Keeping Yoga Clothes and Rugs Clean
One of the most common challenges for ashtanga yoga students is keeping our clothes, towels and rugs clean and smelling fresh. Since we perspire so much during practice, it is easy for wet items to trap bacteria in the fabric which is then very hard to remove with regular machine washing. It is even harder when these items have been sitting in a bag while we’re at work or school all day long. Since many of us cannot go home to hang our stuff after practice, here’s what we do ourselves to fight the bacteria. We use bags made of breathable fabric for our wet items. Plastic bags are a sure way to guarantee bacterial growth on your yoga stuff. Also, we make sure to soak our yoga clothes overnight in water with some Dr Bronner’s brand lavender soap. 1/4 cup in a bucket or sink should do the trick. It’s not an exact science. You just want to smell lavender. It helps to kill the bacteria. After soaking, machine wash as usual with detergent. For bad smelling towels and rugs, wash with bleach as well as detergent. We haven’t tried it, but some people have used febreeze for their stuff and said it worked well. Ultimately, soaking items in something that is anti-bacterial overnight before washing will get clothes back to a fresh as well as clean state. Regular washing or hand-washing will not be sufficient once mildew or bacteria have a foothold. Sometimes items may seem clean when they’re dry until you get them wet again with perspiration which unlocks the bacterial odours that have been trapped inside. For students practicing everyday, a rotation of clothes, rugs and towels is important so there is time to let items soak before washing.