New Yoga Mat? Eliminate the Smell

Leslie Garrett by Leslie Garrett | April 7th, 2014 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness, Yoga

Yoga Mat Smell

A new yoga mat is full of promise and excitement to revitalize your practice. But along with promise, a new mat offers up something less appealing: new-mat smell.

Whether your mat is made of rubber, jute, bamboo or the more common and affordable PVC, it will release an odor that alerts all around you to its newness.

What’s a concerned yogi — one who doesn’t want to subject herself or her fellow downward doggers to headache-inducing off-gassing — to do?

Well, while you likely won’t eliminate the smell completely (only time can do that!), you can certainly reduce its assault on your nose. Here’s how:

5 steps you can take to eliminate new yoga mat smell:

1. Begin by unrolling your mat to determine the severity of your smell problem. Frankly, my Gaiam natural rubber mat, while odorous, wasn’t unpleasant to me, so I simply let time work its magic until the smell vanished altogether.

2. Try hanging your mat outside for a day or two. As anyone who line-dries their laundry knows, fresh air and UV rays can do wonders.

3. If that’s not enough, mix up an odor-busting solution. Some practitioners swear by a simple 50/50 mixture of water and apple cider vinegar. You can leave it at that or, to boost its antimicrobial, antifungal properties, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Put it in a spray bottle and spritz away! This can also work as a mat cleaner after a regular yoga practice has created a different, sweat-induced yoga mat smell.

4. If you want to not only eliminate the new-mat smell but replace it with a pleasant smell, try this. Pour witch hazel (I’m a fan of Thayer’s, which comes in regular, rose or lavender) into a spray bottle (roughly two-thirds of the bottle), add water to top it off, along with a few drops your other favorite essential oil. It might take a bit of time but you can accelerate the creation of a sweet-smelling mat.

5. Try Gaiam’s Super Yoga Mat Wash. Gaiam’s solution to the “new mat smell” includes organic essential oils with proven antiseptic, antibacterial and moisturizing properties to have your new mat smelling great in no time.

Share your “mat cleaning” suggestions below.

Related Articles:

Tips for Choosing the Right Yoga Mat for You

50 Ways to Reuse Your Yoga or Fitness Mat

The Benefits of Yoga

What to Expect from Your First Yoga Class

Related Products:

Gaiam Sol Premium Grip Yoga Mat

Thunderbolt Pose Yoga Kit

Eco Hemp Yoga Strap

Super Yoga Mat Wash


  1. I bought a natural rubber mat from Gaiam a few years ago. No problem with the odour when new or I would have returned it. I have not seen that same mat for sale for awhile.

    However, anything that is offgassing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can be harmful to your health. That’s what “new mat smell” is. My educational background is in sciences with a special interest in health effects of poor indoor air quality. Stay away from PVC mats especially.

    Gaiam needs to step up and insist that manufacturers make mats from compounds that don’t give off harmful chemicals.

    G. Barron | May 4th, 2016 | Comment Permalink

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