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Studio owners, we feel you: You love doing yoga in your studio—but cleaning the studio? Not so much.
To be sure, keeping your yoga studio clean can be a relentless undertaking. Only two things will save from you from tidying fatigue: changing your mindset and dialing in your routine, says housekeeping coach Marla Cilley, author of the forthcoming book, The Chaos Cure, who recommends rethinking the negative connotations cleaning often triggers. Instead of making a big to-do out of cleaning, Cilley suggests transforming tidying into a series of bite-size chunks, easily dispensed and digested. “What can be done in a focused 15-minutes will astonish you,” says Cilley.
What’s more, if you approach cleaning as drudgery, it’s time to tweak your attitude, says Cilley. Instead of resenting the cleaning you have to do, think “cleaning honors me and my students,” she says. It’s the ultimate seva. Sprinkle in some devotion, and you may find cleaning mats brings you as much joy as being on one.
Here, Cilley and other experts share pro hacks to help you get every area of your studio cleaner—faster.
5 Pro Hacks That’ll Get Your Yoga Studio Cleaner Than Ever
Hot spot: Lockers
If you have metal lockers, use a stainless-steel cleanser designed specifically to remove residue and stains, says Hilton Rodriguez, director of operations for SanMar, a NYC-based commercial cleaning company that specializes in yoga studios. And whatever you do, don’t use water to get metal lockers clean. “Using water on these kinds of lockers corrodes the metal, which is why non-water based cleaners are your best bet,” says Rodriguez. Pay special attention to the locker room floor, which can be a magnet for food debris and skincare products spills.
Hot spot: Yoga mats
There is no hack for cleaning yoga mats: It still comes down to mostly elbow grease, says Rodriguez, who also suggests keeping cleaning solutions to a minimum, as too much water will cause the mat fibers to break down and deteriorate. Warm water and a microfiber cloth are once again your best bets when cleaning yoga mats. If you want to go big, a growing number of studios across the country have opted for Matsana, a cleaning machine designed for mats that utilizes UV light to kill bacteria and other microorganisms. Learn more at www.matsana.net.
Hot spot: Bathrooms
Shower stalls should be cleaned with citrus products that contain acid to dissolve mildew, says Rodriguez. Microfiber cloths work wonders on mirrors and glass stalls because they don’t leave behind streaks. Never use bleach, says Rodriguez. It’s hard to remove, not to mention dangerous not only to the cleaner but also to the environment.
As for the shower heads in your bathroom: There’s an easy way to get rid of it the hard white gunk that seems impossible to scrub off. Fill a gallon-size plastic bag with diluted citrus cleaner, submerge the shower head in it, and secure the bag to the shower head with rubber bands. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse and wipe dry, says Rodriguez. If it’s still grimy, remove the head and soak it in a diluted citrus cleanser for several hours, then scrub it with an old toothbrush. The acid in the citrus eats away at the gunk, which is just a buildup of minerals that are in the water, and makes it easier to get rid of. You can use this same trick to clean any water deposits and hard-to-remove grime from sink faucets and sprayers.
Toilets can be a beast, but not if you make cleaning them part of your daily routine, says Cilley. Use whatever kind of soap you have on hand, she says. “Soap is soap. You can even use the dregs of a shampoo bottle or a body wash.”
Hot spot: Walls
Walls tend to get overlooked in the quest for clean, but in a yoga studio, walls need extra love. (Just think of all the hands and feet touching those walls!) Cilley recommends using a microfiber cloth or even a broom on the walls to remove cobwebs and dust. And pay special attention to the trim, baseboards, moldings, light switches, and doorknobs, she says—that’s where the dust accumulates. If there are spots that have been scuffed by feet (Handstands at the wall, anyone?) or grimy fingers, wipe down the surface with a wet microfiber cloth.
Hot spot: Floors
The centerpiece of a yoga studio are your floors. Your students get up close and personal with the floors—and a flotilla of dust bunnies crossing at eye level can disturb their drishti (and inspire them to choose another, cleaner studio). Rodriguez recommends vacuuming first to get up all the dust. “There’s always hair and skin on the floor,” he says. “Oftentimes you don’t see it, but it’s there.” Next, use a dust mop to remove any additional layers of grime. Finally, use a microfiber mop dampened with water and disinfectant. For yoga studios, disinfectant is a necessity, says Rodriguez. “You can dilute your disinfectant and also use it as an all-purpose cleaner on both floors and countertops.” If you want to avoid conventional disinfectants that contain toxins, Cleanwell and Seventh Generation both have botanically based anti-microbial formulations.