23 Jul Make your own Mat Cleaner
Saucha (cleanliness) is the first of the Niyama. While it applies to all aspects of our lives, an obvious element of cleanliness in an asana practice is keeping your mat clean. The mat is your sacred space, so it feels good to treat this space with respect. Plus, my mats are always light-colored and they show even a speck of dirt immediately, and we can’t have that…
Speaking of light-colored mats, I got a Manduka PROlite mat in Zest earlier this year and with it came a coupon for their brand of mat cleaner.
I’ve never actually purchased a mat cleaner before. Usually, I just clean my mat with distilled water and white vinegar. I fill a big glass bowl with water, pour in a couple of glugs of white vinegar and then use a washcloth or microfiber cloth to scrub it down.
But you know how a coupon can sway you…
So I went to Manduka to check out their mat cleaners, read the ingredients and thought… I think I can make something fairly similar myself.
Gather the following:
• a spray-top bottle
• a few essential oils (I use rosemary, eucalyptus and lime as pictured above, all of which are anti-bacterial. You can use any of the oils mentioned in the Homespun with Love post)
• white vinegar.
Fill the bottle almost completely full with distilled water.
Add 5 to 8 drops each of rosemary, eucalyptus and lime oil.
Add one good glug of white vinegar. Then shake and you’re ready to spray.
I keep a bottle in my yoga room so I can spray down my mat after each practice.
It smells great too.
My buddy and essential oil afficianado, Gayle from Purna Yoga East, wrote in to let me know that that we should be cautious using citrus oils on mats that contain petroleum.
Gayle says, “Be careful with citrus oils….if there is any petroleum in the mat it may damage the mat. Citrus tends to dissolve anything made with petroleum in it”. If your mat is made of PVC, like the Manduka PRO or PROlite, it’s made with petroleum. In this case, you want to skip the lime oil.
Also, natural rubber mats, like Manduka’s eKO line or Jade mats benefit from a vinegar/water base rather than just straight water, because the vinegar penetrates the rubber and helps maintain its natural moisture which increases the mat’s longevity.