Yoga is the one form of exercise I have committed to most consistently throughout my adult life. There are so many mental and physical benefits to practicing yoga regularly, and I love that the only equipment needed is a mat. With that said, it’s important to keep that mat in great shape so I clean mine regularly with a toxin free DIY yoga mat cleaner.
Why It’s Important to Clean Your Yoga Mat
During a yoga session, your skin will inevitably shed cells and excrete sweat directly onto your yoga mat. Yoga classes are also typically held in heated environments. This of course helps loosen muscles, but it also leads to a humid indoor environment – an environment in which bacteria will happily survive and thrive (source: NCBI).
If you borrow communal yoga mats, then you are exposing yourself to even more bacteria (and sometimes fungi!) left behind by previous users. This transfer of “human flora” to yoga mats is heightened because large portions of skin to have direct contact with your mat. Think your back, chest, stomach, hands, forehead and feet.
Needless to say, it’s a great idea to clean your mat before and after every yoga session. Doing so will minimize your risk of contracting illnesses like a cold or flu, or even worse bacterial infections like MRSA.
How to Make Your Own DIY Yoga Mat Cleaner
Materials and Ingredients:
- 3/4 part distilled or filtered water
- 1/4 part distilled white vinegar or witch hazel
- 5-10 drops of essential oils with antibacterial properties (good options according to NCBI include: tea tree, lavender, and rosemary)
- 1 small spray bottle
Instructions for Use:
- Mix all of your ingredients into your spray bottle
- Before and/or after every yoga session, spray your yoga mat and wipe it completely dry with a cleaning cloth
- If possible in between classes, let your mat fully air dry outside in the sun. Moisture is what you want to avoid the most!
I recommend keeping this yoga mat spray and a cleaning cloth in your yoga bag. This way you have easy access to an all natural yoga mat cleaner that you can easily use at the end of every class.
If you’re interested in natural cleaners, here is a list of DIY cleaning recipes worth checking out.
Popular Store Bought Yoga Mat Cleaners
If you aren’t interested in a DIY project, but you want to maintain a clean, disinfected yoga mat then here are some popular store bought options.
- ORGANIC ESSENTIAL OIL AROMATHERAPY: Whether you're a hardcore yogi or exercise enthusiast, this mat...
- NATURAL INGREDIENTS: Show your yoga mat some love. Asutra's Yoga Mat Cleaner allows you to clean and...
- NO PARABENS, PHOSPHATES, OR BLEACH: Asutra's 100% natural and organic Yoga Mat Cleaner is hand-made...
Asutra Natural and Organic Yoga Mat Cleaner – This formula utilizes the disinfecting power of lavender and tea tree essential oil plus witch hazel to clean your yoga mat.
- Perfect for Eco-Yoga Mats (TPE)
- Crafted from certified organic vegetable oils and botanicals
- Free of synthetic chemicals: artificial colors, fragrances,
Vermont Soap Organics Yoga Mat Wash – Vermont Soap’s formula is an antibacterial essential oil powerhouse using ingredients like lemongrass, cedarwood, rosemary, and lavender.
- All-natural mat cleaning spray
- Helps prevent slippage
- Powered by natural aromatherapy
Hugger Mugger Pure Mat Wash – Tea tree and lemon essential oils plus a plant based cleaning ingredient (I wish they listed exactly what this was…) make up this cleaning formula. It’s advertised to help prevent slippage if that’s a problem for you during yoga class.
- USDA-certified Made in the USA organic yoga mat cleaner
- Made of tea-tree extract and essential oils
- 100-percent all natural and nontoxic
Gaiam Yoga Mat Cleaner – This USDA certified organic mat cleaner includes lemongrass, cedar, rosemary, lavender, tea tree, and eucalyptus essential oils to clean and disinfect your yoga mat.