How To Use Vinegar To Clean Your Yoga Mat

If you smell something strange when you are in a child’s pose, then it could be your yoga mat that smells. It really is true. Using your mat on a regular basis combined with body oil, dirt, dust, sweat and other types of debris can really add up, and leave your mat with an odor that most likely you will want to avoid. You are, after all, standing in your bare feet on it.

Don’t worry. There are even solutions that are available for those of us who are lazy or very busy. Depending on the style of yoga that you do, you might not have to clean your mat following each session. However, you should try cleaning it once per week at least. Cleaning the mat on a regular basis will help to keep odors under control and prolong your mat’s life.

Natural Cleaning Method For Yoga Mats

It is easy to make your own DIY cleaning solution of 50/50 vinegar and water. Add in a couple of drops of your favorite kind of essential oil for easy breathing and an added effect. I like to use lavender and lemon.

Cleaning Solution

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2-3 cup drops of essential oils such as tea tree, mint, lavender, lemon or eucalyptus.


Pour all of your ingredients inside of a spray bottle. Then use your yoga mat cleaner to liberally spray it over the surface of the mat. Allow the cleaner to soak in for a while before you rub it off if your mat is especially dirty.

Use a cotton or microfiber cloth to wipe down your yoga mat. Then flip it over and repeat the process on the other side of the mat.

Let your mat air dry. It should only take around 5 to 10 minutes. Or you can use your dry cotton or microfiber cloth to rub down your mat again if it is taking too long to dry.

Fast Cleaning

If you don’t want to have to make your own cleaning solution, there are ready-made wipes or sprays that you can use. There are several options that are now offered by many consumer brands, retailers and mat manufacturers.

  • Jo-Sha Wipes
  • Gaiam Mat Wash
  • Manduka Mat Renew

Baby wipes might be too soapy to work effectively and over time might dry your mat out.

If you are really short on time, just toss your mat into your washing machine alone without any soap once per month. Then put it into the dry with medium heat or allow it to air dry, but not in the sun. You mat should hold up well.

Cleaning your yoga mat regularly will ensure that your next down dog or child’s pose is pleasant.

How To Make A Natural DIY Yoga Mat Cleaner

Yoga, as a physical exercise, involves poses and positions that anyone can do regardless of your age or body type. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of bending, balancing, and sweating involved. But thanks to your yoga mat, you can do these different poses and feel relaxed and more energized. And when it’s time for you to take a bath, so does your yoga mat.

Cleaning your yoga mat doesn’t necessarily have to involve immersing it in water like your typical laundry. It can be as quick and easy as spraying it with an antibacterial solution so that it won’t become a breeding ground for bacteria. Remember that it was covered in sweat during your last yoga session. So instead of storing it immediately, give it a quick spray using a DIY natural yoga mat cleaner.

Natural DIY Yoga Mat Cleaner Ingredients

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • ¼ cup Witch-hazel or White vinegar
  • 10-15 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • 6-10 drops of Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, or Lavender Essential Oil

Tea tree essential oil is both an antibacterial and antifungal. If tea tree is not available, you can use eucalyptus, lemongrass, lavender, and peppermint oils for their antibacterial properties. Eucalyptus, lemongrass and lavender oils also offer a soothing scent that is great for yoga exercises. You can reduce the number of drops for the essential oils especially if you prefer a lightly scented mat.

Simply mix all the ingredients and then place it in a small spray bottle. And when you’re ready to use it, give it a good shake and spray on your yoga mat. You can hang the mat and let it air dry or you can also wipe the mat with a clean cloth after spraying on both sides before rolling it. Make this a practice every after yoga session to ensure that your mat is clean and bacteria free.

How To Clean A Yoga Mat

Your yoga mat is like your yoga partner. It’s where you balance, bend, and sweat. This means it can also get covered in dirt, oil, sweat, and even collect dust during storage. And over time, you can expect it to smell.

As much as you would want to use a clean mat every time you have your yoga session, we simply don’t clean it as frequently as we bathe ourselves or as we wash our yoga clothes. But you’ll be glad to know that it’s easy to clean your yoga mat. You just have to make time for it, just like you would make time for your yoga sessions.

Here are a few tips on how to clean your yoga mat.

Clean Your Yoga Mat Regularly

As much as possible, clean your mat at least once a week. It may not necessarily be right after you use it but schedule it within the week. It’s not only a good practice but it also helps extend the life of your yoga mat.

Use Natural Cleaning Solutions

When cleaning your mat, use cleaners that are water-based, organic, and all-purpose. Stay away from harsh cleaners as these contain chemicals that can damage your mat. You can mix a solution of ½ cup white vinegar and ½ cup water along with a few drops of essential oils. The vinegar and water solution serves as a natural disinfectant that will clean your mat and not irritate your skin.

Minimize The Use Of Soap

The vinegar and water solution is already good enough for cleaning your mat. But if you want deep cleaning, you can immerse your mat in a small amount of water for only a few minutes and use only a very small amount of soap. You can also opt to skip the soap and just add a few splashes of vinegar to the water. Just make sure that you only immerse the mat for a minute or two as taking longer can soak the mat and you wouldn’t want that. There are those that say it’s okay to throw your mat in the washing machine while there are also those that say don’t as it may not be able to withstand the machine’s movements. It would be best to check with the mat’s manufacturer but in the end, the decision will be up to you.

Air Dry

Once you’re done cleaning your mat, allow it to air dry. Don’t let it bathe in the sun as this can dry out your mat and lead to crumbling and cracking. Expect that the mat will take several hours before it will be completely dry. This usually depends on how thick your yoga mat is. So just let it hang and it will be dry in no time.

If you want a quick solution, you can just invest in mat wipes and use these to clean your mat. They come in singular packages and have essential oils that are safe to be used on mats. They are also available in sprays if you feel like spritzing instead of wiping.

Whether you choose to clean your mat using a natural solution or using mat wipes, the important thing is that you’re cleaning your mat. So go ahead and sweat it out but make sure that you give your yoga mat the cleaning that it deserves.

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