We’re all here readings this because we do yoga, am I right? And I’m guessing you practice on a mat.
Well, if you’re taking that mat from studio to studio, park to park, or wherever to wherever, it’s probably picking up some funky stuff. A common concern might be a fungus, like the one that causes athletes foot which thrives in warm, damp climates – like a hot yoga class, mkay?
10/10 recommend bringing your own yoga mat and cleaning it regularly. Communal mats are convenient, but can be the worst offenders of passing around some grossness. But the good news is: keeping your mat clean is really simple. It’s as easy as using a wipe or a spray, and letting it dry completely.
Ideally, we’re cleaning our mats after every use. I’m especially conscious of cleaning my mat after every use in a studio or outside. I’m a bit more lenient when I practice at home.
But keeping our mats clean at home or at the studio or at the park is super easy, and making a natural mat cleaner takes about 2 minutes.
A really popular cleaning solution without harsh chemicals is simple mixture of witch hazel, essential oils, and water (white vinegar is considered a substitute for witch hazel, but I’ll be honest: nothing can overpower the vinegar scent. It will still smell like vinegar). Some essential oils even have antimicrobial properties, making them exceptional for this purpose. Some researchers suggest that peppermint and eucalyptus effectively combat 11 types of fungus, so those would be great ones to consider! Other popular scents are tea tree oil, lavender, orange/citrus, geranium… the list goes on, and any combination in between!
Another thing to consider is the container for your spray. It was recommended to me and I’ve found it to be true that amber (brown) or cobalt blue glass bottles are by far the best for storing anything containing essential oils. The dark hue of the glass protects their aromatic and therapeutic properties, and helps to avoid deterioration of the essential oils caused by damaging light. Glass is also necessary because essential oils will eat at plastic containers, and both the container and oils will be ruined quite quickly.
What you’ll need:
- witch hazel
- filtered water
- your choice of essential oils
- Amber or Cobalt glass spray bottle
- Combine 1 part witch hazel, 3 parts water, and 20-30 drops of essential oils in glass bottle (the number of essential oils may need adjusted depending on the size of the bottle and also, your preference)
- Store in a cool, dark place
Spray directly onto the surface of your yoga mat. Use a cloth to wipe up any excess cleaner and clean entire surface of the mat. Allow your mat to dry completely before rolling it up and storing it.