How to Clean Rubber Yoga Mats Safely and Effectively

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Whether doing hot yoga or passive meditation, your skin comes in contact with the mat’s surface numerous times.

Dirt, debris, and body fluids like sweat can make your yoga mat a breeding ground for mold, bacteria, and other nasty stuff.

To prevent this situation from happening, you have to practice regular cleaning.

Rubber mats are more susceptible to retaining body sweat odors than other types.

You must be more vigilant and careful in performing proper maintenance.

Failure to do so will result in an unpleasant, lingering smell and potential health hazards.

Thus, let’s learn how to clean rubber yoga mats and discuss related topics.

What Are the Challenges of Cleaning Rubber Yoga Mats?

Although rubber is generally tough, some of its forms are made to be more delicate than others.

One example is rubber yoga mats, which are significantly softer than conventional tires.

You cannot simply use any type of soap, scrub vigorously, and water spray the surface to clean them.

Natural rubber yoga mats can also trigger latex allergy symptoms upon contact.

That’s why you need to be careful because even if you don’t have sensitive skin, it’s possible to experience something serious.

Overall, it requires a delicate, precise approach to washing rubber mats effectively.

How to Clean Rubber Yoga Mats

Rubber mats are not all the same. Some have all of their components sourced from rubber trees, while others are made from synthetic and natural blends.

Here’s how to clean some of the most common types of rubber yoga mats:

Natural Rubber Mat

As much as possible, don’t resort to using disinfectant sprays and solutions when cleaning your all-natural rubber yoga mat.

That said, here are the steps to clean this mat:

1. Prepare Your Cleaning Solution

Put a mixture of white vinegar and warm water on a spray bottle.

It doesn’t matter how much you use, as long as you maintain the ratio of 20 parts water to one part vinegar.

For example, if you intend to use 10ml of vinegar, mix it with 200ml of water.

If you feel the solution is ineffective in removing dirt or odor, you could add some more vinegar, but not too much.

2. Apply the Mixture

Spray the solution evenly on the surface. Avoid soaking or immersing the surface because natural rubber doesn’t have a close cell structure compared to the mixed variety.

It means if you apply too much, there’s a chance that the acidic smell of the vinegar lingers.

Once done with the spraying, wipe off the solution with a dry, soft cloth.

Make sure there’s no residue before proceeding to the next step. You can press the rubber between two towels to check for the excess.

3. Dry the Rubber Yoga Mat Indoors

Hang the mat in any well-ventilated room of your house that doesn’t allow direct sunlight for some time.

Too much heat may speed up the drying process but at the expense of damaging the natural rubber material.

Keep it in a spot where the air is circulating freely. Never use a blower, vacuum cleaner, or dryer because it may result in a deep rubber smell that can be hard to remove.

4. Check if You’ve Removed the Smell Completely

Odor can be more stubborn compared to dirt when it comes to rubber surfaces because it is capable of absorbing moisture deeply.

On the other hand, your naked eye can determine the presence of dirt in a split second.

If some nasty odor is left, you must repeat steps two and three until you’re satisfied with the results.

5. Roll the Mat

After your mat is completely dry, it’s time to roll up the yoga and store it in a dry, covered spot.

how to clean rubber yoga mat

Blended Rubber Mat

You can be slightly more liberal when cleaning blended rubber mats because they are more durable.

These mats usually have closed-cell structures that allow them to accommodate cleaning products without compromising the material itself.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Gather Your Cleaning Agent

You can use a particular solution bought from the store or make your own by mixing baking soda, clean water, and liquid soap.

You may add some lemon squeeze and other natural ingredients for deep cleaning but avoid including essential oils.

If you opt for the latter, put the solution on a spray bottle.

2. Apply the Mixture

Follow the cleaning instructions on how to apply the solution indicated on the product’s container.

If you’re using your mixture, spray a good amount on the entire mat surface.

You may apply more to areas you feel that has a substantial amount of deposited dirt and sweat.

3. Wipe the Surface Gently

Even if blended rubber can handle more abuse than standard rubber, it doesn’t mean you can be careless with your cleaning.

You still have to wipe the applied solution gently. There’s no need to overdo this step because most blended rubber mats, like cork yoga mats, have decent anti-microbial properties.

Any smell that may have lingered before the cleaning will probably disappear after the procedure.

Use disinfectant wipes or a dry, clean towel to remove the solution on the surface.

Keep at it until there’s no excess water or cleaning solution present.

4. Air Dry the Yoga Mat

Like the recommendation on natural rubber mats, you must naturally dry your blended rubber mat indoors.

Ensure they don’t have any direct contact with extreme amounts of sunlight.

Despite their durability and resistance to bacteria and fungus, it’s still recommended to practice frequent cleaning.

This way, you’re promoting good hygiene while better preserving your mat’s service life.

How to Maintain Rubber Yoga Mats

Cleaning your rubber yoga mat will solve a lot of issues.

However, combining it with proper maintenance may save you money because you won’t have to buy a replacement sooner than expected.

1. Avoid Using Oils and Lotions

Natural and blended rubber can be highly absorbent. It absorbs body fluids and pretty much any type of liquid that makes contact with the rubber surface.

Oils and lotions are high in nutrients, which bacteria and fungus could take advantage of.

The surface may also become more slippery once the surface is damped with these components.

Before using the mat for yoga sessions, avoid applying them to your skin.

2. Wipe off the Mat After Use

You may reduce the number of times you need to clean your rubber yoga mat if you wipe it off after every yoga class or session.

Never use paper towels because they’ll break down easily.

The bits and pieces of paper are challenging to remove without using your cleaning supplies.

3. Never Fold Your Mat

Although a folded mat can be a space-saver, you should always resort to rolling it.

Folding the mat may cause creases, which will ruin the appearance of the surface.

In severe cases, these unwanted wrinkles are the primary causes of the mat being unfit to use.

4. Keep Your Mat in a Bag

It’s highly recommended that you store your rubber mat in a bag when not in use.

This way, it won’t get exposed to direct sunlight or other harmful elements.

If you’re storing a natural rubber yoga mat for a long time, remember that it needs some “hydration” to maintain its pristine condition.

Wiping the surface with a damp towel should do the trick.

Failure to hydrate the rubber surface will speed up the material’s deterioration, impacting its durability and overall quality.

Cleaning a Yoga Mat Is Easy!

There aren’t a lot of steps you need to remember on how to clean rubber yoga mats.

However, you must be aware of the differences between natural and blended rubber to avoid mistakes that could ruin the material.

With some effort and knowledge, you’ll enjoy the features of your rubber yoga mat for a long time.

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