All Natural Yoga Mat Cleaner & My Exercise Routine



I feel like so many of my posts have started out with…

“On Facebook, I asked you about x,y, and z and you gave me 5 gazillion suggestions.”

Well, you’ve done it again. Do you charge a fee for this service? Maybe we can put it on my tab… =)

This time, I pestered you for tips on homemade or store-bought yoga mat cleaners.

It turns out there are a million and one ways to clean a yoga mat. Or maybe more. What began as an innocent journey into making my own mat cleaner, turned into a ton of reading and researching online.

There are as many different options as there are opinions on what to use. If you make your own mat cleaner, chances are you have your favourite mix. I think a good place to start when figuring out which mat cleaner will work for you is to check with your mat brand and see what they recommend. The “right” cleaning methods and ingredients can vary a lot from mat to mat.

Of course, I didn’t take my own advice! I started by making my cleaner first, only to find out later from a discussion with my mat brand- Lululemon – that they don’t recommend using essential oils on their mats because it can clog the pores of the mat.

Do as I say, not as I do!

However, I’m in the market for a new mat because my mat is cracking all over the place. The Manduka pro mat (or maybe the lite?) is high up on my list right now since it has a lifetime guarantee and is rated very well. I’m still not sure though.

I went on Manduka’s Facebook page and asked them if essentials oils would clog the pores of their mats.

Manduka: “Well, our mats don’t exactly have pores. We use a closed-cell technology on both sides of the PRO series mats and on the practice side (the one with the sea grass texture) of the eKO mats. Which means, essential oils after a cleaning should be just fine! A few drops in your cleanser is a great way to do both – that’s how we make our organic Manduka Mat Washes.”

good to know! I suggest checking with your mat brand to be sure.


This is what I used to make my mat cleaner:

  • White vinegar
  • purified water
  • tea tree oil
  • essential oil



I did a lot of reading online about various homemade cleaners and most people suggest using white vinegar. I used 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water, but the mixtures can vary a lot. You can also use witch hazel or lemon juice, but I find white vinegar to be more cost effective. If you are concerned about using vinegar on your mat, you can try using alcohol-free witch hazel which I’ve heard also works.

Here’s my yoga mat spray “recipe”

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 1 tsp tea tree oil
  • Essential oil (about 10-30 drops depending preference) peppermint, lavender, and thyme are nice, but use anything you like!


1. Place all ingredients into a large spray bottle and shake before each use.

2. Spray down your mat on one side and let it sit for a few minutes. With a damp cloth, wipe it down. Finally, wipe it with a dry towel or simply let it air dry.

3. Repeat on other side.

Thanks to ehow, 3 Healthy Chicks, and Eco Yogini for the tips.

Obviously this isn’t the only solution for cleaning your mat and I will probably play around with different methods at some point!

If you want to give your mat a super deep clean, you can place it in a bathtub with hot water (just an inch over your mat- not a full tub), some vinegar (maybe 1 cup?), and essential oil and let it soak for at least an hour. You can then rub it down on both sides with a soft cloth while it’s in the tub. Rinse it and then hang it on a clothing rack until completely air dry (note: this can often take 48 hours to dry completely, so be warned).

Also be careful with using liquid soap in your cleaner because it can get into the mat and suds can seep out while you practice. Some people get away with just adding a couple drops to a big bottle of water though, so I really think it depends on how much you add.


As for me, I’m still loving the classes that I’ve been doing since my knee injury:

  • Hot yoga (in various styles) 1-2x week
  • Hot Pilates 1x week
  • Yoga with weights 1x week
  • Yoga Spinn (45 mins spin class followed by 15 mins yoga!) 2x week
  • Walking


It’s a wonderful balance of cardio, strength, and flexibility (and might I add, my spiritual practice and emotional well-being). I feel stronger than I think I ever have and I look forward to the variety each day.


My knee has been feeling great for the past couple weeks, so yesterday I finally decided to go for my first run in a month. It went very well and I had zero pain, although admittedly, I felt a bit out of my running groove. Regardless, it felt so good to be out there running again, even if it was just a shorter one. My plan right now is to slooowly build up my running, while still enjoying my other classes for variety. Injuries are frustrating, but sometimes they force us to try new things and discover a passion in other forms of exercise. For that, I’m very grateful.

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{ 118 comments… read them below or add one }

Vegyogini May 12, 2012

I’ve been practicing yoga for 8 years and definitely have an opinion about yoga mats. :) I started off using regular sticky mats, but the double-thick kind and I layer 2 of them because I’m bony and need the cushion. I also find that they have the best grip. About a year and a half ago, I got a Manduka and I really don’t like it. I slip badly on it and find that it has absolutely no cushion; it’s hard and heavy. I went back to using 2 double-thick sticky mats. That being said, lots of people in my yoga classes (I do level 2-3 Vinyasa) love their Manduka mats and my closest yoga friend has gone through 3 Jade mats. She loves how the Jade feels, but they keep warping in her car, which is why she’s on her third.


Christine Gillis May 12, 2012

The spritual and emotional connection that I’ve made since starting yoga has been life altering. Hot pilates, I’d love to try that one! Namaste!


Erica May 12, 2012

All hot yoga & pilates talk has me thinking I need to try one … finally!


This Fit Chick May 12, 2012

Great job on the run! Its best to EASE back into things and always feels nice!


Alex @ Raw Recovery May 12, 2012

I LOVE my Jade Pro Teal Yoga Mat. It is AMAZING, fair trade, and I believe a little less expensive than Manduka. It’s made from natural rubber and it has treated me very well. Plus I love the color and overall a great buy, in my opinion :)


Heidi May 12, 2012

I am a Pilates instructor. The way our machine manufacturer asks us to clean our equipment is with a spray bottle filled with water and 16 drops tea tree oil. That’s it! And good enough to use between clients! So vinegar is unnecessary, if you are not a fan. Adding a few drops of lavender or peppermint would enhance cleaning power and experience, of course:). Sounds like you have a great workout schedule now, I would really enjoy that week! Glad your knee is feeling so much better!


Vivian May 12, 2012

I see some people have already suggested it, but look into Jade as well – they’re made from natural rubber. I just got one at the Yoga conference :)


Ketapang May 12, 2012

I practice yoga daily and I am in love with my Manduka Pro mat for a regular practice! Usually not slippery, and just the right balance of cushion and firmness. The only drawback is the weight of the mat, but as long as you are not walking miles to practice, you’ll be okay. I also own a Jade travel mat. It is lightweight and great to throw in a suitcase, harder to clean and wears out more quickly. Good luck deciding!


Sherry (BTLover2) May 12, 2012

Just wanted to say that I use the exact same thing as a daily shower cleaner. In an effort to cut down on chemicals in my home, I searched for something I could make that was safe and inexpensive. Turns out to be this recipe: 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar and several drops (I use quite a lot b/c my husband hates the smell of vinegar) of essential oil (we use lemon). It’s terrific!! Now you have a product that’s two for one!


Allison@commitcomplete May 12, 2012

Glad you are feeling better. Injuries are never fun but at least you seem to have found other great forms of exercise while you heal.


nikki May 13, 2012

I have a Manduka Pro mat, and finally decided to spend the money after I kept shredding my regular $30-40 mats… I use my mat mainly for bootcamp, and plyo exercises so I cannot comment on how it faired for yoga. My sneakers kept shredding the mat, and the lifetime warranty was the selling point for me! I have had mine for about 8 months and have had NO issues! It is well cushioned, and non-slip! The regular manduka is not as cushioned, so if that is important to you I’d move up to the pro.


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 13, 2012

Thanks Nikki!

Reply May 13, 2012

I did’t know that you had the injury… But glad you are better now. Beautiful recipe, I have to make it for my mats. Yoga almost every day sound just amazing! I practice it daily also, and now started to involve my three years old. He’s doing a fantastic job, and it makes me very very proud!


Shannon May 13, 2012

mothers day was a nice episode of AngelaRecipes in my house :) LOVED the breakfast/desert strawberry apple cobbler (fresh picked strawberries for the win!) and your cookie-dough balls were a huge hit. Needless to say most of them disappeared in the kitchen before they made it out to the family, but hey, I doubled the batch for a reason. Also made banana soft serve and poured it into gingersnap crust, and think that was one of my better decisions. Thanks for all your help around my kitchen! I’ll tweet a picture of the results if they’re any good :)


Pam Bunting May 13, 2012

So glad your knee is feeling better. If you get a chance, can you share what you eat in the couple of days before your half marathons? I’m looking for some suggestions. : )


Cate May 14, 2012

Hi there,

Just discovered your blog and it’s so inspirational!! I’m transitioning to a plant-based diet and love yoga too so it’s great to find such a perfect blog for me. The recipes look amazing and I’m going to try a few this week.

Thanks again!


Alysha @Shesontherun May 14, 2012

Hi Angela! I’ve been following your blog for years and still love it. I hope your knee feels better. I’ve been battling runner’s knee on and off for about a year and it’s always challenging to stay active while trying to heal.


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 15, 2012

Thank you I hope yours feels better too!!


Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See May 15, 2012

Great tips! Quick question…how often do you find that you need to clean your mat after doing yoga? Mine gets pretty gross even after just 1 class :(


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 15, 2012

I try to clean it after each class….I swear so much in hot yoga!


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 15, 2012

LOL I meant to say SWEAT but yes I occasionally swear too. lol


Sarah May 17, 2012

Try a Jade mat, they are awesome! All natural rubber, great warranty and tacky as heck(will transform your downdog)


Madison August 1, 2012

Hey there! First off, I absolutely LOVE your blog! I’ve been reading it for months and can’t stop pinning your recipes :) I just came across this post…I just got my Manduka Pro Lite mat in the mail last week and LOVE it! It came as a recommendation from my yoga instructor. You have to give it a few times, you know, to sweat into it for it to get nice and sticky but it’s fabulous! Happy practicing!


Melany September 11, 2012

What a great idea; my mat always smells so funky!


Susan September 15, 2012

Hi Angela, I’ve read this entire thread and am dying of curiosity…. what did you buy, and how do you like it? Please provide a quick update… inquiring minds want to know. Enjoy the weekend! Susan


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 15, 2012

Do you mean a mat or cleaner? :) I didnt end up buying either yet! hah


Susan September 16, 2012

Yes, I meant a mat…. thanks for the update.


Nikky September 16, 2012

I’m definitely going to use this on my mat, I usually just use vinegar and water but I love the tea tree idea:)

Healthnut Nutrition


karuna November 8, 2012

Great information on clean yoga mat by naturally. I agree that each yoga mat need different methods on washing it. But maybe some of them can used same way


Lori November 9, 2012

Great info, however, as a certified aromatherapist I have to tell you that the essential oil brands you have pictured above are likely not therapeutic grade (meaning, they may not have the anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, etc. properties you expect them to).

Essential oils can be a great tool. However, the essential oil industry is unfortunately highly unregulated. Only 2% of the oils on the market that claim to be “pure” or “100% natural” actually are. The ones you can buy at run of the mill health food stores typically are not. I can tell just by smelling the testers, but that ability comes from years of using the good stuff (I have tried “aromaforce” before… not desert essence, but I assume it would be similar).

Seek out oils that have the following info printed on the bottle: the latin name of the plant, the part of the plant used, the country of origin, and some kind of certification (though these are prohibitively expensive sometimes) . You may have to order them online. It took me a while to find a reputable source when I was living in Ontario. The following companies in canada i know to be good: ‘Quintessence aromatics’ (Saskatoon), and ‘True Essence’ (Calgary). They both ship anywhere within Canada (and True Essence is sold in Kingston, ON for sure, probably a few other places). Otherwise you could try ordering from ‘Young living’ (Online).

Good luck!


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 9, 2012

Thanks for the info Lori!


Amy January 11, 2013

I love yoga and I prefer to wipe my mat down after practice. I previously used mostly water with a few drops of tea tree oil and sprayed my mat. But the tea tree oil eroded the rubber. I noticed you have tea tree oil in your mixture. Is the vinegar harsh and causing slight erosion as well? I just got a brand new Eco Manduka Purple mat and love it. I’ve only scrubbed it with soap and water when it was brand new. Any suggestions for future erosion free homemade spray bottle mix? Thanks, Amy :)


Tai January 27, 2013

I have the Manuka Pro Mat and I love it! I use it 5-6 times a week and feel that’s it’s worth every penny:)


Rachel February 14, 2013

Just what I was looking for! I’m a beginner in yoga, and I use so many home-made lotions and potions to clean around my home, but when it comes to yoga mats, I’m a little clueless. Thanks so much for sharing, I can’t wait to get started! :)


Tracey February 18, 2013

Getting motivation and energy for regular trainings is one of the most important things when you start working out. Otherwise you won’t achieve your goals. When I started going to the gym my friend advised me to try nutritional supplements. At first I thought I did not need them, but I changed my mind after I’ve tried. It was near 2 months I’ve been taking Military Grade nutritionals, when I realized I did not feel fatigue in the end of the day. And even more: after workouts I still had energy to spare. As time went by, my shape was improving more and more. I was loosing fat and gaining muscles. Now I feel really fit!


A February 27, 2013

Do you use distilled white vinegar or no?


Angela (Oh She Glows) February 27, 2013

Yes I think it is. :)


Diana March 5, 2013


How long does this mat spray recipe last?



sarah March 15, 2013

Search benefact! its an all natural cleaner made of of thyme oil. We use it at my yoga studio to clean the mats and we also clean the studio/bathrooms with it.


Katharina April 2, 2013

Hi! Just found your blog and love it. Thank you for your tip with this self made mat cleaner. I will try to establish this in one of the studios ;)


Mahala Grant-Grierson April 5, 2013

Thank you so much for sharing! I’m definitely gonna have to try this recipe. How was using the vinegar on your mat?


Rachel Ashley July 24, 2013

I love using vinegar to clean my yoga mats!

Rachel Ashley


EveD October 13, 2013

Thanks for sharing, I’m definitely going to try this; I’ve just been taking mine in the shower with me; soaking in shower gel and rinsing so this should be a simpler alternative


Nath Ekanem December 7, 2013

i love this blog , will be at the top of my listed blog



Aiva December 10, 2013

I’m renting a mat from a studio right now, but planning to buy my own soon. Any tips on which mat to choose (Lululemon vs. Manduka or other alternatives)?
Anyways – saving this on my Pinterest


Natalie January 22, 2014

Loved this post! Vinegar is like liquid magic and should be a staple in every household! :)

You should do a “Yoga Routine” post! Would love all yogis to take a look here:

Much love <3



Ashley Parr November 25, 2014

Hi! I noticed the essential oils you used in the blog post above. Just curious if you happen to know if Young Living Essential oils are cruelty free/vegan. Any thoughts on this is greatly appreciated! ~Ashley


visit website January 21, 2015

For my spray I used witch hazel (also an antibacterial), tea tree oil and lavender oil. The lavender is not only an antibacterial, but it also smells amazing and helps promote relaxation which is exactly what I want to do when I’m on the yoga mat.

Best regards.
Stoke Newington Carpet Cleaners Ltd.


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