How To Clean Manduka Yoga Mat: Step-By-Step


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Infographic showing the 4 ways to clean your manduka yoga mat

Having your very own yoga mat can feel great, however, it also means that you’ll have to clean it. I know that it can feel like a chore, but I have a step-by-step natural and DIY guide to clean your Manduka yoga mat in just a couple of minutes.

So, how do you clean your Manduka yoga mat? 

There are three mixtures you can prepare to clean your Manduka yoga mat. One is with water, vinegar, and tea tree oil. The second is with 1tsp baking soda in water. The third is with warm water and dish soap. Spray your mat with the solution, simply wipe it down and let it air dry.

There is nothing like practicing on a clean yoga mat. And in particular, it’s even better knowing we didn’t use any nasty chemicals when doing this cleaning process!

As a side note, I wrote an article titled How To Clean a Yoga Mat The Right Way. Be sure to check it out!

How to Clean a Manduka Yoga Mat in a Couple of Minutes

There are two ways to clean your Manduka mat.

  1. Make your own DIY yoga mat cleaner – Below I will explain how to prepare the 3 DIY yoga mat cleaners using ingredients you probanbly alreday have in your kitchen.
  2. Use the Manduka mat cleaners – As much as I love making my homemade yoga mat cleaners, I am really liking Manduka’s brand specific cleaners. These are all explained below in further detail to help you decide which one to use and how to use it. To find out more skip to the section: Manduka sprays.

If you decide to make your very own DIY yoga mat cleaner, yes you may first need to go out and buy or order the ingredients, however, the total time that you actually spend working on cleaning your mat takes about 2 minutes. So this is a great little project to undertake once a week, or whenever you feel like your Manduka yoga mat needs a little clean.

The first thing you need to do is to make sure that you’re done with your practice because your mat will need some time to dry after you clean it. Feel free to place your Manduka yoga mat on a towel before you clean it, or you can just unroll it and place it on the floor you usually practice on.

Infographic showing how To Clean Manduka Yoga Mat: Step-By-Step

Step 1: Prepare your DIY Manduka Mat Cleaner

If you want to use a ready-made Manduka cleaner, then skip to the section: Use a ready-made cleaner for your Manduka yoga mat

However, if you want to make your very own home made yoga mat cleaner there are 3 types of cleaning solutions you can prepare to clean your Manduka yoga mat. Each of these are explained in detail below. All really work great, it just depends on perhaps what you already have in your kitchen, or what you feel more comfortable using.

Yoga mat spray, vinegar, water and a cloth to clean a manduka yoga mat

The first method uses vinegar

This is actually my go-to method for cleaning the yoga mats in my yoga studio. I make up this solution once every few weeks and just refill it when needed.

Get a spray bottle and then mix together 1 part white vinegar to 4 parts water. And then an option is to also add up to 20 drops of tea tree oil.

The tea tree oil kills bacteria, viruses, and fungi, while the white vinegar dissolves dirt, grease, and grime.

This is the main homemade yoga mat cleaner I have in my yoga studio and my students use it after their practice.

Spray bottle, baking soda, water and a cloth to clean a Manduka yoga mat

The second method uses baking soda

This is another popular cleaning method and will be great if you notice your Manduka yoga mat getting a bit smelly, as baking soda helps eliminate foul odors.

Get a spray bottle and then mix together 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon baking soda.

Bbaking soda is a great deodorizer as it not only removes tough stains, but also eliminates foul odors.

The third method uses warm water and mild dish soap

This is perhaps the best method if you’re looking for a deeper clean. Plus, you most likely have most of these ingredients right in your kitchen.

Get a small/medium-sized basin and then add in some warm water (not too warm though) and a few drops of mild dish soap.

yoga mat spray cleaner and a cloth

Step 2: Spray Your Manduka Yoga Mat & Wipe It

The next thing you’ll want to do after you make your cleaning mixture is to spray a damp cloth with your cleaner. This will ensure your cleaner gets distributed evenly. Also, make sure that you cover the entire surface.

If you are using the third method, then add the water and the dish soap to the basin and mix it up slightly. Then dip your sponge into the basin and use that to wipe down your yoga mat (no need to spray anything here).

As a side note, as method 3 is the messiest as it involves more water, you can do this in a bathtub or make sure you place your Manduka yoga mat on a towel.

Plus don’t forget to do clean both sides of your mat!

Me hanging up my manduka to air dry after cleaning it

Step 3: Let your Manduka air dry

And so for the final step, after you have wiped down all the cleaner, let’s air dry it.

You can do this over a chair or on your washing line.

After you have waited about an hour and your Manduka yoga mat is dry, roll it back up and your mat is ready for your next yoga practice.

So although you need about an hour to get your yoga mat cleaned and dried, you will spend about 2 of the 60 minutes actually working. The rest of the time is letting it air dry.

Not to mention, it’s a thorough way of getting it cleaned, and you’ll notice a big difference.

Recap

Just a quick recap. You are going to unroll your yoga mat, spray it down with one of the three DIY solutions I mentioned above, wipe it down, and then you are going to let your Manduka yoga mat air dry.

If you notice there is still some dirt on your yoga mat, then repeat steps 2 and 3.

As a side note, I made a video showing you all the steps in how to clean your yoga mat, so be sure to check it out!

Use The Manduka Cleaning Sprays

Now that we know how to make our DIY yoga mat cleaner, let’s now have a look at ready-made cleaners.

These can be great if you don’t have the time or motivation to make your own yoga mat cleaning solution. There are certain yoga mat companies that make their own cleaners and so this could also be a great option for cleaning your yoga mat.

The Yoga Mat Wash and Refresh and the Botanical Cleanser

1. Manduka Yoga Mat Wash & Refresh

One such cleaner is the Manduka Yoga Mat Wash and Refresh, which is a 100% Natural Essential Oil Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray. I have the lavender version and it smells absolutely beautiful!

Manduka recommends to use this spray after every class in order to help keep your mat clean and odor-free.

If you want to give your Manduka mat a deeper clean, manduka recommends to spray generously and let the solution sit for 1-2 minutes before wiping it down.

If you want to disinfect your Manduka mat, then also use the Botanical Cleaner described next.

Infographic showing how to use the Manduka spray cleaners

2. Manduka Botanical Cleaner

The Botanical Cleaner is what Manduka recommends to use if you want to disinefct your yoga mat. The main smell is that of thyme oil, so perhaps not as soothing and calming as the lavender Yoga Mat Wash & Refresh described above.

And yet, this is a great cleaner to have, especially if you practice in a yoga studio or a gym and you want to make sure you are able to disinfect your yoga mat.

Manduka recommends first cleaning your yoga mat to remove any dirt (you can start with the Manduka Yoga Mat Wash and Refresh or any of the DIY methods described above) and then spray the entire surface of your mat with this.

If you want to give your mat a deeper clean, Manduka recommends spraying the entire sufecae and then leaving it for 10 minutes before wiping it off.

Yoga mat spray cleaner for rubber yoga mats

3. Natural Rubber Yoga Mat Restore

And last but not least, if you have the Manduka eKO or any other rubber yoga mat, then Manduka recommends using the Natural Rubber Yoga Mat Restore. This gingergrass cleaner is helps maintain the performance of any natural rubber yoga mat.

Manduka recommends using this spray once a week and leaving it on your mat for 5 minutes before wiping it off.

How often should you clean your yoga mat?

Manduka recommends cleaning your yoga mat after every practice, especially if you sweat a lot. You can use the Manduka cleaner sprays or prepare your very own DIY yoga mat cleaner. Always air dry your mat after practice and after cleaning to prevent mold and odors.

As a rule of thumb, you could always just clean your yoga mat when it started to look dirty, or when it starts to smell. Both are signs that your mat is ready to be cleaned.

For more information, check out my article: This Is Really How Often To Clean A Yoga Mat

Why Cleaning Your Manduka Yoga Mat Matters

When we notice dirt or dust on our yoga mat, our first instinct tends to be to wipe it off.

And yet, getting that little bit of dirt is great, however, how about all the dirty parts of the yoga mat we can’t actually see?

When it comes to our yoga mats, we place our hands, feet, and even our faces all over the mat while doing our yoga practice.

So can you imagine the sweat, dirt, and bacteria that are left behind on our mats?

Unfortunately, that bacteria can potentially grow on your mat, especially if we don’t clean it very often. 

And so if we don’t regularly wipe down and clean our yoga mats after every use, or at least after every few uses, we’re allowing bacteria and dirt to live on and in our mats.

Why Manduka Pro is a Great Yoga Mat

If you are reading this article and you’re still considering whether it’s worth buying a Manduka yoga mat, well let’s have a look.

For any yoga practitioner that is looking for a good quality yoga mat that has good grip, good cushioning, and will last for life, you’re going to want to check out the Manduka Pro.

Its no wonder that in a recent survey I carried out, 73% of ashtanga yoga practitioners said that they practice on a Manduka Pro.

Features to love about the Manduka Pro:

  • Good grip for an Ashtanga yoga practice
  • 6mm thick meaning you will experience great cushioning
  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • Mat for life

Can you wash Manduka in the washing machine?

No, don’t wash your Manduka in the washing machine. The most effective clean you can give your Manduka mat is by hand with a soft cloth with the appropriate cleaning solution. A washing machine will damage your mat and cause rapid aging.

For more information, check out my article: Yoga Mat in the Washing Machine – Yes or No?

Why do you salt your Manduka?

We use salt on a Manduka Pro in order to break it in when it’s new. Manduka Pro can be slippery when brand new, and so there is a salt process we can do in order to break in the surface and help increase the grip.

For more information, check out my video:

How do I clean Manduka eKO?

You can clean the Manduka eKO, with Manduka’s Natural Rubber Yoga Mat Restore. This gingergrass cleaner is helps maintain the performance of any natural rubber yoga mat. Manduka recommends using this spray once a week and leaving it on your mat for 5 minutes before wiping it off.

Related articles:

Alexia Koletsou

Alexia Koletsou is a Level 1 Authorized Ashtanga Yoga Teacher with a Ph.D. in Science Communication. She received her blessing to teach Ashtanga Yoga in 2019, from the Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India, where she has had the honor of practicing with R. Sharath Jois multiple times over the years. She is the owner of her own Shala in Greece and now shares her knowledge on yogamyoldfriend.com and her YouTube channel Alexia K Yoga.

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