No matter what kind of yoga mat you have, taking care of it is how you ensure, first, that it has a long lifetime and, second, that you are practicing yoga somewhere sanitary.
Unfortunately, many people don’t realize the importance of cleaning their yoga mat after every use or are cleaning it with substances that don’t work or are potentially harmful.
Whatever type of yogi you are, yoga mat care is of utmost importance, so we’ve created a guide explaining the best way to care for your mat followed by 13 of our favorite yoga mat cleaning products.
All of them are made from plant and tea extracts as well as other natural ingredients, so you can confidently use them without causing any damage to your hands – or anything else!
How to Clean a Yoga Mat
Cleaning your mat is not a rigorous task. It should be simple and easy to do while, at the same time, keeping away germs, viruses, bacteria, and odor.
Such things are attracted to sweaty surfaces and can cause funguses like ringworm to grow.
If you attend a studio that has shared mats, think of what could be covering these mats!
It might be time to consider getting a mat of your own – if you haven’t already – so you can be self-assured of its cleanliness.
However, don’t panic and start aggressively cleaning your yoga mat five times a day.
You want to keep that sticky grip your mat has for a satisfying practice!
Keeping it clean should be easy, and I’ve made it even easier for you by explaining the process in three simple steps.
1. Clean It
There are few different directions you can go with this first step, so I’ll lay them all out there to let you decide.
Soap & Water
Diluted dish soap and water is the most basic way to sanitize your mat.
You can make your own solution by combining four drops of dish soap with every two cups of water.
If you do too much soap, you’ll leave a slippery residue which could be severely detrimental to your next practice.
Use a sponge or rag in your solution to clean it; using steel wool or any type of coarse scrubber could damage your mat, so stay away from these.
Afterwards, thoroughly rinse your mat in clean, hot water.
If you’re dealing with an extra soiled mat, you can try submerging the whole thing in your dish soap and water solution or in a mild detergent, such as Woolite.
Another option is to utilized sanitizing solutions.
You can either buy one or DIY it.
Solutions like tea tree oil or lemon and lavender essential oils are always a great choice as they are antifungal and/or antibacterial.
However, make sure you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients, and when you’re in the studio, refrain from spraying your mat as other yogis may be allergic to them.
If you want to try creating your own solution, simply add one or two drops of essential oil to a spray bottle of clean water.
For especially soiled mats, you can add a teaspoon of baking soda.
Shake up the solution, and spray a fine mist of it over your mat.
Finish off by wiping it down with a damp, hot towel.
Some store-bought sanitizers also have bleach or alcohol as they are lethal for viruses and bacteria, but these ingredients can be bad for your skin.
Tea tree oil, on the other hand, does not irritate the skin yet is effective in killing bacteria and viruses.
If you’re not an essential oils kind of person, you can mix one-part hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol with three-parts water or use watered-down witch hazel.
Now, don’t get overeager and throw your yoga mat in the washing machine for a thorough cleaning.
Not all yoga mats are machine-washable, so you’ll want to check the manufacturer’s website.
If your mat can withstand a washing machine, use just a small amount of a gentle detergent, and choose a gentle cycle with cold water. Don’t use a spin cycle, and be sure to wash it by itself.
2. Dry It
Roll it up and ring out any excess water then dry it with a terry cloth.
Afterwards, hang it up to air dry.
If it’s extremely absorbent, lay it open on a dry towel, and roll the mat and towel up together; step on it to squeeze out more water.
Then you can hang it up to dry.
Typically, it will dry overnight, but humid weather may delay it.
Do not, under any circumstance, put your mat in the tumble dryer or hang it to dry on a space heater or radiator.
3. Keep It Clean
This thorough washing should be done every couple of months, at least, depending on how often you use your mat.
In between classes, hang it up instead of leaving it rolled up, and spray it after every use with a mat-cleaning solution.
It doesn’t need to be saturated every time; a light spray will do.
The most thorough way to avoid fungal or bacterial infection is to have your own mat, never share it, and wash your feet before every practice.
If you are a heavy sweater, consider investing in a yoga towel that fits over your entire mat.
You’ll find a variety of yoga towels that help to absorb moisture, improve your grip, and keep your mat sanitary, and their much easier to clean regularly.
Top 13 Yoga Mat Cleaning Products of 2019
Now that you have a technique to follow, lets get you started with the best cleaning solutions out there!
The formula was also created to dry quickly, so you can use it right before your class if need be.
The Gaiam Super Yoga Mat Wash is made with all organic oils, but you can make this gentle, thorough cleaner even more powerful by adding an antibacterial ingredient, like tea tree oil.
The Luna Yoga Mat Cleaner is perfect for those with sensitive skin or allergies to synthetic substances.
It’s alcohol-free, leaves no bad odor, and is made of 100% natural materials, making it ideal for daily use.
Customers who have purchased this mat cleaner have been more than satisfied with the results.
The DragonFly Yoga Cleanser Spray is a great cleanser to have on-hand whenever your yoga mat needs a cleaning.
It does an amazing job of cleaning thoroughly without stripping your mat of its non-slip coating.
If you want to improve your mental state while also cleaning your mat, the Asutra 100% Natural and Organic Yoga Mat Cleaner will be your favorite option.
Known also as peaceful lavender, this spray derives therapeutic properties from its organic ingredients and essential oils.
At the same time, it still thoroughly disinfects without any toxic material, leaving your mat and hands unharmed.
Last of all, it’s extremely affordable!
You never know what kind of germs and fungi could be covering the mat you choose, so grab one of these individually wrapped wipes from your gym bag to start your practice with peace of mind.
Vermont Soapworks Yoga Exercise Mat Cleaner is another one of our favorite organic cleaning options.
It uses a soap-based wash and is completely free of synthetic chemicals.
Many yogis spray their mats at the beginning of their practice to make it extra slip-free.
The Hugger Mugger PureMat Yoga Mat Gear Wash is great because you can use it for a pre-practice spray or a post-workout cleansing, and it’s got a natural, fresh scent.
If your yoga practice regularly includes Bikram yoga, you might want to pick up some of Manduka’s Yoga Mat Renew Wash.
This 2-ounce bottle is packed with an alcohol- and phosphate-free formula, ready to cleanse a mat drenched in sweat.
Thrive on Wellness’s Yoga Mat Spray is all-natural, anti-allergic, and non-toxic, so it cleans deeply but is safe for daily use.
This spray is water-based which makes it easy to wipe off, and one of its ingredients is tea extract, making it an excellent yet versatile cleaning solution that also smells wonderful!
You can use your mat while knowing that, without a doubt, all germs and viruses have been removed, in addition to dust and dirt.
The Aurorae Aromatherapy Yoga Mat Spray leaves your mat shining and fragrant.
It’s made up of organic essential oils that are sure to remove dust and dirt as well as disinfect.
Because it’s made of high-quality substances including plant elements, it’s biodegradable and suitable for daily use.
Experts are loving and highly recommending Aurorae’s mat cleaning product!
Mind Over Lather 100% Natural Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray is a gentle, aromatic formula that removes germs, dirt, and dust at an accelerated rate.
As the name suggests, it is made from all-natural ingredients, but it’s also an anti-allergic, antibacterial substance as it contains plant extracts.
With Mind Over Lather mat cleaner spray, you’ll be left with no streaking or oily residue on your mat.
What sets OxyVibes Natural Yoga Mat Cleaner apart from other cleaners is that it uses BioPure Technology to safely and effectively clean and remove sweat, oils, and dirt from your mat.
Its all-natural ingredients make it safe for daily use while leaving your mat looking – and smelling – new!
In fact, you can find it in 4 different scents: Natural Fresh, Soothing Lavender, Revitalizing Eucalyptus, and Calming Citrus.
This spray is water-based, biodegradable, and free of nasty chemicals.
EPA has rewarded Oxyvibes the “Safer Choice” certification for their extraordinary solution.
Each bottle is manufactured in Southern California with careful attention to ensure your product is effective, safe, and reliable.
With OxyVibes, your mat will receive a deep, thorough cleaning every time, and your conscience can rest easy knowing no animals were used to test this product!
Now that you know why you need to clean your mat, how to clean it, and some of the best cleaning products out there, all you need to do is buy or create your own to start enjoying a healthy, hygienic, and fresh-smelling practice.