Help your wrestling mat live a long life by learning how to clean wrestling mats. Good quality wrestling mats are expensive and should last for years if they are treated properly. Most wrestling mats are made from either polyvinyl chloride foam or polyethylene foam and encased in a vinyl skin. Wrestling is a highly contagious sport when you consider all the body fluids that come into contact with the mat. Cleaning and disinfecting your mat can help stop the spread of blood born pathogens, such as hepatitis B and aids, and can prevent skin infections like impetigo and ringworm.
- Wrestling mats should be cleaned every day after use to extend mat life and prevent the spread of disease. Mats can be cleaned with a commercial cleaner/disinfectant like Ken Clean. Follow the label for amount of cleaner to water ratio, usually two ounces per gallon. An alternative to commercial cleaner is a solution of mild detergent like dishwashing soap. If you choose to use dishwashing soap, try a dilution of two tablespoons of soap to one gallon of water, rinse thoroughly and when dry, follow up with a ten to one solution of water/bleach to disinfect. Bleach solution should be wiped on and wiped off in a timely manner. Allowing bleach to stay on the mat surface for too long can bleach and weaken the vinyl skin. Do not allow any mat cleaning solutions to puddle under the mat. Don’t forget to clean between the folds of the mat and the floor under the mat. Make sure that your mat is completely dry before rolling it for storage.
- Wrestling mat tape should be removed and cleaned under every thirty days. Taped areas of the wrestling mat are the perfect place to harbor the growth of bacteria and mold. Using mineral spirits or Simple Green can remove tape residue cleaner. Tape left on wrestling mats for longer than thirty days can cause the vinyl skin to pull off when tape is removed.
- Ripped or torn wrestling mats can expose the foam so it becomes pervious to germs and bacteria. If this occurs, you must have your wrestling mat resurfaced or buy a new mat. Wrestling mats companies like Resilite.com offer do-it-yourself repair kits. Making repairs on mats in a timely manner can greatly extend their life.
With a bit of care and cleaning your wrestling mat should have a long happy life protecting bodies from being hurt.