It was time to retire my dingy, rubber yoga mat, discolored from afternoons of after work class days in the back seat of my car (don't judge) and crumbling into lace like patterns on the corners from the teeth of an overzealous cat who just can't seem to leave my things alone... even if they are hidden in the closet. Oh, faulty old house closet doors that won't fully shut for portions of the year. Needless to say, it was time to start anew. With a brand new yoga mat. On my 30th birthday this month, I received such a luxurious gift (thanks Mom and Dad!).
I resolve not to let this mat fall into disrepair in the manner that my last one did. (I swear it's not my fault! If only you knew this cat!) One way I have planned to go about this is by making some delicate cleaner to use on my mat after home use. At home it's easy to get lazy. I wanted to use ingredients that are eco-friendly, not harsh on my mat, and that smell nice, a rejuvenating fragrance to keep that post yoga euphoria going for a while longer.
After a little research, I discovered that the Lululemon mats have pores that can become clogged from popular DIY cleaner additives such as essential oils or tea tree oil. (Sigh of disappointment as the "rejuvenating fragrance" criteria flies out the window.) However, I came up with an alternative to solve this problem - infusing the other ingredients with herbs. Clearly I have solar dyeing on the brain. Infusing with pigment, infusing with fragrance. Whatever. As long as it works, right?
This is an incredibly simple mixture that I based loosely off of this one here. Initially, you will need a mason jar, lavender buds (or herbs of your choice) and a bottle of witch hazel astringent.
Empty the witch hazel into your jar, and add some lavender. It really doesn't take much - I think I used about an ounce. Seal the jar and let it sit for about a week. You can check every few days to see how strong the scent is becoming. Witch hazel has a unique soapy odor of its own, which will probably not be overpowered, but you can get a mixture of fragrances in there. This is what it looks like as its infusing, below.
Once you determine that the witch hazel is ready (I went with about 7 days of infusing), strain the liquid from the buds and return to the jar. Now you're ready to mix your cleaner. And when I said this was simple, I really meant it. Fill a spray bottle 3/4 full with filtered water, and then top off with the witch hazel. Apply to a clean, soft rag and wipe down your mat after use. I would recommend not spraying the mixture directly onto the mat, because it will absorb into the pores and really won't do much good when it comes to wiping down the surface since it is infusing into the mat (see what I did there?). If you spray down the rag a little bit, it's much more effective at cleaning off the mat.
Now to be fair, if you aren't interested in going through the trouble of infusing your own witch hazel, you CAN go to Whole Foods and buy a bottle of lavender scented witch hazel. I discovered this as I went to buy supplies and was slightly annoyed since I thought I had a brilliant idea... but you know what? It's about the journey, and INFUSING THINGS IS FUN, dang it! So there you go.
Also, I realize that a tiny mister like the one depicted above will not go very far in cleaning a yoga mat on a (hopefully) daily basis, but let's be honest here - who really wants to look at photos of a cheap plastic spray bottle? You're welcome. Let's just infer that you can use one of those big ol' guys for real life purposes if you want to.