Whether you use your yoga mat for intense yoga or for floor work during your HIIT sesh, if you work hard, you’re gonna sweat hard — and all that sweat is going to stink. While a quick wipe down of your mat may get rid of your sweat angel, it’s not going to get rid of that brutal smell brought on by bacteria, mold and mildew. All that is brewing deep within the porous confines of your mat.
Fear not: you don’t have to roll around in filth next time you workout. Follow these four easy tips to keep your mat clean and stank free.
Type of Mat
Starting out with a quality mat is key to avoiding the dreaded yoga mat stink. If you’ve had your yoga mat for years and it’s visibly getting thinner and worn out, it’s time to replace that puppy instead of fighting a losing battle trying to disinfect it. Not only is that ancient mat not giving you the support and cushioning you need for your practice, but it’s likely chock full of bacteria from years of use (even if you clean it religiously). Invest in a fresh mat to start off on the right foot and avoid a stinky mat down the road. Rubber mats are eco-friendly, easy to wipe down, and perfect for all levels of yoga practice. The Sweatflix Natural Rubber 5MM Yoga Mat is the perfect, versatile mat that makes cleaning a breeze (and it’s cute to boot!).
Cleaning your mat regularly is the absolute key to keeping away the stink. It should become a regular part of your yoga practice: downward dog, breathe, clean your mat. There’s not an exact science to how often you should clean it. After all, someone who does hot yoga three times a week isn’t using their mat the same way as someone practicing a gentle yin yoga. A good rule of thumb is to clean your mat every 1-3 uses. Cleaning it is as simple as spraying it down, wiping it with a towel or paper towel, and then letting it air dry. Absolutely never run your precious yoga mat through the washing machine; it’ll damage the fibres, causing even more space for bacteria to hide away. When it comes to the spray you should use, any gentle cleaning spray will work, but the Bodyrock Odor Aid spray will not only keep away any nasty smells, but also kill bacteria and viruses, as well as prevent any mold or mildew from cropping up.
Psst: The OdorAid is also great for cleaning your weighted vest!
It’s not just enough to spray down your mat and roll it back up; you want to give that puppy room to breathe as it dries. Ideally, you’d leave it to hang dry on a drying rack after spraying it down, so that it has time to air out before you pack it up tight. Rolling up a wet mat is a sure fire way to get the yoga mat stank, and once it creeps in, it’s nearly impossible to get rid of it. If you can afford it, purchase two yoga mats to give each one plenty of time to dry out between uses (while also reducing the wear and tear on your mat).
Every once in a while, your yoga mat can use a deep clean to ensure it stays in tip top shape for the long run. Even if you’re cleaning your mat regularly, a deep clean will clear out even the toughest of bacteria, keeping your mat fresh. The easiest way to deep clean a mat? Run it a nice, warm bath (candles and a good book not required). Unroll your mat and submerge it in the tub and pour in a little bit of soap, like laundry detergent or even dish soap. Scrub the mat all over and then let it sit for about 15 minutes before rinsing it off and letting it hang dry. Give your mat up to two full days to be sure that it’s completely dry before rolling it back up again.
So now you’ve got the world’s cleanest yoga mat, sans stank. Get back in action with a yoga workout from home, or even a complete beginner to advanced program that will have you “om-ing” with the best of them.