How to clean a cork yoga mat
Nowadays, more and more people choose yoga as a way to achieve physical and mental health. This requires yoga practitioners to have the right tools to support their sessions. The yoga mat is one of them. Manufacturers keep competing to create one that is comfortable and fun to use. And now we have a cork yoga mat. This eco-friendly mat offers tons of benefits, including its self-cleaning nature. That being said, it still needs cleaning from time to time. Practicing on a clean yoga mat is important. On this “How to Clean Cork Yoga Mat” article, we guide you through the process.
The birth of cork yoga mat
Yoga mat manufacturers see market demand moving towards sustainable and environmentally friendly products. This coincides with yoga itself that is one with nature. Yoga, both as a practice and as a journey, cannot be separated from nature. This should reflect on the type of yoga mat you use. For this purpose, the cork yoga mat is by far the best. Below, we sum up some of the most important reasons why. We also dig deeper into how important it is for all Yogis to practice on a cork yoga mat on another article.
Cork yoga mat and its benefits
A cork yoga mat is made of tree barks, usually from the Oaktree. This makes it 100% renewable. And instead of cutting down trees, it only takes the tree bark’s outer layer. This encourages the trees to regenerate more. And in that process, it absorbs more CO2, making the air cleaner. This reason alone makes cork yoga mat very eco-friendly and sustainable.
Apart from sustainability, this nature makes it easy to clean. Oaktree bark naturally prevents bacterial growth. Most cork yoga mats are made without the use of harmful chemicals and PVC content. This results in no plastic odor that can interfere with yoga meditation.
Besides being eco-friendly, our cork yoga mats come with optimum durability and lighter weight. The other advantages of cork yoga mat are:
- Cork yoga mats offer more grips. They stay flat and adjust the shape when used;
- They feature a high level of density, sturdy, and durable. Thanks to the natural material, cork yoga mats won’t easily deflate or deform even after heavy use;
- Odorless is a huge plus. Say goodbye to plastic odor and the smell of sweat that usually lingers;
- Better grip when wet. Even when you sweat profusely, it won’t get slippery;
- Long-lasting. A cork yoga mat is perfect for those who like to invest in good products. Although the price is a little more expensive than a regular mat, its quality is worth every penny.
The importance of keeping your cork yoga mat clean
Your yoga mat hygiene is an important thing to note. Most of the yoga poses require your body to stick to the mat. For those who have sensitive skin, this can cause discomfort and irritation. Dr. Robert Lahita from the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey said that yoga mat can contain a lot of bacteria if not thoroughly cleaned. Some even said it can be dirtier than a toilet seat! This may lead to skin infections and various diseases.
Lahita added yoga mat acts as an inanimate object which mediates indirect transmission of infectious agents. Bacteria or viruses will multiply and then move to the human body. Things like tapeworms and water fleas may live and breed on a dirty yoga mat.
Besides cleaning, try to spread your yoga mat open and then hang it under the shade when not in use. This will help prevent bacteria from multiplying. Remember not to hang it under direct sunlight. This may cause a pungent odor or worse, damage its surface.
A renowned physician, Dr. David Anthony Greuner, also explained how unclean yoga mat can carry diseases. It’s very susceptible to germs, viruses, and bacteria. They can live on a dirty mat for several weeks! It’s safe to say that mat’s cleanliness is not something to take lightly. So, let’s get cleaning for your comfort and health’s sake!
How to clean a cork yoga mat
The good news is cork features a self-cleaning nature. It’s naturally antimicrobial. Thanks to the Phenolic compound which kills bacteria and fungi. Some synthetic mats offer similar features. However, they absorb and retain odors, whereas cork naturally repels odors and emits a fine woody aroma.
You sweat, move, and practice on your cork yoga mat all the time. Despite its self-cleaning nature, you still need to clean your cork yoga mat from time to time. You can clean a cork yoga mat at home easily!
What you need to clean a cork yoga mat
No need to buy expensive chemical cleaners. You can use a vinegar and baking soda, mixed in water. And you only need a soft cloth as your cleaning tool. For more details, we will explain below. But first, here’s what you need to make the simple cleansing solution at home:
- Clean water
- Essential oil (aromatherapy)
- Baking soda
- Spray bottle
It's very easy to make. Fill ¾ of the spray bottle with clean water. Then fill up the rest with vinegar + baking soda. For fragrance, add 5 drops of essential oil (more or less depending on your preference).
Several essential oil blends can be used to make this cleansing solution. Our favorites are Tea Tree oil and lemongrass. Some also like a mix of Eucalyptus and Lavender. Or mix whatever you like!
Steps you need to follow
Mix the solution evenly by shaking the bottle. Then, spray the natural liquid on the cork yoga mat. Right after spraying, wipe it with a soft cloth. Finally, make sure it’s completely dry by letting it air dry for 10-15 minutes. Feel the surface to make sure it’s not damp. This helps prevent fungus or bacteria from growing.
There are a few things you need to consider when cleaning a cork yoga mat:
- If you use it every day, clean your cork yoga mat after several practices. No need to do it too frequently;
- If you’re an active Bikram Yoga or Hot Yoga practitioners, try to dry the mat directly after use, so you can use it again in the next session. This also keeps the mat from dampness;
- Certain parts of your yoga mat make contact with your hand, feet, or body more often than others. Make sure you take more time in rubbing those areas;
- Rub and wipe gently using a soft cloth. Don’t use anything with a rough surface. This is to keep the top layer of your yoga mat intact;
- Several shops that sell and provide special tissue for wiping yoga mat. This can also be a great alternative.
The above methods are to clean a cork yoga mat that is used in an indoor studio or at home. How to clean cork yoga mat if it’s used on a sandy beach, soil, and rocky surface? What you need to do is to sweep the dirt off of the mat first using a soft cloth or towel. Then, you can continue with the method mentioned above.
What you should not do!
There are several things you should NOT do when it comes to cleaning a cork yoga mat. Improper handling can reduce the mat’s quality. These are as important as to the answers of “How to clean cork yoga mat”.
Do not put it in the washing machine
Apart from damaging its texture and layer, this won't do the job. Instead of brushing off the dirt, the hard friction will damage your yoga mat.
Do not fold it
After cleaning and drying your cork yoga mat, don’t fold it. This will also damage the texture of cork. We only recommend rolling. Don’t worry about it getting curled up. A cork yoga mat will always stay flat when spread open!
Do not dry under direct sunlight
This is to avoid your mat of getting rough and stiff. Exposure to direct sunlight may affect the flexibility and texture of the mat.
Do not share it with other people
We always recommend one yoga mat for everyone. It’s your partner and it should be only for you. Cleanliness-wise, using it alternately transfers sweat and bacteria from one skin to another.
Cleaning a cork yoga mat is personal. You should determine when you need to clean your mat, based on how often you practice. The amount of sweat you produce should also be a consideration. Even though we only recommend occasional cleaning, you can also clean your cork yoga mat every day. There’s no problem with that, as long as you followed the dos and don'ts!
Cleaner mat, healthier you!
Now that you know how to clean cork yoga mat, it’s time to pick the best one for you. Our collection of cork yoga mat is the right choice for those who care about using eco-friendly and sustainable products. Made of tree bark, cork yoga mats are more resistant to bacteria. They don’t absorb wetness and odor, making it comfortable to use daily. Cleaning it up is quite easy and doesn't even need expensive and hard-to-get chemicals. All can be made with natural materials available at home.