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How to Clean Cork, Wood, and Foam Yoga Blocks?

How and why to clean yoga blocks + DIY Cleaner & our favorite organic cleaners!

Who wants to start their yoga sesh with a whiff of yesterday’s sweat? Not us, and we presume that preference is universal. It’s hard to create a sacred space if you have to share it with germs or there's a fat layer of gunk sneering at you.

Dirty props are sticky and stinky. In every session, yoga blocks are at the receiving end of finger oils, sweat, and dirt expelled by your hands. We all know this, but we happily ignore the easy-as-it-gets process of maintaining our yoga props after a practice session.

It is a human thing. Even with the noblest intentions, cleaning yoga blocks largely remains an afterthought. Ignoring the care and maintenance of your yoga props is gross. If dirt and stench are not enough of a deterrent, germs are another grave concern.

Germs love moisture and dirt. Humans love procrastinating. It is all fun and games till someone is afflicted with a fungal infection or plantar warts. The remedial mantra to absolve this is simple – clean yoga blocks with a damp cloth after every use. Need more reasons to do it?

  • Increase the lifespan of yoga blocks

  • Prevent germ build-up that can cause infections

  • Deodorize the block with uplifting or calming scents

  • Prevent them from getting irreparably stinky or stained

Can’t remember the last time you cleaned your blocks thoroughly? If that’s cause you didn’t know how-to, we are here to help. If you were just plain precarious, we will give you a tough time about it.

Either way, we cover how to clean yoga blocks – the right way!

Cleaning Yoga Blocks and Props: It’s Easy!

The exacting details of how to clean blocks varies based on the material - foam, bamboo, wood, or cork yoga blocks. Luckily, the entire process only takes a couple of minutes, and everything you need is probably at an arm’s length (or mouse click) away.

Here is a checklist of the things needed to clean yoga blocks and other props:

  • Towel, non-abrasive sponge, or cleaning cloth

  • Dishwashing soap

  • Organic Cleaner (Optional)

  • Club soda (Optional)

  • Commitment

A soft cleaning sponge, a lint-free microfiber cloth (especially for cork yoga blocks), or an old cotton t-shirt can be used for the process. However, do not use a lot of soap to clean. It can result in slippery blocks, which are a nightmare while attempting challenging poses.

How to clean cork yoga blocks?

Cork yoga blocks are 100% natural and need special care to clean. Generally, light-to-mild stains can be tackled with a damp cloth (use cold water and no soap). Set the block to dry before your store it away. If the stains are particularly stubborn, use a gentle or mild organic cleaner.

Soap is not advisable because it may contain chemicals that can damage the texture and structural integrity of cork yoga blocks. This can result in chipping or other forms of degradation. The last thing you want is an unsteady and irregularly-shaped yoga block!

How to clean foam yoga blocks?

Foam yoga blocks are the easiest to maintain. A good wipe with a clean wet cloth after each use should keep them squeaky clean. For deep cleaning, take a cup of warm water and add two drops of dish-washing soap. Dip a clean washcloth in the water and wipe your foam blocks to get rid of surface bacteria and other gunk that builds up over time.

You may need some club soda and elbow grease because old stains can be stubborn. If that doesn’t work, resort to mild cleansers. Let the block air dry before you store it away. You may want to invest in an organic cleaning spritzer if you paid extra for non-toxic foam blocks.

How to clean wood yoga blocks?

Wipe wood blocks with a lightly damp cloth to remove sweat, dirt, and finger oils after each yoga session. The cloth should be damp, not dripping wet. Wood soaks water. Plus, water can wear out the finish on bamboo / wood yoga blocks. Use as little water as required. Once you are done, air dry the wood yoga block by placing it in indirect sunlight until it is dry.

Similar to cork blocks, wood and bamboo are natural and organic materials. Although, wood is a lot less absorbent. Either way, the method to clean wood yoga blocks remains the same.

Tip: Never wash wood blocks in a washing machine, it can cause some serious damage.

Can you machine-wash a yoga block?

Generally, foam yoga blocks can be machine washed. It’s more effort than wiping it with a clean cloth but could be essential if they are really dirty. Yoga studios that need to clean several blocks prefer this method. That said, wood and cork cannot be machine washed because a) the material absorbs water and b) it can damage a yoga block’s surface.

Should you invest in an organic cleaner?

We advocate the use of natural and organic cleaners or DIY spritzers with vinegar and essential oils. They are an excellent substitute for dish-washing soap. Tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties and is 100% natural and organic. Plus, essential oils ensure that your blocks smell great when you use them.

Yoga blocks and props can develop a funky smell if they aren’t regularly cleaned. Soap is not as effective as a dedicated organic cleaner in this aspect. Cleaning sprays are typically available in lavender, chamomile, lemongrass, or other scents to spruce up your props and enhance your experience as you settle down for practice.

Tip: Opt for an organic cleaner with a neutral scent cleaner if the smell of essential oils overhwelms you.

Our Favorites Products for Yoga Block Cleaning:

Logan Active Clean: This set includes an 8-ounce spritz bottle of Logan Active Clean and a microfiber waffle towel (10” x 10”). It’s alcohol-free, streak-proof, and works for wood yoga blocks too. It has a bright and zesty Eucalyptus + Spearmint scent.

TreeActiv Spray – A spritz bottle that can do one thousand sprays of all-natural Tea Tree, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, and Witch Hazel Mist to deep clean yoga blocks and props? Yes, please!

Treeborn: A 16-ounce glass spray bottle with non-sticky, non-slippery, and alcohol-free French Lavender and Tea Tree oil.

DIY Cleaning Spritzer for Yoga Props

The costs of spritzers can add up over time. If you are a frugal yogi, there is nothing to stop you from making your own organic disinfectant to clean yoga blocks and other props.

Grab a spray bottle and fill it up with equal parts of water and white vinegar (or witch hazel). Add a few drops of any organic essential oil with antimicrobial properties. We recommend tea tree oil for its science-backed microbial properties.

The vinegar works as a gentle disinfectant and tea tree oil is one of the most effective essential oils for killing fungi, bacteria, or any other dangerous germs. Plus, the clean cloth swipe will fend off all the gunk from the surface of your yoga block(s).

Spray the block with your spritz bottle on all sides. Let it sit for a few seconds. Wipe the excess with a clean cloth. Viola! Squeaky clean yoga blocks that (probably) smell like a peach. Keep the spritzer in your practice space and spray your yoga block after every use.

Tip: Add a few drops of lavender or chamomile essential oil to tyour DIY disinfectant for an earthy and grounding scent. This is completely optional but highly recommended.

Parting Thoughts

A dirty yoga block at the end of your session is a sign that you are putting in the legwork. A dirty one at the beginning of your sessions? Not so good. Now that you know how to clean yoga blocks, it’s important that you do it regularly.

For one, it will drastically increase the longevity of the block. Secondly, the only thing showing on your yoga block should be the (clean) imprint of your hand! That said, refer to the care instructions of your product to ensure our recommendations don't result in accidental damage.

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