Wrestling is a contact sport that exposes wrestlers to all kinds of bacteria, making tips for cleaning wrestling mats essential. Dirty wrestling mats can expose wrestlers to blood borne diseases such as hepatitis B and AIDS and allow skin infections like ringworm to spread. According to safety regulations, wrestling mats should be cleaned thoroughly after each use. Wrestling mats are particular creatures that require proper handling.
- Unroll wrestling mat. If mats are rolled up, carefully unroll them and lay them flat on a clean floor. Make sure the room temperature is over 50 degrees or the mat surface can crack.
- Know your type of wrestling mat. Most mats are made from polyvinyl chloride foam or polyethylene foam and covered with a thin layer of vinyl. The care and cleaning is the same for either type of mat. If your mat is made from another substance, it is best to check with the manufacturer before attempting to clean mat.
- Use a soft cloth, sponge or mop to clean wrestling mats. Do not use a harsh or scratchy brush to clean your mat as it may damage the vinyl surface. Don’t forget to rinse and clean mops and sponges after each use.
- Use mat cleaner. Resilite and Quality mat companies suggest using Ken Clean brand for cleaning wrestling mats. You may also use a mild cleaning solution of two tablespoons of soap to one gallon of water. Thoroughly rinse cleaner off mat. Allow wrestling mats to dry completely before storing.
- Disinfect your mat. If your wrestling mat cleaner does not include a disinfectant, you can use a ten to one solution of water to bleach. Do not allow bleach solution to sit on mat for longer than ten minutes or bleach can cause mat vinyl color to fade or spot.
- Remove mat tape every thirty days. Map tape that is left on wrestling mats longer than 30 days may adhere to vinyl coating and cause it to be pulled off when tape is removed. Germs and bacteria love to grow in moist, dark spaces like under tape edges. It’s a good idea to remove tape for a more complete cleaning.
Following these tips for cleaning wrestling mats should keep your mats and your wrestlers healthy and germ free.