Between your hands and feet, sweat and dust, your yoga mat isn’t exactly the cleanest of your possessions. But luckily, they’re super easy to de-grime. Here are four ways to clean a yoga mat, plus recommendations for the best ones on the market right now.
How to Clean a Yoga Mat (Because, Let’s Face It, It’s Probably Pretty Gross)
How Often Should You Clean Your Yoga Mat?
This depends on a few things (how much you sweat, how clean the room is you’re practicing in, etc.), but a general rule of thumb is this: If you’re practicing yoga regularly, you should clean your mat every week. If you sweat a lot or you notice your mat is smelling a little funky in between weekly washes, you might want to do it more often. The only thing to keep in mind is that, with some mats, over-cleaning can cause them to wear out more quickly.
How to Clean a Yoga Mat
1. With Soap and Water
For a quick, pretty basic clean, create a solution with two to four drops of dish soap and two cups of warm water. Transfer the solution to a spray bottle, spritz onto both sides of your mat and wipe down with a clean towel. Make sure to wipe away all of the mixture, since the soap can make your next practice slippery if not removed fully.
2. With a DIY Solution
For a deeper clean, try mixing equal parts water and white vinegar and adding a few drops of tea tree oil. Then, put the solution into a spray bottle, spritz your mat and wipe it down with a clean towel. Both white vinegar and tea tree oil are antimicrobials that kill the bacteria and fungi lingering on your mat.
3. With a Mat Sanitizing Spray
If you’re not so into the DIY route, you can buy a sanitizing spray made specifically for yoga mats on Amazon. This natural and organic cleaner from Asutra has more than 4,000 positive reviews. Says one satisfied customer, “This is the yoga mat cleaner I have been looking for. I am allergic to a lot of cleansers and sensitive to the scents of others, so it has been very difficult to find a spray for my yoga mat. This yoga mat cleaner in ‘fresh scent’ has no smell at all and leaves my mat extremely clean.”
4. In Your Washing Machine
It doesn’t get much easier than this, if (emphasis on if) your mat is machine washable. Check the brand’s website to see if your model can be tossed in the wash.
The 5 Best Yoga Mats to Buy, According to Yoga Instructors
To find the absolute best mats, we talked to the people we trust the most on this subject: yoga instructors, who have put in hundreds of hours on the mat, both teaching classes and taking them. Here are the five that they recommend.
1. Jade Harmony Yoga Mat
This mat is so beloved that three yoga instructors of various levels dubbed it their go-to.
“This is our tried-and-true choice at the studio, because it’s unmovable on the floor for inversions and flow, eco-friendly, made in the USA and durable. We also appreciate that the mat is easy to clean and maintain, which is important for home practitioners to keep in mind too.Bonus: Jade Yoga plants a tree for every mat sold.” —Bethany Lyons, founder and CEO of Lyons Den Power Yoga
“In my opinion, it’s the best for sweaty people like me. Very slip-resistant." —Gretchen M., 200-hour experienced registered yoga teacher
“I’ve been practicing on the Jade Harmony yoga mat for at least five years. It’s super grippy and it provides good traction, especially with sweaty palms in downward-facing dog. It has just the right thickness, offering enough padding for your knees while allowing you to still feel strong and grounded in standing postures.” —Ashley C., yoga teacher student
2. Lululemon Reversible Mat
“I have a classic Lululemon mat that I use for any type of class. It’s reversible: One side is made for hot yoga, and the other side is grippy for non-heated classes. I really love this one—it has lasted me about four years now and still looks brand-new. I highly recommend!”—Claire B., 230-hour registered yoga teacher
3. Manduka GRP Hot Yoga Mat
“I’ve used the Manduka Pro for ten years, but the new ones unfortunately don’t have the same quality—there’s a film that’s tricky to remove. The brand’s new product, called the GRP for hot yoga, is one everyone seems to love. It has an ultra-slip-resistant texture for maximized grip in sweaty conditions, which makes it easier to stick postures without sliding all over the place.” —Alyssa Sullivan, founder of Synergy Power Yoga