While there is currently no research linking skin infections to improperly sanitized yoga mats, there are many investigations concerning athletes and infectious disease outbreaks due to contact with athletic equipment, particularly at the high school or college level. The yoga community has developed a number of essential-oil based cleaning products that are advertised as “all-natural” or “organic” and antibacterial or antifungal. In order to test the effectiveness of these agents, two commercially available products were chosen and a third was produced in the laboratory to simulate the popular “Do It Yourself” recipes. The antibacterial effectiveness of these products was tested against Staphylococcus aureus and compared to the antibacterial properties of Lysol® using disk diffusion assays. Based on the lack of established disinfectant chemicals in the “all natural” cleaners, we hypothesized that these cleaning products would not be as effective in controlling the growth of S. aureus as Lysol. The three natural cleaning products appear to be minimally effective against S. aureus, even at high concentrations. Surprisingly, when tested independently, select ingredients of the cleaning products exhibit high levels of effectiveness.
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