How to Clean Dirty Yoga Mats with Baking Soda (2023)

my yoga mat cover

Every day more and more people are learning about the physical and mental health benefits of doing yoga. Yoga practitioners are reporting better focus, mental clarity, and leaner bodies. Because of this, yoga mats have become common in a lot of gyms and homes.

Yoga mats are special mats that are designed to be non-slip and provide some cushioning. However, they are always drenched in sweat, oil, and grime, making them a breeding ground for harmful germs.

Getting skin diseases like plantar warts, ringworm, and athlete’s foot are also very common, especially when you share your mat with other people.

The funky smell that’s left behind after each use is also a problem.

So, you must regularly clean your yoga mats.

In this article, I’ll show you a simple and effective way to clean your yoga mats by using baking soda, water, and a few drops of lemon juice or essential oils.

Try it out before your next hot yoga session.

Let’s begin.

What You’ll Need:

1 tablespoon Baking Soda
Lemon juice or essential oils
Soft sponge
Clean cloth
2 cups of water

clean yoga mat what you need


1. Make a cleaning solution by mixing 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 2 cups of water. 

mix baking soda and water

2. Add a few drops of lemon juice or your favorite essential oil (I’m a fan of peppermint oil). Mix well. 

essential oil or lemon juice

3. Dip a sponge in the solution and use it to scrub your yoga mat. After you’re done dip the sponge in water and use it to rinse off the solution.

scrub with sponge

4. Use a clean cloth to wipe the yoga mat then let it air dry outside. Do not hang it under direct sunlight. Sunlight can fade the colors of your yoga mat.

dry with cloth

Spray the Smell Away

You can make the solution ahead of time. Just mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle well before you spray it. Wipe and let it dry afterward.

The solution should be good for up to 3 days when you use lemon juice and up to a week for essential oils.

spray bottle

What kind of essential oils works best for my yoga mats?

It depends on your personal taste. In my experience, peppermint and tea tree oils work great for this.

Just use a scent that works for you.

What if I don’t have any essential oils or lemon juice? Can I just use baking soda and water?

Yes. You can still use this method even if you don’t have essential oils or lemon juice available. The solution will still work great at cleaning, but you’ll be left with an unscented yoga mat.

If you’re like me who wants to do yoga on a lightly scented mat then I suggest you get some lemon juice or essential oils. But if you prefer working out on an odorless mat, then go for it.


Baking Soda is a great natural and eco-friendly alternative to harmful cleaners for cleaning yoga mats.

If you find this article helpful and are looking for more ways to clean with baking soda, please check out my articles on how to deodorize towels and how to clean pillows using baking soda.

Thank you for dropping by my blog.

Have a great day!

-Baking Soda Guy

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Why should I clean my yoga mat regularly? 

A: Regularly cleaning your yoga mat is essential to remove sweat, oil, and grime, which can become breeding grounds for harmful germs and cause skin diseases like plantar warts, ringworm, and athlete’s foot.

Q: How often should I clean my yoga mat? 

A: It is recommended to clean your yoga mat after each use, especially if you practice hot yoga or share the mat with others.

Q: Can I use the cleaning solution for other purposes? 

A: While the cleaning solution in this article is designed specifically for yoga mats, you can try using it on other surfaces, but make sure to test a small area first to avoid any potential damage.

Q: How long does the cleaning solution with essential oils last? 

A: If you use lemon juice, the solution should be good for up to 3 days. When using essential oils, it can last up to a week.

Q: Can I use any essential oils for my yoga mat? 

A: Yes, you can use any essential oil of your choice. In the article, peppermint and tea tree oils are mentioned as great options, but it ultimately depends on your personal preference.

Q: Can I clean my yoga mat under direct sunlight? 

A: No, it’s not recommended to hang your yoga mat under direct sunlight, as it can fade the colors of the mat. Instead, let it air dry outside in a shaded area.

Q: Can I use only baking soda and water without essential oils or lemon juice? 

A: Yes, you can still clean your yoga mat effectively with just baking soda and water, but it will not have any scent. If you prefer a lightly scented mat, using essential oils or lemon juice is recommended.

Q: Can I use a different type of sponge or cloth for cleaning? 

A: Yes, you can use a soft sponge and a clean cloth as mentioned in the article, or you can use other suitable cleaning materials you have available.

Q: How do I store the cleaning solution if I want to make it ahead of time? 

A: If you want to prepare the cleaning solution ahead of time, mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle well before you spray it. Wipe the mat with a clean cloth and let it air dry.

Q: Are there any other eco-friendly cleaning alternatives for yoga mats? A: Baking soda is mentioned as an eco-friendly alternative, but you can also explore other natural cleaning options like vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or specialized yoga mat cleaning solutions.

Q: Can I use this cleaning method for all types of yoga mats? 

A: Yes, this cleaning method should be suitable for most yoga mats, but it’s always a good idea to check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific cleaning recommendations.