Dearest friend and DC fan Annie wrote asking an excellent question which combines two of my favorite topics: cleaning and yoga. Specifically, Annie wants to know how to clean her yoga mat.Before we get into the how, let’s explore the why. Let me disgust, horrify, and hopefully motivate you. Warts, Athlete’s Foot, Ringworm and Staph are the most common yucky yoga mat squatters. Seriously, you put your face on that mat. Here are some recommendations for getting your saucha on.The first cleaning choice is somewhat controversial – the washing machine. Some companies market their mats as machine washable, and this is certainly the most low maintenance option. Beware that mats of lesser quality may not stand up to the intensity of this method. Most recommend cold water, however hot water, a little detergent, and a skosh of bleach works best to disinfect and deodorize. Use the gentle cycle. Expect an extremely wet mat that may take a couple days to dry. Keep mat unrolled and in a well-ventilated place.Rather obvious is the mat wipe down. This should be done at fairly regular intervals even if more vigorous cleaning methods are employed only occasionally. The question then becomes, which cleaning product to use? Having tried everything from Mrs. Meyers, diluted bleach, tea tree oil, Simple Green, and vinegar, rest assured that none of these concoctions are ideal for this specific task.Recently, I randomly broke out the Scrubbing Bubbles Foaming Bathroom Cleaner and tried it on my mat to surprisingly excellent results. Unlike many other products, Scrubbing Bubbles doesn’t leave a residue, wipes away easily, and the foam reaches every indentation. Saturate mat with spray, allow product to stand for a few minutes and then dry thoroughly with a paper towel. Flip mat over onto a large towel and repeat on the other side. Place near a heating vent to dry completely.During the winter, if you live in a cold climate, keep your yoga mat in the car. The below zero temperatures kill germs in between uses. Folks generally forget about the power of a deep freeze. This underrated disinfection method works for a variety of hard to clean items.Also consider using a towel or Yogitoes as a hygienic barrier between you and your mat during your practice. For any kind of heated yoga, many consider Yogitoes an absolute requirement. In general, stay away from the essential oil based cleaners which tend to make mats slick.