DIY Yoga Mat Cleaner: How to keep your Yoga Mat clean

Keeping your yoga mat hygienically clean and fragrant is pretty important – they do spend most of their time on the floor after all.

More often than not you are in a gym or studio for your yoga class and you know that the floor is just bound to be a repository for bacteria and bugs!

But it’s not just other people, what about the bacteria that your feet have transferred onto the mat?  And the mat is now transferring these onto other parts of your body?  Just think for a minute about the infections and bugs that can lurk on other people’s feet and your own – athlete’s foot, warts, ringworm, and staph infections are just an unpleasant selection.

Suddenly a yoga mat spray seems an essential item.  So, why not avoid over-fragranced and chemical sprays and make your own mat spray using essential oils?

yoga mat

Essential oils to clean your Yoga matt

Essential oils can do the job of killing bacteria and making the matt smell divine, all in one.  Choose oils that are known for their anti-bacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-fungal properties with a nice refreshing fragrance that you like – favorites are Tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint, and citrus oils.  It’s nice to have a calming perfume in the mix like lavender too – after all, you are doing yoga!

manduka yoga mat cleaner

If you don’t feel like making your own DIY mat cleaner, try Manduka’s yoga mat sprays instead

For most yogis, using a natural spray is really important and many gyms and studios have them readily available.  But if you make your own, then you can choose your blend and also have it ready for use when you do yoga sessions at home.  So, select your oils and these will need to be diluted in a base or carrier liquid.

Commonly, essential oils are diluted in a sweet almond oil or coconut oil but on your yoga mat, this is going to end up like an oil slick!  For a matt spray, you need something more astringent and akin to water.  You can, of course, use water but a better option is to dilute the oils in Witch Hazel which is itself plant-based and has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.  You can use Witch Hazel with an alcohol base to it or alternatively, an alcohol-free version.  A substitute for Witch Hazel could be White Vinegar.

DIY Yoga mat spray recipe:

Find a decent-sized spray bottle and into ¼ cup of witch hazel, add the following essential oils:-

  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops of lemon essential oil
  • 5 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • 3 drops of tea tree essential oil

Method: Pour the blend into the spray bottle and then fill it to the top with distilled water.  Shake vigorously and you are all ready to spray your mat.  Liberally spray the mat, wipe clean using a towel, and then leave the mat to completely dry.  Always patch-test a little section of the mat first with a new combination of oils, you can do this on the underside so it doesn’t leave a mark.

Try more essential oils in your Yoga practice

Essential oils can be a beautiful compliment to a yoga session and using an essential oil spray on your yoga mat might just convince you how well they can supplement your class. They can also be used to create a theme or inspire a yoga session:

  • Heart opening – use rose, geranium or jasmine
  • Grounding – try cedarwood, cypress or black spruce
  • Connecting to the Universe – opt for sandalwood, ginger or basil
  • Promoting creativity – wild orange, peppermint, and clary sage are a great choice
  • Enhancing intuition – select rosemary or sage
  • Cultivating gratitude – bergamot, clove or wild orange to lift the spirits and open up your heart

It seems a shame to keep these lovely oils to just your yoga mat although they do certainly make an excellent and fragrant job of it.  Many yoga teachers incorporate essential oils within their classes and this is something you can add to your own sessions at home.

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