Due to this pandemic, most of us are working out at home on our exercise or yoga mats. Do you clean your mats after each use?
In the past, I would usually wipe down my yoga mat with wet tissues. But after months of doing so, I find that my yoga mat starts to smell. I wanted to give my mat a deep cleanse but it was flaking and I don’t think I can toss it into the washing machine to wash. Neither could I scrub it down with a brush.
Ways of disinfecting your yoga mat
Thus, I decided to do some research on how others clean or disinfect their yoga mats. I saw that most of them use soap water, vinegar or yoga mat sanitizers to clean their mats. But I wasn’t sure if the vinegar will leave a nasty sourish smell on my mat and I also wasn’t sure if the soap water will leave my mat soaking wet or sticky. Thus, I decided to go with yoga mat sanitizers.
Save some bucks and make your own
You can purchase your own yoga mat sanitizer or make them your own. A small bottle of yoga mat sanitizer can cost up to about $7, which is rather expensive if you have to clean your mats on a daily basis.
When I looked at the ingredient lists of those yoga mat sanitizer sold online, I discovered that they use simple ingredients which are readily available. The common ingredients used are anti-bacterial essential oils, alcohol and water. And that’s it, really. Since I already have these ingredients at home, I thought that I should try making my own yoga mat sanitizer at home.
What you’ll need
- alcohol (more than 60% in concentration)
- Anti-bacterial essential oils (e.g Lavender, tea tree, peppermint)
- Spray bottle
Here is a bottle of 95% alcohol so I diluted it with some water. For alcohol to be effective in killing germs, it needs to be at least 60% in concentration.
Some surfaces might interact with alcohol so it is best to swipe some alcohol on the surface of your mat just to see if it everything works out okay. I tried it on my TPE yoga mat and it works out fine.
If alcohol does not sit in well with your mat, you can use witch hazel instead. Yoga gurus like Adriene Mishler, who runs her popular YouTube channel, Yoga with Adriene, uses Witch Hazel in her DIY yoga mat sanitizer.
I just went to my essential oil stash and pick out some of my favourite essential oils which have anti-bacterial or anti-fungal properties. I bought all of them from iHerb for a rather good price.
Over here, I used lavender, peppermint and eucalyptus. But you can also go for essential oils with great antimicrobial properties like lemongrass, geranium, citronella, lemon and cedar wood.
How much to add into the bottle?
To my 50-ml spray plastic bottle, I added 40-ml of alcohol, about 10-ml of water and 1-ml of essential oil.
Since 20 drops of essential oil work out to be about 1ml, I try to work out my own ratio of essential oils according to my preference. That’s the fun part about creating your own essential oil blends. So I added 10 drops of Lavender essential oil, 5 drops of Peppermint essential oil and 5 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil.
Remember to shake the bottle slightly before each use, to mix all the ingredients well. Just spray it onto the map and wipe it down with a damp cloth or wet tissue.
My New Yoga Mat
Since my old yoga mat was flaking, I decided to try it away and purchase a new one online. I got this eco-friendly TPE yoga mat on Lazada for around SGD15, inclusive of delivery fees.
It’s pretty popular online and even on Shopee. Besides, reviews for this brand of TPE yoga mats are generally positive too.
Benefits of using TPE yoga mats
Apparently, TPE is a recyclable earth-friendly material and it doesn’t have much of a strong chemical scent to it. It is more durable than my previous yoga mat which is made of synthetic rubber. One thing for sure is that this TPE yoga mat will not flake and disintegrate as easily.
It is also waterproof and thus making it easy to clean and wipe down. This mat was about 6 mm thick, 183 cm long and 61 cm wide. I actually wish it was slightly thicker so that it is more comfortable to lie on during Savasana (or corpse pose).
Overall, it’s a lightweight and versatile mat which can be used during yoga or HIIT workouts.
By the way, in case if you are wondering, the smooth side of the yoga should be facing right side up. It is where your skin should be in contact with. The bottom side of the yoga mat is the side where there are wavy lines which helped gripped on firmly to the floor. I didn’t know that at first and have been using my mat wrongly!
How to clean a TPE yoga mat?
According to the product label, you can clean the mat by wiping it down with a laundry powder solution and then rinsing it with water or soaking it in a vinegar solution for 30 minutes. But as for me, I prefer to just simply with it down with my DIY yoga mat sanitizer. It works out well and it also leaves my mat smelling fresh.
At the end of the day, remember to wipe down your yoga mats after each use to increase the longevity of your yoga mats. Also, remember to keep your mats away from sunlight too!