How to Wash Bathroom Mats and Bath Rugs the Right Way

How to dry a bathroom rug

How To Wash Bath Mats – The Right Way

This past week, I visited my son Eric. He attends the University of Alabama and has an Airbnb there. I thought it would be a good idea for me to pay him a visit before the start of the busy football season. This way I could help with a deep clean of the house before guests start arriving. I went through the bathroom cleaning the bath towels, vanity, and floors. Then I got to the bath mat and knew I needed to research the best way to wash it. I got great results and thought I should share them with you, in case you have an issue with your wet bath mats or areas of excess moisture too.

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Ah, Bath Mats

They make our bathrooms look so much more complete sometimes, and they feel great when you come out of the shower. Rather than stepping on a cold floor, a plushy bath mat gives you a soft place to land. 

Bath mats are often overlooked when it comes to cleaning, but they’re actually one of the most important things to keep clean in your bathroom. That’s because they’re constantly exposed to moisture, dirt, and bacteria. If you don’t wash them regularly, they can become a breeding ground for germs and unpleasant odors. You might wonder why you need to clean them, how often, and how to do it easily. In this blog, I’ve got all the answers you need and I will also share tips to make it the easiest way to do it using a washing machine or just your hands.

image of bath mat

But before we dive into the tips, here are some of the most common types of bathroom mats:

Types of Bath Mats

  1. Cotton: Cotton rugs are soft, absorbent, and relatively inexpensive. However, they can take a long time to dry, which can make them a breeding ground for mold and mildew.
  2. Microfiber: Microfiber bath mats are also very absorbent, but they dry much faster than cotton mats. They are also soft and plush, making them comfortable to stand on.
  3. Memory foam rugs: Memory foam bath mat is soft and supportive, providing a luxurious feel underfoot. They are also very absorbent, but they can be more expensive than other types of mats.
  4. Bamboo: Bamboo bath mats are naturally antimicrobial and moisture-wicking, making them a good choice for people with allergies or sensitive skin. They are also durable and easy to clean.
  5. Teak: Teak bath mats are made from a naturally water-resistant wood. They are durable and easy to clean, but they can be expensive.

Visually, here they are

Cotton bath mats:

Microfiber bath mats:

Memory Foam bath mat:

Bamboo bath mat:

Teak bath mat:

Why We Should Wash Our Bath Mats?

Every time you step out of the shower or bathtub, your bath mat is there to soak up the water and catch all those tiny bits of dirt. Over time, it becomes a cozy home for germs and not-so-pleasant smells. That’s why cleaning them regularly is essential – it helps keep our bathroom fresh and healthy for daily use.

How Often?

The general rule is weekly washings or at least every two weeks. However, if you have a lot of foot traffic in your bathroom, or if you have pets, you may need to wash them more often.

image os washing machine

How to Clean Bath Mats in a Washing Machine?

You’ll Need:

  • Bath mats
  • Mild soap
  • White vinegar (optional)
  • Washing machine

Step by Step:

  1. Check the Label: Before we start, always take a quick look at the care instructions on your bath rugs or mats for washing instructions. It tells you how to wash it right.
  2. Shake-Off Dirt: Give your bath mat a good shake outside to get rid of loose dirt and stuff. This simple step helps remove loose dirt and prevents your washing machine from getting all clogged up.
  3. Pre-Treat Stains: If your mat has stains, put a bit of mild soap on them and let it sit for a few minutes.
  4. Load the Machine: Put your bath mats in the washing machine. If you have more than one, don’t cram them in; they need space to move.
  5. Use Mild Soap: Add a little mild soap or a regular laundry detergent to the machine. To get rid of bad smells, you can also add half a cup of white vinegar. Avoid using fabric softener, as they can break down the rubber backing on some mats.
  6. Choose a Gentle Wash Cycle: Set your washing machine to the lowest setting or delicate cycle with cold water. Hot water can be a bit too harsh and might damage the rubber or plastic backing on some mats.

How to dry a bathroom rug or bath mat:

Dry Carefully:  How to dry a bathroom rug: Once the washing is done, take out your bath mats and hang them on the drying rack. Just keep them away from direct sunlight to prevent any color fading. If you want to dry yours in the dryer, check and see what your bath mat backing is made of. If it’s just a bath rug, you can get away with throwing them in the dryer. If it’s a bath mat with a rubber backing, either air dry or use a low heat setting so that you don’t damage the backing.

how to wash and how to dry a bathroom rug

How to Wash Bath Mats by Hand?

You’ll Need:

  • Bath mats
  • Mild soap
  • Scrub brush or sponge
  • Bathtub or large basin
  • Water

Step by Step:

  1. Check the label: Again, always take a quick look at the care label on your bath rugs or mats for hand washing.
  2. Fill the Tub: Plug the bathtub or use a big basin and fill it with cool to warm water.
  3. Add Soap: Put a little mild soap or gentle detergent in the water and mix it up.
  4. Soak and Scrub: Put your bath mats in the soapy water and let them soak for around 15 minutes. Then, use a scrub brush or sponge to gently clean them, especially if they’re stained or have too much dirt.
  5. Rinse Well: Drain the soapy water and rinse the bath mats thoroughly with clean water until no detergent remains.
  6. Squeeze out excess water: Gently squeeze out extra water from the mats. Don’t twist or wring them; it can damage its natural fibers.
  7. Air Dry: Hang the mats somewhere with a well-ventilated area to let them air dry. Make sure they’re completely dry before putting them back in your bathroom.
rolling up a bath rug

Proper care tips:

  • Avoid bleach or harsh chemicals. Bleach and harsh chemicals can damage the fibers of your bath mats and cause them to fade or become brittle.
  • Shake or vacuum your bath mats regularly. This will help to remove loose dirt, dust, and hair before it has a chance to become embedded in the fibers. If you have a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, use that to vacuum your bath mats to remove even more allergens and pollutants.
  • For rubber-backed rugs, skip fabric softeners. Fabric softeners can contain chemicals that can break down the rubber backing over time, causing it to crack or peel. This can make your bath mats less durable and less effective at preventing slipping. Also remember that with rubber backing, adjust drying temperature or air dry, as mentioned above in the ‘how to dry bathroom rugs’ section.
  • Always follow the care tag or label if there are any. The care label will tell us the best way to wash and dry bathroom rugs to keep them looking and performing their best on a regular basis. And some mats have delicate materials so be sure to always check them before washing.
  • Rotate Them: To ensure even wear and tear, occasionally rotate your bathroom floor mat. This helps prevent one area from becoming more worn out than the rest, prolonging the lifespan of your mats.
  • Use a Liner: Placing a moisture-resistant liner underneath your bathroom mats can help protect your floors from water damage and extend the life of the mats.
  • If you have pets, keep your bathroom rugs clean. Pet urine and feces can contain bacteria that can cause health problems. So regular cleaning is a must!

Final thoughts

Taking care of your bath mats and knowing how to dry a bathroom rug are small but essential part of maintaining a clean and hygienic bathroom. By following these simple steps, you’ll ensure that your bath mats stay fresh and functional for a long time. So go ahead, give those mats the love they deserve, and enjoy a cleaner, cozier bathroom. Your feet will thank you!

Happy cleaning!

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