There’s no question that COVID-19 has changed the way we live and practice. In answer to the heightened concerns about mat and equipment hygiene, we’ve worked with our scientists and studios to develop the following guidelines for how to properly disinfect your yoga mat and equipment.
Instructions and precautions for keeping your practice safe and clean
Whenever possible, you should not share a yoga mat or props with anyone and should bring your personal equipment to the studio - mat, towels, strap and blocks.
If you are using your own mat at home, continue with your usual cleaning routine, only when you go into public studios do we recommend you do a deeper clean with an eco-friendly botanical disinfectant.
We recommend that anyone with Covid-19 let their studio know if they have attended class in the prior 14 days so the studio may take appropriate measures to disinfect the space and inform the community.
Know Your Mat
Understanding the different materials used in our Manduka mats is important, as there are different methods needed to deep clean them.
- PRO Series – PRO, PROlite, PRO Travel – These mats are made using a closed cell material, meaning nothing can be absorbed into the mat, and the mat can be cleaned thoroughly on the surface every time.
eKO Series – eKO, eKO Lite, eKO Superlite – These mats are made of a natural rubber, also a closed cell material. These mats can also be easily cleaned and disinfected, but need to be dried properly.
GRP Series – GRP and GRP Lite – These mats are made from an open cell PU and rubber construction. Their goal is to absorb moisture and provide maximum grip as they get wet, so thoroughly cleaning these mats requires the most attention and care because this material is very absorbent.
Entry Series – Manduka X, Begin & Welcome Mats – These mats are made using a TPE closed cell material, meaning nothing can be absorbed into the mat, and the mat can be cleaned thoroughly on the surface every time.
Products and Processes
For a quick disinfect:
While we are busy perfecting our Manduka Botanical Cleaner (due out middle of this year) we recommend using botanical anti-bacterial disinfectants - better for your mat, the planet and your health. Look for certified eco-friendly products - most organic stores have a selection of botanical cleaning sprays available to choose from.
With any cleanser options, length of time on the mat and proper rinsing is key. The cleaner must remain on the mat for approximately 5 minutes to do its job, and you must thoroughly rinse afterwards to remove as much of the product as possible, since skin irritation and/or respiratory difficulties may occur. Please be sure to carefully follow all directions listed on the cleaner’s packaging.
Note: This process works for Pro Mats, eKO mats, Manduka X, Begin & Welcome Mats. Mats designed to absorb moisture (GRP series) should never be treated with disinfectant as the liquid will be absorbed into the mat and then cannot be thoroughly cleaned out.
For deep cleaning:
> PRO Mats, eKO mats, Manduka X, Begin Mats:
- Lay your mat out on a flat surface.
- Mix approx 4 cups of WARM water (hot water may damage the mat) and a few drops of a mild detergent (do not over soap!)
- Dip a rag into the soapy water, then thoroughly wash the mat from top to bottom.
- Make sure to wipe the mat down with plenty of clean warm water to remove any soap residue.
- Wipe the mat with a clean, dry towel.
- Repeat on bottom side.
- Allow to air dry until the mat is entirely dry. Do not roll or store mat away while still wet.
> GRP mats:
- Submerge mat in bathtub filled with a shallow layer of warm water (NOT HOT!) Add approximately 1 TBSP of gentle detergent (again, do not over soap!)
- Allow the mat to soak for 5 minutes, then lightly scrub with a soft cloth.
- Repeat on bottom side.
- Make sure to thoroughly rinse the mat with clean warm water to remove all soap residue. This is very important as these mats are super absorbent and may hold onto the soap.
- Wipe the mat clean on both sides with a dry towel.
- Allow to air dry 24-48 hours (or until completely dry) before re-rolling mat. Do not roll or store mat away while still wet.
What about Props?
While pillow and bolster covers - as well as straps - may be washed in a washing machine, the easiest way to disinfect your other props (especially blocks) is to use the process listed above in the “quick disinfect” section.
How often should I clean my mat?
Every time you use your mat, your body is releasing skin and sweat onto the surface. Over time, those materials invite bacteria to grow (which is what causes odour). We recommend using Manduka’s Mat Freshener after every practice to help reduce stains and odour buildup. At least once a week you should follow the instructions to clean your mat, using more of the solution and scrubbing common touch point areas.
How often should I disinfect my mat and props? (Not just clean it)
Generally speaking, you only want to disinfect your yoga equipment when you feel it has been exposed to germs. If you are practicing at home and no one in your home is sick, you really don’t need to disinfect your gear very often. Having said that, given the current asymptomatic spread of COVID-19, disinfecting once a week is probably a good idea. If you are venturing back out into studios, you should disinfect your mat (both front and back) and accessories after every class.
Can you clean a yoga mat with disinfectant wipes?
Using these products on your yoga mat probably isn’t the best solution for your mat, your health and the environment. In order for a disinfectant to be effective, the entire surface needs to be visibly wet for a certain period of time (in the case of regular disinfectant, it’s 4 to 5 minutes). This may be difficult to achieve with a small wipe on a large surface like your yoga mat as the products on the wipe evaporate very quickly. Also, you absolutely must rinse your mat off and wipe it clean to remove as much of the product as possible. Many people experience mild to severe allergic reactions after prolonged skin contact with chemical disinfectants. Aways prefer using the botanical disinfectant options.
Can I use bleach on my mat?
We do NOT recommend bleach. That is one of the harshest cleaners both for the mat and for the user. Only when necessary, we would recommend a minimum use of natural botanical disinfectants, following all the directions for use, and making sure to thoroughly rinse the mat afterwards. Steer clear of solvent based products or harsh chemicals as these will degrade the mat.
Can I wash my mat in the washing machine?
No. The most effective clean you can give your mat is by hand with a soft cloth with the appropriate cleaning solution. A washing machine will damage your mat and cause rapid aging.
How do I clean my apparel after practice?
For towels and clothing, follow the normal washing instructions. There is no need to wash on a higher temperature as exposure to the detergents will kill the virus. We recommend washing immediately after returning from practice to limit any potential exposure within the home.
For other questions please email us at [email protected] or visit our help center. Also check Manduka blog for further support about returning to the studio and how to set your studio up for planning the reopening.