All-Natural Yoga Mat Cleaning Recipe

mbg Contributor By Jennifer White
mbg Contributor
Jennifer S. White is a writer and yoga instructor and the author of "The Best Day of Your Life."
black yoga mat rolled up on white background

Image by Kohl's / Contributor

Ever since I started taking Baptiste-style yoga classes, I’ve noticed how much stronger I’ve gotten. I’ve also noticed how much more I need to clean my mat.

Taking care of your sticky mat is just good hygiene no matter how you practice your asanas, but when you drip a lot of sweat onto that sucker, you really should be cleaning it every time you roll it up. So I did some homework and began making my own, all-natural antibacterial mat cleaner. As I prepare to make my second batch, I’ve decided to share this recipe with you since I really love using it.

First of all, you’ll need to go shopping and pick up a few supplies. I promise that nothing is expensive. The most I spent on one product was $6.99 for my tea tree oil, and that will last for several batches (as an added bonus, I’ve also been using it on my skin). Make sure to pick up a jug of distilled water for your base; cutting it with white vinegar or witch-hazel is optional. Essential tea tree oil is a must. I chose Eucalyptus oil for my blend because I’m fickle about Lavender, but either one is a great. You could even get all three if you want and blend them together, but the tea tree oil should be your primary.

This recipe is variable, so play around and see what you like. I was going mainly for something that just plain works, and also for something that smells fresh and clean but that fades quickly since I’m sensitive to smells (a migraine trigger for me, so I don’t like strong scents around me during my practice). The following fits this bill.

Jennifer’s Tea Tree Yoga Mat Cleaner

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • Vinegar or Witch-hazel, optional
  • 10-15 drops tea tree oil
  • 6-10 drops eucalyptus oil (or lavender)

I was definitely overly generous with my oils in this ratio, and I wasn’t disappointed. Feel free to mess around with your recipe and share some other ideas as comments below.

One fun tip is that I went to my local Ulta store, found an empty travel hairspray container for less than $2, and it fits perfectly in my mat bag to take with me to class. I also keep a larger spray bottle made from the same batch in my yoga room at home. If you have time for your mat to dry, you can saturate it and then let it air dry, or spray a small amount and wipe it off well if you’re rolling it up and dashing out of your studio.

Good luck and have fun with this recipe. I hope you get the same kick out of using your homemade mat spray that I have. A huge perk is that I honestly think creating something even as simple as your own custom-blended mat cleaner can lead to a creative streak you might not realize you had in you. Enjoy!

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