Nobody loves a funky yoga mat. Sweat, make-up, studio dirt, bacteria, and just general grime combine to make a rich culture for germs, fungi, and olfactory distress. Accumulated crud will shorten the life of your mat so spray the thing. Use an antibacterial, antimicrobial spray after you use the mat, let it air dry, and you're good to go by next class.
Simple DIY Spray
Carry this with you in a small spray bottle so you don't forget to use it. Make a batch to store in a tinted glass bottle or a dark cupboard and just refill the travel-size bottle when it gets low. Try a blend of grapefruit and tangerine essential oils for sunny citrus zing; both are antifungal, antimicrobial, and antiseptic. Grapefruit works against several strains of staph and salmonella among many other bacteria.
- Bonus: Cheery citrus scents are antidepressants.
- Tip: Vinegar is an all-purpose, inexpensive household cleaner you may already have around. It has a distinct smell that quickly dissipates. Just add more essential oil to mask any eau de vinegar, if it bothers you.
- One 4 ounce travel spray bottle (pump-spray)
- Two or more essential oils (grapefruit, tangerine, tea tree oil, lavender, peppermint, sandalwood...)
- Purified water
- White vinegar or alcoholic-free witch hazel
- Fill the spray bottle just under half full with distilled or pure spring water.
- Barely top it off (the remaining half) with white vinegar or non-alcoholic witch hazel. Don't fill the bottle to the rim, as you are about to mix in the essential oils.
- Using a small dropper, add one or more essential oils to the mix. Start with 4 drops of oil, in any combination.
- Shake and test.
- If you prefer a stronger scent, add essential oil slowly in 2-drop increments. Err on the side of caution. You want a light fresh scent, not a parfumerie in your yoga studio.
- Shake the bottle, secure the cap, and stow in your yoga bag. Shake again before using.
To Clean Your Mat
- After class, spritz the sweaty side of the mat lightly with your spray before rolling it up.
- Once you're home, unroll the mat and spray it well.
- Allow the spray to tackle any grime or germs for a few minutes.
- Wipe down the mat with a wet sponge or clean damp cloth.
- Dry the surface with a towel or soft rag.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Let the mat air dry.
Readymade Mat Renewal
No time to whip up your own batch of mat spray? No problem. The market is full of yoga mat cleaners; check your yoga studio shop or buy online and decant into a tiny spray bottle for quick after-class misting. When time is money, commercial mat sprays save the day.
Manduka Mat Renew Yoga Mat Wash
Manduka makes high-end, cushiony yoga mats, and they have a spray to keep them like-new. The pump-spray is certified organic, disinfectant-free, phosphate-free, biodegradable, and has no drying alcohol to shorten the life of your mat. It smells yummy with a blend of geranium rose, clary sage, and gingergrass essential oils. REI sells the 8 ounce bottle for $11 plus shipping. Recruit your yoga class for a $50 purchase, and shipping is free.
Mind Over Lather Lavender Mint Natural Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray
Mind Over Lather is loaded with soothing scents and germ-killing essential oils. Powerful tea tree and eucalyptus antibacterial essential oils are blended with lavender and mint oils to calm and invigorate. The all-in-one mat spray has a leak-proof lid and is alcohol-free to protect your precious mat. Amazon sells the 8 ounce Mind Over Lather Lavender Mint pump spray for $10.00. Some free shipping deals are available.
A good yoga mat is an investment, and your skin is worth a ton of protection as well. Don't skimp on the mat disinfecting, especially if you love a power or hot yoga class that leaves a pool of sweat on every surface. With the pleasant and antiseptic options available for home-brewed or commercial mat sprays, a cleaning routine becomes a revitalizing part of your regular practice.