Ask Bennd: What is The Best Way to Clean My Bennd Yoga Mat?
Yoga is sweaty work, and every yoga mat needs maintenance if you’re looking to maximize its life and minimize the need to replace your mat.
For rubber or plastic mats, the old standby of soap and water works fine.
But Bennd yoga mats are different. Woven with fine textiles and plant-dyed with Ayurvedic medicinal herbs and compounds, our mats are entirely composed of organic material, and require a different cleaning process. Using our preferred method will also help extend the healing properties of our natural materials and ingredients.
So, to start: do not clean your Bennd yoga mat with standard household soaps or detergents.
Learn more about caring for your Bennd yoga mat below.
Storing your Bennd yoga mat between sessions
A major benefit of using a woven yoga mat like Bennd’s instead of rubber or plastic is that our materials are naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial, meaning that they don’t harbor microbes and germs that can cause illness or infection. This means that if you store and care for your mat properly, you won’t need to clean it nearly as often as you would a rubber mat.
It’s very important to make sure that your Bennd yoga mat completely dries out between each use. Do not roll up your mat while it’s damp—allowing moisture to remain in your mat can weaken the fabric over time. The plant-based medicinal compounds in our yoga mats are alive and active, and rolling up your mat when there’s moisture in it will cause mold to form, just like the expired food in your fridge.
Ensure your mat dries between uses by hanging it over a shower curtain rod, a door, or outdoors in the shade. Never leave your Bennd yoga mat in direct sunlight. Doing so will weaken the medicinal properties of the mat and damage the living plant compounds in the fabric.
How to clean your Bennd yoga mat
We mentioned above that you shouldn’t clean your Bennd yoga mat with standard household cleaners or detergents. These are fine for rubber or plastic mats, but they’ll damage the organic materials of your Bennd mat and affect its integrity.
What do I use to clean my yoga mat besides household detergent?
Every Bennd yoga mat comes with a pouch of soap nut powder. Soap nut, derived from the Sapindus mukorossi tree, contains a compound called saponin, a mild natural detergent that has been used for centuries to clean clothing and other fabrics. The powder you’ll find in your Bennd mat’s cotton pouch is a dried and crushed form of the nut. Crushing the soap nuts activates the saponin without needing to boil the seeds first. Even better: soap nut is very gentle, so it’s great for people with sensitive skin.
How to hand-wash a Bennd yoga mat
To wash your Bennd yoga mat, add 2 teaspoons of soap nut powder to your cotton pouch, mix with cold water, and work up a lather. Keeping the soap nut powder in the pouch will prevent granules from getting into your mat. Gently wash your mat with the mixture, then rinse thoroughly with a hose. Make sure to rinse away any excess soap nut lather or residue on the mat.
How to machine-wash a Bennd yoga mat
You can also clean your Bennd mat in a high-efficiency washing machine without an agitator in the middle. Simply use 2 teaspoons of soap nut powder in the supplied pouch in place of regular laundry detergent and use your machine’s gentlest hand wash cycle. Hang in a shady spot to dry.
How often should I clean my mat?
Since our materials are naturally antimicrobial, you don’t need to wash your Bennd yoga mat as often as you would a rubber or plastic one.
If you’re an active yogi who practices daily and sweats a lot, we recommend washing your Bennd mat once per month.
If you’re a more casual yoga practitioner, you can space out washings even more, up to 3 months apart or even longer depending on how much you use your mat. Just make sure to wipe down your mat with a damp cloth after every use and hang it somewhere safe to dry.
The plant medicines in Bennd yoga mats remain active through up to 24 washes. If you wash once per month, that’s two years of benefits, and even more if you wash less often.
Since Bennd textiles and yoga mats are made with all-natural materials and zero synthetics, it’s important to clean and store your mat properly. Fortunately, doing so is simple: wash infrequently with soap nut powder and let your mat dry in the shade between uses.
Remember: Don’t use commercial detergents, and don’t leave your Bennd yoga mat in direct sunlight.
Shop Bennd yoga mats here