All-Natural Yoga Mat Cleaning Recipe.

Via Jennifer S. White
on Oct 18, 2013
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photo: via Lauren Rudick

I love my Jade mat.

When I bought my first Jade about a year ago, I almost thought I was nuts.

Sure, I use my mat nearly every day, but isn’t that a fairly substantial price tag for a relatively small rectangular space?

Needless to say, I don’t regret my purchase in the least. On the contrary, I don’t want to practice on anything else. So, is there a down side to owning a natural rubber mat? Not really—unless you take into consideration that they’re trickier to clean.

Natural rubber acts like a sponge, holding water. The Jade company, for example, recommends using just plain water on the mats or a mild soap when necessary.

Okay…that’s fine and dandy—and I want to do what is suggested, of course—but I practice in a hot Baptiste-style studio—my mat could potentially get pretty funky because I sweat on it like no one’s business—and, quite frankly, I don’t want to put soap on my mat.

Instead, I’ve adapted my original mat cleaner and it works wonders. (And I think it’s a fun feeling to make and then use your own product too.)

Jennifer’s Tea Tree Yoga Mat Cleaner

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup of vinegar or Witch-hazel (without alcohol), optional
  • 8-15 drops tea tree oil
  • 6-10 drops eucalyptus oil (or lavender)

If you own a natural rubber mat, then use less of the oils and do generally wipe off your mat with water. However, I’ve found from my own personal experience that using this recipe occasionally works wonders.

Also, if you’re sensitive to aromas like I am, then never fear—this spray might smell a little strong while you’re using it, but your mat won’t retain the scent.

I hope you enjoy making your own mat cleaner as much as I do. (Additionally, keep in mind that this makes great handmade gifts for the yogis in your life!)


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Ed: Bryonie Wise

Photo: Lauren Rudick


About Jennifer S. White

Jennifer S. White is a voracious reader, obsessive writer, passionate yoga instructor and drinker of hoppy ales. She’s also a devoted mama and wife (a stay-at-home yogi). She considers herself to be one of the funniest people who ever lived and she’s also an identical twin. In addition to her work on elephant journal, Jennifer has over 40 articles published on the wellness website MindBodyGreen and her yoga-themed column Your Personal Yogi ran in the newspaper Toledo Free Press. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in geology, absolutely no degrees in anything related to literature, and she currently owns a wheel of cheese. If you want to learn more about Jennifer, make sure to check out her writing, as she’s finally put her tendencies to over-think and over-share to good use. Jennifer is the author of The Best Day of Your Life, available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She's also as excited as a five year old to announce the release of her second book, The Art of Parenting: Love Letters from a Mother, available on Amazon.


9 Responses to “All-Natural Yoga Mat Cleaning Recipe.”

  1. I wash my Jade mat (and all the Jade mats at River Yoga) this way: I throw 2-3 mats in a large washer that doesn't have a central agitator. Cold water, 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 teaspoon organic laundry detergent. I run the spin cycle twice. Then hang up the mats and they're ready to go in 24 hours. Don't have 24 hours? When I wash all the RY mats at once, I run them through the dryer for about 8 minutes on medium (we have the thicker Jade mats). You have to stand right there while they're drying, or have a dryer that will shut off. (If not and you forget about it, your dryer and your mat are toast!) When I use the dryer, the mats are ready to roll up or use in about 8 hours. I've been doing this with Jade mats for seven years and it works great!

  2. Hi, RaeAnn. Please don't take this the wrong way, especially since I've heard of using the washer and dryer and that they work well, but from my ecologically-minded point of view I'm always looking for effective ways to actively cut down on energy use yet get the job done. This mat cleaner has been my go-to for years.

  3. Lalana says:

    I do as you on cleaning my Jade mat. I used to buy sprays but went online and started making my own and actually my own is what you are suggesting in your article:) I have students that do the entire soak/wash method and all my mats are holding up better as well.

  4. Linda V. Lewis says:

    In Halifax, Nova Scotia one can hang the mat out in a good rain and wait for the sun to do the rest!

  5. This. is. awesome.

    What a great idea!!

  6. ezriah says:

    The rain part is a great idea – the sun part less so. Direct sunlight breaks down the structure of a rubber mat.

  7. min says:

    Hi Jennifer, thank you for the tip. I made the concoction , with vinegar , tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil, and put it in a clear plastic spray bottle and the spray bottle turned whitish, opaque in colour from the inside. Do you have this experience? Is it some chemical reaction? Wondering if it’s still ok to use the mix for cleaning the mats?

  8. Gym Mats says:

    Simply awesome tips. I applied several things but never got any good results. I think this one going to work.

  9. Anna Graggas says:

    I recently started going to yoga classes and this post will be really helpful. I'm saving it to favourites right away and sharing it with my friends – they will love it! Thanks!