3 natural ways to clean your and your children's yoga mat

Lizandra Deister, yoga teacher, children yoga teacher

By Lizandra Deister

Yoga mats are a sacred space and you want to keep it like that. Cleaning your yoga mat is an act of self-care and you want to make sure you take good care of your mat. 

Cleanliness or “Saucha” is one of the “Niyamas“, or yoga practices for the self. This practice describes purity of body and mind, so as you clean your yoga mat you are taking care of your space and ultimately yourself.

For both children and grown-ups this is an important task as our yoga mats are prone to the development of germs and bacteria. 

Yoga mats absorb all the sweat, oil, and grime that they’re exposed to, which means they can become dirty, smelly, and even contaminated with germs quickly. 

The fungi and bacteria that are responsible for athlete’s foot, plantar warts, staph infections, and ringworm, among others, are commonly found on yoga mats”

“To keep all that gunk off your mat, establishing a consistent cleaning routine is crucial.

Yoga Journal

1. diy Cleaning Spray

This natural yoga mat cleaner will clean your yoga mat, as well as remove any odors:

  • 1 teaspoon tea tree oil
  • 3 cups of filtered water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 20 drops of your choice of essential oils
Add all ingredients to a large spray bottle and shake before each use. Spray your yoga mat and allow it to sit for a couple minutes, then wipe the mat down with a damp cloth. Dry with a towel or let it air dry. 

Tea tree oil is an oil with antimicrobial properties, adding that to the natural antibacterial properties of vinegar and your mat will be as clean as it can be.

When it comes to your essential oil of choice, I usually chose the citrus (orange, lemon, etc.) as they also have antibacterial properties and give your mat a nice fresh smell and clean feeling.

2. simply wash it with soap

Wash your mat with a good natural soap and water! Use a cloth or bring it to a bathtub, hand wash the mat and rinse in clean water (always check manufacturer recommendations). Let it dry by hanging it, but not on direct sun, or use a dry towel to do it. 

3. baking soda

To help eliminate odors and absorb oils from your mat, sprinkle and rub on baking soda. Let it sit for about 15-30 minutes, then brush or vacuum off the excess.

regarding yoga mats...

– It is also good to clean the other side of the mat as majority of the time we roll our mat and get the “inside” in touch with the “outside”;

– Since microbes like bacteria and fungus thrive in warm, damp environments, ensure your mat is dry before you roll it up;

– Before you get a yoga mat, look for those that have some level of inherent anti-pathogen properties, like cork;

– How often you should clean your yoga mat is debatable, but using the cleaning spray after each session, specially for the children’s mat, doesn’t harm.

children love it...

If you give children the spray bottle, they will gladly clean the mat! Besides cleaning the mat – which is great, they are already learning rituals of self-care which will carry on the future. 


Let me know how do you and your kids like it, comment bellow!

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