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DIY Yoga Mat Cleaner

Yogis are encouraged to “breathe deeply” while moving from downward dog, to plank, to cobra pose. But on your way down to your mat while doing all of that inhaling, have you ever thought, What in Buddha’s name is that funky smell?

I like yoga. But sometimes I find myself torn between my desire to achieve mindfulness and Zen, and my paranoia over what sort of germs are lurking on my mat.

My yoga mat has hit the floor of many a yoga studio and, not to be gross, but so have lots of other people’s. I don’t do hot yoga (except for that one regrettable time I tried it, which kind of scarred me for life), but one can work up a sweat with any kind of yoga. And there is nothing Zen-like about imagining all the germs I might be bringing home with me each time I roll up my yoga mat.

So it’s clear we need to clean the funk off of our mats. But since we are part hippie we don’t want to use a toxic spray, right? If this is you, don’t worry – I’ve got you covered.

DIY Yoga Mat Cleaner

  • fill a spray bottle with 3/4 of the way with filtered or distilled water (I like this one)
  • fill bottle 1/4 of the way with white vinegar OR witch hazel (I prefer the witch hazel, it smells better)
  • add 10-15 drops of antibacterial essential oil (any one or combo of the following: lemon, rosemary, eucalyptus, lavender, cinnamon, or tea tree)

Shake the bottle up, and store it in a convenient place. Done.

After your yoga routine you can spritz some cleaner onto your mat, let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe it down with a clean towel.

Yoga funk, be gone!


Alessandra Macaluso is the author of What a Good Eater! , Lucy the Bee and the Healing Honey, and The Real-Deal Bridal Bible. She’s also a Qigong and Tai Chi instructor, and overall wellness advocate. Her work has been featured in several anthologies which can all be found on her Amazon author page, and she has contributed to The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, TODAY Parents, and many other online publications.

Alessandra is a northerner-turned-southerner, enjoying the south with her children, Penelope and Ciro, and her husband, Greg.