How To Clean Your Yoga Mat In Less Than One Minute With Stuff You Already Have Around The House
"Yoga mats are the worst," says one doctor. Here's how to keep yours clean.
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As any dedicated yogi knows, once you get on your yoga mat, you usually don’t want to get back off. The same goes for our skin cells, sweat and even infections that like to savasana all day long on our beloved mats.
“Yoga mats are the worst,” Dr. Robert Lahita, a professor of medicine at Rutgers School of Medicine, told Elle. “A yoga mat is a perfect incubator for many of our skin infections. The yoga mat is a very fertile source for infection, mainly because people sweat on them and they rarely are cleaned.”
Obviously, using your own yoga mat (and not a community one at a studio) will cut down on your risk of infection, but just taking it to the studio can also pose a risk.
“The organisms that reside in the yoga mats are picked up in the room where there are other people doing yoga,” Lahita said. “Somebody sneezes or steps over your yoga mat, then you got a problem. That’s how infections are acquired.”
Even if you don’t take your mat out of your house, just think about all of the times you sweat all over it. Gross, right? We should all be cleaning our mats way more often.
Don’t worry. It’s not hard. One DIY recipe from PureWow makes it simple, allowing you to give your mat a good old scrub using things you probably already have around the house. Simply add a teaspoon of baking soda to a cup, then a squeeze of lemon juice and water. Dip a sponge or cloth into the cup and rub the mat with the mixture, then wipe it clean. Afterward, make sure you let your mat dry completely before using it again. But don’t put it in the sun! It could dry out your mat too much.
Another all-natural way to clean your mat is with a spray bottle, water, tea tree oil, lavender oil and either witch hazel or white vinegar. You can find more details on that one here.
Of course, if you’re feeling lazy or don’t care about DIYing it, you can just buy a mat cleaner. You can purchase Jo-Sha Yoga Mat Cleaning Wipes right on Amazon or ASUTRA’s 100 Percent Natural & Organic Yoga Mat Cleaner—which I can personally attest works quite well. (It also smells great, but isn’t overpowering. I have the citrus!)
DIY, all natural, buying a cleaner—regardless, the little bit of effort it takes to clean your mat is so worth keeping it fresh and germ-free. Keep scrubbing, fellow yogis!