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How to Clean a Yoga Mat the Eco-Friendly Way

Sustainable Wellness

Last Updated on November 27, 2023

Learn how to clean a yoga mat the eco-friendly way by reading on, friend! Curious how to make a homemade yoga mat cleaner? If you’ve been practicing yoga for a while, chances are you’ve noticed how dirty a yoga mat can get.  

Yoga mats can attract bacteria, especially if you use them frequently. After all, they’re constantly coming into contact with our skin. This yoga mat cleaner DIY recipe will curb bacteria and funky smells and prolong the life of your yoga mat! By learning how to clean a yoga mat properly, you can keep them out of the landfill for longer and also improve your health. Plus, my yoga mat spray smells amazing!

Photo of yoga mats with overlay text reading "Super Simple DIY Yoga Mat Cleaner" in a post about how to clean a yoga mat the eco friendly way.

diy yoga mat cleaner

It’s a good idea to learn how to make your own yoga mat cleaner so you can keep germs, mildew, and allergens at bay. Keeping your own on hand is a convenient way to keep your yoga practice hygienic and ethical, whether you practice at home in your living room or attend classes at a studio.

Getting into the habit of sanitizing your yoga mat after every workout is a good idea to inhibit the growth of bacteria — you don’t want that all over your hands, skin, and even face.  

To do this the eco-friendly way, all you need are ingredients (that you probably already have on hand) and an upcycled spray bottle!

what do you put in a yoga mat spray? 

There are many different recipes you can follow, but I typically put water, vinegar, tea tree oil, and some other essential oils into my DIY yoga mat cleaner spray. I find this is the simplest, most efficient mixture.  

You can also see what the yoga mat brand itself recommends. For example, Scoria (a cork-based yoga mat company) recommends simply wiping the mat with a cloth, a little soap, and warm water. Their mats are not machine washable either.  

how to clean a yoga mat

Keep in mind that it’s best to use a yoga mat spray after each practice, but a deep cleaning may be in order every so often too.  

Double check with the yoga mat manufacturer to see their cleaning tips. But a general deep cleaning method that works is filling your bathtub with a few inches of warm water, adding in the mat, and scrubbing it clean with a washcloth and a drizzle of natural castile soap.  

Remove the mat from the bathtub and let it air dry on a towel rack or over your shower curtain bar. Once dry, roll it up and put it away. 

Bare feet standing on a yoga mat cleaned with a homemade yoga mat cleaner.

is witch hazel good for yoga mats? 

Yes! Witch hazel is also good for cleaning your yoga mat. You can use it in place of vinegar if you’d like.  

Witch hazel is a distilled herb from the witch hazel tree that has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. This makes it a great addition to a DIY yoga mat cleaner.  

The most sustainable option is always to use what you have. Check and see what’s already in your home first before going out to buy something new. 

why tea tree oil in your homemade yoga mat cleaner? 

I recommend tea tree oil on your yoga mat because it has antimicrobial properties. You’ll find it’s a common ingredient in many natural disinfectant recipes!

Some like the smell of tea tree, but I like to mix it into the spray with other essential oils because I find it to have a strong scent.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to add much for it to do its job — just a few drops will do. 

can you use hydrogen peroxide to clean a yoga mat? 

Yes, you can use hydrogen peroxide to clean yoga mats if you’re adding it to a spray bottle and diluting it with water. Just make sure to clean off any visible dirt or grime on your mat first with soap and water.  

You can do a 50/50 mix of hydrogen peroxide and water together in a spray bottle. Then, just spray it directly on the mat and let it sit for about five minutes before wiping it with a rag. This works as a quick disinfectant. 

Woman with a cloth, a rolled up yoga mat, and a DIY yoga mat cleaner.

how to make diy yoga mat cleaner 

This easy yoga mat cleaner DIY recipe will come in handy when you simply want to disinfect your mat after use. Spray it on, let it sit for a minute or two, then wipe it off with a rag. If it needs to, let it air dry before rolling it up and storing it for next time.  

This is a DIY yoga mat cleaner without witch hazel, but feel free to sub it in place of the vinegar if you’d like. If you want it to be scent free, omit the tea tree and essential oils. 

Also, be sure to check out these sustainable yoga mat brands if you’re in the market for a new mat! 

yoga mat cleaner diy recipe

  • 1 cup of water 
  • ½ cup of white vinegar 
  • 3 drops of tea tree oil 
  • 1-3 drops of essential oil (citrus, lavender, or eucalyptus work well) 


  1. In an upcycled spray bottle, combine all the ingredients – I find using a funnel helps reduce mess. Secure the top nozzle, give it a good shake, and it’s ready to use. 
  2. Simply spritz and air dry or spray until wet and wipe with a clean cloth.


what happens if you don’t clean your yoga mat?

Your own sweat, dirt, and healthy bacteria on your skin are left behind on the mat. Then, especially if it’s folded up before fully drying, the bacteria multiplies on your mat and results in breakouts, skin irritation, and even mildew growth! Keeping a sanitized mat keeps your workout healthy.

what about traditional disinfectants?

Harsh disinfectants like bleach and isopropyl alcohol can break down your mat, making it wear out faster. That’s why I recommend a homemade yoga mat cleaner! The gentle ingredients are just as effective at removing dirt and grime, but allow the integrity of your mat to stay intact for a longer lasting, more sustainable yoga practice.

Would you give this DIY yoga mat cleaner a go? Let me know in the comments below! 

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