Have you ever considered steam cleaning your yoga mat? Steam cleaning has always been an effective means to clean carpets, furniture, tapestries, mattresses, pillows, and even floors. But, have you tried it on your yoga mat?
Yoga can keep your mind, body, and soul healthy. But all the effort exerted to make those perfect flowing poses can cause you to sweat heavily on your clothes and your mat. A dirty and smelly mat is unhygienic as well as unsafe to use.
So how do you really clean your yoga mat? How do you make sure it is hygienic enough for use?
Well, experts recommend a variety of ways.
Wipes are generally used to maintain mats especially those made of rubber. Gentle wipes can clean your mat as well as freshen you up during your yoga sessions. Wiping, however, may fall short in cleaning the mat thoroughly and removing stubborn dirt. It is also time-consuming.
Using Spray Cleaners
Commercial and homemade sprays are also used to clean mat surfaces. These sprays, especially those made using natural ingredients, are effective in removing germs and dirt as well as the stinky smell from your mat. A common homemade spray is a mixture of water and vinegar (or apple cider vinegar). Sprays, however, may not be very effective in thoroughly removing dirt that penetrated through the material.
Washing, with a machine or manual wash, is very effective in cleaning most yoga mats. But, washing may damage the material. Even then, there is no guarantee that washing can remove stubborn germs and dirt from the mat. It also takes time to wash off detergent and to air dry the water-soaked mat.
There is no universal solution or one-way answer to cleaning while ensuring the mat lasts long. However, there is a highly-recommended solution to this dilemma among health enthusiasts. Experts recommend steam cleaning away all the dirt, germs, and odor.
Why You May Want To Consider Steam Cleaning Your Yoga Mat
1. Effective Cleaner
You need to steam clean your yoga mat to sanitize it from bacteria, molds, fungus and dirt that accumulated over time with regular use. Steam is effective in killing germs that cause the foul-smelling odor and some diseases. It is also effective in dissolving stubborn dirt, grime and dust mites that penetrated hard-to-reach or porous surfaces.
2. Economic and Eco-friendly
Steam cleaners are an investment. These machines use steam from heated water to clean so they do not require the use of soap and other chemicals. They can also be used to clean other stuff at homes such as pillows and mattresses.
Steam cleaners are easy to use and store. Steam also cleans stubborn dirt faster compared to wipes and sprays. It also tends to evaporate faster so your mat dries quicker.
What to Consider When Using A Steam Cleaner
Steam is very hot. Make sure you protect your skin and eyes when using steam cleaners. Wear protective clothing such as gloves, goggles and mask to prevent burns. Read the instructions on how to properly use the machine before operating it.
1. Types of Steam Cleaners
There are two general types of steam cleaners – the cool and dry steam cleaner. Cool steam cleaners generate steam without boiling water. Usually, more water is used for this type of steam cleaner. Dry steam cleaners use less water and generate steam from boiling water.
To steam clean yoga mats, hand-held steam cleaners with blasters are usually used, although steam mops are also just as effective.
2. Mat Material, Thickness, and Texture
The type of material used to make your yoga mat is an important factor in steam cleaning as well. Yoga mats are usually made of PVC or vinyl, rubber, and synthetic mixes. New brands come in jute or in cotton. They come with specific instructions on proper washing or cleaning, including the do’s and don’ts when you buy them. You should read these instructions to ensure your mat stays clean and lasts long.
When steam cleaning your mat, make sure the instructions does not exclude the use of heat. Some mats, such as rubber mats, must not be exposed under sunlight and heat or else the material will deteriorate. When steam cleaning a rubber mat, use a steam cleaning machine with precaution so as not to overheat the material. When steam cleaning a cotton or jute mat, try cleaning an inconspicuous spot first to test if the material is color-fast. Keep the machine moving to prevent overheating the material or soaking it. Thicker and more porous mats need more time to ensure thorough cleaning compared to thinner and smoother mats.
3. Regularity of Use
If you use your mat daily, it is advisable to clean it at least once a week to keep it clean and sturdy. But, if you only use your mat occasionally, you can clean it after use before you store it.
How to Steam Clean Your Yoga Mat
- Wear protective gloves and goggles. Cover the skin areas where steam might come in contact.
- Prepare your steam cleaner following the instructions on proper use. Make sure your machine is functional.
- Place your yoga mat on a clean flat surface.
- Steam clean in long straight single strokes (left to right and top to bottom) with the steam cleaner opening directed towards your mat. Make sure you have covered all areas.
- Steam clean one side at a time.
- Wipe with clean dry cloth or wipes. Steam cleaners dissolve and loosen dirt and kill germs but do not remove them.
- Air dry your mat. Do not use or store a damp mat. Moisture provides a favorable environment for germs.
- Once dry, store the mat in a clean, dry place. Place the mat in a bag if one is available.
One of the most effective ways of cleaning a yoga mat is through steam cleaning. Steam cleaning is also quick and convenient. When steam cleaning, consider the type of machine you use, the material, texture, and thickness of the mat, and the regularity in which you use the mat. Hopefully this helped you learn more about how to safely and effectively steam clean your yoga mat.