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Are Yoga Mats Waterproof – Breaking Down the Answers

Are yoga mats waterproof?

This is a common question that many people have regarding their yoga mats. Are yoga mats waterproof? The convenient answer to this question is that they can be water resistant, but maybe not waterproof.

However, when the desired answer pertains to the perspective, whether water can penetrate the mat’s membrane, the answer may be different. In this sense, we may consider whether a yoga mat is an open cell or closed one.

In an open cell yoga mat, it is generally porous. Meaning, water can enter its wall; hence, it may be deemed spongy. On the other hand, if the yoga mat is a closed-cell, it may tend to be water proof or water resistant. The latter is but accurate. Water cannot easily penetrate behind the wall of the mat.

The greatest threat to a yoga mat is always moisture. Some of the best mats on the market are able to diffuse the water so your hands and feet remain dry during your practice. Yoga enthusiasts who practice Bikram and other types of hot yoga will invest in such a mat to prevent slipping. But whether or not these mats are waterproof is up for debate.

Are yoga mats porous?

As mentioned, in order to answer this query, it is best to determine whether the yoga mat is an open or closed cell type. If the former, then, it is undeniably porous. Water can enter its membrane or mat wall, thus, penetrating the inner part behind them.

Conversely, if the yoga mat is on a closed cell category, as stated above, the same may be considered as non-porous. In some yoga mats, you may very well notice that, when you pour water, it is being diffused but not absorbed. In this instance, the mat is a closed cell type, which is non-porous, water proof, or water resistant.

Should You Wash Your Yoga Mat?

In a limited approach, it is wise to wash yoga mats with caution and in a manner that a spray or smooth cloth soaked in water will be carefully applied.

Most mats are made from PVC, which is generally porous. Thus, when washing the mats without caution, liquids and bacteria can seep inside. When you fail to dry the mat after use, this can cause you to slip and slide more than usual because of the wet surface caused by stuck water, not to mention the possibility of mildew or staining.

A big concern for many yogis is whether moisture from a sweaty practice will cause their mat to mold. If your mat does start growing fuzz balls, use a light and smooth scrub brush to remove them as much as possible, without soaking the mat entirely water. Use a wet towel and wipe the mat carefully with little force to remove the dirt.

Let it dry in a little but not direct sunlight, in front of an air conditioner, or using an electric fan. Some yoga mats. depending upon the materials, can withstand direct sunlight, yet, others cannot.

If your mat is still damp after washing it with soap and water, use dry towels to remove excess moisture before letting it air dry or using a fan on low to speed up the process.

Washing (meaning dipping the same in water without care) your yoga mat may seem like a nice way to remove sweat, dirt, and germs from your mat. However, this process is one of those cleaning myths that could actually harm your mat and leave you susceptible to bacteria and mold.


A yoga mat is an investment. It should last for many years and thousands of sweaty downward dogs. But washing it can cause damage, and some yoga mats aren’t even waterproof in the first place.

What makes a good yoga mat? It should be slip-resistant, offer traction during hot yoga sessions, dry fast after washing, and be able to hold up against being folded up in a gym bag.

Washing your yoga mat can ruin it. The materials that make up a typical mat are natural rubber (latex) and synthetic rubber (polymers). When you wash them with soap and water or use a cleaning product designed for car interiors, these materials break down over time, causing an unpleasant odor as well as discoloration or cracking.

In addition, cleaning a natural rubber mat with soap and water can destroy the antimicrobial properties of gels used to coat its surface that help prevent staph [Staphylococcus] infections. You can simply wipe off your mat with a damp cloth after each session to keep it clean without affecting its longevity.

If a dirty yoga mat bothers you, what will you do?

If you practice yoga, then you probably know that these mats can get very dirty. But does it bother you, or are you okay with it? If your yoga mat gets dirty, do you wash it? No one wants to step on a dirty and soiled mat.

If a dirty mat bothers you, the first thing to do is clean it up after yourself. When you’re done with your pose, put a towel down to protect the mat from sweat and dirt. When you’re finished using your mat, wipe it off as best as possible with a wet cloth or water if possible.

This will remove any sweat, dirt and oils on the surface of the mat. You can also use baby wipes to wipe the mat clean. Now that the mat is clean, let it dry naturally. It’s not a good idea to put it in a dryer because it could damage the material and make it more susceptible to bacteria growth.

The best way to dry it, for some other capable mats, is by leaving it out in the sun for about an hour. To natural rubber, this may not be applicable.

Leave the mat folded over itself so air can pass through easily — this is also helps prevent mildew from forming. Dryness is important because moisture can lead to mold growth, which can make you sick if touched by skin.

How will you clean your yoga mat to remove dirt and bacteria?

Most people are unaware that the mat they use in yoga is not waterproof. If you are one of those people, then it is important for you to know that the mat absorbs all of your sweat, dirt and bacteria into its surface.

The mat itself is made from PVC which is highly porous. You cannot simply throw it in the washing machine or use a cleaning solution like Clorox because it will damage the mat.

However, there are a few options on how to clean a yoga mat to remove dirt and bacteria. The first is using water and scrubbing it with smooth and subtle brush. An old toothbrush may be utilized. Depending on how dirty your mat is, this might be enough for you. Have it dried under the sun.

If your mat still smells, you can try using vinegar to clean it. Take a spray bottle filled with white vinegar and mist it over the entire surface of the mat. You may have to wait for at least 20 minutes before wiping and cleaning it off with a damp cloth.

This will take off any build-up from sweat and should leave your mat smelling fresh again! Another option for cleaning a yoga mat is putting it into the sun to bake off any bacteria or smell that has accumulated on its surface.

If you suspect it is harboring germs, then wash it with mild soap and water. Or you can use a mild disinfectant cleaning spray, if you’re going to be sharing it with other people. The best way to clean your yoga mat is to use simple soap and water.

Be sure that your mat is completely dry before storing or using again. If your mat has odors from being in storage for too long, simply air it out for a day or two in the sunlight to freshen up the smell.

To properly clean your yoga mat, you’ll want to use soap and warm water. Use a brush and scrub away any dirt that’s holding onto your mat. Rinse it thoroughly so as not to leave any soap behind, then allow it to completely dry with all of the strings facing downwards.

A properly cared for yoga mat promotes better health

A properly cared for yoga mat promotes better health and longevity, but it can be difficult to keep your mat clean. Yoga mats are notorious for picking up dirt and germs from the places you practice. The best way to clean a yoga mat is to wash it with soap and water, then let it air dry.

A common misconception is that you should throw your yoga mat in the washing machine. However, doing so will cause the rubber on the bottom of the mat to deteriorate over time.

Towel drying your yoga mat tends to leave it damp and sticky, which can attract all sorts of unwanted debris that leaves you susceptible to germs and fungus.

 To clean your yoga mat properly, first make sure it is free of any sweat or other substances that might stain or damage the material. Next, lay your mat out flat on some grass or other hard surface outside if possible, or on a towel in your bathtub.

Using a sponge or soft brush, gently scrub the surface of your yoga mat until it is clean and dry. Finally, hang your yoga mat up to dry on a clothesline outside if possible so it can fully air out before you use it again. After each use, store your yoga mat rolled up in a dry place.


Yoga mats are often made of rubber compounds in order to prevent any damage occurring to the body from the mat itself. Without prejudice to yoga mats’ porosity or non-porosity, yoga mats are designed to be water resistant, or other say “waterproof”.

You should also determine whether your yoga mat is an open or closed-cell type. In that way, you will learn if the same is porous or not. This will affect your cleaning habit of your yoga mat.

Sweating is part and a product of exercise. Thus, porosity may be a factor in considering a yoga mat and eventually buying the same.

Many people like to use a disposable towel under their mat during practice as they claim that it helps keep the body cool. It may also add cushion for them.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that if you drop your hand on a heated room floor or experience lots of extra sweat then you should dry the mat out until it is no longer wet.


Yoga mats are mostly made of plastic or rubber, synthetic or otherwise. This material is very absorbent, so it can easily absorb the water from the surface of the carpet while you perform stretches and poses on it.

If you are looking for a way to correctly clean your yoga mat without damaging its substrate, then we strongly recommend using a special spray – yoga mat cleaner.

These liquids contain special surfactants that do not leave any residue after application. Due to the high requirements to the properties of such products, be sure to check their composition before buying a cleaner.

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