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How to Care for & Clean Your Yoga Mat

Learn the best way to keep your mat looking great for longer including top tips on cleaning and how to store your yoga mat. We look at PU (vegan leather) and closed cell mats such as PVC and how to make your own DIY yoga mat cleaning solution.

With mats as beautiful as the ones in our Middle-earth™ Yoga collection, you’ll want them to keep looking their best for as long as possible, and we don’t blame you! Keeping your mat fresh, clean and vibrant is essential for setting a relaxing atmosphere for your yoga session. With this in mind, we’ve created some simple recommendations on how to care for your mat so you can practice in a revitalised environment. 

How to Clean Your Yoga Mat

Some mats, especially those made with natural rubber, can have a strong smell when they arrive. If this bothers you roll out your mat and lay it outside (out of direct sunlight and rain of course) for the first day or so, or in a room with the window open.

Top Tip: Remember to clean both sides of your yoga mat as it has been on the floor.

We recommend cleaning your mat once a week if you practice regularly (or after any particularly sweaty sessions).

Vegan Leather/PU Yoga Mats
Our favourite mats! Grippy, moisture wicking and biodegradable. Because they are intended to degrade you do have to take a little more care of them than a PVC mat. Here's our step by step guide:
  1. Mix a very small amount of mild detergent in a tub of lukewarm water.
  2. Using a soft cloth or sponge, dip it in your solution and squeeze out any excess water.
  3. Alternatively mix the solution in a spray bottle and lightly spray the mat.
  4. Wipe down your mat gently - it should not be soaking wet.
  5. You could then wipe down again gently using just water.
  6. Allow it to lay flat to air dry.
    Top Tip: Ensure your solution is very diluted indeed - there should not be any soap suds. However if you have mixed in too much soap and there are suds on the mat wipe these off as excess detergent left on faux leather can cause it to stiffen and crack. 

    Never use essential oils or anything acidic (including branded yoga mat cleaners) on your vegan leather mat.as it can mark and cause the mat to loose grip.

    PVC/Closed Cell Yoga Mats 

    These mats will last forever (really, this is the problem as they won't biodegrade) so you can be a lot rougher with them. Many companies offer special mat care solutions but its not necessary. You can make your own by diluting a small amount of vinegar with water (approx 1:4) and wiping it down. Some can be put through the washing machine but you'd need to check this carefully with the manufacturer first.

    Top Tip: Some people like to put one or two drops of their favourite essential oil into their cleaning solution for PVC mats to create an amazing aroma. 

    To dry your mat after cleaning it, you can either hang it up to drip dry or dry it flat on absorbent towels. Don’t rub it dry as this could cause your beautiful design to be damaged. There's no need to get it so wet though, just wiping it down with a well wrung out cloth is enough. Remember to let your mat dry fully before using it again - slippery mats can be dangerous.

    Top Tip: You may have experienced the horror of a cheesy-smelling mat and it does nothing to help create an ideal meditative atmosphere! To prevent your mat absorbing unpleasant odors, sprinkle baking soda over it once it has been cleaned and leave it for a few hours (up to 24). Once you’ve done this, knock out any residue powder and you’ll be good to go again. It may sound odd, but it works a treat. For closed-cell mats only.

    How to Care for Your Yoga Mat

    Yoga mats made from vegan PU leather and natural rubber are highly absorbent, so avoid applying oils or lotions to your skin directly before use. 

    Roll your mat with the top surface facing out, this is especially important for PU mats. Do not fold your mat as this can cause creasing or even cracks to form over time.

    Do not leave your mat sitting out in direct sunlight as it can cause discoloration or cracking in rubber mats and will reduce the life of any yoga mat. PVC mats will do better for outdoor use as they do not break down easily.

    Caring for your yoga mat, whatever material it is made from is simple once you know the 'rules'. At the end of the day your mat is also there to be used and if you have a biodegradable mat (which we hope you do!) then it will eventually wear down so try not to worry to much about it and just enjoy the journey!

    If you love The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and want to bring a bit of magic to your mat, check out our eco-friendly range of luxury, performance quality yoga mats.