How To Clean A Yoga Mat

Your yoga mat is a sacred place where you should try to connect with yourself, practicing on a clean mat will make you feel so much better and it will keep your practice respected.

Yoga Mats are not only the perfect place for you to practice on, but also for bacteria to breed. Even more so if you practice yoga every day, or maybe even use your yoga mat as an exercise mat aswell and therefore sweat on it a lot more.

That is why it is important to clean your yoga mat from time to time. But how to clean a yoga mat properly and how to avoid damaging the material? 

This article is all about how to clean a yoga mat and therefore help extend its life and make your practice so much more enjoyable.

Why is it important to clean a Yoga Mat?

If you are practicing yoga in a studio and share the studio mats, it is important to wipe off the mat that you used every time, to ensure that the person that uses it after you, gets a clean mat that is not covered in sweat and bacteria.

The same however applies to your own yoga mat at home. When you are practicing on your mat a lot and sweat on it you want to remove the bacteria along with the dirt particles on it so that you can practice on a clean mat the next time. 

How to clean a yoga mat?

How often should you clean a Yoga Mat?

It is advised to clean your yoga mat briefly after every use. However, you don’t need to wash your yoga mat thoroughly every time. A brief wiping-off routine after every use is sufficient if you clean your mat thoroughly once a month.

Quick Routine Yoga Mat Clean

After every use, you can quickly wipe off your Yoga mat using yoga mat wipes.

You can use a store-bought cleaner like Mandukas Mat Renew or you can make your own cleaning solution at home. 

Mix your own Cleaner

If you mix your own cleaner always be sure to read the instructions on your mat first. Some mats may not be washed with vinegar for example as it might damage the material.

What you’ll need:

  • A spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Optional: essential oil


  1. Mix vinegar and water in a ratio of 1:4 (1 cup of vinegar and 4 cups of water)
  2. If you like the cleaner to be scented add a few drops of essential oils, like lavender.
  3. Mix everything and pour it into your spray bottle.
  4. Spray the mixture onto your yoga mat, so that it is nice and damp.
  5.  Use a clean dry towel to wipe off your mat from top to bottom.
  6. Let one side dry off a bit before doing the same procedure on the other side.
  7. Let your mat dry completely before rolling it up to store.

Thorough once-in-a-month cleaning

Once a month you can clean your mat more thoroughly to remove build-up dirt. Here it is important again to read the instructions on your mat first, some mats may be submerged in soapy water, and others may not. Some mats may even be washed in the washing machine, some mats may not at all be washed in a washing machine. It really depends on what type of mat you have, and if it is a closed-celled or open-celled mat. 

What is the difference between an Open Cell Mat and a Closed Cell Mat?

The difference between an open cell mat and a closed cell mat is the amount of air in it. While an open cell mat has a lot of air, to help it absorb more moisture and provide more cushion for your joints, a closed cell mat can get slippery if you sweat a lot.

Another important difference is in the way that you can clean your mat.

The fact that open cell mats absorb moisture and sweat they need to be soaked in warm water in order to get a proper cleansing.

Closed cell mats do not absorb moisture, therefore they need to be wiped clean.

Open Cell Mat Cleaning

  1. Place your yoga mat in a bathtub full of water with a bit of soap. (Make sure to not use too much soap and to not use hot water as this can damage the material)
  2. Let your mat soak in the soapy water for 5 minutes. 
  3. Take it out and wipe off your mat with a clean towel
  4. Rinse it under clean water to wash out the soap residue.
  5. Shake it out and let it dry completely before storing.

Closed Cell Mat Cleaning

  1. Lay out your mat
  2. Then mix a bucket of water with only a few drops of soap
  3. Use a clean cloth and dip it into the soap water and clean your mat thoroughly from top to bottom using circular motions.
  4. Repeat on the other side
  5. Let your mat dry completely

Drying your Yoga Mat

Never put your yoga mat in a dryer. You can hang your mat over a chair or over a railing to let it dry. Only roll it up to put it away once it is completely dry. Damp and warm yoga mats make a perfect breeding spot for mold and bacteria.

Yogi rolling up a yoga mat

Storing your Yoga Mat

Roll your yoga mat up nice and tightly and put it into a dry and ventilated place. If you are not using your mat for a longer time, roll it out and let it be ventilated.

When is it time to buy a new mat?

Once your mat starts peeling, pieces of it start to stick on your yoga clothes, or when some parts of it start to wear off or become thinner you might want to consider buying a new mat.

Final Thoughts

Taking a few minutes to clean your yoga mat regularly will help keep it free from bacteria. 

As a bonus, the nice and fresh smell after it has been cleaned will motivate you even more to have a nice and powerful workout, and Savasana on a clean mat is so much more relaxing than on a mat that doesn’t look so inviting.


Can you use baby wipes on a yoga mat?

You can use baby wipes that don’t have too much soap in them. Depending on your Yoga mat you might have to use unscented baby wipes aswell.

Can you clean a yoga mat with wipes containing alcohol?

If you are in a hurry and only have some wipes containing alcohol at hand you can use them for a quick clean. However, make sure that they don’t contain any bleach as it might irritate your skin and damage your mat.  

You also want to wipe it off with a wet towel, just to make sure to wash off any other chemicals that might be in the wipe.