Green Cleaning: DIY Yoga Mat Spray

Let me start off with a bit of vulnerability and honesty: I take forever to do things. I don’t mean it takes me 30 minutes to unload the dishwasher because I get distracted by everything or I move one dish at a time (though, that’s all true as well). I mean, when I decide that I want to try something new, or begin a project, etc. I always take forever to start it, and don’t usually finish it, to be honest yet again. It’s a character flaw that I have, and I’m not sure where it came from. Add that to my “things to work on with my counselor” list.

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I have been saying since late college that I wanted to try yoga. I graduated college in 2014. I tried yoga for the first time last year. 2016. Two years. I’m not messing around when it comes to procrastination, people. I’m not sure if it really is procrastination, though. Maybe somewhere deep down I have a fear of starting things, because I fear failure. I’m not talking about school projects. Those are easy. I mean bigger projects, like an etsy store, or a blog, or a youtube channel. There’s a million things I’ve started, and most things I’ve quit. I can literally count on one hand major projects that I’ve followed through with: high school graduate, college graduation, and so far marriage. Just kidding. But really. College was probably the only project I willingly started and actually finished. However, it took more than four years (probably because I changed my major seven times – SEE?), a crap-ton of tears, and many, many moments when I wanted to quit. I’m glad I didn’t though, because now I’m a housewife with student loan debt. YAY AMERICA.

Back to the point of this blog – I finally started doing yoga. I started and quit it numerous times, but have slowly begun to do it more frequently. About a week ago, I told my husband (and my counselor because let’s be honest they both are equally important) that I wanted to commit to doing yoga everyday for an extended period of time. Enter: Yoga with Adriene. She’s the only yogi I’ve ever followed, and I didn’t really commit or finish her 31 Days of Yoga Revolution when she rolled it out a few months ago. However, this time I was committed. I stumbled for the first few days (read: there was a two day gap between Days 2 and 3), but since Day 3 I have been doing it everyday, and I have to say: it feels great. I don’t know that I’ve gotten the mental reward from it yet, but it is rewarding knowing that I’m strengthening my body, as that’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, and just never did.

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Here’s the embarrassing part: after a particularly sweaty and smelly session, I realized that I’d never cleaned my yoga mat. I’d had it since last year when I first decided to try it. and no, I DON’T wear socks on my mat, and YES, I have very clammy feet. That’s what happens when you’re an anxious mess all the time. So, while I was laying in child’s pose and kept having to “inhale deeply” but all I could do was thing about how bad I smelled and now how gross my yoga mat was, I decided I was going to make a mat spray. I’d seen a few YouTube videos on DIY sprays, including one on Adriene’s channel, so I took notes from theirs and made my own! The amazing thing about this spray is it’s all natural stuff, no chemicals, and you can really make it pretty much anyway you want to. I do recommend using Tea Tree oil or some other antibacterial essential oil (lemongrass or eucalyptus, for example), even if you don’t love the smell. It will help keep your mat clean and sanitized. I personally don’t love the smell of Tea Tree oil, so I covered it with delicious Lilac Witch Hazel and Lavender oil. Between those ingredients and the distilled water, you’re all set! Happy spraying, and happy yoga-ing!

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Ingredients:

1 spray bottle, preferrably glass

Witch Hazel (I used Lilac)

Tea Tree essential oil (or other antibacterial – such as lemongrass, eucalpytus, etc.)

Lavender essential oil (or whichever scents you’d like – play with it!)

Distilled (or boiled, then cooled) water

 

Directions:

  1. Fill your spray bottle 3/4 full of the distilled water.
  2. Fill the remaining amount with your Witch Hazel, leaving room for approximately 15-20 drops of essential oils.
  3. Add in your essential oils – I did 10 drops of Tea Tree and 10 drops of Lavender.
  4. Shake before use – spray onto your mat after each session, and before if you’d like. Sometimes it’s nice to smell the fragrances while you’re on the mat practicing.
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Green Cleaning: Citrus Vinegars

I’ve become sort of hippy these days. And by sort of, I mean every day I just go deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole of green living. I’m okay with this, though! I know I get funny looks, and while they’re supportive, I have a few friends and family members who like to poke fun. But I just keep chugging along, knowing that I’m making changes to make mine and my family’s lives better and healthier.

One of the first and easiest switches to a greener life that I made was my cleaning habits. I’ve stopped buying any off-the-shelf, pre-mixed cleaning solutions like Clorox, 409, etc. Now that I’ve seen how easy (and cost-efficient!) it is to clean green, I literally can’t wrap my mind around why anyone would go back to use those expensive, chemical-filled products. I know that sounds judgemental, but I just want to scream from the roof tops: “THIS BAKING SODA AND VINEGAR CLEANS MY OVEN WAY BETTER THAN ANY OVEN CLEANER OUT THERE AND HAS 100% LESS CHEMICALS AND COSTS SIGNIFICANTLY LESS!” It’s a little extreme, but obviously I’m an extreme person.

I’ll probably keep this “Green Cleaning” thing as a series on this blog, as I already have some essentials, and I’m learning more every day.

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Vinegar is one of those absolutely essential items in green cleaning. I use it for everything: all-purpose cleaners, carpet cleaners, window cleaners, etc. However, as I’m sure most of you know, it smells terrible. For a while, I just accepted this, adding in what felt like a million drops of essential oil to my cleaners – not just for their cleaning benefits, but to hopefully cover up the scent of the vinegar. Now, I don’t care what any blogger or youtuber tells you – essential oils will not cover up the scent of vinegar. Maybe if you dump the whole bottle in, sure. However, that’s not at all cost efficient.

So, I did some research, and came up with an idea. My husband and I always have citrus fruits that are on the verge of going bad. We’re terrible, I know. Even if we do eat an orange or use a lemon for something, I hate throwing away the rind. Not only is it just contributing to the massive landfills that fill our country (and world, really), I know they can be useful (even if they taste like bitter shit). Lemon and orange oil have been shown to have antimicrobial properties, so what better way to use them than to clean with them?! I use them in my vinegar (obviously), but if you’re not down for natural cleaners yet, you can always throw them into your garbage disposal and let them naturally freshen up your sink!

Jump below the picture for the “instructions” on this concoction! And by instructions I mean the three, probably pretty obvious, steps.

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Ingredients:

  • Citrus of your choice – either just the rinds or sliced up
  • Vinegar of your choice – I use white distilled vinegar
  • Jar or container with lid – I use mason jars because I’m predictable

Directions:

  • Put citrus in jar or container.
  • Pour vinegar in jar or container, close the lid, and let steep anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks or more.
  • Use in your favorite green cleaning recipe and know you’re taking one more baby step to helping your family, and the Earth, be healthier.