How do you clean your yoga mat?

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of yoga. It has a ton of health benefits (and beauty benefits!), and truly, it helps me sleep, makes me strong, and keeps my anxiety and stress levels under control.

But…I need your help. This morning I was minding my own business on my yoga mat in my favorite hot yoga class (6 am!) at my favorite hot yoga studio, and I started to smell something funky. And not in a good way. A few seconds later, I realized that the smell was coming from my yoga mat.

This was not a happy discovery, you guys. I had to suffer through an hour of vinyasa flow with my nose inches away from a stinky yoga mat. To make things worse, I do regularly wipe down my mat and try to air it out after every class (although, granted, sometimes I forget). Obviously my techniques are failing me—and I don’t really want to go out and buy a new yoga mat just because my current mat is a little smelly.

There has to be a (natural) way to fix this that doesn’t require me to go out and buy a yoga mat cleaner. I’m thinking maybe a mixture of vinegar and water in a spray bottle? Or maybe I could fill up the bathtub with some lukewarm soapy water and soak it for a few minutes, then hang to dry?

Who has ideas to share?! Anyone? —Aleigh

(Image via Lululemon Athletica)

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7 Comments on How do you clean your yoga mat?

  1. Victoria said on

    Dear Aleigh,

    Make your own natural anti-bacterial mat cleaner! You will need the following ingredients, which hopefully you have stocked in your food pantry/beauty closet and garden if you have a green thumb.

    3 cups distilled water
    15 drops parsley seed oil
    15 drops lemon oil
    small bunch of rosemary
    5 cloves
    glass spray bottle

    Add fresh rosemary and cloves with the 3 cups of distilled water into a medium pot and slowly bring to a boil, take off the fire and allow to steep and cool for about 30 minutes, add the essential oils and strain through a sieve into your glass spray bottle and viola! An all natural, effective and lovely scented mat cleanser that works to remove bacteria buildup on your mat and refresh after use. Enjoy!

    La Bella Figura

    >> Reply

    • indigo+canary said on

      Perfect! All it took was one comment, problem solved. 🙂

      Thank you! I’ll test it out tomorrow!


      >> Reply

  2. Kourtney L. said on

    I clean it in my bathtub with either my body wash or Dr. Bronners soap. I either scrub it with my hands or use a sponge and then hang it out to dry.

    >> Reply

    • indigo+canary said on

      I just tried this technique, using a cleanser from Pangea Organics. I’ll let you know how it turns out. 🙂 —Aleigh

      >> Reply

  3. suz said on

    We have a Manduka that is rolled out 99% of the time on the living room floor, which means our dog likes to hang out on it, along with both of us using it daily. So, once a week D takes it out on the deck, sprays it with Charlie’s cleaner, scrubs it with a brush, then hoses it down and lets it dry in the sun. Works great.

    >> Reply

    • indigo+canary said on

      Mmmm…a brush scrub sounds like a really good idea. I’ll have to try that next. Also, I probably should invest in a decent yoga mat someday. How do you like your Manduka mat? —Aleigh

      >> Reply

  4. Christina said on

    Have you tried sprinkling baking soda on it before rolling it up? Once you get home you can vacuum it up and it should absorb all of the odors. I don’t do yoga, but I do use baking soda to absorb the scent of smelly shoes.

    You could also try mixing baking soda with white vinegar and water and rinsing your mat with that.

    >> Reply

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