling prey to infections and also enhance the lifespan of your mat. If you have tried washing your yoga mat using any of the methods, let us know your experience. You can share it by posting your comments.

Write to us in the comments section below if you find this article insightful and informative. Let us know if you have any questions or need more information on the same. We would try our best to answer all your queries at the earliest. If needed, we will come up with a new article containing exclusive information related to all your doubts and confusions.

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Keep practicing!

Stay healthy and stay safe!!!







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