View Full Version : What do you use to clean mats?

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11-13-2003, 01:35 PM
For those of you out there with the Swain/Zebra type tatami mats; what do you use to clean the mats (not the sweeping, but the actual wet cleaning)?

Thanks, Rachel

11-13-2003, 01:50 PM
Basically, we have add about a tablespoon or so (not much) of disinfectant solution into one of those mop buckets (with a wringer) about 3/4 full with water (~5 gallons or so?). We have three mops that we dunk into the solution which we wring out (mostly). We then use the mops (three of them) to go down one row each of double mats (~20 mats?). Repeat until finished all the way down the mats.

I remember joining in the cleaning at San Diego Aikikai; they just have one big bucket and lots of rags which they use in "bunny hop" fashion to clean the mats.

Hope that helps,

-- Jun

11-13-2003, 01:59 PM
Regular cleaning: Towels damp (not dripping) with water, between two hands. "Bear run" or "bunny hop" down rows of mats. Many hands make fast work.

For spot cleaning of biohazard fluids: mild soap, mild disinfectant, paper towels.



11-13-2003, 02:02 PM
What type of disinfective do you all use? Just a generic thing like Lysol?

jaime exley
11-13-2003, 03:02 PM
We also use the "many rags/ hands and knees" method. It has become a Friday night after class tradition. We used to use simple green as a cleansor and more recently have just been using a dash of ammonia in the water.

11-13-2003, 03:08 PM
Great, thank you for your replies! Simple Green, I've heard of that.

11-13-2003, 03:25 PM
We use a disinfectant called Forward. Supposedly, it's one of the few non-oil based disinfectants out there and we use it as oil and grease attack the vinyl of the mats. I'd suppose that just using ammonia might be cheaper and will accomplish the same thing, though.

We do a general dojo-wide cleaning twice a week including the mopping of the mats. We try to sweep the mats before/after every class, too (when it gets remembered).

-- Jun

Chuck Clark
11-13-2003, 04:03 PM
We use the cleaning solution sold by Zebra company and it's working quite well. We use rags and the traditional Japanese method of cleaning the mats.

11-14-2003, 12:10 PM
We do the same as Jun. We have five mops that are only used for the mats, and about a tablespoon of general purpose disinfectant in a large mop bucket. Generally performed once a week. One of our senior members has a cleaning business, and gets the stuff. If you need the name of the product, I could probably get it for you.

11-15-2003, 02:09 AM
Used beginners. ;)

11-15-2003, 04:04 AM
We use the simple damp rag hands/knees methode.

As our mats have to be stored after every session and they those become a bit dirty or dusty from that we clean the mats before every session.

11-15-2003, 05:11 AM
Used beginners.

now I like that one!:eek:

12-03-2003, 08:12 PM
Last week in the multi-art dojo I teach in, one of the judo guys decided to give the Swain mats a good cleaning. When he was done he decided to spiff them up with Armorall. NEVER EVER DO THIS!!!! We were taking ukemi and sliding across the floor three or four feet. Great test of center but not the safest training surface I could think of.


p.s. I think the other judo guys gave him a little "extra attention" during their class to help him see why this wasn't a smart idea;)

12-03-2003, 08:26 PM
what do you use to clean the mats (not the sweeping, but the actual wet cleaning)?
Tears of little children.

12-04-2003, 07:20 AM
Tears of little children.
... mixed with the blood of vanquished foes?

(getting a whole "Conan the Barbarian" vibe)

12-04-2003, 08:55 AM
We use those Swiffer mops with the disinfectant. We have about 5 so everybody can help out. Clean mats before & after every training session. They seem to work pretty good.

Michael Young
12-04-2003, 12:22 PM
We too have the Zebra mats. We use the swiffer pads also after every class, they are fantastic for picking up all the "fuzzy" stuff. I'd be hesitant about using a disinfectant that is not proven hypo-allergenic...people have their faces on the mats all the time. We just use a little soap and water with a some elbow grease mixed in. I suppose if you are worried about germs a bit of isopropyl alcohol couldn't hurt in the solution either, maybe 5% to 10% (evaporates quickly, leaves no residue or lingering odor on the mats) Just my 2 cents...I'll be happy to make change :)

Good luck,


Michael Young
12-04-2003, 12:26 PM
Just re-read Joe Cavazos' reply, and realized he must be talking about the swiffer "wet" pads. The ones I was refering to are the dry pads that are used for picking up dust and hair.


12-11-2003, 08:52 AM
We use those Swiffer mops with the disinfectant. We have about 5 so everybody can help out. Clean mats before & after every training session. They seem to work pretty good.
Hi Joe,

Just wondering how much time do you allow between the "before" cleaning and the beginning of the class. Sometimes we have very little time (5-10 min) between the end of the previous class (TKD) and the beginning of ours, so I'm looking for ways to get the mats cleaner and dry before our class begins.

Does anyone else have a similar situation? Any pointers are greatly appreciated.

12-12-2003, 09:34 AM
We usually add a capfull of bleach to soapy water.

If you do this though, make sure you don't add ammonia to this mix as it creates an extremely dangerous fume! (as in, an acid that eats at your lungs when you breath it in)

12-12-2003, 01:06 PM

They actually dry pretty quick. By the time we "swiffer" the last mat, the first mats are dry. We usually do this 15-30 minutes before each class & then again at the end.

12-12-2003, 01:33 PM
Thanks Joe! I'll give it a try.