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How to Clean EVA Foam Tiles or Mats and Vinyl Covered Gym Mats

By Brett Hart Created: December, 2018 - Modified: June, 2023

So you've decided to add a little comfort to your kids room, dojo or workout/exercise space by adding foam floor mats. And now that you’ve gotten a chance to use the floor, the inevitable has happened. The mats have gotten dirty. The kids spilled their juice on it. You got a great workout in and the foam rubber floor mats are covered in sweat. Or maybe - your pet had an accident on it and you need to know how to clean them!

Cleaning gym or exercise foam mats or tiles is simple with household items such as a broom, vacuum and general household cleaners. Here are some quick answers on how to clean different types of foam flooring based on the type foam and system design - whether it be tiles or vinyl covered mats.

How to Clean Foam Mats or Tiles

Cleaning Interlocking Puzzle Foam Mats or Tiles

  1. Sweep or Gentle Vacuum the Foam Mats
    If you've got the interlocking foam mats - or puzzle mats, in most cases a broom or vacuum without the spinning brushes is a great solution to get rid of any dry debris.

  2. Damp Mop the Floor Mats
    For wet spills or sweat, basic household floor cleaner will do the trick. For cleaning of EVA foam exercise or floor mats, use a damp mop to apply the cleaner and do light to moderate scrubbing. It's best not to pour solution on the mats or apply soak them while installed because liquids can work their way between the interlocking seams and get underneath the floor where it can become trapped.

  3. Scrub your Mats with Non-abrasive Rag or Scrubber
    For persistent soil or stains - like liquids that weren’t caught right away and have dried on the mats - use that same cleaning solution and a non-abrasive rag or scrubber to remove the mess. If the dirt, stains, etc. are bad enough, you can even pull up interlocking puzzle floor mats and scrub them in a sink or take them outside to hose them down. Fortunately, the closed cell EVA foam is non-absorbent, so you don’t have to worry about water damage. Just make sure to let the dry completely before reinstalling.

How do you clean foam core gym exercise mats?

Foam Core Exercise Gym Mats
Now, if you've got vinyl covered with a foam core exercise mats, the process may be a bit different.

  1. Sweep or Gentle Vacuum the Gym Mats
    The sweeping and vacuuming procedure remains the same for dry or loose debris.

  2. Damp Towel or Cloth the Gym Mats
    When it comes to damp or wet cleaning vinyl covered gym exercise mats you'll want to be more careful not to use too much water or solution. While the vinyl cover itself shouldn’t absorb water, the water can get into the inside of the mat through seems if you're not careful. Once inside the mat, the water can create problems.

    That’s why it's best to only use a damp towel and common household cleaners for your more aggressive cleaning. Apply the cleaning solution to the towel first, rather than spraying it directly on the mat. Disposable anti-bacterial wipes are great for post exercise cleansing.

No matter which kind of foam floor mats you’re looking to clean, you won't have to go out and buy any specialty cleaning solutions. Just be sure to test your cleaner or vacuum in an inconspicuous area before attacking the entire mat to ensure it does not damage the mats. Regular cleaning will help keep your mats looking and performing well for years.

Now you know the simple answer to ''How do you clean foam mats or tiles?''