“Dermatologists are noticing an increase in infections and plantar warts from yoga mats,” E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork says. Decrease your risks of coming in contact with dangerous bacteria by properly disinfecting your yoga mat.
For lightly-soiled mats:
Spray and wipe your mat with a disinfectant solution made for yoga mats or make your own solution:
• Mix 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts water and a small amount of a light detergent.
• Add a couple drops of eucalyptus, lavender or tea tree oils for fragrance and antibacterial properties (optional).
• Add ingredients to a spray bottle and spray mat thoroughly, then wipe down with a clean cloth.
• Let mat dry before rolling up and storing.
For heavily-soiled mats:
• Place your mat in a bathtub of slightly warm water.
• Add a few drops of a mild detergent.
• Unroll your mat in the water .
• Gently scrub both sides of mat with a washcloth or sponge.
• Let the mat soak for 20 minutes.
• Rinse the mat well and remove it from the tub.
• Blot excess water with a towel or place a towel on each side of the mat and roll it up.
• Do not wring or squeeze the mat to dry it.
• Let the mat hang dry for 24 to 48 hours
• Wash the yoga mat separate from other items in cold water with mild detergent.
• Remove mat before the spin cycle to avoid damage.
• Let mat hang dry naturally. Do not roll up and store until it’s completely dry.
Learn more about at-home health hazards.