What’s that Oily Film on my New Tapas Yoga Mat, and How Do I Get Rid of it?
You unwrap your brand new yoga mat, and carry it to your favorite class, anticipating how solid your Down Dog will be today. But in your Down Dog, you find that your hands and feet are sliding even worse than they did on your old worn-out mat. Your new mat feels oily and slippery. What gives?
It may seem strange to say this, but the oily film on a new PVC-based is actually a good sign.
The oily film on the surface of a new mat indicates that the mat was cooked at a lower temperature. Cooking at a lower temperature actually makes the mat stickier in the long run because the mat never completely dries out. So, if a mat comes without that oily film it’s because the film was burned off in a quicker, hotter process. It seems counterintuitive, but cooking the mats less means that the process time is actually longer, making the process more expensive.
The mats move through an oven on a belt. When they are cooked at a higher temp, they can move through faster, resulting in more mats being processed in a shorter time—say 120 mats in an hour opposed to 100 in the lower temp process. So the mats without a thin layer of oil are cheaper to manufacture, resulting in a drier, slicker surface that’s not as functional or durable.
We recommend washing your mat before you use it to get rid of the oily film, but we consider the presence of the film to be a good sign—that the mat will be more useful in the long run.
- Clean with our PureMat Mat and Gear Wash.
- We don’t recommend putting your mat in the washing machine to wash it, and definitely don’t put it in the dryer, unless you’ve been looking for a reason to replace the drum inside your dryer. The heat from your dryer could cause the mat to get stuck to the inside. Not good.
- If you want to deep clean your mat, put it in a bathtub with a 4-6 inches of water and a small amount of soap. Let it soak for 1/2 hour or so, wipe it down, then hang it to dry.
If you’ve come up with any care tips we haven’t shared in this post, please let us know. We love learning from our friends in the Yoga community. What’s the best way you’ve found to rid your yoga mat of the oily film?