How to Clean a Yoga Mat

Updated January 21, 2016
a stack of yoga mats
Most yoga mats can be washed in the washing machine using the delicate cycle and mild detergent. (Photo by Shannon Antinori)

Does your yoga mat stink? It's hard to get your inner peace on when you can barely stand to inhale during a yoga class.

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If the thought of doing downward-facing dog makes your nose wrinkle due to the stinky odors wafting off you yoga mat, it’s time to give it a quality cleaning.

Yoga mats are typically made from PVC or tightly woven fibers of various materials — regardless, the mat is washable.

Cleaning tips

If you still have the packaging from the yoga mat, read the care instructions, which may or may not suggest washing it in a washing machine.

If you decide to try the washing machine, be sure to use the delicate cycle, mild detergent (think baby detergent) and pull it out before the spin cycle, which will stretch the mat out of shape.

Alternatively, you can submerge the mat in a bathtub and use mild laundry detergent for a light scrubbing. Either way, allow the mat to completely air dry.

If you’d rather not saturate your mat in water, use antibacterial wipes after each yoga session to help your mat stay fresh.

Jason Schroeck, owner of Green Clean in Minneapolis recommends yogis wipe down their mats with an EPA-approved botanical disinfectant product called Sol-U-Guard Botanical to sanitize with no harsh chemicals.

Editor's note: This is an updated version of an article that was originally posted on Dec. 10, 2014.

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