How to Make Your Own Yoga Mat Cleaner

Unroll your mat and get to cleaning.
Tayler Tayler (75)
5 minutes

Yoga is a great and often wholesome practice, but you know what isn't great or wholesome? The bacteria that can grow on the surface of a mat that isn't cleaned or isn't properly cleaned!

According to dermatology professor Elizabeth Grice of the University of Pennsylvania, a yoga class is the perfect environment for bacteria to grow, especially if Bikram yoga (hot yoga) is your jam. Bacteria can also grow within your homes. Basically, bacteria is a jerk.

In a time where keeping everything clean is vital to our health and wellness, our yoga mats are easy enough to ignore, but they shouldn't be, especially when cleaning them takes no time!

With this guide, we'll show you how to make your own yoga mat cleaner. Using just a spray bottle, water, and some essential oils, you can make the perfect cleaner. The best part? You can change which essential oil you throw in so you can suit your needs and your nose's needs!

Witch HazelWitch Hazel ×1
Small Spray BottleSmall Spray Bottle ×1
Essential Oil Starter SetEssential Oil Starter Set ×1

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This is something that you'll likely have around the house, but if you need one, they're usually inexpensive and easy to find.

Take these 3.4-ounce spray bottles from Amazon. I prefer smaller sizes so I can mix and match essential oil scents.

With almost 100 essential oils available on the market, choosing the right scent can be intimidating, but here's a short list of some popular ones along with their benefits.

For starters, you'll definitely want:

  • Tea tree oil - While its smell is a little funky to some people, tea tree oil has natural anti-fungal properties that are great for keeping mats clean (fun fact - they're also great for acne!).
  • Lavender - One of the most popular on the market, lavender is often associated with relaxation and anti-stress.
  • Peppermint - Peppermint is an intense scent, but it also has antibacterial properties. Its scent is also known to invigorate.
  • Rose - Rose oil has a subtle, sweet scent and it's known to balance moisture levels in the skin.
  • Grapefruit - Invigorating and floral, grapefruit is associated with invigoration.
  • Cedarwood - Cedarwood is a little nutty, a little sweet and it matches really well with tea tree oil.
  • Spearmint - Similar to peppermint, spearmint has a slightly sweeter scent and it's my personal favorite over peppermint.
  • Lemongrass - Lemongrass is slightly less intense than straight lemon, which makes it the perfect addition to your mix-n-match spray.

If you don't have essential oils, it's worth it to invest in high-quality, 100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils. There are a lot of subpar quality oils with dubious ingredients on Amazon, but you can't go wrong with Eden's Garden. They're an industry standard and still an affordable price! This essential oil starter set will give you 6 of the most popular essential oils.

Witch hazel is a natural and gentle surface cleaner. Rich in tannins, the naturally occurring plant compound, witch hazel is said to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and, while there's no true evidence that it's effective as, say, an antiseptic, it is a natural option when compared to harsher components like alcohol.

I highly recommend Thayers Witch Hazel which can be found for the best price on Amazon.

You can also use apple cider vinegar if witch hazel doesn't float your boat.


When mixing a yoga mat cleaner, I like to start with the witch hazel, followed by the essential oils, and then top it off with water.

Since tea tree oil has such an intense smell, you're going to want to choose oils that help to mask that scent. Essential oils go a long way so, remember, less is more.

Here's a chart that breaks down the amount of each ingredient.

Ingredient Amount
Witch hazel 1/4 of the bottle
Tea tree oil 3 drops
Peppermint oil 1 drop
Lavender oil 2 drops
Water Top off the bottle

Play around with which essential oils you use! It's not an exact science, which means there's a lot of wiggle room for customization.

Get to cleaning.

First thing's first - shake her up! Make sure your concoction is shaken well before each use to diffuse the ingredients.

Spray onto your yoga mat and wipe down the surface with a towel. Leave it unrolled to make sure the moisture completely dries. Once dry, roll it up and stow it as normal.

Viola! You now know how to make an effective cleaner that will leave your yoga mat smelling fresh and bacteria free for your next practice.

Happy practicing!

Time to nama-slay.
Tayler Tayler (75)

When it comes to practicing yoga, your practice is largely dependent upon the mat that you're practicing on.