How to clean cork yoga mat? [5 Steps]

Image showing a cork yoga mat.

If you regularly do yoga, you may have heard about eco-friendly cork yoga mats. Those are a great alternative to standard mats, however, proper care is necessary to keep them in good condition. In this article, we will answer a common question of “how to clean a cork yoga mat?”.

Quick Answer:

To deep clean your cork yoga mat, we highly recommend using a homemade cleaning solution. Natural ingredients are preferred since your mat will be in contact with your skin most of the time. A simple cleaning spray can be created with 1 part vinegar, and 3 parts water.

Spray the solution on the yoga mat surface, and wipe it down with a clean cloth. When the mat air dries completely, roll it back with a cork side up and store it in a dry place.

The same solution can be applied if you want to clean suede yoga mat or a Lululemon yoga mat. Be careful to not apply too much water, as every mat can change its shape.

Why should you clean cork yoga mat?

Cleaning every type of yoga mat is important for a number of reasons. It’s important to understand that the overall condition of the yoga mat can influence your performance, health, and comfort during yoga sessions. Here’s a list of the most important reasons to regularly clean your cork yoga mat:

  • Hygiene. A yoga mat that is not cleaned regularly accumulates a lot of dirt and oils on its surface. This later becomes a breeding ground for germs and bacteria that can cause rash and skin illness.
  • Lifespan. Dirt and debris that piles up on the yoga mat can also play a part in the deterioration process. If you want to prolong the life of your yoga mat, proper care is necessary.
  • Appearance. Dirt can also cause your yoga mat to look dull and worn out. The surface often becomes discolored with time.
  • Performance. A dirty yoga mat can also affect your performance. With time, the surface loses its grip and becomes slippery, making it hard to find balance during the session.

Those are only some of the reasons why you should regularly clean your yoga mat. Some of the others are benefits for respiratory health, reducing unpleasant odors, or environmental benefits (by reducing waste and promoting sustainability).

How to clean cork yoga mat?

Firstly, we would like to address that cleaning a cork yoga mat is much safer with natural cleaning ingredients. Since your mat will be in contact with your skin for a long time, we stray away from any harsh chemicals. While you can buy natural cleaning agents, we advise you to make one yourself using the methods below.

How to make a homemade cork yoga mat spray?

White vinegar and water

The first cleaning solution can be made using only white vinegar and water, however, essential oils can be added to improve the disinfectant properties. To create this solution follow those steps:

  1. Prepare a container. Preferably a spray bottle which you can use later on in the cleaning process. That being said, a regular bottle or a basin will also work fine.
  2. Add 3 parts water. The Regular tap water works well. We recommend making more cleaning solution so that you can spray your cork mat after each yoga session.
  3. Add 1 part white vinegar. Regular white vinegar works fine, many people also recommend using witch hazel as an alternative.
  4. Add essential oils. This step is optional, although it can boost the disinfectant properties of the cleaning solution. Essential oils also reduce any negative odors. We recommend using Lavender, tea tree, lemongrass, eucalyptus, peppermint, or grapefruit oils. 5 drops of either one should be more than enough for it to work.
  5. Mix well. Shake the bottle until all of the ingredients are combined.

Mild detergent and water

If you don’t have white vinegar at home, a mild detergent can be a good substitute. Try to find one that contains only natural ingredients. If that’s not possible, make sure you’re not allergic to any substance listed on the packaging. To make a cleaning solution out of this follow those steps:

  1. Prepare a container. Start by preparing a container that can be filled with water and your cleaning detergent. Once again we recommend a spray bottle, although a regular basin should work fine.
  2. Add 1 cup of water. This should be more than enough to cover your cork yoga mat thoroughly with a cleaning solution.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of mild detergent. Be sure your detergent is free of any harsh chemicals before you do this step.
  4. Add essential oils. This step is optional, however, it can help with disinfecting the surface and reducing unpleasant odors.
  5. Mix well. Shake the spray bottle until all of the ingredients are combined.

How to deep clean your cork yoga mat?

When deep cleaning a cork yoga mat, you need to be a little more careful. High amounts of water can destroy the original shape of your yoga mat, or cause cracks. You should also avoid scrubbing or using too much pressure when wiping down the mat. Without further ado, here are 5 steps to clean your cork yoga mat:

  1. Shake your spray bottle.

    This ensures that all the ingredients are mixed properly, even if you haven’t used your homemade cleaning solution in a long time.

  2. Spray the mat with the cleaning solution.

    Be sure you are not using too much, as it can permanently damage the mat. A few sprays should be enough to thinly cover the surface. If you don’t have a spray bottle, dip a soft cloth in the solution and apply it to the surface.

  3. Wipe the mat down.

    Use a clean cloth to wipe the cleaning solution from the mat. You can dip it in regular water and go over the mat once again. However, be sure to gently dampen the cloth instead of soaking it completely.

  4. Let the mat air dry.

    Air drying is the safest option, although you need to be sure to avoid direct heat or sunlight.

  5. Store the mat properly.

    Store your cork mat only when it’s completely dry. Roll it tightly with a cork side up, and place it in a cool dry spot. Use a strap to prevent your mat from unrolling back.

Video tutorial

How often should you clean cork yoga mat?

This will depend on how frequent and intensive your yoga sessions are. Some people may get away with cleaning their cork yoga mat once a week, while others will need to do so after every session.

We highly recommend keeping your DIY cleaning solution in an easy-to-reach area. This way you can simply spray and wipe your yoga mat after every session. This will help you create a habit of regular cleaning, however, be sure to not store your mat until it’s completely dry.


Can you machine wash a cork yoga mat?

Cork yoga mats should not be machine washed. This can permanently damage the cork material, creating cracks, causing discoloration to the surface, or removing its grip and texture. Instead of machine washing, you can spray the mat with a homemade cleaning solution.

How do you take care of a cork yoga mat?

To take care of your cork yoga mat, we recommend regular cleaning, avoiding exposure to direct heat or sunlight, using a yoga towel, and storing the mat properly. Always wait for your cork yoga mat to dry before you roll it up. Try to choose a place that is cool and dry to avoid mold and mildew growth. 

How do you make a cork yoga mat sticky?

To make your cork yoga mat sticky again start by cleaning the surface. Dirt and debris can cause the mat to lose its stickiness. Additionally, you can use a yoga towel, spray a small amount of water onto the surface, or apply a conditioner.


In conclusion, to deep clean your cork yoga mat, you should start by preparing a homemade cleaning solution. Cleaning agents with natural ingredients are preferred, as the yoga mat will touch your skin often. To create one, mix 1 part white vinegar with 3 parts water. Alternatively, you can use 1 tablespoon of mild detergent with 1 cup of water.

Put your cleaning solution into a spray bottle and mist the surface of your cork yoga mat. Wipe down the moisture with a clean cloth. When the mat dries completely, roll it back up with a cork side up and store it in a dry place.