DIY: How To Clean Your Yoga Mat

how-to clean a yoga mat

So you all know my sister is a yoga teacher, right? She has classes all over Rhode Island and Southern  Massachusetts- And she blogs over at Full Radiance.  Truly an expert in her field.

Now, you may wonder since I have such an expert at my fingertips, “Do you take her classes?”

Well…The answer is no.  I did once, and she is, well, awesome.  She has a cult following, as I think befits a yoga teacher, who guides her students into a positive change in their lives…but she is my sister.  I am not sure if you all have a sister, and it might be very different for you, but it is weird to take a class from my sister, I think.  What soothes others, makes my little hairs stand up.  What relaxes her students, makes me tense.  It is just a sister thing- quite possibly a sibling thing,

This said, I do listen to her sage advice about health and wellness, and if yoga, then yoga too.  My most recent question to her was,

how do I clean this disgusting mat?”

My sister has had lots of yoga mats and lots of experience cleaning them, so I figured she’d be the expert on how to clean my disgusting mat.  In the summer when she has dirty feet, she might clean it more often, she told me, but normally she said she doesn’t actually clean it much.  I think because she knows how clean her studios or house is, where a lot of people bring their mats to a gym floor where the dirt is more plentiful! I would definitely bring a solution with you while you travel if you work out in a hotel room.- That could be gross.

If you need a light cleaning, or a daily spray, here is what you do:

In a small spray bottle: Mix filtered water with essential oil: Per one cup of water, add up to 15 drops, of any combination of tea-tree oil and/or lavender oil.  Mix and use.  Take care not to add too much of the essential oils because the essential oil could react to the mat’s material, or be irritating if it left a residue on the mat.

My own mat was truly disgusting. Why disgusting? I left it in the basement, rolled out on the floor.  It just stinks.  Breathing in deeply? No thanks. No light spray will help this puppy.

If you need a deep clean, like I did, do this:

Wait! If you are one of those people who does a recipe on the fly without reading through all the directions first, know this: It will take up to 24-48 hours to dry your mat fully!  You don’t want to work out on a wet or damp mat- not only is that uncomfortable, and slippery, it will make for more bacteria (think wet socks)- just gross.  Wait until you can let the mat thoroughly dry.

Fill your bathtub with water, and drop just 3 drops or so of castille soap, like Dr. Bronners-don’t use too much because you don’t want to have it leave a slippery residue.  You can also use a natural dishsoap using 3-4 drops per tub-full (use one without petroleum). You can add up to 15 drops of essential oils (tea-tree or lavender) if you like this, but it is not a must. Soak the mat fully for a few minutes, and then scrub gently with a washcloth.  Fully rinse, and rinse again (you don’t want any residue) and hang dry over the tub on a rack.  The dry time could take up to two days, as you may need to flip over the mat after one day to fully dry it out.

clean your yoga matNow maybe in the summer, you could just hose it down.  But I live in the Northeast…and although it is a balmy 45° F here, it is not quite hose-down weather!

Now go clean your stinky mat, and if you live in Rhode Island or southern Massachusetts, check out my sister’s site: Full Radiance Yoga!

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