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11 Ways to Recycle Your Yoga Mat (+Cleaning Tips for Your Studio)

A bundle of old yoga mats sit on the ground with flowers layered between them, waiting to be repurposed and recycled.

Spring is here! And if you’re anything like me then nothing else feels better than cleaning out your closets, getting rid of things you no longer need, and organizing all areas of your life. After all, your overall well-being is important, especially as you enter the new season.
As a yoga instructor and yoga business owner, I find myself with closets full of old yoga mats that I no longer use. Some of these yoga mats I will donate, but others are a little too hard to save, so I try to come up with new ways to reuse them.

Here are 11 ways you can revamp your old yoga mats into something new and special!

11 Ways to Revamp Your Old Yoga Mats

1. Seat Cover for Your Pets

Whether you’re taking your dog to the vet, groomer, or a quick joy ride, having a place for them to feel comfortable is important. By laying an old yoga mat in the back seat of the car, you can help your furry friend from slipping and scratching the back seat.

Now, your pet can practice their own version of Downward-Facing Dog without scratching the seats or slipping around uncontrollably!

2. Play Mat for Kid’s Crafts

Let’s face it, kids love to have fun, but sometimes fun can be a little messy. By rolling out an old yoga mat, you can let them play and make a mess without any worry! This is especially helpful if they enjoy playing with Play-Doh or finger paints. When the kids are finished with their messy crafts, just roll it up and wash it off.

3. Kitchen Shelf Liners

Don’t let your glasses scratch or slip around. By using a yoga mat as a shelf liner or even a drawer liner, you can keep your glasses and other kitchen items protected from those unwanted scratches.</p>

4. Bring That Indoor Mat Outdoors

Sure, an indoor yoga mat that’s had a little use and might be a little past its prime might not be the ideal indoor mat anymore–but it can make for an excellent outdoor one! Think about it this way, your indoor mat stays indoors–but your practice doesn’t always. Recycle what used to be your indoor mat and give it a little outdoor mat promotion. Not really into practicing outside? You can still put that mat to use. A yoga mat makes a great little option for sitting down in nature without having to sit on the ground. Next time you have a fun outdoor picnic in the park or on your favorite trail, bring your yoga mat and see how much of an upgrade it is from sitting on the ground. It’s soft, it’s supportive, and it’s the perfect addition to your outdoor adventures. 

5. Grip Pads for Hard to Open Jars

We’ve all been there…one second we’re scrambling through the fridge looking for a jar of pickles and once we find it, we attempt to open the jar, but it’s stuck. By cutting your old yoga mat into small circles you can use them as leverage to open those hard-to-open jars!

6. Packing Valuables

Say goodbye to those packing peanuts! Give your old yoga mats a new life by using them to protect valuables while moving or shipping out packages

7. Share Your Gently Used Mat with a Friend

You’re really into yoga now but think back to when your practice was just a consideration. It’s likely that you were just getting into it and didn’t love the idea of investing a ton of money into the tools and resources you’d need until you were certain this was going to be your thing. Now that it is try to think of friends who are currently in that position. We’re sure there are tons of folks you know out there that would love to get into yoga and would flip for a gently used mat that they could call their own. Think of it as an easier and more accessible way to get into yoga. For some folks out there, the real barrier to entry is the potential expense–if you can remove that in the form of a yoga mat, you could help them start their journey even sooner than they planned.

8. Donate Your Mat to an Animal Shelter

Just because you don’t want to practice with your older mat anymore doesn’t mean someone wouldn’t love it. In fact, there are plenty of pups and kittens out there that might get a kick out of a sweet little comfy spot that’s all theirs. Animal shelters are a great option for yoga mat donations. It keeps those little furry dogs and cats off the colder concrete floors most shelters have and gives them something cozy to lay on.

In need of a place to display special announcements for your yoga studio? No better way to put them on display for everyone to see than on a bulletin board made from your old favorite yoga mat!

9. Floor Mats

No one likes a dirty floor, so why not reuse an old yoga mat and turn it into a floor mat where visitors can take off their dirty shoes? Not only is a bright yoga mat a great way to welcome guests, but it’s also very easy to clean.</p>

10. Spur of the Moment Activities

Keeping an old yoga mat in the car is great for those spur-of-the-moment activities. Whether you’re having a picnic in the park with your little ones, keeping groceries from sliding around the back seat, or a padded seat at a sports game. An old yoga mat is a great thing to always have on hand!

11. Repurpose Your Mat Into a Camping Pad 

Are you a camping enthusiast? A casual camper? Someone who enjoys camping but doesn’t enjoy the prospect of purchasing a bunch of equipment to do it? If any of those answers ring true for you, hold on tight to that old yoga mat! Old yoga mats that aren’t quite perfect for practice still make great camping pads. Whether you use it to sit on, set under your sleeping back, or simply want something soft and supportive for your feet as you lounge around the campfire, a yoga mat turns into a camping pad super seamlessly.

Now, before you get to repurpose those old yoga mats, don’t forget to clean them. Your yoga mats are the last place you would think to clean, but little do you realize that it’s covered with bacteria.

Try using a yoga mat cleaner such as the one from Cuccio Somatology. Not only is it a multipurpose cleaner, but it’s also made with all-natural ingredients, including aloe vera leaf juice, eucalyptus, and water.

Spring cleaning tips for your yoga studio

Studio owners don’t always have time to clean every little corner in between classes, so it’s important to have products on-hand at all times. Especially on busy days when you are teaching back-to-back classes!

  • Keep a Swiffer or some sort of floor cleaner close to you, so you can quickly clean the floors in between classes.
  • Use all natural cleaner brands & fluid to minimize potential allergic reactions.
  • Wipe down stereo systems or iPhone docks regularly. Germs can multiply pretty quickly on places like this, especially if you’re not the only one using it.
  • Keep hand sanitizer in the studio for your students to use before and after class.
  • Bring a couple of plants or get an air purifier into the studio to help clean the air, allowing people to breathe much more easily.
  • Having a basket of hand towels or washcloths on hand is always a great idea especially if one of your students forgets their towel.
  • Take the time to organize yoga props or gear for before and after classes.
  • Clean any rental equipment that students might use during class such as yoga mats or blocks.
Danielle Cuccio
Danielle Cuccio is CEO/Founder of yoga brand Cuccio Somatology, Celebrity Yoga Instructor and Health & Beauty Blogger/Founder of The Beauty Blender. Danielle has taught celebrities and at top professional offices in Los Angeles and now has a world wide known yoga brand. Want to know more about Danielle or Cuccio Somatology? Visit Cuccio Somatology, Facebook, or Instagram.