I’ve practiced yoga on and off for years, but since the start of the pandemic, I’ve spent even more time bonding with my mat. The algorithm connected to my YouTube account now consistently recommends videos similar to that of my virtual instructor fave, Yoga with Adriene. From restorative cat-cows to sweaty downward dogs, my mat went through a lot this past year—which is why I was so thrilled to discover Manduka’s impactful Botanical Disinfecting Cleaner.
As much as I believe in the soothing release of yoga, I’m never thrilled about cleaning my mat after every session (or sometimes every other). Don’t get me wrong: Fitness hygiene is a must, as unsavory germs and bacteria can build over time, but wrapping my head around the act of doing the chore is totally different, especially when the mat sprays I’ve tried in the past have made keeping mine squeaky clean decidedly more annoying, with their overly perfume-y scents and sticky leftover residue.
After using multiple sprays, I was fully prepared to just concoct my own DIY cleaner when I came across this new disinfecting spray from Manduka. The pros at Manduka have perfected yoga tools and accessories over the past 20 years, so I wasn’t entirely surprised to see the same research and care go into their cleaning accessories.
The Botanical Disinfecting Cleaner is nicely plant-based and uses a powerful thyme-derived cleaning agent called thymol that kills up to 99.9% of household germs and viruses (more specifically the flu, H1N1, Staph, E. coli, and Salmonella), which I found less aggressive than sprays with harsher ingredients, like alcohol, on my yoga mat.
The disinfecting spray comes in two sizes: A handy, non-aerosol bottle that I don’t have to worry about accidentally knocking over, and a larger, 32-oz. version, which is great for anyone who practices yoga a lot. The Manduka spray is designed to work exclusively with non-porous surfaces, and got the seal of approval from the United States Environmental Protection Agency for use as a disinfectant against COVID-19. It has two options for use: cleaning, which is ideal for quick mat touch-ups, and full-on disinfecting, which requires my mat be soaked with spray for 10 minutes with the option to wipe or air-dry afterwards. Though I find myself cleaning rather than disinfecting my mat these days, it’s nice to be able to just spritz it and leave it be.
The spray has a mild, earthy scent that fades quickly, and I barely smell it after it’s misted on my mat (another plus). While I will probably never learn to love cleaning my yoga accessories, this easy disinfectant at least makes the process way less painless. And who knows? Maybe one day I’ll even be inspired to roll up my mat after I’ve finished my flow.