We've been receiving a emails from our Yoga studios outlining helpful details of their policies regarding Corona virus, and keeping things as hygienic as possible while the country deals with containing it's spread.
So we thought we'd outline what we have found are the best ways to keep your mat clean, without over cleaning so to reduce wear and tear.
One of the main reasons we decided on the Kin mat surface was the hygiene factor - the closed-cell nature means it offers an almost skin-like barrier, preventing absorption of excess sweat and grime. It really is a super hygienic Yoga mat.
Unfortunately a lot of Yoga studios use mats that are highly porous and so really tricky to clean, it's the reason why I personally never use them. During any typical Yoga class you'll be touching the mat with all sorts of different parts of your body, including your face, and do you really want that surface to be something a bunch of strangers have sweated on all morning? For that reason alone it's worth buying your own Yoga mat.
Keeping your Yoga mat clean is not just sensible in this time of Coronavirus uncertainty, but also helps your mat last longer (if cleaned and cared for properly).
It's also a part of our Karma Yoga practice; the Yoga of action, of taking the time to perform actions, however meaningless and basic, in a thoughtful, comprehensive way. Then there's 'Saucha' one of the 5 Niyamas (personal observances) of Yoga that refers to the cleanliness, the way we 'keep our house in order'.
After much trial and error, we have found the best way to clean your mat is with the following -
Alcohol based spray
Vinegar + bicarbonate soda
All heavily diluted with water so as not to be too harsh.
Always treat your Kin mat as you would your own skin; wipe thoroughly but with a SOFT, NON-ABRASIVE CLOTH OR SPONGE, so as not to wear down the effectiveness of the grippy surface.
Do not use any oil based products (including essential oils). Funnily enough, just like human skin the Kin and Skinny mats absorb this oil, leaving marks and over softening the surface so it could slightly lose it's grip!
The Skinny travel mat has a microfiber surface which is why it offers you that sumptuous velvet feel. It's highly absorbent, which while being really useful in a sweaty practice, means that some of the liquid is held on the surface (although unlike other porous mats doesn't seep through to the base layers).
This means it needs a more antibacterial approach; the best thing to use for your Skinny mat is an alcohol base, and of course they're machine washable! We would recommend popping your Skinny mat in the wash ONLY if/when it starts to smell a bit.
We also thoroughly recommend allowing your mats to dry FULLY before rolling up.