How to Clean Your Yoga Mat

You might be using the same iky yoga mat for your exercises and stretches for ages. Did you notice the coat of filth and a hint of foul smell? Yes? Time to clean your yoga mat.

11 Jun 2022

A question for all: when was the last time you cleaned your yoga mat? If you don't remember, then you are probably rolling on the layer of sticky sweat, dirt, and grime. Cleaning a yoga mat is often an afterthought. Most of us do not stop to think that this asana mat can be a hotspot for germs. Practising hot yoga (Bikram Yoga) can make you sweat profusely and the dripping sweat gets absorbed into the mat attracting dirt. Thereby, the yoga mat becomes a breeding ground for bacteria as moisture locks in and gives off an unpleasant odour.


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Your skin is host to microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and even microscopic mites. A yoga mat is an ideal incubator for many skin infections because it is rarely cleaned. According to a 2016 study published in Antimicrobial Resistance And Infection Control, states that careful cleaning and disinfection of surfaces are essential elements in preventing infection. Cleaning your mat is crucial if you’re practising at a yoga studio where you share mats with others. If someone with ringworm is using the yoga mat, whoever lies next on that mat, is at high risk of contracting the infection. Thus, to avoid the exchange of harmful germs, it is imperative to have a consistent cleaning routine for your mat.


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How To Clean Yoga Mat

To clean a yoga mat, you can use vinegar which is commonly found in most kitchens. It is effective in cleaning household items. Undiluted white distilled vinegar has antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral effects on domestic cleaning say 2020 findings in BMC Microbiology.


You can use the following tips to clean the buildup on the yoga mat. It’s practically simple and the cleaning solution can be prepared at home.


1. DIY Mat Spray

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
  • 1 spray bottle
  • 1 tbsp dish liquid soap
  • A microfibre cloth


Step 1: In a large bowl, add warm water, lemon juice or vinegar and liquid soap. Give it a good mix and transfer the solution in a spray bottle.

Step 2: Spray the solution on your yoga mat thoroughly and wipe smoothly with the help of microfibre cloth. Air dry the mat before using.


This natural home-made spritz is effective in removing sweat, dirt and any other build-up that might have been on the mat. Use this disinfectant every two days to ward off from bacterial growth.


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2. Tea Tree Oil Disinfectant Solution

  • 1 cup - Distilled water
  • 1 Cup - White vinegar
  • 2-3 drops of Tea tree oil
  • Spray bottle


Step 1: Mix distilled water, vinegar and tea tree essential oil in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray all over the yoga mat.

Step 2: Wipe with a sponge or a microfibre cloth. Make sure to clean both sides. Air dry the mat.


A common organic disinfectant tea tree oil is an excellent antimicrobial that kills the hostile bacteria and fungi lingering on your mat. Essential oil with the antibacterial properties in white vinegar does double-duty to disinfect your mat.


3. Wash With Soap and Water

  • Detergent soap
  • Warm water
  • Sponge


Step 1: Wash your mat with soap and water. Use a sponge or soft cloth to wipe off dirt.

Step 2: Make sure to clean both of its sides. To finish, rinse off your mat with warm water and allow it to air dry.


Wash your yoga mat with soap at least once a month to keep it looking clean and sweat-free. Don’t be too vigorous with scrubbing, as you want to keep the naturally sticky nature of your mat intact.





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