Savasana and Staph Infections: An examination of the effectiveness of ‘natural’ and commercial cleaners against Staphylococcus carnosus on yoga mats
Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most common bacterial strains found in community fitness centres in the United States. Recent studies have found a link between methicillin-resistant S. aureus infections and improperly sanitized fitness equipment such as yoga mats. Therefore, effective disinfectant methods are crucial for the prevention of bacterial transmission. As opposed to commercial cleaners, ‘all-natural’ or ‘organic’ cleaners have been favoured by the yoga community, however, there is very little information on their effectiveness as disinfectants against various bacteria. The goal of this study was to examine the effectiveness of different 'natural' and commercial cleaning products when disinfecting yoga mats infected with Staphylococcus carnosus. They were compared to Lysolâ All-Purpose Cleaner, a Health Canada certified disinfectant. We hypothesized that the ‘natural’ cleaners used on the yoga mat would not be as effective at inhibiting the bacterial growth of S. carnosus in comparison to the two commercial cleaners tested. It was found that the commercial cleaner containing bleach was significantly more effective than all of the natural cleaning products.