A good yoga class will leave you with a sense of accomplishment, a newfound ease—and a sweaty mat.
And while our mats are the pathway to Zen, they can also be a direct line to germs and bacteria. "Making skin contact with a dirty yoga mat covered in germs and bacteria can lead to skin infections, acne, toenail fungus and even transfer of the herpes virus and staph and strep infections in susceptible individuals," David A. Greuner, M.D., FACS, FICS, a double board-certified surgeon, writes on mbg. This means that you'll want to avoid using other people's mats when possible and always stay diligent about cleaning your own.
Here, Julia Watkins, the author of Simply Living Well: A Guide to Creating a Natural, Low-Waste Home, shares her recipe for two yoga mat cleaners. One is a more gentle refresh that can be applied after every flow. The other is a more involved heavy-duty disinfectant that can be whipped up once a month or whenever your mat looks or smells like it could use a thorough clean.