TLC for your Yoga Mat

Think about your yoga mat for a moment. Is it becoming like a trusted friend? Your go-to place when you feel the need for some tender loving care? When you are in need of invigoration? Relaxation? Contemplation? Even a good cry? Your yoga mat is with you through it all.

Your trusty yoga mat may need a little tender loving care in return. Here are some tips for making sure your mat stays fresh and ready for the next time you need it.

When you borrowed one of our studio mats, I’m sure you cleaned it with the spray bottles of mat cleaner we have available. You always want to leave it prepared for the next user. Do you give the same care to your personal mat?

There is nothing less relaxing than rolling out your mat to prepare for a refreshing practice – only to see a grimy mat and having the smell of stale sweat hit you. Even if you don’t typically have a ‘sweaty’ practice, a clean fresh mat will set the tone of for your next lovely yoga experience.

Many people have mentioned how good the mat cleaner smells at the studio and you are always welcome to use it to clean your personal mat. Would you like that same experience for home?

Did you know that I make our own cleaner from just a few simple ingredients? Here is the recipe:

Yoga Mat Cleaner

– Clean spray bottle, a glass bottle is great if available

– Fill bottle about ¾ full with clean water

– Fill the remainder of the bottle almost full with witch hazel OR white vinegar (I use witch hazel because the smell is less – vinegary – but both will work for their antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.)

– Add a few drops of tea tree OR lavender essential oil (I use tea tree oil at the studio – this is a strong essential oil and you only need 2 – 3 drops in a small bottle. Both oils have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.)

– Add a few drops of another essential oil for the scent of your choice (I use Lemongrass and Rose Geranium at the studio.)

Simply shake the spray bottle well, spray your mat and then wipe off with a clean cloth. You may also wish to wet the cloth and wipe your mat again to ensure remaining traces of grime and sweat are removed, especially if you have a practice that builds a good sweat. Allow to air dry.

If you’re concerned about keeping your yoga mat free of bacteria or even potentially mildew or mold, you’ll definitely want to pay attention to making sure it is dry before rolling. Don’t roll it up immediately after you clean it. Allow it to thoroughly air dry before rolling up or storing. A warm, damp environment is the perfect place for mildew to grow so be sure that your mat is dry if you are leaving it in the car, especially on a warm day!

Deep cleaning your yoga may need to be done on occasion, again depending on how much of a sweat you typically build up. Confirm with the manufacturer of your mat for its cleaning instructions, but most can handle a deep cleaning in the tub or shower. A natural rubber mat and/or a grippy yoga mat may absorb a lot of sweat and may require a regular deep clean. You can scrub your mat with a cloth and mild dishwashing soap and let it soak in the tub water for a few minutes or give it a good rinse in the shower before allowing to completely air dry.

You may also wish to invest in a yoga towel to help keep your mat from getting so dirty or sweaty in the first place. These are typically made from a micro-fiber fabric and come in fun colors and designs. It is recommended to lightly spray them with water before your yoga practice to enhance their grip. As with the mat, be sure that your yoga towel is dry before storing. Yoga towels can be thrown in the laundry for regular cleaning.

Now, roll out your lovely fresh yoga mat and enjoy today’s practice!