Yoga mats play an essential role in elevating your yoga experience. However, getting a flexible and lightweight yoga mat is not all! It needs regular maintenance and care. 

Maintaining your yoga mat helps you have an invigorating experience of practising yoga. Apart from that, the chances of you getting any bacterial infections also roll down to a minimum.

Maintaining a yoga mat involves many steps ranging from storing the mat in a dry and cool place to ensuring to follow the washing instructions mentioned on the mat. 

In this Yoga Mats Maintenance Guide, we’ll look at various aspects of maintaining a yoga mat and also answer some important FAQs about Yoga Mats. So, let’s dive right in.

How to Use a Yoga Mat?

Wondering what’s the right way to use a yoga mat? Well, a yoga mat has two sides. Most of the time, one of the sides is smoother than the other.

Posing on a Yoga Mat

The right way to use a yoga mat is to place the smoother side facing the floor and perform your yoga practice on the rougher side. The benefit of using the rough side of the mat is that it provides the needed grip to stay put while practising asanas. 

However, a few yoga mats have the same texture on both sides. This is often an indicator that both sides are slip-proof. Hence, you can use any side of the mat that you prefer. 

Is Yoga Mat Washable?

Yes, there are multiple ways to clean your yoga mat. For example, you can wash yoga mat in any of the following ways. 

  • Use a wet towel and gently swipe it over your mat.  
  • Hand wash it using water. 
  • Clean your yoga mat in a washing machine.

Whichever method you use depends largely upon the kind of mat you are using. Yoga mats are broadly categorized into two types – Open-celled yoga mats and closed-celled yoga mats. Wondering what they are? Let’s find out. 

Open-Celled vs Closed-Celled Yoga Mats

Open-Celled Yoga MatClosed-Cell Yoga Mat
Light MaterialDense Material
Moisture RetentionNo Moisture Retention
Rough TextureSlippery Texture
High GripLow Grip
Hard to cleanEasy to clean
E.g. Cork Yoga Mat, Cotton Yoga Mat, Banana Fibre MatE.g. PVC Mat, Natural Rubber Mat

Open-celled yoga mats are made up of materials that quickly absorb all kinds of liquids. These materials have a lot of air between their molecules, which provides a cushion and allows the mat to absorb moisture and maintain its grip. Some popular examples of open-celled yoga mats are Cork Mats, Cotton Mats, Banana Fibre Mats, etc. 

Folding a Yoga Mat

A closed cell mat is essentially made up of a much denser material that doesn’t allow moisture to get inside it. Therefore, it tends to get slippery during yoga practice as it doesn’t absorb much sweat. Their smooth surfaces allow these mats to be cleaned with ease. Some examples of closed-cell yoga mats are PVC Mats, Natural Rubber Mats, etc. 

How Do I Wash My Yoga Mat?

It depends on the type of yoga mat you have. You can freely submerge open-celled yoga mats and can wash them effortlessly. As these mats absorb water readily, washing these mats once a month is a healthy yoga mat cleaning routine. 

However, closed-celled mats can be wiped clean with a damp cloth or towel. These mats tend to break when submerged in water over time. Hence, cleaning them with a slightly wet cloth is sufficient.

Steps to Wash a Yoga Mat

If you have an open-celled yoga mat that’s made from materials like cotton, cork, or banana fibre, you can follow these steps to clean it.  


  • Fill a large bucket or tub with warm water.
  • Add to this, add 1 tbsp dish soap and 2 tbsp vinegar. (optional)
  •  Soak your mat in this solution for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Now, using a soft scrub, gently scrub your mat.
  • Rinse your mat and let it dry completely in the sun before the next use.

How Often Should I Wash the Yoga Mat?

It entirely depends on the usage of your yoga mat. Suppose you have been using the yoga mat regularly for your practice, then washing the yoga mat once a week is good to go. 

But in case you shared your yoga mat with someone else or left your mat without using it for days altogether, it’s best to disinfect or deep clean your yoga mat.

Now, the next question that arises here is – how do you deep clean a yoga mat? What products or ingredients do you need to disinfect your mat? Let’s find out. 

How to Wash Your Yoga Mat?

You can deep clean your yoga mat once a month. For this process, you can use a store-bought disinfectant. And if you’re looking for something natural that’s free from harsh chemicals, then you can follow the below instructions to create a do-it-yourself (DIY) disinfectant spray at home.  

DIY Disinfectant Spray

Here’s a simple DIY disinfectant spray that helps in deep cleaning yoga mat whenever necessary.


  • ¾ cup distilled water
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil/tea tree oil

Mix all the above ingredients in the same quantity and fill them up in a spray bottle. Next, you can follow the below procedures as per the type of yoga mat.

How To Clean Yoga Mat In Washing Machine?

It entirely depends on the kind of mat you are using. Many mats are machine friendly like our 100% cotton rug yoga matsHandwoven organic cotton rugged mats. These mats are open-celled and hence absorb any liquid effortlessly. These mats are also easy to fold and can be simply washed in a washing machine.

Steps to Machine Wash a Yoga Mat

If you use an open-celled mat and want to clean it in a washing machine, follow the below steps. It’s best if you wash yoga mat separately from other clothes.


  • Fit your yoga mat into the washing machine comfortably. 
  • It is best if you wash your yoga mat separately from other clothes
  • Take a mug full of water and dilute about 1tbsp detergent powder or liquid soap into it until it forms a homogeneous mixture
  • Now add this mixture into the machine by putting the washing machine on a quick & gentle cycle.
  • You can use cold or warm water for the above process. 
  • Once done, dry it in the sun until it dries

How Long Do Yoga Mats Last? 

It’s essential to understand that there is no particular time to change your mat. It depends upon a variety of factors like:

  • Material of the yoga mat
  • Frequency of the mat’s usage
  • Roughness of the surface it is placed on every day
  • Cleaning and maintenance routine of the mat

Depending on these factors, your yoga mat can last anywhere between 8 to 24 months.

When to Change Your Yoga Mat?

You might likely notice it by yourself when you need to change your yoga mat. However, in case you just want to be sure, here are a few pointers that help you figure it out easily.

  • Wear And Tear

If you can observe holes or deep crevices in your yoga mat, or it starts tearing, thinning, or peeling off, it’s most likely that you need to start the search for the next best yoga mat for you.

  • Formation Of Bald Spots

If you’re constantly practising on your yoga mat, then it’s natural for you to find bald spots forming on your mat. If you find bald spots on your mat, then it’s time you start thinking about a new mat. Over time, bald spots convert into holes. 

  • Loss Of Grip

Your yoga mat must always provide enough traction for you to comfortably do your practice. If you’re slipping, sliding, or tripping during your practice, you may need to upgrade your mat to a brand new non-slip yoga mat. 

  • Strange Smell

A smelly yoga mat is a tough one to deal with! Yoga mats tend to smell because of dust, sweat and dirt that accumulates on the mat over a period of time. To avoid this, weekly cleaning of the mat is essential. If you maintain your mat well but yet sense a strange smell from your mat, then your mat is past its prime!

  • Joint Pains

One of the primary purposes of a yoga mat is to provide cushioning while practising yoga. If that ability is lost, it can lead to pain in the joints, especially if you do asanas that put a lot of pressure on your wrists and knees. In this situation, it’s good to change your yoga mat as soon as possible. 

Woman Performing Yoga
  • Injury

Since old yoga mats tend to lose grip over time, there is a high chance of slipping while doing certain asanas. This can lead to serious injuries. So, it’s best to take this into consideration.

  • Skin Conditions

As the yoga mat ages, it tends to develop tiny cracks where germs, bacteria and fungus take shelter. This can lead to skin infections as simple as acne to harmful bacterial or fungus infections. 

How to Clean Isha’s Organic Cotton Rug Yoga Mat?

To ensure the longevity of your Organic Cotton Rug Yoga Mat by Isha Life, the following cleaning guidelines can be followed.


  • Dust out Isha’s organic cotton rug yoga mat in an open area. 
  • Soak with gentle to mild detergent for 20 minutes.
  • Hand wash with a gentle scrubbing action. If you wish to machine wash it, put the soaked mat in the washing machine on a quick & easy/gentle cycle.
  • Sun dry before use or storage. If sun drying is not possible the mat can also be air dried.

How to Clean Isha’s Cotton Rug Yoga Mat Back Rubberized?

These mats are similar to cotton mats but their back is rubberized to provide a steady surface for yogic practices. Cotton mats can be washed. But mats with rubber backs cannot be washed.

To clean Isha Life’s Cotton Rug Rubberized Back Yoga Mat, you can simply wipe it with a damp cloth or towel. 

How to Clean Isha’s Sambu Straw and Jute Yoga Mat

Yoga mats made from Jute and Sambu Straw are non washable yoga mat. So, make sure to never wash them. To clean your yoga mat, you can use a mild detergent made for cleaning natural fibres. 


  • Make a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water.
  • Dip a clean microfiber cloth into the detergent and gently scrub the stained area.
  • Once done, dry it in sunlight so that the mat doesn’t develop any stains.

How to Clean Isha’s Cotton Handloom Yoga Mat

Isha Life’s Cotton Handloom Yoga Mat is made of cotton and jute fibres woven together. Along with that, it also has a rubber coating on the back. Now, the important thing to note here is that you can wash cotton mats, but jute and rubber cannot be washed. 

Thus, it’s advisable to never wash these yoga mats. However, you can gently wipe them with a damp cloth and let them dry in the sun. 

How to Clean Isha’s Banana Fibre Yoga Mat

If you use the Banana Fibre Yoga Mat by Isha Life, you can follow these instructions to effectively clean it. 


  • Dust out Isha’s organic cotton rug yoga mat in an open area. 
  • Soak with gentle to mild detergent for 20 minutes.
  • Hand wash with a gentle scrubbing action. 
  • Sun dry before use or storage. If sun drying is not possible the mat can also be air dried.


We hope you found this guide to Yoga Mats Maintenance helpful. If you already own a yoga mat, these practices will not only make your mat last longer but also improve your overall yoga experience. 

And if you’re a beginner in the world of yoga, and are looking for a yoga mat to enhance your yoga session, you can check out out Ultimate Guide to Yoga Mats to gain in-depth information on Yoga Mats. You can also check out the collection of Isha Yoga Mats that are eco-friendly and durable. They’ll help you elevate your experience with yoga.

So, which kind of yoga mat do you have or are planning to get? What do you currently use for performing yoga? Do let us know in the comments box below. Happy Yoga! 

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