If you practice yoga, you know that your yoga mat gets dirty. It is in contact with so many types of surfaces as well as your sweaty self. As a result, your yoga mat holds onto germs, bacteria, and dirt. So, how do you clean your yoga mat? And, if you have an eco-friendly yoga mat and care about the environment (we hope this is the case) how can you be sure that the yoga mat cleaner you are using is good for you and planet earth? Today, we dive in to answer those questions for you.
Why Should You Clean Your Yoga Mat?
A happy yoga mat is a clean yoga mat. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), surfaces like yoga mats and other exercise equipment are excellent places for bacteria to grow. While a lot of bacteria is relatively harmless, researchers have found bacteria, including salmonella and staphylococcus (aka staph infections) on theses surfaces. While personal hygiene levels play a role here as well, ensuring you have a clean yoga mat can also help. In addition to making sure you do not get sick, cleaning your yoga mat will help reduce any odors and exposure to fungi that can cause annoyances like athlete’s foot.
How Often Should You Clean Your Yoga Mat?
The CDC as well as the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) advise that shared exercise equipment be cleaned and disinfected after each use. These measures have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, with most gyms and fitness centers requiring you to clean and disinfect all equipment before and after use. It is advisable to clean your personal mat after each use and opt for a deep cleaning if your mat begins to smell bad.
Tips on Cleaning a Yoga Mat: How to Make Your Own Spray
Here is how to make your own DIY yoga mat spray:
- White vinegar/witch hazel
- Essential oils (eucalyptus and tea tree oil have antibacterial and antimicrobial
Mix 1 cup of white vinegar/witch hazel with 5 cups of water into a spray bottle. Add 2 to 6 drops of essential oil into the bottle. Shake and then use it to clean your yoga mat! When it comes to cleaning your mat, spray your DIY spray on the yoga mat, allow it to soak in, and then use a clean towel to scrub the mat. Flip it over to clean the other side and then set it outside in the sun to dry. Once it is dry, roll it up and store it in a yoga mat bag.
Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat Cleaners to Buy
If you prefer to buy a bottle of yoga mat spray, here are some clean, eco-friendly products we like:
This all natural, paraben-free, cruelty-free spray smells great and keeps your mat clean without leaving a sticky residue behind. We like that this spray is non-toxic and eco-friendly.
This spray is plant-derived and vegan friendly. It is made without harsh chemicals, preservatives, and synthetic dyes. We like that this spray smells fresh and comes with a complimentary microfiber towel.
This spray uses essential oils that are naturally antibacterial and antiviral. We love how clean this scent smells on our yoga mats!