How to Clean a Wool Yoga Mat?


How to Clean a Wool Yoga Mat

A wool yoga mat will eventually get dusty or dirty. Do you know how to clean it? Wool needs to be clean in a more gentle way than other fabrics.

A wool yoga mat can be clean in different ways, depending on how soiled it is. If your wool yoga mat is not too dirty, you can shake off the dust every week or spot clean it with a wool detergent. When your wool yoga mat needs a good clean, you can hand wash it, put it in the washing machine with a wool detergent or send it to the dry cleaner.

Depending on the type of wool yoga mat you have, you can choose to clean it in a certain way. Most of the time, your wool yoga mat will come with some care instructions. So it’s best to follow those that are specific to your wool yoga mat. Here, we’ll explore all the different ways you can get your wool yoga mat clean.


How to Clean a Wool Yoga Mat?

Wool indeed requires more caring than other fabrics. However, wool doesn’t need washing that often. Thanks to the wool’s natural dust and water repellent properties, a wool yoga mat will be ok with a bit of shaking to take the dust off.

Only when your wool yoga mat is soiled, you will need to think of washing it thoroughly. There are a few options you can choose from.

Regular Maintenance for Your Wool Yoga Mat

Shake your wool yoga mat at least once a week. This will avoid debris or dust accumulating on the surface.
Vacuum your wool yoga mat regularly on both sides using only the sucking mechanism without the brush or beater bar to avoid damaging the wool fibres.

Quick Wash for Your Wool Yoga Mat

Spot clean your wool yoga mat to remove stains as soon as they appear.

Washing Options for Your Wool Yoga Mat

  1. Handwash
    You will need:
    A bucket big enough for your wool yoga mat to fit inside. A bathtub would be even better.
    Wool detergent.
    Coldwater at around 30°C or 90°F.

What to do:

  • Use a big bucket or a bathtub.
  • Add the wool detergent to the water.
  • Put your wool yoga mat inside; ensure the wool yoga mat is fully covered by the water.
  • Leave the mat to soak for at least an hour.
  • After an hour or two:
  • Agitate the wool yoga mat with your hands or step on it with your feet. If there are soiled areas, rub them with a soft brush to try to get them out.
  • If it doesn’t come out, apply wool detergent directly to the soiled area and leave for another half an hour.
  • Rub again, or use the soft brush.
  • Rinse the wool yoga mat thoroughly.
  • Squeeze the mat gently.
  • Dry outdoors.
  • Lay flat to dry if possible; if not, hang it to dry.
  • *Sheepskin mats should not be let to dry in direct sunlight.
  1. Machine wash
    You will need:
    Wool detergent
    Washing machine


What to do:

  • Add the wool detergent to the washing machine.
  • Set the washing machine to a handwash, delicates wash or wool wash option. If none of these washes is available to use, select the cold wash with the low centrifuge option.
  • Dry outdoors.
  • Lay flat to dry if possible; if not, hang it to dry.

Note that when your wool yoga mat is wet, it will be cumbersome, so plan ahead where will you dry it. You can do it on a line or over a wall. Make sure your mat dries completely. Choose a sunny day for the washing.

  1. Dry cleaner

If your wool yoga mat comes with specific instructions to care for it. It’s best to follow them. There are well-known rules that you can follow to help you look after your wool yoga mat.


Why Is Important to Clean Your Wool Yoga Mat?

You should clean your wool yoga mat only when it’s required. You can spot clean your yoga wool mat as needed and reserve the washing for when it’s filthy. This way, your wool yoga mat will last a lifetime.

So, Why it is that you don’t need to wash your wool yoga mat so often? Wool is a natural fibre; in fact, it’s merely sheep’s hair.

Sheep’s skin has a natural oily secretion called lanolin, which acts as a moisturiser for the sheep’s skin and makes the wool water-repellent and gives it antibacterial properties.

Lanolin is hugely important for the cosmetic industry to make moisturisers, cosmetics, and ointments.

Thanks to the lanolin content of the wool, wool yoga mats are naturally dirt and water repellent. The wool’s lanolin content will naturally repel stains and moisture, and it will last a lifetime with proper care.


What Is the Best Way to Clean Your Yoga Mat?

Depending on how dirty your wool yoga mat may be, you may feel it’s time to clean it.

Here are the options to clean your wool yoga mat:

  1. Shake the dust
  2. Vacuum clean
  3. Spot clean
  4. Handwash
  5. Machine wash
  6. Dry cleaning

To help you decide which is the best option; it will depend on how dirty or stained your wool yoga mat is and what caused the stain.

  1. Dust your wool yoga mat to remove any debris, dust that may have accumulated. Shake it outside and let it air out to get rid off of any smells.
  2. Vacuum clean once a week.
  3. Spot clean any spills or stains.
  4. Hand wash with a wool detergent.
  5. Use your washing machine in a gentle cycle with cold water and wool detergent and without centrifuging.
  6. Take it to a professional dry cleaner and explain any specific stains you want them to remove and what caused them. It will be easier for the dry cleaner to remove the stain.

If you plan to store your wool yoga mat, clean it beforehand and put it in an airtight plastic bag for long-term storage. For extra protection, add a dry lavender sachet to deter months, carpet beetles, or silverfish coming any close to your wool yoga mat.


How Often Should You Clean Your Wool Yoga Mat?

The frequency of cleaning of your wool yoga mat depends on the type of pile it has.

You should vacuum handwoven wool yoga mats with a low suction setting without the beater bar or brush. They don’t need as much caring as the pile is woven. They can be dry at direct sunlight, but not for too long. Colours tend to be well fixed so the sun shouldn’t affect the colour.

Beater bar or brushes are complete no, no for any wool mat. They will push the dirt to the core of the wool mat, making it more difficult to clean. Using the beater bar or brush would also destroy the wool fibres.

Long pile wool yoga mats like sheepskins need to be treated with more care not to lose the hair fibres. Long pile wool yoga mats need to be shaken a few times a week to ensure they are not accumulating dust. When washed, they need to dry flat on the shade. Otherwise, the skin will shrink and damage the mat, reducing its overall lifespan.

Wool yoga mats, like any other wool mats, will naturally shed some wool fibres. The shedding doesn’t mean your wool yoga mat is of lousy quality. This shedding is quite common when the wool mats are brand new; after a few months, they will shed less.


The Do’s and Don’ts When Cleaning Your Wool Yoga Mat

Here it is in a nutshell what you should and shouldn’t do to clean your wool yoga mat:

Do’s

  • Shake it often.
  • Vacuum every week.
  • When washing, use detergent for wool.
  • Use a soft brush if needed ( a toothbrush can work).
  • Use cold water or up to 90ºF or 30ºC.
  • Rinse thoroughly.
  • Dry outdoors.
  • Lay flat or hang to dry.
  • Dry clean your wool yoga mat; if it becomes very soiled or stained.
  • Clean it before storing it for a long time.
  • Store in a vacuum bag or a sealed container with a lavender sachet to avoid moths or other insects getting in there.

Don’ts

  • Do not use bleach.
  • Don’t use brighteners.
  • Don’t use softeners.
  • Don’t centrifuge in a high setting, nor for a long time.
  • Don’t tumble dry.
  • Don’t steam iron.
  • Don’t store when dirty.
  • Don’t dry in direct sunlight to avoid fading away, particularly for sheepskin.
  • Don’t spray perfume or alcohol on your wool mat.
  • Don’t use dry shampoo.
  • Don’t use the vacuum cleaner with the beater bar or brush.

How to Clean Red Wine and Fruit Juice Stains on A Wool Yoga Mat?

If you get to spill your glass of red wine or a glass of juice over your wool yoga mat, you can do a few things:

  • Pour salt over the spill; the salt will absorb the liquid.
  • Once the salt absorbed all the liquid, use a spoon to lift the residue.
  • Blot dry the area.
  • If the liquid didn’t go through the wool mat, drying it should be enough.
  • If the liquid penetrated the wool mat, then get some wool detergent, a sponge and a bit of water to spot clean that area.
  • Damp rinse with a damp white cloth or towel.
  • Dry it with a clean cloth as much as possible and let air dry completely before using it again.

If you think the spill is too big or that you won’t be able to remove the stain, it is best to take it to the dry cleaner and explain how was your wool mat stained so that they can remove the stain better.


How to Clean Muddy Footprints on a Wool Yoga mat?

If you get footprints on your wool yoga mat, you can spot clean them.

  • If there’s any liquid, dry it with paper towels but do not rub it. Otherwise, it will stain the wool yoga mat.
  • Leave the mud to dry so you can remove it once it’s dry.
  • Remove any solid mud that may be on the mat.
  • Don’t rub the mud on the wool mat, as this will make the dirt go deeper into the mat.
  • Use a spoon or a spatula to get off any solid material.
  • To remove the stain using a wool detergent. Place a dab of the wool detergent on a white cloth or a soft sponge and gently scrub to remove any remaining residues. Clean the detergent with a damp white cloth until the detergent has been removed completely.

The sooner you remove the stain, the better, the longer you leave the wool mat without cleaning, the stain will set, and it will be more challenging to clean. As a rule of thumb, clean any spill within 15 minutes to eliminate the stain better.


How to Clean Your Pet Mess over Your Wool Yoga Mat?

Pets love to lay on wool yoga mats; they are cosy and warm. Usually, our beloved pets tend to leave some muddy marks over the wool mats. These marks are easily clean.

But if you have a puppy or a little kitten, they may get to make a mess on your wool yoga mat. So, What to do if they do?

  • Spot clean the area with a mixture of 8 parts water, 1 part white vinegar and a small dab of wool detergent.
  • Add some of this solution into a white cloth and rub the area gently.
  • With another damp white cloth or small towel, clean the solution.
  • Rinse the towel with cold water as needed and clean the area until all detergent is gone.
  • Once the area is pretty much dry, let it air and dry completely before using your wool yoga mat again.

If you consider the mat didn’t get clean entirely or that the stain is too big, consider washing your wool yoga mat or send it to the dry cleaner.


Conclusion

I hope you got a clearer idea of what you need to do to clean your wool yoga mat.

Cleaning a wool yoga mat is simple enough; you need to prepare what you need and make sure you have space outdoors to dry it out if you go for the full wash.

Sheepskins wool yoga mats can be more delicate as you are washing the skin of the sheep as well and not only the wool.

Long pile wool yoga mats don’t need much rubbing. This is to avoid the shedding of the wool fibres.

Make sure you clean any dirt or spills straight away to avoid permanent stains.

To make sure your wool yoga mat maintains its beauty and long lifespan give it regular maintenance by shaking the dust and vacuuming it every week. If cleaning your wool yoga mat at home sounds like a hard job, take it to a dry cleaner where they will leave it pristine.


Can I Use Alcohol to Clean a Yoga Mat?

Depending on the material of your yoga mat, you can use alcohol or not. I wouldn’t recommend alcohol in rubber mats; it will reduce its lifespan and possibly damage the material if used frequently.

Can I Use Vinegar to Clean My Yoga Mat?

Vinegar is an acid; it can stain or whiten your yoga mat. It may be ok if you dilute the vinegar in 8 parts of water and 1 part of vinegar, so it is not strong. Still, it will have antibacterial properties to clean your mat. Always check in a little corner before cleaning the whole mat to ensure the solution is not damaging to your mat.

Can You Clean a Yoga Mat with Hydrogen Peroxide?

No, don’t use pure hydrogen peroxide. It can react with the material of your mat and damage it.

Can I Use Bleach on My Yoga Mat?

If you consider using bleach to disinfect your yoga mat, use a diluted bleach solution; otherwise, it will damage your wool mat’s material. Using bleach frequently on your yoga mat will cause the material to start breaking down. Please don’t use bleach on fabric mats or cork mats, as it will discolour them.

How Do You Get rid of the Smell from a New Yoga Mat?

Let your yoga mat air out for a few days. Depending on the material, sometimes it will take longer for the smell to go away.

Maria Mendoza

Hi. I'm Maria. I am a Biologist and a Yoga instructor. I've created this blog to share my knowledge and experience with people interested in yoga and those who want to make yoga a part of their lives. Besides I promote and encourage an environmentally responsible yoga practice. Through my articles, you can learn how to begin Yoga and discover the meaning of Yoga. Learn about Asanas, Pranayamas, Mudras, Mantras and Bandhas. Start your Yoga practice today.

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