When I lived in Toronto, I often went to a yoga studio where they had these great hanging racks for spraying your mat down after class. It was nice to clean it after a sweaty practice (especially hot yoga!) and start off my next class with a fresh mat. Cleaning your mat also restores their soft and sticky texture, which will help you stay in your favourite asana without slipping.
When we moved to our new town, I started going to the great yoga classes at our gym, but they didn’t have anywhere to clean your mat, so I had to make my own system at home. Rather than using expensive store-bought cleaners which contain chemicals, I made a homemade yoga mat cleaner, using natural ingredients. I keep a spray bottle in the front hall, to remind me to clean it on the deck right after class.
Always make sure to check what your yoga mat manufacturer recommends for cleaning your mat. Manduka mats are safe to use essential oils on them because they use closed cell technology, but Lululemon and Jade mats have pores which can absorb the oil and seep out during practice.
For my yoga mat cleaner, I used this mixture:
- 3 parts Filtered Water
- 1 part White Vinegar (or Witch Hazel)
- 10-30 drops Tea Tree Oil (great antibacterial properties)
- 10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil (you can use any kind of essential oil that has antibacterial properties like peppermint, lavender, lemongrass and eucalyptus).
Place all the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake until mixed. Spray down one side of your mat and let it sit for a few minutes.
Wipe down with a damp cloth and repeat with the other side. Let air dry completely before you roll it up.
Deep Clean Your Mat – If it’s been awhile since you cleaned your yoga mat, you may want to give it a deep clean to help make it soft and sticky again. Soak your mat in a bath tub filled with warm water and a cup of white vinegar, for at least 30 minutes. Rub both sides of the mat with a cloth or sponge. Rinse very well with clean water. To dry the mat, lay it on top of a dry towel and tightly roll together. Unroll and let hang to dry out completely (it could take up to 48 hours). It’s important to make sure it is completely dry before you roll it up to prevent mold.
For all you yogis out there, check out my Yoga Bag Tutorial as well. It’s a fun sewing project for the summer!