Sunday, January 5, 2014

Natural Sports Cleaner

Please note: this is NOT an edible recipe (although, I think that you could probably drink it without risk of harm… but it would taste awful and I do not recommend it)!

I spend a lot of time practicing hot yoga in a 100+ degree room, sweating profusely onto my yoga mat. At times, I have been in class in close proximity to someone who could greatly benefit from using an effective method of deodorizing their own mat and equipment. It makes me extra mindful of not EVER wanting to be THAT person. While I believe in avoiding exposure to germs and fungi as much as possible, the thought of spraying toxic germ-killing chemicals onto my mat that I also lie on is not appealing to me. We can't control all of the environmental toxins we are exposed to, so it makes sense to reduce exposure in the areas that we DO have a say-so over. The types of personal cleaning products we use is one of those areas.

This cleaner is made effective with its use of white vinegar as the primary ingredient. Vinegar's acidity kills most bacteria and fungus. The eucalyptus oil may offer some anti-bacterial properties, too, but I primarily rely on it to counter the vinegary smell (I hate showing up for yoga with my gear smelling of pickles!). When my kids were younger, I would have LOVED to had access to a recipe like this for disinfecting and deodorizing their soccer shin-guards, softball batting helmets, track shoes, and even their sports duffles that held their track supplies (and goodness only knows what old, random scraps of food!). This works well as a cleaner for shoes, flip-flops, hats, hand weights and exercise balls, too!

In a clean spray bottle, combine 1 cup water, 1/2 cup white vinegar* and 1 − 2 teaspoons eucalyptus (or tea tree) oil. Shake well. Spray on surface of mat (or other sports equipment) and allow to sit for a few minutes, then wipe with dry cloth and allow to completely air dry before rolling or storing.

To keep clothing smelling fresh, add 1 cup white vinegar to wash load with your regular detergent, and when possible, rinse twice. When you've got a little extra time, allow clothing to soak in machine with the vinegar for an hour or two, prior to adding detergent. Then add detergent and run load as usual.

*You can save a TON of money by purchasing your white vinegar in a gallon jug (usually less than $3) versus a smaller bottle (a 16-oz bottle costs about a dollar). I also disinfect my yoga towels and clothing by soaking them in filled washer with 1 cup white vinegar for 30-minutes before adding detergent and running wash cycle.

Elemental Fit is a holistic health coaching practice passionate about helping people understand the influence that food and lifestyle have on health, happiness and overall wellbeing.

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