Can Yoga Mats Be Washed?


Yoga mats are made of various materials such as PVC, rubber, cork, and natural fibers. The type of material determines how the yoga mat should be cleaned. While some yoga mats can be washed in a washing machine, others require hand washing or gentle cleaning with mild detergent. Washing a yoga mat improperly can damage the material, reduce lifespan, and compromise grip.

Pros and Cons of Washing yoga mats

Here’s the section on the pros and cons of washing a yoga mat:


  • Removes bacteria and germs: Sweat and moisture can build up on your yoga mat, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and germs.
  • Extends the lifespan of your mat: Dirt, sweat, and other contaminants can break down the materials in your yoga mat over time, causing it to deteriorate more quickly.
  • Improves traction: A dirty yoga mat can become slippery, making it difficult to maintain balance and hold your poses.


  • Time-consuming
  • Risk of damage: Some yoga mats are more delicate than others and may be damaged by certain cleaning methods or products.
  • Cost: Some yoga mat cleaners and natural cleaning solutions can be expensive, adding up over time if you frequently clean your mat.

Cleaning Methods

Follow these steps to hand wash your yoga mat:

1. Hand Wash Your Yoga Mat

  • Fill your bathtub or sink with warm water. Make sure there is enough water to submerge your yoga mat completely.
  • Add a small amount of mild soap or yoga mat cleaner to the water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach, as these can damage your mat.
  • Place your yoga mat in the water and use your hands to scrub it gently. Pay extra attention to any areas that are particularly dirty or stained.
  • Let your mat soak in the water for 5-10 minutes.
  • Drain the soapy water and rinse your mat thoroughly with clean water.
  • Squeeze out any excess water from your mat.
  • Lay your mat on a clean towel or cloth and roll it up tightly, pressing down gently to remove any remaining water.
  • Unroll your mat and hang it up to dry in a well-ventilated area. Avoid direct sunlight, as this can cause the colors in your mat to fade.
  • Note: If you have a particularly delicate or expensive yoga mat, you may want to consult the manufacturer’s care instructions or take it to a professional cleaner to ensure it is cleaned properly.

2. How to Machine Wash a Yoga Mat

If you prefer to use a washing machine to clean your yoga mat, here’s what you need to know:

  • Check the care instructions: Before you machine wash your yoga mat, check the manufacturer’s care instructions to make sure it is safe to do so. Some yoga mats are not designed to be machine washed and may be damaged by the process.
  • Use a gentle cycle: If your yoga mat is machine washable, use a gentle cycle with cold water to avoid damaging it or causing it to lose shape.
  • Use a mild detergent: Use a mild detergent free of bleach, fabric softeners, and other harsh chemicals that can damage your mat.
  • Add towels or other soft items: Adding towels or other soft items to the washing machine can help cushion your yoga mat and prevent it from getting tangled or damaged during the wash cycle.
  • Hang to dry: Once the wash cycle is complete, hang your yoga mat up to dry in a well-ventilated area. Avoid using a dryer, as the high heat can damage your mat and cause it to lose its shape or texture.

3. How to Spot Clean a Yoga Mat

If you don’t have time for a full wash, you can spot-clean your yoga mat to remove any dirt or stains. Here’s how:

  • Mix a solution of equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle.
  • Spray the solution onto the affected area of your yoga mat.
  • Let the solution sit for a few minutes to penetrate the dirt or stain.
  • Use a clean cloth or sponge to scrub the area gently. Avoid using abrasive scrubbers or brushes, as these can damage your mat.
  • Wipe the area clean with a damp cloth or sponge.
  • Allow your mat to air dry completely before using it again.

4. How to Dry a Yoga Mat

After washing or spot cleaning your yoga mat, it’s important to dry it properly to prevent mold and mildew from forming. Here’s how:

  • Use a clean towel to blot excess water from your mat gently. Avoid twisting or wringing your mat, which can damage its shape and texture.
  • Hang your mat up to air dry in a well-ventilated area. Make sure it is hung evenly to prevent it from getting misshapen.
  • Avoid drying your mat in direct sunlight or using a dryer, as the high heat can cause it to lose its shape or texture.
  • Once your mat is completely dry, roll it up and store it in a cool, dry place until your next yoga session.

Natural Cleaning Solutions

1. Why Choose Natural Cleaning Solutions?

While many commercial cleaning solutions are available for yoga mats, some people prefer to use natural cleaning solutions instead. Here are some reasons why:

  • Natural cleaning solutions are often gentler on the skin and less likely to cause irritation or allergic reactions than commercial products.
  • Many natural cleanings solutions, such as vinegar and baking soda, are readily available and affordable.
  • Natural cleaning solutions are better for the environment because they are biodegradable and do not contain harmful chemicals that can pollute waterways and harm wildlife.
  • Using natural cleaning solutions can help you reduce your overall use of harsh chemicals in your home, improving indoor air quality and reducing exposure to toxins.
  • Natural cleaning solutions are often just as effective as commercial products and in some cases, may even work better.

How to Make a Natural Cleaning Solution at Home

If you prefer to use natural cleaning solutions to clean your yoga mat, there are several options you can try. Here’s a simple recipe for a natural cleaning solution you can make at home:


  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of white vinegar
  • 5-10 drops of tea tree essential oil


  • Mix the water and vinegar in a spray bottle.
  • Add the tea tree essential oil and shake the bottle well to combine.
  • Spray the solution onto your yoga mat and wipe it with a clean towel.
  • Let the mat air dry before rolling it up and storing it away.

What are the Benefits of Using Natural Cleaning Solutions?

Using natural cleaning solutions to clean your yoga mat can have several benefits. Here are some key benefits:

  • Natural cleaning solutions are safer for your health: Unlike commercial cleaning solutions, natural cleaning solutions are free of harsh chemicals, which can harm your health. They are also less likely to cause skin irritation or allergic reactions.
  • Natural cleaning solutions are better for the environment: Many commercial cleaning solutions contain toxic chemicals that can harm the environment when disposed of. On the other hand, natural cleaning solutions are biodegradable and do not cause harm to the environment.
  • Natural cleaning solutions are often cheaper: Many natural cleaning solutions, such as vinegar and baking soda, are readily available and affordable, saving you money in the long run.
  • Natural cleaning solutions are just as effective: Contrary to popular belief, natural cleaning solutions can be just as effective as commercial products when cleaning your yoga mat. For example, vinegar is a natural disinfectant that can kill bacteria and other germs.

Buyer’s Guide

If you’re in the market for a yoga mat that is easy to clean, here are some factors to consider before making a purchase:


When choosing a yoga mat, consider the material it’s made from. Ideally, you want a mat made from a non-porous material that won’t absorb sweat and bacteria. Some good options include natural rubber, cork, and polyurethane.


The thickness of a yoga mat can affect how easy it is to clean. Thicker mats may be more comfortable to use but can also be harder to clean because they absorb more moisture. Thinner mats, on the other hand, may be easier to clean, but they may not provide enough cushioning for some people.


The texture of a yoga mat can also affect how easy it is to clean. Mats with a smooth surface are typically easier to clean than mats with a textured surface, which can trap dirt and sweat. However, some people prefer the added grip that a textured mat provides.


Yoga mats can range from under $20 to over $100. While a higher price tag doesn’t necessarily guarantee a better mat, investing in a high-quality mat can be worthwhile if you plan to use it regularly.

Cleaning Instructions

Before purchasing a yoga mat, be sure to read the cleaning instructions carefully. Some mats may require special care or cleaning products, while others may be easy to clean with soap and water.

By considering these factors when purchasing a yoga mat, you can choose a mat that is comfortable and durable, and easy to clean and maintain.


In conclusion, yoga mats can be washed, but the method you choose will depend on your mat type and your preference. Hand washing is a gentle and effective way to clean most yoga mats, while machine washing can be a quick and convenient option for some mats. Spot cleaning is also a good option for small stains and spills.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can I put my yoga mat in the dryer after washing it?

No, putting your yoga mat in the dryer is not recommended, as the high heat can damage the mat’s surface and cause it to deteriorate.

Can I use bleach to clean my yoga mat?

No, bleach can be too harsh for most yoga mats and can cause discoloration or damage to the material. Using gentle, natural cleaning solutions is best.

How often should I clean my yoga mat?

It’s recommended to clean your yoga mat after every use to maintain its hygiene and prevent the buildup of dirt and sweat. However, if you don’t use your mat very often, you can clean it once every few weeks.

Ethel Fuller

Ethel Fuller

Hi there, I'm Ethel Fuller, a certified yoga instructor and dedicated practitioner based in Nashville. With over 20 years of experience in yoga, I have taught and guided countless individuals to discover the benefits of this ancient practice. As an expert in yoga, I specialize in various forms of yoga such as Hatha, Vinyasa, and Yin, and have completed several advanced training courses in anatomy, mindfulness, and meditation.

My educational background includes a degree in psychology, which has allowed me to understand the connection between the mind and body. I believe in creating a safe and comfortable environment for my students, where they can deepen their practice and connect with their inner selves. Being featured on various news platforms and being awarded for my contributions to the community has been humbling, and I continue to strive towards making yoga accessible to everyone. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced practitioner, I welcome you to join me on this journey of self-discovery and transformation through yoga.