Every day, we are being exposed to toxic chemicals with unknown health consequences. The yoga mat is a place where many people practice their daily stretches- exposing them to potentially dangerous toxins. Most mats also end up in landfills or the incinerator after use, meaning these toxin can be released into the air and soil for years afterwards.

The “natural rubber yoga mat smell” is a common issue that many people experience with their yoga mats. The cause of the scent is due to the chemicals used in the manufacturing process.

Why Does My Yoga Mat Smell Like Chemicals?


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If you’ve been wondering why your yoga mat smells like chemicals, you should know that it won’t remain indefinitely. Within a few weeks of use, the typical unpleasant odor of a new yoga mat will go away.

One of the most common sources of an unpleasant odor coming out of the box is the yoga mat material. The colors employed in the manufacturing process, as well as the general quality of the materials, have a role.

A chemical odor does not necessarily indicate that your yoga mat is emitting harmful compounds. If the stench is really bothersome, you may speed up the process by airing out your new yoga mat or giving it a vinegar soak.

1 Why does my new yoga mat have a strange odor?

Freshly opened yoga mats have a distinct odor. It might be a very faint odor or a major off-gassing event.

Three key elements will determine how awful and how long your new yoga mat will smell:

  • It’s made of what?
  • what dyes and glues were used in the creation of the design (if any)
  • how much it costs or how little it costs

Why does my new yoga mat smell? Yoga mats made of eco-friendly natural material can also give away a smell that sometimes lingers for months.


Synthetic yoga mats, such as PVC (vinyl), PVR, TPE, and NBR, have a distinct plastic and chemical odor right out of the box. The reason for this is not only because a synthetic product involves a lot of chemical reactions and procedures, but also because these kinds of yoga mats are often treated with plasticizers.

Plasticizers make your yoga mat more flexible and extend its life. They contribute to a chemical odor that is comparable to that of a new automobile.

Even yet, yoga mats constructed of environmentally benign natural materials may emit an odor that can last for months. Natural rubber yoga mats, for example, are infamous for having a foul odor that is practically hard to remove until it goes away on its own.

The major component of natural rubber, polyisoprene, is odorless, which is fascinating. However, additional “non-rubber” elements and the manufacturing process cause the odor.

Natural jute or cork mats, on the other hand, have a milder scent right out of the box, but might still have a whiff of dried grass or burlap.



The dyes used by your yoga mat maker may also add to the chemical odor of your new yoga mat.

Some azo dyes have a strong odor, and they might emit compounds with a foul stench. Furthermore, dyes may be blended with acids, metals, solvents, and other harmful compounds to create brilliant and long-lasting hues. Water-based inks, on the other hand, are more environmentally friendly and leave the completed product with less odor.

Manufacturers may employ glues to bind the two layers together when a yoga mat is made up of two layers, such as cork and rubber or microfiber and PVC on the bottom. These glues may also include harmful compounds like formaldehyde, which will make the completed yoga mat smell worse.


Expensive does not necessarily imply superior quality. However, the better the quality of the materials used, the more costly the mat and the more renowned the brand.

For example, a Manduka PRO PVC yoga mat will off-gas a little less and for a shorter period of time than a $10 PVC yoga mat from an unknown manufacturer.

High-end yoga companies are more likely to utilize odorless colors and avoid harmful glues in their manufacturing process, resulting in items that smell far better right out of the box. Reputable yoga companies also have more stringent manufacturing controls and sustainability policies, which means that the employees who create your mat are more safeguarded from dangerous off-gassing.

Why Does My Yoga Mat Smell Like Chemicals? -

Essential Yoga Equipment of My Choice

My yoga gear is really important to me.

I’m willing to spend some money on high-quality, ethically created, eco-friendly, and long-lasting goods that will help me maintain a sustainable yoga practice and lifestyle.

2 Is the new yoga mat toxic?

The scent of your new yoga mat does not necessarily suggest that it contains hazardous chemicals, unless you buy the lowest possible yoga mat.

Natural rubber yoga mats, for example, are devoid of dangerous ingredients and poisonous colors, although they may be smelly as first.

Cheap, low-grade vinyl (PVC) yoga mats, on the other hand, may include toxins such as phthalates. Phthalates have been related to reproductive difficulties, such as shorter pregnancy length, and they may leak out over time, particularly in hot yoga studios. Particles of phthalates stick to dust, which may subsequently be breathed.

Not all PVC yoga mats, however, are harmful. High-quality manufacturers employ more advanced technologies and tighter production controls to ensure that no hazardous chemicals get up in your mat or the environment throughout the manufacturing process.

Is new yoga mat smell toxic - Unless you've bought the cheapest possible yoga mat, the smell of your new mat does not necessarily indicate that it contains toxic chemicals.

3 What is the best way to remove the chemical odor from a yoga mat?

If you want to get rid of the chemical scent from your new yoga mat for good, time is your best friend. However, there are a few things you may do to speed up the process:

Clean your yoga mat.

Allow a few days for your new yoga mat to air out before using it. If you don’t have access to an open environment, keep your mat unrolled in a well-ventilated room. You may also use a fan to help circulate the air. The chemical odor will not go away completely, but it will get fainter and more acceptable. Natural rubber mats are heat and sun sensitive, therefore avoid exposing them to direct sunlight.

Soak your yoga mat with water.

Soak your mat in a bathtub filled with hot water (about an inch above your mat) and a cup of vinegar for at least one hour. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil as well. Once it’s in the tub, massage it down on both sides with a soft cloth. Rinse it well and air dry it on a clothes rack. Instead of vinegar, half a cup of baking soda may be used.

Make use of a mat cleaner.

Use a professional yoga mat cleanser mixed with essential oils or prepare a simple DIY cleaner by combining 50 percent water and 50 percent vinegar in a spray bottle. Tea tree, eucalyptus, and lemongrass are my favorite antibacterial oils.

After the yoga mat has been put out on a level area, spray the cleaning solution all over it. Spraying too much cleanser on your mat can cause it to absorb it. Rub the cleaner into the mat in circular strokes with a clean cloth. Allow your mat to dry completely unrolled before cleaning the opposite side in the same way. If feasible, hang your mat to dry for 12 hours over the back of a chair or a porch railing.

The “is tpe safe for babies” is a question that many people have been asking. The answer to the question is no, but there are some ways you can try to make your mat smell better.

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