Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Getting Rid of the Gross

If you follow my Facebook religiously, and I expect you to, you noticed that yesterday I had to use the “community” mat at yoga because I forgot mine. It was tragic. And gross. God only knows how many beads of sweat and pubic hairs had been on that mat (yes, my class is pretty risqué – pubic hairs flying everywhere).

I cleaned it the best I could with gym wipes, but you know I was thinking about the filth of that mat for the entire class. When we laid face down for bow pose (which I am exceedingly good at. Don’t you know that yoga is one big competition about being better than your neighbor and judging them if they don’t do things right?), the instructor told us to put your foreheads and chins on the mat. I screamed, “NO WAY, yogini. No way am I smashing my face into this mat of germs.”

The truth of the matter is, my own personal yoga mat is pretty gross too. But, it is my own personal gross, so it doesn’t really bother me. Kind of like that sleeping bag that you’ve done all kinds of crap in but still use. Not so bad when it’s your own.

Still, today I thought about all the hot yoga classes I’ve been to and all of the bodily fluids that have made it onto that mat (well, just sweat and maybe the occasional bit of drool when I’m really concentrating or sucking on a Jolly Rancher). It needed a good cleaning and it needed it fast.

It was at that moment a friend of mine at yoga (sometimes I do make friends) gave me the most enlightening tip. It had nothing to do with Namaste and meditation and sun salutations. She told me you could wash your yoga mat in the washing machine.

What the hell? This is one of those times (like when I didn't know jackalopes were not real animals in the wild) that I found myself feeling left out of something that the whole world probably knows. I have been doing yoga for at least 8 years. When my mat gets so gross I can no longer really clean it, I make it into place mats or a sled for the kids or throw it away. I never knew you could wash those bitches.

You probably all knew this tip and have stopped reading and are like, give me a break. Who doesn’t know you can throw your yoga mat in the washing machine? Or, maybe you hate yoga and have never done it and could care less. You can put your car tires in the washing machine too if that is more relevant to you.

I came home and tossed my split pea soup mat into the washer with a tad of Kirkland’s detergent STAT. Really, I did.

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I NEVER in a million years would have done this unless someone told me you could. Seriously, it is like eating an egg. I never would have been the first person to eat an egg. Why would anyone do that? Slimy, comes out of a chicken's ass. It’s just wrong. Same thing with the yoga mat. I thought for sure it would break my machine or the mat would disintegrate.

No. It came out clean and perfect. Then I put it in the dryer. Just kidding.

I laid it out neatly to dry because it takes a day or two to get completely dried out.

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Now it is as good as new. I am emailing Heloise because I don’t think she knows about this hint.

Ever washed your mat in the machine?

Got any good, weird tips to share with this awesome audience?

SUAR

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility if washing your mat in the washing machine either ruins your mat or breaks the machine. This is just what worked for me!

57 comments:

  1. I have to admit that I never knew you could wash it in the washing machine either! That is so awesome!!

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  2. I am too afraid of farting on someone to do a public yoga class.

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  3. I never knew this, great idea!

    Thanks!

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  4. Does it lose its 'stickiness' (the ability to keep you from sliding)?

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    1. No, it actually gets better traction once you get the firm of dirt off ;)

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  5. WEll, looky there, I never knew that either

    I do know you can wash your cycling shoes on the top rack of the dishwasher (turn the dryer off0

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  6. I would never have thought of that! But i can say that mine needs it, now. Blech.

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  7. Add me to the list of people who never knew this either!

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  8. All I can say is.....I have had a nagging ache in my upper a$$ lately and after you posted about your deep massage I got out the old trusty hand held electric back massager and put my butt to the test!!

    Would you believe...some times it hurt and some times it felt wonderful....and my butt isn't hurting as we speak!!

    Why didn't I think of that before??? Seriously!

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  9. So you bent it and just shoved it in there? Cold water? I am totally trying this; my mat needs a bath too!

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  10. OK - my yoga mat is going in the washer right after my running clothes come out. Our 5K training group does stretching and core work outside - so my mat has my own personal gross plus some of nature's dirt and stickiness. It's definitely in need of help....

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  11. Yeah, cold water, just a bit of detergent. I also put it on the gentle cycle.

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  12. No freaking way! I had NO idea. Thanks!!!

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  13. I didn't know you could put that in there either (TWSS). While we're on the topic of "things I didn't know you could put in the washing machine", my electric blanket has instructions for washing it in the washing machine. I've never done it because I'm afraid I'll get electrocuted or something.

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  14. Yep! Works great ;-) but know I am feeling more grossed out about the occasional use of the "community mat" thanks for the reminder! :p
    Note to self; remember to bring yoga mat to gym.

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  15. Nope, didn't know that either but after reading your description and thinking of how I've NEVER washed my mat in the 6 years that I've owned it....well, I should probably go take care of that. Stat.

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  16. I am really pleased to learn this.

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  17. Ok, I had no idea you could or should wash your yoga mat!

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  18. As of right now I hate yoga and don't even own a mat… yet I feel strangely interested in this news.

    Well.

    I once hated running too so never say never. I will store this tidbit of knowledge incase I ever need it for my own mat… or during a lull in convo at a cocktail party ;)

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  19. Why would you ever want to wash your yoga mat? Just think of all the personal experions that are there to remind you of how much better you are than the yoga pretenders on the next mat. A clean yoga mat is a sign that you are a yoga virgin. Nothing is ever the same after going through the washing machine, and that's typically a bad thing.

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  20. That is awesome! I wonder if our mat from under the trainer will fit, it might be too large. I had no idea either.

    Please don't make your old yoga mat into placemats. The thought of that made me want to gag.

    Apparently you can cook salmon in the dishwasher. I don't ever plan on trying that, though. I hear it smells aweful. You can also wash all sorts of things in the dishwasher, though. I put hats in it, as well as gross baby toys, but we are about over that stage.

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  21. Add me to the list of people that had no idea you could wash your yoga mat.

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  22. I did not know this. My step son used to wash his running shoes all the time. I'll admit I thought, and still think, he's a freak.

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  23. I knew this but never do it because it depends on the mat. I have a 7 lb heavy duty mat that I paid an arm and leg for and it can't be washed in the machine. It would probably break the machine.

    So, yeah, depends on the mat. Your standard 1/8" to 1/4" thick is probably fine in the washer. Anything thicker and heavier -- probably not.

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  24. I didn't know you could wash the mats in the machines. I thought you had to do it by hand. I think it's time to wash mine (I've never washed it). Eww!!

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  25. Chacha: I thought most mats were 1/4" or less. Mine is 1/4". I guess if you have a really hefty one, forget it. You won't even be able to get it into the washer.

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  26. Good to know! And I comepletely agree with the egg comment. WHY did anyone ever do that?! :)

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  27. I did not know this either. I really should wash mine because it's always smelled a little too chemical-y. Maybe a good run through the washing machine will take care of that!

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  28. Had my matts (yes plural) for about 4 years...never knew this either! Guess what's gettin' washed tonight? Thanks!

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  29. I've washed shower curtains in the washing machine but it never occurred to me to wash my yoga mat. I learned something today. Yay!

    I want know who was brave (desperate??) enough to be the first to try lobster. Pineapple too, for that matter - it looks so badass.

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  30. Eggs come out of a chicken's ass? WTF? How come nobody ever told me that and of course you can wash a yoga mat....duh!

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  31. Seriously? I've just always washed mine with some hot water and lemon juice. I was told that was the only way to not degrade the mat material. Hrm.

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  32. I volunteered at a Bikram Yoga studio a few years ago.

    It was "Karma Yoga"- I work for free yoga sessions!

    One of my jobs was to wash the mats and dry them out. In between washing we sprayed them down with an alcohol and water solution (I also added tea tree oil).

    At home I just spray my mat with water and tea tree oil to disinfect. After multiple washes it does start to ware on the mat.

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  33. I too, never knew you could clean a yoga mat in the washing machine. I can't wait to get home tonight and give it a spin!

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  34. Definitely was unaware of putting the mat in the wash. I wonder if the mat does lose its stickiness too but I will have to try it! Thanks!

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  35. I never knew you could wash it, so thanks for the tip.

    Next time I use a public mat, I'll be thinking about pubic hair. There's a math equation for you... public = pubic. Thanks for that thought too :-)

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  36. I clean our shower curtain liners the same way (wonder if I'm the only one...) Thanks for the tip!

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  37. AMAZING! Thanks for sharing, I never would have guessed this works! :)

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  38. I really never thought of the egg coming out of a chicken's @ss. I don't think I can ever look at an
    egg the same way again.

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  39. I have a tip unrelated to yoga that I think I have posted before, but it bears repeating. I refused to take my Nook e-reader into the tub with me because I love the thing so much and I was terrified I would drop it in the water. Reading in the tub is one of my favorite things to do and I can actually do it now since my son is grown and rarely home to come in and tell me some long story or ask me a million questions as soon as I get a toe in the water. So I was whining about it at work one day when a coworker told me how she puts hers in a ziploc bag to take it in the tub. Works great! The touchscreen still works and everything! All is right with the world.

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  40. I found it particular hilarious that you would use a used sweated on Yoga mat as place mats (even if you were only joking)....and really about Jackalopes?? I guess I never knew that either....hmmm makes you wonder what else you don't know doesn't it?

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  41. I like the idea of teh ziplock and e-reader. My little trick is when your sneakers are wet from running in the rain or just sweaty I stuff them with news paper and let them sit overnight. The next morning the news paper will be wet and your sneakers will be dry. The newspaper pulls all the moister and smell out of the shoes.

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  42. I like the idea of teh ziplock and e-reader. My little trick is when your sneakers are wet from running in the rain or just sweaty I stuff them with news paper and let them sit overnight. The next morning the news paper will be wet and your sneakers will be dry. The newspaper pulls all the moister and smell out of the shoes.

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  43. made me laugh at least 3 times! make placemats out of your gross yoga mat!?! too funny!
    Hey, Robin is not the only one -- i was gonna mention washing shower curtains in the washing machine(and add vinegar..or smthng..i think it's supposed to be vinegar to it).

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  44. Love your disclaimer! So, you're saying community mats scare you a bit? ;)

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  46. "I never would have been the first person to eat an egg. Why would anyone do that? Slimy, comes out of a chicken's ass. It’s just wrong."

    HILARIOUS!

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  47. I did know about washing the mat because I am wise. Because I also am a naturalist I lay mine over my deck railings and let the rain water clean it. I am so cool.

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  48. When I first started doing yoga, I used the studio's mats for a few classes before I bought my own and it never grossed me out. Now I don't even want to think about it..

    I used that first mat for about five years and never once cleaned it. I just bought a Manduka ProLite mat and will probably never clean it either. The paper wrap it comes in specifically tells you not to put it in the washer, but I may try it with my old mat. I tend to leave that one sitting in the middle of my living room floor like an area rug after I do yoga, so I walk across it with my dirty feet since I pretty much walk around barefoot whenever possible, and it's oh so dirty!

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  49. You can wash your yoga mat? Holy moly. I'm doing that today as soon as I get home if I don't forget.

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  50. Ok am I the only one (there was way too many other comms to read) who caught this but you turn your yoga matinto place mats :/ doesn't that strick anyone else as kinda gross since especially since we've now just discovered washing mats...BTW new to the blog and love it!

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  51. Have any of you used a Matsana machine to clean your mat? Looks awesome! www.matsana.net

    John

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  52. How often to you put it in the washer? Does it wear it out faster?

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