As we all know, having your very own yoga mat means that you’ll have to clean it from time to time. I know that it can feel like a chore, but I have three DIY yoga mat cleaner formulas you can prepare in just a couple of minutes.
To make a DIY yoga mat cleaner mix 1 part vinegar with 4 parts water in a spray bottle. An option is to add 5-10 drops of tea tree oil. Mix the solution and spray over your yoga mat. Use a cloth to wipe the mat until clean. Alternatively, mix 1 cup water, 1 tsp baking soda, and 10 drops of lemon juice.
I also offer a step-by-step guide to clean your yoga mat. Read on to learn all about the 3 natural and DIY yoga mat cleaner formulas you can prepare in a couple of minutes.
As a side note, I wrote an article titled How To Clean a Yoga Mat The Right Way. Be sure to check it out!
Why DIY Yoga Mat Cleaners Are Good For Cleaning
For me, knowing how to make cleaning solutions for my yoga mat is the best alternative whenever I know its time to give my yoga mat a good clean. With just a handful of household ingredients, I can create an easy DIY yoga mat cleaner formula.
As a yoga practitioner, yoga teacher, and yoga studio owner, I know how important it is to have a clean yoga mat.
I like to prepare the formulas listed in this article once every few weeks. My students then use them to wipe down their yoga mats after each practice, especially after the more sweaty practices.
Listed below are the 3 common easy-to-make formulas when making a DIY yoga mat cleaner.
Each of these is explained in detail below. All really work great, it just depends on perhaps what you already have in your kitchen, or what you feel more comfortable using.
Vinegar and Essential Oils DIY Yoga Mat Cleaner
Water and vinegar are some of the most commonly used DIY yoga mat cleaner formulas.
This is actually my go-to method for cleaning the yoga mats in my yoga studio. I make up this solution once every few weeks and just refill it when needed.
Get a spray bottle and then mix together 1 part white vinegar to 4 parts water. And then add up to 20 drops of tea tree oil.
This DIY yoga mat cleaner solution is ideal for cleaning: all types of yoga mats, except rubber yoga mats.
If you have a rubber yoga mat (e.g. Jade Harmony) don’t add any essential oils, or at least don’t add a high concentration of essential oils.
The reason is that according to the Jade, a high concentration of essential oils causes your rubber mat “to break down and dry out”.
Lemon and Baking Soda DIY Yoga Mat Cleaner
This is another popular cleaning method and will be great if you notice your yoga mat getting rather smelly, as baking soda helps eliminate foul odors.
Get a spray bottle and then mix together 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and up to 10 drops of lemon juice.
This yoga mat cleaner solution is ideal for cleaning all yoga mats, especially when you notice them getting smelly.
Dish Soap and Warm Water DIY Yoga Mat Cleaner
This is perhaps the best method if you want to deep clean your yoga mat. Plus, you most likely have most of these ingredients right in your kitchen.
This DIY yoga mat cleaner solution is ideal for cleaning: all yoga mats that need a deep clean.
How to Clean a Yoga Mat in a Couple of Minutes
Although you first need to go out and buy or order the ingredients, the total time that you actually spend working on it takes about 2 minutes. So this is a great little project to undertake once a week, or whenever you feel like your yoga mat needs a little clean.
The first thing you need to do is to make sure that you’re done with your practice because it will need some time to dry after you clean it off.
You can place your yoga mat on a towel before you clean it, or you can just unroll it and place it on the floor you usually practice on.
Step 1: Spray Your Yoga Mat
Begin your yoga mat cleaning project by spraying the entire yoga mat.
If you are using the third method, then add the water and the dish soap to the basin and mix it up slightly. Then dip your sponge into the basin and use that to wipe down your yoga mat (no need to spray anything here).
As a side note, as method 3 is the messiest as it involves more water, you can do this in a bathtub or make sure you place your yoga mat on a towel.
Plus don’t forget to do clean both sides of your mat!
Step 2: Wipe Down your Yoga Mat
Get your clean cloth and wipe down your yoga mat. If you notice some extra dirt or parts of the yoga mat that need more attention, then spray again and wipe down till the dirt has been removed.
Remember to spray and wipe down your mat wipe, front, and back. This shouldn’t take very long but you want to make sure that you wipe it all down nicely.
Step 3: Air Dry the Yoga Mat
Place your yoga mat on a drying rack in a well-ventilated space to air-dry. You can even do this over a chair or on your washing line.
Just one key thing to point out is that try to not allow direct sunlight on your yoga mat, especially if it’s a rubber mat.
The reason for this is that UV light damages the natural rubber and may make the surface porous and slippery.
Step 4: Roll up Your Yoga Mat
After you have waited about an hour and your yoga mat is dry, roll it back up and your mat is ready for your next yoga practice.
So although you need about an hour to get your yoga mat cleaned and dried, you will spend about 2 of the 60 minutes actually working. The rest of the time is letting it air dry.
Not to mention, it’s a thorough way of getting it cleaned, and you’ll notice a big difference.
Just a quick recap. You are going to unroll your yoga mat, spray it down with one of the three solutions I mentioned above, wipe it down, and then you are going to let your yoga mat dry away from direct sunlight.
If you notice there is still some dirt on your yoga mat, then repeat steps 2 and 3.
As a side note, I made a video showing you all the steps in how to clean your yoga mat, so be sure to check it out!
If You Don’t Want To Use A DIY Yoga Mat Cleaner
Now that we know how to make our DIY yoga mat cleaner, let’s now have a look at ready-made cleaners.
These can be great if you don’t have the time or motivation to make your own yoga mat cleaning solution. There are certain yoga mat companies that make their own cleaners so this could also be a great option for cleaning your yoga mat.
The Manduka Mat Wash Spray
One such cleaner is the Manduka Yoga Mat Wash and Refresh, which is a 100% Natural Essential Oil Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray.
This is considered an all-purpose yoga mat cleaner and contains essential oils, thus leaving your yoga mat smelling lovely. It can be used both for a post-practice clean and also for a deep clean.
For a quick post-practice clean spray it on your mat and wipe it down.
For a deeper clean, spray it on your mat and leave it to soak for 5 minutes.
Yoga Wipes for Mat and Body
Another easy option is to use yoga mat cleaning wipes. This is an easy but perhaps rather costly method of cleaning yoga mats.
The yoga mat cleaning wipes contain no alcohol nor bleach and contain organic essential oils, thus leaving your yoga mat smelling lovely.
And an added bonus of these mats is that they are also for your body. So these could be a great option if you are rather busy and don’t have time to have a shower after your yoga practice.
How Often Should You Clean Your Yoga Mat?
It is advised to wipe your mat with a damp cloth after each yoga class, especially if you sweat a lot. Once a week you can wipe it down with a DIY cleaning spray and once a month give your yoga mat a deeper clean by using warm water and dish soap. Always air dry your mat to prevent mold and odors.
As a rule of thumb, you could always just clean your yoga mat when it started to look dirty, or when it starts to smell.
Both are signs that its time to clean your yoga mat!
Should You Clean Your Yoga Mat After Each Use?
As a general rule, clean your mat with a damp cloth after every use. This can help keep dust and sweat off your mat and help prevent any bacteria from growing. Once a week give your yoga mat a better clean by using a DIY yoga mat cleaner and once a month give it a deep clean with water and soap.
I have students in my yoga studio who sweat A LOT!
And so what I advise them is to wipe down their mat after every class. This can either be done with one of the solutions mentioned in this article, or even with some water.
However, the most important thing is to allow your yoga mat to airdry, whether you wiped it down after your sweaty practice or not.
Of course, if you practice yoga at home this may be a possibility. However, if you practice in a yoga studio this may not be possible.
If you practice in a yoga studio, then try to roll out your mat when you get home and let it air dry. You’ll thank yourself during your next practice!
Why Cleaning Your Yoga Mat Matters
When we notice dirt or dust on our yoga mat, our first instinct tends to be to wipe it off.
And yet, getting that little bit of dirt is great, however, how about all the dirty parts of the yoga mat we can’t actually see?
In an interview with Elle, Dr. Robert Lahita, a professor of medicine at Rutgers School of Medicine and a yoga practitioner stated that bacteria, fungi, and viruses can live on our yoga mats.
He then went on to say “A yoga mat is a perfect incubator for many of our skin infections”. And what’s more, he mentioned that “The yoga mat is a very fertile source for infection, mainly because people sweat on them and they rarely are cleaned.”
And so if you were to consider that our hands, feet, and face are in direct contact with our yoga mats, sometimes on a daily basis, you can hopefully see how important it is to clean a yoga mat regularly.
If we don’t regularly wipe down and clean our yoga mats after every use, or at least after every few uses, we’re allowing bacteria, fungi, and viruses to live on and in our mats.
What can I use to clean my yoga mat?
As a general rule, you can clean your yoga mat with a damp cloth after every practice. For a deeper clean you can make your own solution of water, vinegar, and tea tree oil. If you want a ready-made cleaner, there are natural sprays and wipes available on the market.
Can I clean my yoga mat with alcohol?
As a general rule, you can clean your yoga mat with alcohol. Alcohol can help kill any germs and also eliminate any bad smells. However, if you have a rubber yoga mat it is best to not use alcohol as it may cause it to break apart and dry out.
Can you use witch hazel to clean a yoga mat?
As a general rule, you can use witch hazel to clean your yoga mat. Witch hazel is used in sanitizing products, and so to make a DIY yoga mat cleaner you can add water, with hazel and essential oils, such as tea tree oil.