Your martial arts mats are one of the biggest financial investments you will make in your business. They’re the equipment your members depend on and use every single day. Zebra mats have a lifetime expectancy of 15 years, and you can ensure that your mats last by avoiding making these common martial arts mats mistakes.
Avoid Sharp Objects
There is nothing worse than seeing a rip or cut on one of your mats. Even a small cut can turn into a bigger rip with continued use on the mat. Sharp objects that can rip your mats are a big don’t. Some gyms allow students to leave small earrings in, but with the nature of grappling, even a small earring back can be problematic. Other sharp objects include:
- Long fingernails/toenails
- Zippers on clothing
Make sure your members are conscientious of what they are bringing onto the mat.
Using the Wrong Cleaner
Be aware of what cleaners should and should not be used on your mats. Certain chemicals can wear down the vinyl on your mats, causing the color to fade and the mats to look worn. These chemicals can also change the texture of your mats, causing issues with movement and grip. Chemicals like bleach and Lysol should not be used on your mats. On the opposite end, some cleaners can leave a film on your mats, attracting dirt and dust, and making your mats slippery. This is usually due to the use of a cleaner that is designed to be rinsed off, such as dish soap. Make sure you’re using a non-rinse cleaner on your mats.
Inappropriate Cleaning Methods
Another mat don’t is using a cleaning method that damages your mats. Scrubbers with rough pads or brushes will wear down the vinyl on your mats and may leave scratches and marks. Steamers are another bad choice, as the concentrated heat can loosen the adhesive that glues the vinyl to the foam of the mat. Never leave water or cleaner on your mats in an attempt to ‘soak’ them for extra cleaning. Zebra mats are designed to repel moisture, but excessive exposure to water or other fluids will cause damage to your mats.