View Full Version : Cleaning mat cover with enzymes

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Kevin Wilbanks
01-29-2007, 11:15 PM
Years ago, I helped clean a canvas mat with some kind of enzyme solution. I was just the lackey who did the work, so I don't know what it was.

It was something mixed with warm water in one of those pump weed sprayers. I mixed it up, soaked the whole mat cover, then put fans on it and let it dry for a day or two. As I recall, it worked really well on the smell the mat had developed, but don't remember if it improved the appearance at all.

Has anyone else used a product like this on a canvas mat? Anybody know brand names or suppliers?

02-07-2007, 05:05 PM
I'd be interested in knowing about this as well, but I'd have a few questions:

1) How would it affect vinyl? My mat is vinyl coated canvas.

2) Works on the smell, does it disinfect? I use bleach for this at the moment. It's hard on vinyl, but I don't use chlorine bleach so it isn't so bad.

3) Is it safe to use around kids? The kids outnumber adults in my dojo ten to one.

02-08-2007, 11:03 AM
If you guys check wrestling supply houses, you can kind lots of these products. Wrestlers use them to keep ring worm, and other unsightlys down.


Kevin Wilbanks
02-16-2007, 01:56 AM
That's a good tip, but I'm not sure the stuff I'm seeing on the wrestling sites is what I was talking about. I think this wrestling stuff is more powerful, as it is claiming to completely disinfect surfaces and I'm also seeing the word 'detergent'. I just started looking though, and haven't seen ingredient lists on any of them yet.

Actually disinfecting the mats is probably a good idea, but what we used was more along the lines of the pet odor remover solutions. I just found another type of product that claims to be better than enzymes at removing smells, designed for cat pee:


Enzymes are almost certainly inert and harmless once the treatment is over. I saw the MSDS data sheet on a peppermint enzyme soap and OSHA declared it completely harmless. The ad claims this cat thing is even more benign. In general, if toxicity to kids and adults is an issue, I think one of these biological cleaners is going to be better than caustic chemicals like bleach, detergents, or other disinfectants. The problem is that I think these only work on smells.

Since starting this thread, I talked to someone who had great success cleaning their mat cover by taking it outside and spraying it with a pressure-washer, using just water. Although removing and replacing the cover would be a pain, this sounds like the best solution to me for stains.

02-16-2007, 01:17 PM
[...snip...]spraying it with a pressure-washer[...snip...]

Really not an option for me.

I, like you, looked at some of the wrestling products and I feel like they might not be the best option for me.

What I've been using - and it seems to work well on my vinyl-coated, canvas mat is Oxyclean. It's fundamentally bleach, really. My only issue with it is the need to rinse thoroughly after mopping with the stuff.

Still, it rinses more easily and seems to leave less residue than chlorine bleach. And I happen to know from previous experience that chlorine bleach will eventually destroy the vinyl in the canvas (turns it to powder).