Extra yoga mat cleaner? Here’s how you can use it up!

Yoga mat cleaner laundry

Yoga mat cleaner sprays are one of those little things that absolutely delight me. They are small, they are cute, they usually smell really nice, and they remind you of all the use your yoga mat is getting. Not to mention keeping your mat clean and stink-free!


However, I recently upgraded my yoga mat. My old faithful Hugger Mugger Tapas Ultra got designated to the office: I am super lucky to work for an employer that offers free fitness classes during working hours. After several months of using smelly communal mats I realized that it would be much better to keep my own personal mat on hand at the work place, and have a second mat for home and weekend/yoga studio use.

Here’s the thing though, my new mat is the Jade Harmony mat that is made out of natural rubber. Jade specifies that you can’t use essential oils or oil-based cleaning products on the mat, since that will over time degrade the rubber. And what are yoga mat cleaners made out of? Water, vinegar/alcohol, essential oils and surfactants (usually oil-based).

Zum yoga mat spray ingredients

Zum Yoga Mat Spray Cleaner ingredients: water, alcohol, essential oils and sodium cocoate. You can see that some of the coconut oil even separated out and left a bit of residue on the bottle.

I currently have three yoga mat cleaners on hand:

  • A homemade cleaner: equal parts vinegar and rubbing alcohol, water and essential oils (tea tree, lavender and sweet orange, I use the Aura Cacia brand). This is the one I had been using for a while.
  • The Manduka Mat Wash that I received in this month’s Yogi Surprise box (speaking of which, it was my first box, and I absolutely loved it!)
  • Zum Yoga Mat Spray Cleaner which I saw on Vitacost and couldn’t resist buying – definitely my favorite scent of the bunch – it’s fresh and lemon-y.

Since I no longer needed these cleaners for my yoga mat (the “office mat” gets wiped down with wipes) I started using them for pre-treating my exercise clothes. I normally do one or two loads of athletic clothes a week, always on a Sunday. Ideally, sweaty exercise clothes should be washed right after a workout, but I can’t justify running a load of laundry with just two or three small items. So what I now do is spray the “problem areas” with one of my yoga mat cleaners and hang them up to dry. Remember: never put damp clothes in the hamper! Once they are dry, they go in the delicates hamper and sit there till Sunday.

Manduka Mat Wash Ingredients

Manduka Mat Wash ingredients: water, essential oils, chelating agent, vegetable oil based surfactant. Came as part of my Yogi Surprise subscription box.

I use pretty mild laundry detergents for exercise gear, and they need all the help they can get. The surfactants and essential oils help prepare the garments for cleaning. By the way, some stain removers like Vaska Spotoff will have an ingredients list quite similar to what you will find in yoga mat cleaners.

I’m also currently testing some detergents: Hex Performance Advanced, Molly’s Suds Sport and Biokleen Sport to see if I have any new favorites. One thing that stood out immediately is just how strongly scented the Hex detergent is – if you’re looking to try that one out I highly recommend the unscented version!

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