Pets and Meditation Cushions

in Current, Resources by susan

Pets and Meditation Cleaning by North Meditation Canada

How to keep your meditation cushions and mats clean

The most important rule of thumb we give for care of meditation cushions is NO PETS, NO CHILDREN, and NO FOOD OR DRINK.

Keeping these unpredictable things away from your meditation space helps a great deal. Pet hair, food, spilled drinks etc are not easy to clean up. Meditation practice on the cushion is intended to be a place to practice without these distractions.

However, accidents can and do happen. Here’s one example from a customer of ours, some years ago.

PLEASE NOTE: we do not guarantee these results. You are the sole judge of whether or not this will work in your situation.

Janos writes:

HELP! I bought a zafu/zabuton combo about a month ago. It’s great. But my cat was locked into the room (by accident) and he peed all over the zabuton. I guess he was p- d off…So. How do I clean the pillow? Can I stuff it into the washer? This has to be one of the weirder questions you got recently.Thanks in advance for any help! Janos

Our reply:

Hi Janos,

We are really sorry to hear about your poor cat! I’m sure he/she was distressed.

Unfortunately, the zabutons are not designed for washing, and cannot be laundered easily. The cotton fill inside could shift and lump up, distorting the cushion, and the overall weight of it in a standard washing machine could unbalance the machine and cause it to break down.

As for the zafu and support cushion, the outer covers can be laundered, but the inner hulls cannot be cleaned and are a challenge to re-fill. Hopefully your cat didn’t soil these.

Laundering the zafu and support cushion ONLY: You could try washing the outer cover in a cold/cold wash cycle and tumble dry air only (many are  a poly/cotton blend so one has to be careful not to use high heat). Bleach should not be used as it will cause discoloration on the fabric. It’s always best to test on a small area for color-fastness.

I did do a bit of an internet search to see if there was some other way to deal with your issue, and while we don’t have any experience with any of these products or solutions, they might just be worth a try in your case:

Let me know if any of these work.

Janos writes:

Yes, actually. I took the entire zafu and zabuton and put it in the drier [dryer] with some drier sheets and ran it a few times on medium / low heat. After the first time the smell actually got worse (!) but then I tried again and by the third run (over 2 days) it is fine. I have been using them and no hint of cat pee. And I have a very sensitive nose!

BTW, the zafu and zabuton are great, they are a pleasure to use every time.

And now they are kept in a closed closet…

We write:

Wow, that is encouraging. So you didn’t wash them at all, just dried them with the drier [dryer] sheets?

Janos writes:

That’s correct. No washing, just several drier [dryer] cycles. I didn’t take out the buckwheat shells from the pillows.

We write:

Thanks for letting me know. I will pass this along and keep it as reference for the next time!

North Meditation Magazine
© North Meditation Inc. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this website or its content may be used without the express permission of North Meditation Inc.