How to Wash Bath Mats

Bathroom mats are a vital part of the bathroom decor. They keep us warm right after a shower and make sure we don’t slip on the wet tiles. How to wash bath mats and make them last longer? The only right way to repay them is by keeping them in good condition. In doing so, we prolong their longevity but also protect ourselves from harmful bacteria, mold, dirt, and everything else that gets stuck on a bath mat. 

Why are Bath Mats Different Than Other House Mats and Rugs?

When comparing bath mats with other mats in your home, the one most important aspect is the location. Keep in mind that the bathroom is unlike any other room in the house. We use it frequently, and we use it to clean ourselves up. It’s unavoidable to leave some dirt behind. 

Moreover, moisture and warmness is also an essential factor. Bathrooms are damp, can have a lot of humidity, some don’t have enough airflow, and they are low light areas. It is a well-known fact that microorganisms like bacteria and fungi grow better in warm moist areas. That is why bath mats require more attention and frequent upkeep. In this guide, we researched when and how to wash bath mats efficiently. 

When to Wash Bath Mats?

Best Bathroom Rugs

The last thing you would want to do after taking a refreshing shower is to step into a cesspool of microorganisms. Whether you use a larger decorative bathroom rug or a simple cotton bathmat, it should be cleaned regularly. Routine care depends on the nature of your household but also the type of mats that you own. When looking at the rug, stains and discoloration mean that a wash is way overdue. An unpleasant smell is another prominent factor.

In some cases, the mat may look clean even after prolonged use. Looks can be deceiving; that is why you should deter the frequency of washing depending on who and how many family members are using the same bathroom. The minimum recommendation is bi-monthly cleaning. If more than two people use the same bathroom, the bath mats should be cleaned weekly. Still, keep in mind that every household is different, so additional factors also apply. If you have young children or pets in the home, it is more likely that the mats will get dirty more often and require more attention. Another good indicator is the number of daily showers. If you shower more than once per day, make sure to air-dry the mats after use.

How to Wash Bath Mats?

The best recommendations you can get on washing your mats can be found on the “Care instructions” tag. The label should have the type of fabric, the temperature it can withstand, machine washable, etc. If you don’t understand the care tag or the mat doesn’t have a label, these steps will come in handy. 

Washing Bath Mats Based on the Fabric

There is a large variety of bathroom mats. They come in all types of shapes, designs, and, more importantly, materials. The type of material used for the mat is directly related to the cleaning method. We covered some of the most frequently used materials and how to keep them clean.

1. Microfiber and Chenille Bathmats

These materials are known to be very absorbent. Both microfiber and chenille will be a great addition to your bathroom because they tend to dry quickly and are incredibly soft on the feet.

Since they are light and soft, for necessary upkeep, take them outside and shake them off. That will get rid of any debris like lint, hair, and sand trapped in the fibers. Another great thing about the fabric is that it is machine washable and dryer friendly. Washing machines can be a little rough, so if you use them, pay attention to the guidelines listed below. 

2. Memory Foam Mats

Memory foam has a velvety feel to it and works great under your feet. Designed to absorb vast amounts of water, it’s no wonder that they often get damp. Using a washing machine and dryer to keep them clean depends from model to model. It is best to read the tag before putting them in a washing machine. But if that is not optional, we recommend washing them on the lowest setting with cold water. Using a dryer should be avoided. If you can, it’s best to air dry memory foam mats to preserve them.

3. Bamboo and Teak Bathroom Mats

These are very popular and have some appealing attributes. The woody texture is anti-slip and good at repelling bacteria. In addition to that, they are naturally absorbent and give your washroom a classy look. Since they attract moisture, they are not entirely mildew resistant and develop mildew and mold if unattended for a long time. The good news is that cleaning them is relatively easy. All you need is a soft brush and some water. Brush the mat gently to avoid damage. Instead of water, you can also use a cleaning solvent.

4. Cleaning Plastic or Rubber Backed Bathmats

To ensure slip-resistant properties, mats often have a rubber backing, and some models are entirely made from plastic or rubber. These models need to be washed regularly as soap and shampoo can accumulate under, making them too slippery. 

Although some manufacturers encourage people to do so, washing rubber mats and polypropylene rugs in a machine will shorten their life-span. It’s important to note that if the rubber is cracked or peeled, little pieces can detach and clog up the washer or dryer. In such cases, we advise you hand wash the mat or, better yet, look into getting a new one.

First of all, when it comes to hand washing, never use chlorine bleach on a rubber mat because it will damage the rubber. It would help if you soaked the mat in oxygen-based bleach that has been diluted in water. After you finish washing the mat, air dry it outside for a couple of minutes, and it’s good to go.

Washing Bath Mats Based on the Cleaning Method 

Although most are machine-washable, proper care varies. Knowing specific cleaning methods could save your rug from wearing down faster. As we stated before, take a moment to read the label. It will provide valuable information on fabric content and instructions on any special care.

  • Basic Clean-up

You don’t have to wait for that deep scrub; you can keep your mats clean with regular, fast touch-ups. Taking the mat outside and shaking dust, hair, lint off is beneficial. Another way is to vacuum the rug when doing regular vacuuming. We recommend you do this every chance you can before putting the mat in a washer/dryer.

  • Machine Washing

This is probably one of the easiest ways of cleaning a bath mat. Some mats have individual requirements, but most don’t. There are a couple of essential things when it comes to machine washing and drying, and once you know them, you are set for good. The first thing is to set the washing speed at a minimum; this applies to all materials. 

Next, pick a program with cold or lukewarm water since hot water can damage synthetic materials. When it comes to detergent, you can use your regular washing powder or liquid. If you want to go one step further, add a laundry disinfectant to the wash cycle. Last but not least, do not overload the washer. You want the water and detergent to reach every surface easily.

  • Hand-Wash

If you don’t want to wash the mats in the washing machine or if the manufacturer doesn’t recommend it, there is another option. Hand-washing is a suitable alternative because it is gentle and prevents any damage to the material. That way, it significantly extends the life of the mat. Stain removal is also convenient with hand-washing since you can focus your attention on that stained part that needs extra scrubbing. 

Start by filling a tub or dishwasher with lukewarm water. After that, soak the mat inside and use a brush or a sponge with laundry detergent. Start by scrubbing gently; remember not to use a lot of force since it can cause damage. Moreover, you can add a laundry disinfectant and let it sit in it for a while. Just be sure not to use chlorine bleach on colored mats or those with rubber backings. They are sensitive to chlorine bleach and can be harmed by it. Continue by rinsing the mat with cold water, and you are done.

Drying mats

If possible, take the bath mat outside and let the elements do their thing. Just place it over a drying rack or a chair. Drying in the sun helps sanitize them, but be sure not to keep them exposed for too long to avoid any discoloration. And for the mats that do allow it, you can use a dryer. Remember to use a gentle, low heat or air dry setting for about 20 minutes. After they are done, remove them immediately to avoid wrinkles and creases.

Maintaining your bathroom mats isn’t a tough chore, but it is one that most people overlook or forget about. The most crucial part is knowing how to wash bathroom mats correctly, so you are cleaning and sanitizing them without damage. Proper care is not only good hygiene but will ensure your bath mats are gleaming for a long time. That is why we took the time to make this detailed instruction on how to wash bath mats. We hope you read it carefully and find our recommendations useful.

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