With so many of us now using yoga mats, not only for yoga but stretching, core work and Pilates too, it’s important to keep your mat clean and hygienic. One way to get your mat clean is to carefully place it in the washing machine on a gentle cycle without any laundry powder – powders can cause your mat to lose it’s slightly sticky surface which helps you to grip, and can also cause your mat to crack over time.
I’m a little wary of this option as it can also cause your mat to get waterlogged and it takes forever to dry out. Also, it’s not recommended to wash your mat with soap for the same reasons. Hanging your mat out in the sun is also not a good idea, it works wonders for sheets, but doing this too often can cause your yoga mat it to dry out and become crumbly.
I’ve just started doing yoga again, and at the studio I attend they provide mats. After practice, each person is responsible for wiping their mat down every time with a generic spray. I prefer to use my own mat, but with regular use, it does get dirty; oils, sweat and dead skin get stuck on the surface and can harbour bacteria.
The best thing I’ve found to keep my mat clean is this DIY mat cleaner. It has Tea Tree and Eucalyptus Oils, both of which will naturally disinfect your mat. To clean your mat, spray both sides then take a damp cloth, wipe over the surface and leave to dry before rolling up again.
DIY Yoga Mat Cleaner
1/3 cup Wendyl’s Premium White Vinegar
1 cup Filtered Water
1 ml Tee Tree Oil
1 ml Eucalyptus Oil
Place all the ingredients into a spray bottle and shake well before each use.
Spray your mat on both sides and let it sit for a couple of minutes, then wipe over with a damp cloth and let air dry or dry with a towel.
If your mat is old and in need of replacing there are many ways you can repurpose your mat, take a look at the options here https://www.lovearth.co.nz/donate/reincarnate