Keep Your Yoga Mat Disinfected & Fresh With A Simple DIY Vinegar Solution

Whether you have created a yoga space at home or prefer to practice in a studio, your yoga mat can harbor an alarming amount of bacteria. An article published by ABC-13 News in 2015 explored the results of samples from used yoga mats tested by lab director Melanie Rech at EMSL Analytical. A communal yoga mat came back positive for staph. Meanwhile, one woman's personal yoga mat was found to contain 12 million counts of bacteria. If these findings made you question whether you should ever roll out your yoga mat again, fear not. A simple DIY water and vinegar cleaning solution makes it easy to keep up with routine yoga mat cleaning.

All you need to create this solution is a spray bottle, water, vinegar, and an essential oil of your choice if you would like to add fragrance. You might prefer to use these ingredients rather than disinfectant wipes or traditional cleaning sprays with harsh chemicals. When practicing yoga, your skin often comes into direct contact with the mat, and store-bought cleaning solutions can cause irritation. Grab the necessary ingredients and an empty spray bottle to create this DIY natural cleaning solution at home.

How to create a yoga mat cleaning spray using vinegar

To create your own yoga mat cleaning spray, mix one cup of vinegar and four cups of water, then add the liquid to a spray bottle. The acetic acid in vinegar has antimicrobial properties, so it does the heavy lifting in this solution. You may include a few drops of essential oil if you would like to add fragrance. There are a wide variety of essential oil scents out there for you to add, but you may want to consider tea tree oil as it is antimicrobial. This may boost the power of your cleaning spray. After adding all of your ingredients to a spray bottle, give it a good shake to combine thoroughly.

To clean your mat, start by laying it down on the floor and spraying a generous amount of your solution on the side that is facing up. Next, use a towel to rub the solution in. Allow the mat to dry before turning it over onto the other side. Repeat the cleaning process for this side as well. Finally, hang your mat until it has dried all the way through. This may take up to 12 hours. It is recommended to clean your yoga mat after each use. You might want to consider keeping your spray bottle nearby so that you do not forget to grab it and clean your mat after each yoga session.

Things to keep in mind before using this DIY yoga mat cleaner

Although the acetic acid present in vinegar has a disinfecting effect, keep in mind that vinegar is not on the Environmental Protection Agency's list of registered disinfectants. You can opt to use a disinfectant on the list in place of this DIY vinegar solution if you have concerns about this. Just check the care instructions for your yoga mat to ensure that the cleaning agent you choose will not damage the material.

It is also a good idea to refer to your yoga mat's care instructions to determine whether the DIY vinegar spray is safe to use on the material. If you can't use vinegar, you might want to consider using a spray formulated specifically for cleaning yoga mats instead. You may also discover that your yoga mat is washing machine safe. In this case, you can simply toss your mat in your washer to deep clean it as often as you see fit. The care instructions should reveal whether this applies to your mat or not.