Yoga mats are the last line of defense between our bodies and the sweat ridden floor of the instruction room. With this in mind, yoga mats are something that every practicer would want to keep sanitary and smelling fresh.
Though sweating is common in traditional yoga, it is usually excessive within the heated room of bikram yoga. When sweat and skin cells get worked within the mat, it can quickly adopt a pungent body odor that does not easily air out.
The upside is that there exist several solutions for cleaning the mats and removing any unwelcome odors embedded within the surface. Within the following suggestions, you will find several solutions for maintaining a fresh smelling yoga mat that you will not harbor any hesitations to practice on.
It is important to wash the mat once you get home to avoid the build up of sweat and skin cells from attracting odorous bacteria which could cause the mat to smell. Though time is often tight, a quick rinse off within the shower can go a long ways in maintaining a fresh smelling yoga mat.
This is possibly one of the most common ways to freshen and clean a smelly yoga mat. Place yoga mat within a running shower and lightly apply a mixture of gentile soap and baking soda in equal parts with the soft side of a sponge. Pay close attention to apply this solution an entire side of the mat before flipping and applying to the backside. After application pay attention to thoroughly rinse this solution from the mat before removing from the shower. Once the mat is removed from the shower, lay it on top of a large towel and roll it up within the towel. This will help to absorb much of the mat's moisture and before unrolling and hanging it outside to air dry for 24-48 hours.
Though many people resist running their mats through the washing machine for fear of damaging their mats, little harm can become of doing so in most cases. When buying your mat be sure to inquire whether they are machine washable, as most yoga mats are capable of being put through a washing cycle. To make an added impact on the wash cycle, use Febreze washing machine detergent to combat odors as well as sanitizing the mat. Though many mats can be cleaned at any setting, wash within a gentile cold cycle if you have any concerns.
This household disinfectant is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral. It smells better than the more common form of white vinegar, and is a more affordable purchase than some of the following solutions for disinfecting a yoga mat. Mix a solution of one part apple cider vinegar with five parts water and thoroughly spray down the mat after every session. Once the mat has been doused within this formula hang the mat outside to air dry. In addition to this solution, the open space, fresh air and UV rays will do their part to freshen the yoga mat.
Though tea tree oil is often only available for purchase within small bottles, it can usually last a long time when watered down and used within a household spray bottle. Similar to apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil contains antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties within it's compound. Mix one part tea tree oil with ten parts water within a spray bottle and mist down the entire front and back surface area of the yoga mat. Proceed to hang the yoga mat outside within direct sunlight for a speedy drying process and an additional deodorizing boost. Depending on the day, it will take between 24-48 hours for the mat to dry
Grape seed extract is another natural compound which contains antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Mix one part grape seed extract with 12 part water within a generic spray bottle and proceed to spray down the entire outside of the mat. Once performed, hang the yoga mat outside in direct sunlight for 24-48 hours.