Whether you practice every day or once a week, keeping your yoga mat clean is an important part of your practice. Although there are commercial mat cleaners available, I love to make my own as it can be personalized with any combination of essential oils so the mats smell super yummy in childs pose. I particularly love oils from Mountain Rose Herbs
Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle (preferably glass as essential oils can degrade plastic over time) and spray on your mat after each practice, leave for a few minutes then wipe down with a clean cloth. Let your mat dry naturally before rolling and storing.
2 cups distilled water
1/2 cup of witch hazel (no alcohol) or white vinegar
Essential oils: Add a few drops of one or more different essential oils. Remember they are super concentrated so only add a few at a time until you get to the desired strength. Here are some of my favorites and the reasons why I like to include them. Feel free to experiment to find your favorite combination!
Peppermint: Antimicrobial & Energizing
Lemongrass: Antimicrobial & Stress Relieving
Tea Tree: Antimicrobial & Uplifting
Eucalyptus: Antibacterial & Decongestant
Lavender: Antibacterial & Calming
Before you run to gather up your essential oils, it's important to note that there are two types of mat in the yoga world: absorbent ones (think Lululemon, Liforme, Mandukas) and non absorbent ones. If you're not sure what type yours is, get a glass of water and put a few drops onto your mat; if it sinks into the mat, it's made to absorb sweat during your asana practice. I can't speak for every yoga matcompany, but in my experience, the ones that are designed to absorb sweat and stay super sticky in a hot practice do not recommend using essential oils while cleaning as the oils get into the 'pores' of the mat and make it less effective over time (this includes YogaRat Pro mats).
To wash these mats simply put a drop of antibacterial washing liquid in a bowl of warm water and sponge down your mat, giving it a good soaking then let it dry naturally. (If you're unsure double check the manufacturers cleaning recommendations.)
If your mat isn't the absorbent type, happy mixing and please share your favorite essential oil combination with us on our Facebook page