Can You Wash Bath Mats? (Best Ways, Tips & Things to Know)

Bath mats are an essential part of the bathroom and your shower routine. Clean bath mats and rugs are not only functional but give your bathroom a decent, hygienic, and aesthetically pleasing look. However, as they are often soaked in water, they become prone to mold, mildew, fungi, and foul odor.

So it becomes extremely vital to maintain clean and hygienic bath mats or rugs for a healthy surrounding. So, how do you clean them? Can you wash bath mats? And, are bath mats easy to wash at all? If yes, how do you wash bath mats? Let’s take a look.

Yes, you can easily wash a bath mat using the correct elements and following a proper procedure. Bath mats can be washed by hand or in a washing machine, depending on the material of the mats. This will keep your mats clean and polished.

Which Kind of Bath Mats Can Be Washed?

  • Microfiber Bath Rugs: The microfiber rugs are extremely comfortable, soft, and smooth, with high absorbency capacity. While being inexpensive, they are durable, quick-drying, and easy to wash.
  • MemoryFoam Bath Mats: The memory foam bath mat is soft and supple, making it highly comfortable. In addition, some of these mats are machine washable, while some may need careful hand washing.
  • Cotton Bath Mats: Cotton mats are durable and absorb moisture better than other bath mats. They are also easier to wash and dry quickly, making them a fine choice.
  • Chenille Bathroom Rugs: The chenille bath mats have a fuzzy and elevated thread, making them plush and unique. Moreover, they are washable, durable, and low maintenance.
  • Wooden Bath Mats: Wooden mats such as teak and bamboo bath mats are pleasantly solid and sturdy. Nonetheless, they can be economically washed at home. However, it’s best to hand wash these mats as they are not suitable for washing machines. 
  • Rubber-backed Bath Mats: Rubber or plastic-backed bath mats can be trickier to wash as they can damage your washer. However, the right cleaner and machine settings can help you do the job.

Can We Put Bath Mats in the Washing Machine?

Yes, most bath mats or rugs can be washed in a machine. Cotton mats are easy to machine wash, while chenille and rubber mats may need cold water and specific settings. However, sturdy wooden mats like bamboo or teak mats should be hand cleaned rather than washed.

Washing Bath Mats in Machine

But firstly, it is essential to check the label to get cleaning directions on whether to wash them by hand or put them in the washing machine. For example, some bath mats, such as rubber-backed bath mats or rugs, need special care and attention while washing in the washer.

Moreover, you can wash fabric mats with a regular detergent with vinegar in a washer; however, for a rubber or plastic mast, it is recommended to use only a mild detergent and avoid oxygenated bleach or vinegar.

How to Wash Bath Mats by Hands?

If a bath mat does not support the machine wash and you are cautious about your machine and want to wash mats with your own hands, you can follow the steps below. It is guaranteed that your mats will look as clean and shiny as machine-washed.

Here’s what you will need:

  • Spray Bottle
  • White Vinegar
  • Dish Soap
  • Cloth
  • Brush
  • Laundry detergent
  • Oxygenated Bleach
  • Sponge

Step 1: Dust off Your Bath Mat

Take your bathroom mat outside and beat or shake out any debris, dust, hair, or dirt clinging to it.

Step 2: Prepare a Cleaning Solution

Mix a cleaning solution of one part water, one part white vinegar, and one to three tablespoons of dish soap in a spray bottle.

Step 3: Spray the Solution On The Mat

Next, spray the solution directly onto blackened and spotted areas on the mat to treat dirty stains and spots.

Step 4: Scrub the Spots

After the spray is settled, use a brush or cloth to gently scrub off any visible bath mat stain and spots.

Step 5: Soak It in a Container

Take a clean container or bathtub and fill it with clean water. Then add a little detergent and, if required, oxygenated bleach, especially for the heavily dirty mat. Make sure the solution is mixed well. Then, soak the entire bath mat in the solution for 30 minutes.

Step 6: Scrub the Mat Again

Agitate the mats with your hands, and then take a sponge to scrub off the dirt and stains on the whole bath mat.

Step 7: Rinse It off

Next, rinse the mat thoroughly with clean water until all the soap residue is gone and ensure it is thoroughly cleaned.

Step 8: Dry the Mat

Finally, hang the bath rug or mat outside to dry.

How to Wash Bath Mats in the Washing Machine?

It is extremely easy to wash your semi-durable bath mats or rugs in your washing machine. All you need to do is use the right cleaner and washer setting and take care of some other important elements. Remember, it’s important to balance the load so the machine spins properly. Hence, the steps below will help you do the job better.

  • Take the bathroom floor mat outside and beat or shake it to loosen up dirt, dust, or debris.
  • Apply a gentle stain remover to the visible dark spots and challenging stains.
  • Place the bath mat in your washing machine with a gentle detergent and if required, add oxygenated bleach.
  • Fill the washer with cold water and turn on the cold settings.
  • You can wash all your bath mats in a single run, or to balance the load; you can even place a few towels in it.
  • Remove the bath mats as soon as the washer stops.
  • Finally, it is better to line dry or air dry the bath mats. However, if they are a suitable material, you can even put them in the dryer.

Precautions to Take While Washing Bath Mats

While washing your bath mats, it is necessary to do it correctly. Washing them on your own without instructions can lead to mishaps. Especially because there are different materials, they can be damaged or cause damage to your washer.

Thus, following the tips and precautions below while washing your bath mats can prevent any sort of havoc.

Cleaning Bathroom Mat With Steam Cleaner
  • The first tip is always to check the labels for washing instructions and care recommendations.
  • You should always bundle up your mats and take them outside to shake or beat them up. This will help loosen up any dirt, dust, debris, or hair clinging onto them. If it’s not possible, just run a handheld vacuum over the mats.
  • If washing your mat in a machine, set the water temperature and washer settings according to the care recommendations.
  • Make sure to place the mats of similar color and wash them separately from your laundry to restrain any color bleeding.
  • If you have plastic bath mats or invested in a rubber mat, it is recommended to wipe them down first.
  • Avoid using bleach, harsh chemical detergents, or cleaners for teak or bamboo mats. Instead, use a gentle detergent, soft brush, and water for cleaning wooden mats.
  • Make sure not to place specific mats in the dryer if they are not recommended. Also, some mats, such as rubber-backed bath mats, are advised to hang dry or in a no-heat tumble-dry dryer setting.
  • Never use vinegar or oxygenated bleach while washing a plastic or rubber bath mat.

Can You Wash Plastic/Rubber-Backed Mats?

Yes, you can wash the plastic/rubber-backed bath mats or rugs using cold water and a mild detergent. Avoid washing these mats with hot water as it can damage the rubber backing. To wash the plastic-backed mats in the machine, use cold settings for best results. 

Cleaning a Rubber Bath Mat

Moreover, if the undersides or backing on your bath mat is removable, you can wash it without the backing and put it on later once the mat is dried.

However, you must be a bit more careful while washing your rubber-backed mats. Always check the undersides of your bathroom mats. If your backing is cracked and peeling off, they are no more washable, especially in a machine, and it is time to replace the bath mats.

It is because those small little rubber pieces can come off in the washer and clog our entire washer causing severe damage to the machine. With all the critical care, you will have your rubber-backed mats perfectly cleaned.

Can You Put the Bath Mats in Dryer?

Yes, you can always put bath mats in a dryer for quick drying. Most regular cotton mats can be easily put in a dryer, but microfiber and rubber mats should be line-dried. But, if you are in a rush, you can also tumble dry them in the lowest setting in a dryer.

In addition, as mats are made of different materials, it is always important to read the care instructions and maintenance recommendations on the label for a better idea.

This will save your time and money as some mats can be prone to wear and tear if placed inside a dryer. Mats with plastic or rubber backing need even more exceptional care when drying them.

How to Dry Bath Mats With Rubber Backing?

After washing your plastic or rubber-backed bath mats in your washer, It is typically advised to line dry or air-dry these mats outside to avoid wear and tear and be safer.

Another alternative way is to dry the mats using a microfibre cloth. But if the washing machine is your only option, you can tumble dry your mats in the dryer.

And finally, never use too much heat and warm water for plastic/rubber-backed bath mats as they can crack or even melt the bath mats.

Can You Wash Bath Mats With Towels?

There is no fixed thumb rule regarding whether to wash the bath mats with towels or not. However, it is recommended not to wash your bathroom rugs with towels as they are mostly filled with bacteria and toilet water backsplash.

And you would not want them mixed with your towels as they can be extremely unhygienic. Apart from that, another case where you should not mix your bathroom mats with your towels is if they are color bleeding.

Washing Bath Mats with Towels

Also, bathroom mats produce lint, and you would not want them on all your towels and clothes. But still, despite these concerns, if you are fine with mixing your bathroom mats with bath towels, there are no limitations.

How Often Should You Wash a Bath Mat?

The number of times you wash your bath mats entirely depends on how much they are used. If your bath mats frequently get wet, you should at least wash them once a week. But if they are not used much, it’s fine to wash them once a few weeks.

However, if you are not regularly washing them, it is necessary to vacuum them at least once a week to remove any dirt, dust, debris, and hair stuck to them. And if the mats or rugs are getting wet constantly, just hang and air-dry them to restrain mold, mildew, and fungi.

Especially for a shower mat that has high absorbency and takes a long time to dry, it becomes essential to wash it within 3-5 days to prevent bacteria and germs and to have a healthier surrounding.

When Should You Replace a Bath Mat?

You should generally replace a bath mat every two years. Though they are frequently used, they are durable and last long. In addition, proper washing and good upkeep will extend their lifespan and ensure that they work fine for a reasonable amount of time.

Also, if your bath mats have succumbed to mold, mildew, fungi, and foul odor, it is best to replace them to restrict germs and bacteria from entering your home.

Ultimately, the quality of your bathroom rug and its material determines its life span. But for rubber-backed bath mats, if the underside is cracked and peeled off, it’s time to replace them.

How Do I Stop the Bath Mats from Smelling?

Generally, bath mats are frequently soaked in water, so if they’re not allowed to completely dry, it will result in a foul smell. And this smell can not just take over your bathroom but your entire home, resulting in an uninviting vibe.

The best way to prevent bath mats from stinking is to use an enzyme cleaner before washing your mats. This cleaner breaks down the microorganisms and treats mold and mildew. Once the mold is rectified, the smell will naturally fade.

Why do my mats go yellow?

The reason behind your mats staining yellow is a bacteria called Serratia marcescens. This bacteria harbors and grows in high moisture and standing waters that can trap moisture, such as your bath mats.

How to turn bath mats white again?

You can turn your bath mats white again by mixing a solution of 50/50 bleach and water. Add this solution to your washing machine for regular fabric mats. But for synthetic mats such as rubber-backed mats or plastic mats, spray this solution and rinse them after 5-10 minutes. Also, don’t forget to dry them completely.

How do you dry a heavy mat?

To dry a heavy mat, remove the excess water by placing the mat between two layers of towel and pressing them firmly. If it’s still not working, you can add another layer of kitty litter for quick drying and then use a wet-dry vacuum to suck out all the water from both sides. Finally, air dry it outside to complete the process.

Bath mats are a vital part of the shower routine and hygienic lifestyle. Regular washing of bath mats will keep mold and bacteria away, keep them smelling fresh, and extend the lifespan of your mats. Additionally, this will give you healthier surroundings in your bathroom.

The above details will help you understand different material bath mats, their washing process, and important tips. However, if you are planning to get more sustainable bath mats, Bamboo mats are an excellent choice. But are bamboo bath mats good enough? Learn more about it with us.