If you really want a yoga mat that isn't smelly after class, you're going to have to clean your mat after EVERY use (yes, EVERY USE) and let it air dry on a clothes rack or shower rod with plenty of air flow. In fact, it's even a good idea to have two mats and alternate so each can really dry out.
If you leave your sweaty rolled up mat in the back of your car after class, you will be driving to FUNKYTOWN the next time you get in your car. Moisture + heat = bacteria. You need to clean your mat regularly with something that will kill bacteria in order to eliminate the smell and prolong the life of your mat.
To clean your mat, we've made it easy for you by making a cleaning solution available at our Bikram Yoga SLC studio for $7. It comes in a convenient spray bottle you can carry with you and spray right after each class. If you'd rather make your own cleaning solution, below are some ideas.
Essential Oils: Any essential oils will do, but it’s important to include those with antibacterial properties, such as tea tree, lemongrass, lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus.
Witch Hazel or Vinegar: This is the main cleaning agent in the mixture.
Water: Water should be about 3/4 the entire mixture. It dilutes the mixture, keeping it from being too overpowering.
Experiment with your oils – this is the fun part! Try starting with one drop of each oil, and then adding more in different amounts until you reach your ideal scent. Keep in mind that essential oils have a very strong aroma, so be careful not to use too much of them. If your solution does end up being too powerful, pour some out, and add more water. Once you’ve perfected your scent, mix the solution thoroughly, cap your bottle, and you’re ready to clean!
Spray solution generously, covering one side of your mat. Wipe down your mat with a damp cloth. Repeat on the other side and then hang to dry. Never put a damp yoga mat back on the floor where you use it––make sure the mat is fully dry before you spread it out to practice.