In the locker room, or even during a group ride, it’s expected that some of your gear (or someone else’s) is going to stink. It’s certainly not a good habit – especially when you can easily keep your workout clothes smelling fresh – but you can get away with it.

In the yoga studio, though, it doesn’t seem as appropriate.

Not to mention, you practically bury your face in your mat during certain poses, so it’s in your best interest to keep it clean!

dog itching ear on yoga mat

The other day, Max decided to use my yoga mat for scratching his ears, so I figured it was time for a good cleaning!

Here are a few ways you can clean a mat:

  • Scrub it in the tub.
  • Take it in the shower with you.
  • Buy a bottle of yoga mat cleaner.
  • Make your own disinfectant spray.

Scrub your yoga mat in the tub.

If you haven’t cleaned your mat in months, or if you have a brand new mat, I suggest putting it in the bath tub for a good scrubbing.

Put the mat in there along with a good squeeze of Dawn dish soap, then cover it with warm water.

Scrub it with your hands, shower puff, or a soft scrub brush.

Rinse with cool water.


Take your mat in the shower with you.

For a quick cleaning, just take the mat in the shower with you after class. It will get hit with some bodywash and warm water, which is better than nothing!


Buy a bottle of yoga mat cleaner.

You can always take the easy way out and buy a pre-made yoga cleaning spray or yoga wash. Expect to spend at least $10 per bottle though!

One popular option is the Aurorae Organic Yoga Mat Wash that sells for $12 per bottle on If you do buy something special, this product has excellent reviews, so I’d look into it first.

I’ve tried yoga mat wipes and typically find them to be disappointing. Something like the Jo-Sha wipes will be convenient for traveling, but you have to use a bunch of them to actually clean your whole mat, so you’re burning $$$ and creating quite a bit of trash.

Make your own disinfectant spray.

This is a great idea because it’s quick and easy. And cheap!

This is what I use after every class. (I love going to class at Amazing Yoga, but at the same time, having my mat out in public… I’m sure it picks up some nasty germs.)

Really all you have to do is combine equal parts water and distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle. That’s it!

If you want, you can get fancy…

Coach Levi’s yoga wash recipe:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar (or witch hazel)
  • 10 drops tea tree oil
  • 5 drops lavender oil (optional)

Vinegar, witch hazel, and tea tree oil all contain anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, perfect for disinfecting your mat.

Keep it in a little plastic spray bottle and carry it in your yoga bag.

How to dry your yoga mat safely.

I always hang my mat to air dry. That’s it.

If your mat is extremely wet, you can first wrap it in a towel to absorb some of the water, then hang it up.

Ideally you can leave your mat airing out for a day or so. You want to make sure it’s completely dry before rolling it up.

A little sunlight is OK, but don’t leave it out in direct sun for extended periods of time.

What about natural rubber mats?

As you can see, my yoga mats are typically of the $10-20 variety.

If you have a natural rubber mat, like one from Jade that probably cost $75, you’ll want to take better care of it!

Generally you’ll want to avoid soaking the mat in soap and water, as the natural rubber soaks it up like a sponge! So your mat stays wet for days, and once it’s finally dry, it’s slippery from the soap.

Just a wipe with warm water and vinegar, or warm water and lemon juice, is the suggested method here.

Along with plenty of time to air dry!


dog on yoga mat

Max loves the clean yoga mat!

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1 Comment
  1. My yoga mat is probably like a petri dish right now. At least I’ll know what to do next time I get it out.

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