A few months ago my friend Kelley at Mountain Mama Cooks, invited me to try out a yoga class with her. She is such an example to me of living a healthy and natural lifestyle! (If you haven’t tried her Blender Salsa yet…you are missing out!) I’ve always wanted to try yoga but didn’t know where to start! Did I need a special outfit? Special shoes? No shoes? A yoga mat? Were any weights involved? Kelley assured me that the first time all I had to do was bring myself. But being somewhat of a worry-wart, I started thinking about if I went to the class and used one of their mats, how clean would it be? I’m sure they thoroughly clean them, but I decided it might be best to invest in one of my own. So I did.
After I brought my new mat home, I remembered that someone had emailed me awhile back asking me whether I had any ideas for making a yoga mat cleaning spray. What a great idea! Yoga mats get covered with sweat and breed bacteria. According to University of Pennsylvania dermatology professor Elizabeth Grice, a yoga class is the perfect environment for bacteria to grow, and depending on the type, bacteria can double in 30 to 60 minutes! Yuck!
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Bottom line: mats need to be cleaned, and short of taking it in the shower with you (which sounds like a slippery and tricky proposition) the best way to clean it is spraying it down after each use. You wouldn’t wear your sweaty workout clothes again without cleaning them, right?
So after some research I came up with a super simple recipe for an all-natural mat spray that is inexpensive, easy to make and will keep your mat safe and clean.
Homemade Yoga Mat Cleaner
- 1 cup distilled water
- 1/4 cup Witch Hazel (without alcohol) White vinegar can also be substituted.
- 15 drops Tea Tree essential oil. Tea Tree has been documented to kill many bacteria, viruses, and fungi on contact.
- 10 drops of another essential oil of choice. Lavender, Eucalyptus, and Lemongrass essential oils also contain antibacterial properties.
- Spray bottle. Glass is preferred, since some essential oils can start to degrade plastic if left for too long.
- Mix together all of the above ingredients and pour into spray bottle of choice (any extra can be stored.)
- Place the top on the spray bottle and shake to combine the ingredients. Shake the bottle before each use.
- Spray liberally on your yoga mat immediately after you finish your practice.
- Wipe the mat down with a clean cloth or towel. Flip the mat over and repeat on the other side.
- Hang mat to dry.
You can, of course, BUY a yoga cleaning solution at your yoga studio or online, but at $10 to $20 a bottle, I think I’ll stick with this option. :-)