This Is How Often You Should Replace Your Yoga Mat

Yoga mats have become a fixture for home workouts and public gyms alike. From college campuses to the corners of living rooms across the world, the soft, non-stick mats are great for a variety of workouts and make everything from yoga poses to pushups to pilates more comfortable.

But all that use comes with a price. AZCentral explains that a yoga mat has to be cleaned every few months. A homemade cleaning spray can easily be made by those who can't find one in stores or want something a little more natural. All it takes is a spray bottle half-full of vinegar, five drops of tea tree oil, and a bit of water to top off the mixture. A nylon-bristled scrub brush can be used to give it a good cleaning. You should also make sure the mat is dry before storing it and invest in a mat bag to protect it when it's not in use.

Eventually you'll need to replace your yoga mat

Eventually, TLC and a protective bag may not be enough. In an interview with PopSugar, personal trainer and nutritional counselor John Fawkes explained that yoga mats may have different life spans, but the signs of wear and tear remain the same. If the mat is less firm than it used to be or if its texture has changed, it's time to get a new one. Another good sign is if you find yourself slipping on a yoga mat that was once non-slip. Mats used regularly for high-intensity workouts will start showing these signs within 6-8 months. If your workouts are on the gentler side but still regular, you can get up to 12 months out of your mat.

Unfortunately, once your mat is out of commission, you can't just throw it in the recycling bin. Recycle Nation explains that yoga mats are often made of PVC, which is non-recyclable. There are brands that make mats out of recycled or sustainable materials, but the most common mats are better off reused than recycled. Consider turning them into seating pads for use at outdoor events or while gardening. When your mat starts to wear down, take a look at recyclable brands that allow people to maintain a fresh, safe mat responsibly.