This Yoga Teacher Shared a Brilliant Trick for Keeping Your Mat Clean

If you're wondering how to keep your yoga mat clean, this folding (vs. rolling!) technique is so smart you'll wish you thought of it first.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Clean-Yoga-Mat-Trick-GettyImages-980389838
Photo: Getty Images

As studios reopen, you might be planning to re-enter the world of group fitness after months of live-streaming from your living room. And while returning to in-person classes might offer even the slightest sense of pre-COVID normalcy, your exercise routine's likely going to look different. Rather than just, say, grabbing any old set of weights, you now might think twice before touching shared equipment — after all, those hand stations and antibacterial wipes have become even more important in the age of COVID-19. Sound familiar? Then before heading to your next yoga class, you're going to want to heed this useful hack for avoiding some germs.

Better known as @badyogiofficial on Instagram, Erin Motz is all about delivering accessible, serviceable yoga content to her 63.2k followers. And recently, the yoga teacher and founder of Bad Yogi took to the 'gram to share, in her words, "the *cleanest* way to roll your yoga mat."(

Motz begins her video by explaining that when you roll up a yoga mat the "the typical way" — rolling from one end to the other like it's a cinnamon roll — the underside of the mat side ends up directly touching the side that had been facing up. It's not ideal, even if you go to a studio that's recently ramped up its cleaning efforts.

Instead of contaminating the side where you put your hands and face, Motz suggests an alternative method in her Instagram post. First, fold the mat in half as if it's a piece of paper so that the two halves of the mat that were facing up are now touching. Then, starting at the creased edge, go ahead and roll up the mat as normal. And, violá, the side that was touching the floor never touches the one that you get all up close and personal with. (

Even before the pandemic, yoga mats were infamous for being one of the germiest spots in gyms and studios. It's possible to come in contact with bacteria and viruses that can cause colds, the flu, stomach bugs, skin infections, athlete's foot, or even MRSA or herpes when using a dirty yoga mat. Unfortunately for hot yoga fans, germs especially thrive in warm, moist (sorry!) environments.

While Motz's brilliant mat-rolling method won't guarantee that you completely dodge all germs, it might be a helpful step alongside other cleaning measures. You can also wipe down your mat before and after use with an antibacterial wipe or mist such as Way of Will Yoga Mat Spray (Buy It, $15, freepeople.com) and make use of the aforementioned communal hand sani. You can also switch to a mat made with antimicrobial cork, i.e. Gaiam's Performance Cork Yoga Mat (Buy It $40, gaiam.com), if you really want to go above and beyond. (

Given everything that's gone down over the past year+, tips for making your workout sessions as clean as possible might provide some peace of mind — and Motz's trick, which doesn't really require any additional time or effort, is a pretty easy switch to adopt.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles