10 Natural Ways to Clean a Yoga Mat
Researchers have found all kinds of unwanted invaders in yoga mats. Here are ten ways to clean mats naturally.
Some of us spend many hours a week on our yoga mats. We strive to perfect our posture, with the hope to execute asanas with grace and elegance. And after we’re done, we roll our mat and get on with whatever we had planned next. Seldom do we give cleaning our mat much importance.
Researchers have found all kinds of unwanted invaders in yoga mats. Bacteria, allergens even yeast and faecal matter in some cases. Yoga mats absorb sweat, lotions, body oils and other debris. They also collect germs from the floor beneath.
In not too long, the mats release a dreadful odour – which only gets worse if the mat is shared with others.
Keeping a mat clean is both crucial and easy. There are several ways to clean and disinfect yoga mats effortlessly.
Here are 10 simple ways to clean a yoga mat at home.
Important note: Before you proceed with any of the following methods, perform a patch test to make sure it doesn’t damage your yoga mat. These methods are safe and effective to keep your yoga mat clean from damp and unhealthy conditions. Also check the manufacturer’s instructions.
1. Microfibre Towels
The first thing we should do after finishing a session is to clean our mat with a microfibre towel dipper in warm water. Microfibre towels absorb sweat and dampness from the yoga mat immediately. To use microfibre towels, dip them in warm water, rinse off and then gently wipe the mat. Remember to let the mat air-dry before you roll it up.
The acid in lemons is antibacterial and works wonderfully for cleaning yoga mats. Just squeeze some lemon juice in a cup of water and wipe your mat with it. The citrus smell on the mat will be refreshing and invigorating.
3. Tea Tree and Lavender Oil
Tea tree oil has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Lavender oil has a relaxing and calming scent. Add 2-4 drops of tea tree oil, 2-4 drops of lavender oil and 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Shake thoroughly and spray evenly across the mat. Wipe of gently with a damp cloth and let it air-dry.
4. Castile Soap
Castile soap is a non-toxic cleanser that will help remove dirt and stains from yoga mats. Add 1 teaspoon of liquid Castile soap to 500 ml of water. Mix it well and spray the mixture evenly across the yoga mat. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes, then rinse off the soap with water and dry it with a towel.
5. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a natural disinfectant and will remove germs from yoga mats. Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to 1 cup of water and stir thoroughly. Spray the mixture evenly across the mat and let it soak for 5 minutes. Wipe the baking soda solution of the mat with a wet towel and let the mat dry naturally.
6. Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel is a natural stain remover. If the yoga mat has sweat stains or dirt, spray half cup of water mixed with 2 tablespoons of witch hazel onto the mat. Use a microfibre towel to clean off the residue. It will leave the yoga mat clean and tidy.
7. Salt Water
Salt removes bacteria and fungi and helps draw out dampness. Add 4 spoons of salt to 500 ml of distilled water. Mix well, spray across the yoga mat and let it soak for 15 minutes. Then wipe it off with a wet towel and leave it out to dry.
8. Orange Essential Oil and Eucalyptus Oil
Orange essential oil has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Eucalyptus oil is anti-bacterial and also acts as a natural deodorant. Just spray half a cup of water mixed with 5 drops of eucalyptus oil and 5 drops of orange essential oil onto the mat and leave it out to dry. The essential oils will give your mat a refreshing and clean scent.
Mix equal parts of white vinegar with water into a spray bottle. Add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil to mask the smell of the vinegar. Shake the mixture well and spray generously onto the mat. Wipe it down with a towel and let it air-dry.
If making your own solution is too much of a task, use baby wipes. They help remove harmful germs and dirt stains. If the mat is used very often, use wipes which are especially formulated for sports gear. Gently, wipe the mat on both sides and leave it out to dry. The wipes will leave a fresh scent on the mat.
A few more tips:
Clean your mat once a week to keep it free from germs and bacteria.
Avoid wearing shoes on your mat. Try to go barefoot and clean your hands and feet before stepping on the yoga mat.
Place a towel on your mat before stepping on it.
Don’t dry your mat in direct sunlight.
Don’t wash your mat in the washing machine. It may crack the rubber of your yoga mat.