Don’t Forget Your Bath Mat! How to Wash Bath Mats (& Why)

how to wash bath mats/bath sheet vs bath towel

The first, ancient version of the modern bathroom showed up in present-day Pakistan in 2800 B.C. Ever since then, humankind has been looking for ways to make the bathroom even better. Bath mats were one of those ways.

However, a bath mat is only as good as it is clean. Do you have a grubby bath mat on your floor? Have you forgotten the last time it was cleaned (if it ever was)?

Then you need to learn how to wash bath mats.

Washing bath mats is a little different than just throwing them into the washing machine. If you want the best results, you need to follow some specific steps. In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know — keep reading to learn more!

The Benefits of a Clean Bathtub Mat

First, let’s take a look at all of the reasons you’ll benefit from a clean bath mat.

Sure, you know in theory that clean is better than dirty. But sometimes that knowledge isn’t enough to get you to feel like doing laundry. After reading these benefits, though, we promise you’ll be able to find the motivation. 

First, there’s the question of comfort. Stepping out of the shower and feeling nice and clean, only to get grit and grime on your feet from the bath mat, isn’t a pleasant feeling.

But even more importantly, bath mats can transmit foot issues. The common foot fungus known as athlete’s foot travels on floors and fabrics to find new victims. If you want to keep your feet clean and disease-free, you need a clean bath mat. 

Bath mats also function by getting wet. That’s their job: soaking up the water from the floor. But because of that, they tend to grow mildew and mold fast. Since they’re laying against the floor, they can’t dry out fast enough to keep the mold off. 

In addition to possible fungus and mildew, your bath mat harbors germs, bacteria, dead skin cells, and more unpleasantness. It’s only natural for fabrics to accumulate these things over time. But the only way to keep them at bay is to wash your bath mat. 

How Often Should You Be Washing Bath Mats?

Should you wash it every day? Every week? Every month?

The true answer depends on how often your bath mat gets used. If you have a big family, and the bath mat is stepped on multiple times a day, you’ll need more frequent washing. If it’s just one person who showers every other day, you can get away with washing it less.

For a frequently-used bath mat, make sure to wash it once a week, at least. More often won’t hurt, but that may not be realistic. 

If you don’t use your bath mat often, you can wash it every couple of weeks, or even once a month if your use is very infrequent. 

You should also consider your type of bath mat when you decide on your washing schedule. Mats that have a rubber non-skid backing will fall apart quickly with frequent washing. A mat without that backing will hold up much longer.

If you have a busy household and will need to wash your bath mat frequently, consider getting one with no rubber backing. 

How to Wash Bath Mats

Now, how should you wash your bath mats for the best results?

Here’s a guide for each type of bath mat.

No Rubber Backing

If your bath mat doesn’t have rubber backing, you don’t have to take quite as much care with it.

Start by shaking it out to get rid of any loose debris. Next, read the care instructions to make sure there aren’t any important details there.

Pick a gentle detergent if you want your bath mat to last as long as possible. Put it in the washing machine without too many other items: an overloaded washer won’t get it properly clean. Washing two bath mats at a time works well. 

For a delicate bath mat made of a material like chenille, wash it on cold water. However, if it’s a sturdier microfiber (like a towel), you can wash it on warm or hot (as long as the care instructions don’t say otherwise). 

With Rubber Backing 

If your bath mat has rubber backing, start by shaking it out and reading the care instructions, as before.

Now, take your gentle detergent and put the mat into the washing machine on a cold cycle. If you use hot water, the glue that keeps the rubber backing in place will deteriorate. Use a gentle cycle to further protect the backing. 

How to Dry Bathroom Rugs 

You might not want to just throw your bath mats into the dryer with the rest of the laundry after they’re clean.

If the care instructions say you can tumble dry your bath mat, then it’s fine. But bath mats last longer when air dried, and some can’t be tumble dried at all. For example, mats with a rubber backing can’t go in the dryer.

Otherwise, the backing will start to come off, and it can even damage the dryer if too much peels away during the dry cycle. 

To air-dry a bath mat, just hang it in a ventilated bathroom over your towel rack. You can even hang it outside in the sun if you have space. 

You should also get in the habit of letting your bath mats air dry after each use. Rather than just leaving them on the floor, hang them up in a ventilated space to reduce the risk of mold and fungus. 

Choosing the Best Bath Mats

Now that you know how to wash bath mats, you just need some high-quality bath mats to test these steps out on.

Don’t stick with your ratty old rug. With a fluffy new one, you’ll feel much more motivated to clean and care for it properly.

Looking for a great selection to upgrade your bathroom? Check out our Turkish bath mats here