Yoga is one of the most relaxing, intense exercises you can do for your well-being.
This activity releases stress, supports healthy deep breathing, strengthens your body, promotes suppleness, and clears energy blockages.
Using a mat that supports your yoga exercises is crucial to a quality session. You can choose from natural or artificial yoga mat fibers on which to exercise.
You will also learn why yoga mats get dirty, how to clean yoga mats, and when you should discard your old favorite. Support your healthy lifestyle with equally healthy yoga mats and know how to clean yoga mats properly, so they don’t make you sick.
What is a yoga mat made from?
Yoga mats are made from different substances, which is why you should choose yours carefully. Some yoga mat materials are biodegradable and friendly to the environment, while others are not.
Yoga mats manufactured from natural materials tend to be kinder to the body but can be more challenging to keep clean.
In contrast, mats made from synthetic fibers might be easier to clean but are less kind to the body and the environment. Natural fiber yoga mats are also costlier than their synthetic counterparts.
Here’s what goes into making yoga mats from natural fibers:
- Natural rubber
Yoga mats made from synthetic materials contain:
- Plastic elastomer
Natural fiber yoga mats
Natural rubber mats are biodegradable, non-toxic, and lower your carbon footprint. These rubber yoga mats are thick, provide excellent cushioning, and are made from recyclable material.
You can also use a thin, foldable travel mat for yoga. Although this option might not be that comfortable, it is less costly than the rubber mat.
Yoga mats made from cotton are comfortable to use and absorb sweat. If you want to know how to clean your yoga mat – these mats are easily washable and dry rapidly.
Similarly, jute yoga mats are also moisture-absorbent and provide warmth in winter and cooling in summer. Unfortunately, because of the nature of jute fibers, they can be a little abrasive on the skin.
Both jute and hemp mats are costlier than those made from synthetic fibers, but you can safely dispose of them once they have served their purpose. Be aware that some jute yoga mats contain PVC and other unnatural substances when making your purchase.
Yoga mats made from unnatural fibers
Yoga mats made from PVC are also known as sticky mats due to their surface consistency.
PVC yoga mats are made from a mixture of rubber-containing chemicals and polymers, which provides a good grip. Despite the attractive price of PVC or latex mats, they are not environmentally friendly and can cause allergic reactions.
Because of the combination of sweat and chemicals in these mats, some people may develop rashes or hives.
Yoga mats made from plastic elastomer compounds are comfortable to use and are environmentally friendly even though the material is synthetic. The cost of these mats is reasonable; they provide excellent traction, are moisture absorbent, and easy to clean.
The downside of this synthetic yoga mat is that you must keep it out of direct sunlight if you want to promote its longevity.
You will find how to clean yoga mats made from natural or synthetic fibers in a later section.
Why does a yoga mat get so dirty?
Think about it for a moment. Your body is in direct contact with your yoga mat. You sweat when you exercise.
Your body releases natural oils and toxins while exercising. Your hands touch multiple items before and after handling your yoga mat, which exposes it to more germs.
Depending on where you exercise, you and other people use the same surfaces at home or a yoga studio. Those people drag in germs on their footwear, and so do you.
Even if you believe that you clean the area thoroughly, you lay your yoga mat on the same floor where you and others walk.
There are multiple ways for your yoga mat to get dirty. Dirt and bodily perspirations contain invisible bacteria. If you don’t clean your yoga mat regularly, bacteria transfer to you, your clothing, and other people.
Luckily, you can help minimize the spread of germs from your yoga mat by maintaining good housekeeping. How to clean yoga mats is not a complex action.
You can use multiple methods on how to clean a yoga mat without taking up too much time and energy. In the process, you support healthy yoga sessions with the hygienic maintenance of your yoga mat.
You can use various methods for how to clean yoga mats.
Either you can clean your yoga mat with a store-bought household cleaner that is suitable for the mat material or use these natural remedies.
Moisten the microfiber towel with warm water and wipe the mat thoroughly from top to bottom. Ensure that you allow the mat to dry naturally before storing it, as moisture can attract mold and germs.
Mix eucalyptus, orange, lavender, or tea tree essential oils with water and pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
About ten drops of either of these oils to two cups of water will give you an antibacterial cleaning formula. You can then spray the formula onto the mat lightly to eliminate germs. Please wait for the mat to dry before storing it.
Mix the juice of a lemon with a cup of water and add this to your spray bottle. Lemons contain acid and antibacterial properties that are excellent for cleaning.
If you’re looking for a simple method for how to clean a yoga mat – this is it. Lightly spray the mat with this mixture and let it dry naturally.
Witch hazel is excellent for removing stains and is one of the best methods to clean a yoga mat.
Combine a cup of water and two tablespoons of witch hazel in a spray bottle. Apply the solution directly to yoga mat stains and wipe the area with microfiber towels.
When is it time to replace the yoga mat?
The right time to replace your yoga mat depends on several variables. How often do you use your yoga mat?
Do you use this mat regularly, or does it sit in the cupboard waiting for you to become inspired to do something about your goal to exercise?
There are several signs that your yoga mat needs replacing.
- The mat is thinning, making it uncomfortable for you to use it for exercising.
- Your yoga mat has seen better days and is full of scuff marks, tears, and scratches.
- How to clean a yoga mat has been replaced with despair because your efforts seem wasted.
- Cleaning your yoga mat seems useless as it still appears grimy and has an unpleasant odor about it. This unpleasant odor is due to embedded grime and germs.
- You can no longer maintain your grip on the mat when doing yoga, making others think that gymnastics might be a better fit.
When you see any of these signs, common sense tells you that it is time to replace your mat. If you use the mat regularly, it could last for a year.
If you are an intermittent exerciser, the mat may last a little longer. But please note that even if you store a yoga mat that it may deteriorate in any event.
Cleaning a yoga mat is a relatively simple process. Use these natural remedies to maintain hygiene or use an ordinary household cleaner.
If you have environmental awareness, natural cleaning products are a better option for cleaning as they are biodegradable. Look after your yoga mat properly, and you will extend its lifespan and its safety–for you and everyone else.