How To Wash Yoga Mats In The Washer? And Maintain It Thereafter

Sunil Murthy
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Why you need to wash your yoga mat?

Yoga mat is an easy attraction for germs. Germs and bacteria are always present on your yoga mat. You can wash bacteria off your yoga mat easily in a washing machine. You need to wash the yoga mat regularly because it is very easy for bacteria to accumulate under your feet.

Bacteria and germs are attracted by the pile and surface. Most people don’t know how to efficently wash yoga mats in the washing machine. It is important for you to regularly wash your mat because it will remove bacteria and germs, keeping your mat clean and safe.

It is essential to always wash your mat in a sloution of warm water and mild soap to avoid damaging your mat.

Generally, yoga mats are made from natural rubber and synthetic materials. Natural rubber is easily absorbent and becomes slippery when wet. When you wash your mat in the washing machine, remember that you can feel slippery in your next practice. You can also wash your mat by pouring water over it and it will soon get dry and won't feel slippery.

After you have finished washing your mat, you need to completely dry it. You can hang your mat in the sun so that it will dry quickly. You can also use a blower to dry your mat instantly.

Steps to Wash Yoga Mats in the Washer

Do you know how yoga mats can be cleaned in the washing machine? Let us guide you on how to clean your yoga mat by following simple steps for effective results. Note that this works best for those who practice yoga in their homes.

Soak the yoga mat and yoga towels in boiling hot water for about 10-15 minutes. Later, turn off the washing machine and let the mat soak in the steamy water for a couple of hours. Let the water run through the washing machine as if you are rinsing the mat. Finally, line dry or spread in the sun on a fine a sunny day.

Simple 4 Step Process

As a general rule, front load washing machines are usually best for their gentle agitation. A top load might be too strong for a delicate yoga mat.

  1. Fold your yoga mat so that it becomes flat enough to toss into the washing machine. Make sure to remove any removable tags from your mat.

  2. Use the delicate cycle on your washer. Make sure to add some good quality mild detergent and secure your mat inside the washing machine during the washing.

  3. Use the spin cycle to agitate and rid excess water from your mat.

  4. Hang it out to dry or use the dry cycle on very low heat if you have a top-loading washing machine.

Note: dryer may cause damage to natural rubber.

Soaking the Mat

Caution: Remove drainage plug from your washing machine as you will be filling the washing machine with water. When you remove excess water from the washing machine, make sure it drains directly into the sink.

Empty a bucket of tepid water (not too hot or cold water) into your washing machine and squirt in some dish soap. A decent rule of thumb is for every gallon of water add 1 tablespoon of dish soap. Submerge your yoga mat in this nice and bubbly water and let it soak for ten to fifteen minutes. This will work to dislodge almost all the hard-to-scrub oils and germs.

Cleaning the Mat

After soaking your yoga mat in bubbly water for a good fifteen minutes, now it's time to scrub off any visible dirt. You can use a clean soft washcloth and gently rub the mat on both sides. Be careful not to be too hard on the mat or you may damage the rubber material of your mat. You can also try adding a little bit of vinegar to the water to remove any odors. Always avoid using biodegradable detergents as they can ruin the mat and make it fall apart. Once you have hand scrubbed the mat, turn on the washing machine and choose the delicate cold-water cycle.

Rinsing the Mat

You may choose to spread the mat for a couple of hours in direct sunlight if the mat has been used indoors. The ultraviolet rays from the sun will help kill the germs and also break up some of the oils for easy washing. Once the washing cycle is over, rinse the mat well. Select cold water in the washer for rinsing since hot water may ruin the rubber material of your yoga mat.

Let the mat dry for a little while, preferably out in the sun. You can put a fan on the mat to help remove the moisture from the surface faster. If it is raining outside or it is cold, then just let it dry indoors.

Drying the Mat

Drying the washed yoga mat is simple. Just let it stay outdoors in the shade for a while and it will be dry soon. Either spread it flat on the floor or hang it over the non-electric drying stand. Avoid spreading in direct sunlight. You may also use a soft dry towel to dab the moisture off as much as possible.

A Video on How To Wash Yoga Mats in the Washer

Steps to maintain your Yoga Mat

Following these simple steps, you can make sure that your yoga mat lasts a lifetime:

  • Step 1: Wash your mat with a mild detergent

Use a mild, non-scented detergent to gently wash your yoga mat. Be sure to check the manufactures instructions on how to wash your mat if you have any concerns.

  • Step 2: Rinse and water as necessary

Rinse the mat thoroughly until all of the soap has been removed. If your mat still feels greasy after your initial wash, you may need to repeat the cleaning process.

  • Step 3: Air Dry your Yoga Mat Flat

After rinsing the soap from your yoga mat, be sure to wring it well and air dry it flat. You may use a towel to pat dry your mat but it won't be able to absorb all of the water and will leave your mat vulnerable to mildewing. Instead, be sure to allow it to air dry for a few hours and then store it flat until its next use.

Washing Tips to Increase the Life of Your Yoga Mat

Yoga mats are generally made of PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) or natural rubber. These material tend to break down over time and must be cleaned properly to avoid the risk of contamination. It is great to wash your mat in the washing machine regularly but you need to take care to let your yoga mat last longer.

Some precautions and care tips to ensure safe cleaning of your yoga mat in the washing machine are as follows:

  • Fold the mat in half. This prevents it from bouncing around and, makes it safer to take out of the machine when it is finished.

  • You can use your favorite laundry detergent, but avoid Woolite. This detergent is too harsh for mat cleaning. Drip the detergent over the mat, however, do not pour it right down the middle. The shampoo will run in the middle over time and drip out the sides. The pad can not be sealed on the top. Sports detergents, such as those made by Javex, are effective and safe.

  • Set the machine on the gentle cold cycle. When the machine is done, the yoga mat will be thororughly clean yet not fallen apart.

  • Air dry your yoga mat in shade after each wash. Roll up the mat and store it in a dry place, away from direct sunlight. When you roll up the mat, be careful to keep the tongue of the mat-bottom-inside. It keeps the mat from unraveling.

Cleaning Tips For Your Yoga Mat

It is not always necessary to machine wash your yoga mat after every use. Rather washing your yoga mat too often might shorten its life. If you make a little effort after every yoga session, you will be able to keep your yoga mat clean and disinfected and weekly machine washing will be enough. Following are a few tips to quickly clean your yoga mat after every use:

  • Make sure to clean the corners and the edges of the mat with a dry clean cloth after you are done with your yoga session. Use a mild detergent mixed with lukewarm water. Scrub the mat with the soapy mixture using a clean washcloth and later rinse it with running water. Once done, pat dry the yoga mat with a microfiber cloth towel to absorb all the moisture.

  • Wrinkles and creases on the mat can be removed by using a hairdryer. Set it in high heat for a second or for a long time on low heat to remove the wrinkles. But be careful as over-exposure to heat may ruin the mat rubber.

  • You can also spray the mat with an anti-microbial spray to disinfect your mat after every use.

Tips To Carefully Use Your Yoga Mat

The majority of people, who practice yoga, know how important it is to use a yoga mat. Some people even keep their yoga mats in the shower. But a few people find it disgusting and troublesome to wash their yoga mat again and again. They believe it's hard to bring the yoga mat back to its original spick and span condition. For all those people who are a little more conscious about hygiene, we suggest they use a yoga towel on top of their yoga mat. This will provide you the needed grip as well as keep your yoga mat sweat and germ-free.

This may not totally prevent the germs from getting on your yoga mat, but at least the towel will do its job by absorbing most of the sweat. You still need to wash your yoga mat so it doesn’t start to germinate and grow microorganisms but not as often as without a towel. A clean yoga towel on every yoga session will provide a clean surface, but you should still wash your mat in the washing machine at least once a week.

Concluding Thoughts on How To Wash Yoga Mats in the Washer

If you have a favorite yoga mat, you’ll want to maintain it in the best condition by using the correct cleaning and care practices. While washing your yoga mat is probably the best way to clean it, there are certain types you would not want to immerse in water.

Synthetic mats can be safely washed. The sticky rubber of the mats can come off when wet, so it is important to make sure they are completely dry before using them.

Foam mats can not be immersed in water because the water absorbed in the form will eventually break down the material. If you are more comfortable with a foam mat, you need to look for one that is specifically designed for cleaning with soap and water. Avoid using cleaning sprays or anything with bleach on the mat as it will break down the foam into a powdery white substance.

Polyester mats and mats with a two-layer design should ideally be hand-washed. If you want to wash a two-layer mat in a washing machine, don't forget to use a mesh laundry bag. Polyester mats are more challenging because of the tight stitching and the material. Making sure the mat is properly dry before use is the best way to maintain the material.

Always look for a yoga mat that can be used and dried in a washing machine so that you can easily keep it hygienic and germ-free without damaging its material. Look for a mat that is specifically designed for washing and drying in a machine.