Yoga Mats are very durable and can last you years, as long as you keep them clean and give them some care. Cleanliness is the main task when caring for your yoga mat. Not only do you want it to look like new, but you want to guard against bacteria for your own health and that of others. Not to mention any annoying odor that can build up from getting put away sweaty in a yoga mat bag and then thrown in your trunk on a hot summer day. (I think we all get the picture)
Keeping it clean and looking brand new:
Determine what material your yoga mat is made of. Care and cleaning of a PVC mat is different than cleaning a natural rubber mat or padded mat.
Between the two kinds of mats, PVC mats are easier to clean. They can take a little more scrubbing and are about half the price of natural rubber mats.
Use light soap and water. Lay the mat flat on a clean surface. Gently wipe the mats down with a clean wet sponge or rag. Avoid using soaps with scented oils as they leave unwanted chemicals that can be absorbed by the mat.
The most important thing to remember if you want your Yoga Mat to keep its shape is that you should never squeeze it. Find a place to air dry the yoga mat, out of sun. Over the shower rod is a great place.
Quick in-between maintenance can be achieved by gently wiping the surface to remove dirt with mat wipes between use. Try some Sterile Yoga Mat wipes.
If your mat comes with specific cleaning instructions, be sure to follow them.
Care for Natural Rubber Yoga Mats:
The main reason that people get natural rubber yoga mats are 1) because they are stickier and stay sticker than PVC mats. and 2) because they are more of an eco friendly yoga mat. Meaning it takes less man made materials and petroleum products to make one.
Keeping your natural rubber Yoga Mat sticky is the most important objective. Clean it once every other week with only warm water and a sponge. You can also use yoga mat wipes and cleaners that are approved and state that they can be used to clean natural rubber yoga mats, but do that sparingly.
If you are not going to be using your yoga mat for a while, store it in a cool dark place like a closet. Take care not to put anything on top of it as it will distort the shape of the mat. Keeping it in a yoga mat bag is ideal.
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