A yoga mat should not be slippery. It should have a grip and stick to the floor on the bottom side. Also, your hands and feet should stick to it on the upper side. A slippery yoga mat is a health hazard.
The mat becomes slippery because of the accumulation of dirt, oils, lotions, and sweat. Also, new mats tend to be slippery. So, don’t be disappointed when your hands and feet are sliding on your new mat. It can be fixed.
What do you do if your yoga mat is slippery?
Break-In If New
A new yoga mat can be slippery because of the thin film it has on the surface. The film prevents the mat from sticking together when rolled up after production. This is normally in PVC yoga mats and less common in polyurethane, TPE, and rubber mats. So, if your hands and feet are slipping on your new mat, know it is normal.
What you need to do is to break in the mat.
If you have patience, you can break in the mat by using it. The more you use the yoga mat, the faster you will get rid of the thin film, and the sooner your hands and feet will stop slipping. Try using it daily for a week. The mat should feel sticky by the end of the week.
Alternatively, if you want fast results, clean the mat. Wipe the mat using a mat cleaner or a mild detergent and sponge and then leave it to dry.
You could machine wash, but this is recommended for thin mats. Just make sure you check if the mat can be machine washed. Some mats can be damaged by the washing machine. If yes then put in a gentle cycle without detergent. Hang it to dry.
Some recommend scrubbing the mat with salt, using apple cider vinegar to wash the mat, or exposing the mat to sunlight. These are misleading ways to break in a yoga mat. If you must use them, then use a lot of caution because they can cause damage to the yoga mat. For example, salt and sunlight are known to break down polyurethane, TPE, and rubber while apple acid vinegar is acidic and can damage the mat.
Use a Yoga Towel or Microfiber Towels
A yoga towel can prevent the mat from being slippery. To use it, spray your yoga mat with water and then place the towel on top. The towel will add traction so that your hands and feet do not slip.
You can use the towel if your mat is new and slippery. Also, your mat could be slippery because of excess sweat especially if it is hot or you are sweating a lot because of intense yoga. The towel helps to absorb the excess moisture and to add traction.
If you are still slipping after using a yoga towel, switch to microfiber towels. These are thinner and they can provide additional friction.
Wash the mat
Your yoga mat could be slippery because of the accumulation of dirt, oil, and sweat.
Do you know how to clean a yoga mat? Deep clean the mat using mild soap and water. Rinse and hang to dry. This should get rid of all the contaminants making the mat slippery.