How Should You Clean Your Yoga Mat?

how often clean yoga matHave you ever found yourself holding downward facing dog pose when suddenly you start to notice something isn't smelling so good? You're practicing in your living room, so you can't blame this funk on a fellow yogi. As you inhale into up-dog, you realize the source -- it's your mat! 

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Cleaners are often sold wherever you can buy yoga mats, but if you're more of a DIY-er, here's a solution you can whip up at home. 

Jennifer White shares her easy-to-prepare cleaning solution on Mind Body Green. While you can adjust the amount of oils to your liking, the rest is straightforward -- and you probably have the ingredients on hand!

Just grab a spray bottle and fill it with 1 cup of distilled water; white vinegar or witch hazel; 10-15 drops of tea tree oil; and 6-10 drops of eucalyptus or lavender oil. Then spritz lightly so as not to saturate the mat. The oils offer a nice, fresh aroma, while the vinegar and witch hazel kill bacteria that can breed in your mat.

Keep a bottle at home and one in your gym bag so you can freshen it up on the go.

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For a more thorough cleaning, you can give your mat a bath. Place it in the tub with cool or lukewarm water and add a few drops of mild detergent. Using a sponge, wipe it down and then let it soak for 20 minutes. When you remove it, place it between towels and gently roll it up to eliminate excess water. Hang it on a drying rack or clothesline to fully dry. 

Individually packaged wipes are also available. Expert yoga practioners say use them sparingly so as not to create a slippery surface. Though it may be tempting, don't use baby wipes, which can interfere with the mat's inherent stickiness. 

Next time you're in child's pose, inhale and enjoy the fresh-smelling benefits that come with cleaning your mat!

 

Image via f9photos/Shutterstock

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