It's Worth Taking Time To Wipe Down Your Yoga Mat

You may already know this, but yoga mats are gross! Yes, even yours. Yoga mats are used for various types of exercising and stretching, so anytime our bodies come in contact with a mat, we leave behind germs and yoga mats are the perfect breeding ground for germs! 

I have seen people use mats with shoes on and off.  First, let me just say that walking on a mat with your shoes on is comparable to walking around your house with your shoes on. You are tracking the same nasty dirt, pet hair, fecal matter and dust onto the mat as you would in your house.

The mat you are getting ready to lie down on, put your hands on, put you head on, and the front of your body.... Now let that sink in. 

Your own germs are bad enough, but imagine dozens of other people who walk on the mats and put their sweaty feet and hands on the mat leaving dead skin, foot germs, breath molecules, warts, rashes and who knows what else! 

Once all this ick is on the mat it can easily create viruses, bacteria and other germs that can cause skin irritations and various infections like ringworm, athletes foot, impetigo, and plantar warts. 

Cleaning your mat or a community is key in helping to keep you healthy while you enjoy your favorite yoga class. There are different kinds of mats made and different ways to clean them.

  • Natural fibers - these are comfortable, but tend to slide around making it harder to grip and be steady. These mats are most likely to grow germs because they absorb sweat and other fluids and can harbor dirt and germs if they are not dried thoroughly in between each use. Most fiber mats can be machine washed. It best to hang them out to dry to avoid shrinking. 
  • Rubber - natural rubber is eco-friendly, has good grip, has good cushion and germs stay on the surface so it's easier to clean. Warm soapy water or an antibacterial spray with tea tree is a great and effective way to clean your rubber mat. 
  • PVC - this is a synthetic plastic and not environmentally friendly. But it does have good cushion and is slightly sticky for grip.  Unfortunately, this type of mat is very porous and absorbs liquid therefore welcoming germs more easily. A antibacterial spray with tea tree works great when cleaning this mat.
  • Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) - this is a blend of plastic and rubber providing comfort and eco-friendly.  These can be made antimicrobial, repelling germs and much easier to clean. These mats can be soaked in a soapy bath or sprayed down with... You guessed it! Antibacterial spray with tea tree. 

Here are a few tips in keeping your mat clean and lasting long:

  • Do not scrub your mat or use abrasive materials to clean it. By doing so can tear the mat and remove the sticky finish.
  • Let your mat air dry. Do not roll it up immediately. Allow time to dry off before you roll it up and store it. 
  • Use a towel over your mat that will catch sweat. These can be washed and will help keep moisture that can lead to germs off your mat. 
  • Do not leave your mat in the direct sunlight it. Heat can damage your mat.

Love & light,

ACC & Certified Professional Life Coach
Certified Nutrition and Wellness Coach
Certified Reiki & Chakra Healer 
Certified Skincare Consultant
Student of YogaRenew

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