Hack to Roll Your Pilates or Yoga Mat to Keep it Clean

Tips to Keep Your Mat Clean

Woman Rolling Up Yoga Mat
Don't Roll Your Mat this Way - Fold it Over First, then Roll. Cavan Images/Photodisc/Getty Images

Here is a hack for rolling your Pilates and yoga mats in a way that will keep the top surface clean, and won't make a crease in your mat.

Wouldn't it be nice if we always put our Pilates and yoga mats down on clean surfaces? Of course, but we aren't exercising in a surgical theater (at least most of us aren't). Even the cleanest gym, studio or workout room has gunk and germs that will stick to the bottom side of our mats.

Then you roll  up your yoga mat from one end to the other, as seen in the photo. That's not going to end well. Every time you roll up your mat from one end to the other, you roll grit and unseen scraps and dirt onto the clean, working surface of your mat.

How to Roll Your Pilates and Yoga Mat to Keep it Clean

 This tip is for the thin yoga mats that many of us also use on firm, padded surfaces for Pilates.

  1. With your mat laid flat, loosely fold it over so that the top end is an inch or two shorter than the bottom. The clean top surface is now in the middle. Don't crease the folded end. Let there to be an inch or two air bubble in the folded over end.
  2. Start at the loosely folded end and roll from there.
  3. Roll your mat all the way up. There will be a small section at the end where the inside will be exposed, but for the most part, the whole top surface of your mat -- the part you work out on -- will stay clean.
  1. Your mat will stay rolled up almost as securely as it would if you rolled it end to end. Better yet, pop it in a mat bag.
    Buy Yoga Mat Bags at Amazon.com

Cleaning Your Pilates or Yoga Mat

If you are at the gym or studio, you probably just grab the spray bottle they have set out for you and spritz your mat.

But is that the right thing to do? What is in that bottle, anyway? Yoga expert Ann Pizer explains how to clean mats based on what they are made from, and how often you should clean your mat. How to Clean Your Yoga Mat

More Mat Advice

  • Before You Buy a Pilates Exercise Mat: There are differences between Pilates mats and yoga mats. Find out what works best for Pilates, and how to decide whether you want a roll-up mat or a folding mat.
  • Yoga Mat Owner's Manual: Here is help for deciding what to look for in a yoga mat and where to shop for one. We also give advice about what to do about a slippery mat.
  • Top Picks for Pilates Exercise Mats: Are there just too many choices for mats and you don't want to end up with one that is too cheap or too expensive or won't do the job? Here are our top picks for Pilates mats.

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