For many of us, our yoga mats can feel like a second home. No matter what we may be going through, in times of joy and in times of stress, returning to the mat is an opportunity to get centered, calm and composed. In fact, your mat has probably absorbed many of the same emotions expressed in your home — you’ve likely returned to practice through laughter and tears, through sweat and pain.
Any yogi — beginner and expert alike — worth their salt knows how beneficial a regular yoga practice can be for the body and mind, from lowering stress to building stamina and flexibility, but that same practice can be well, pretty gross for your yoga mat.
We’ve all dealt with a dirty mat before, it’s a fact of life and one none of us should be ashamed about. But we should all know how to clean a yoga mat, for the health of ourselves and the yogis around us. A yoga mat, like anything, can be a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. All that sweat. All those bare feet. If you still need convincing, here’s a word that should kickstart your mat-cleaning program: ringworm.
Yup. And it’s not just the studio mats we’re talking about. Your personal yoga mat is not immune to germs. But germs aren’t the only reason to wipe down your yoga mat. Regularly cleaning your mat will also help extend its life and keep it sticky and grippy — and we all know a grippy mat is key to a good practice!
Along with a thorough cleaning with soap and water every so often (Dr. Bronner’s works well for this — hang it up to dry over your shower curtain rod), creating an all-natural DIY yoga mat spray is an easy, super portable way to ensure a squeaky clean mat on the go. Essential oils, like tea tree and peppermint oils, boast antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and when combined with water and witch hazel create a mat-safe solution that will wipe away germs anytime you need to. Making your own yoga mat spray is easy and cost-effective, just be sure to test your spray beforehand and ask your instructor before spraying in a classroom setting to ensure other yogis aren’t allergic. Ready to make your mat asana-ready? Grab the easy steps below (there are only three!), then get spraying!
DIY Yoga Mat Spray
- Glass spray bottle
- Distilled water
- Witch hazel
- Tea tree essential oil
- Lavender essential oil
- Peppermint essential oil
- Fill spray bottle with equal parts distilled water and witch hazel.
- Add essential oils: 3 drops tea tree essential oil, and 5 drops each of lavender and peppermint essential oils.
- Cap the spray bottle and shake to combine.
- Shake before using.
- Spray yoga mat generously after use and allow spray to sit for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Wipe down thoroughly with a clean towel and allow to dry completely before rolling.
Tip: The same method can be used to make a room spray. Simply change up the oil combination to suit your mood or scent preferences and spray to freshen rooms and rugs. Keep away from light fabrics, as some essential oils can stain, especially if they’re diluted with a carrier oil.
Do you use essential oils in your daily routine? Let us know your favorite combinations by tagging us on social with @AvocadoMattress and #AvocadoGreenMagazine!