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How to Clean Bath Mats of All Types

Jennifer L. Betts
Man standing on bathmat

How to clean bath mats might not be something that you think much about, but you should. Bath mats collect all kinds of dirt and germs, and they need to be cleaned regularly. Learn how to machine and hand wash bath mats made from different materials like rubber, plastic, and memory foam.

How to Clean Bath Mats

When it comes to general cleaning of your bathroom mats and rugs, be sure to follow the care tag on your mat. This will lead you in the right direction regarding basic care for your bath mat, cleaning products, and washer settings. However, there are general bath mat cleaning guidelines you can try for hand washing and machine washing most types of bath mats. For these methods, you'll need to grab:

  • Mild laundry detergent

  • White vinegar

  • Dish soap (Dawn recommended)

  • Rubber gloves

  • Vacuum

  • Baking soda

  • Spray bottle

  • Cloth

  • Sponge

  • Hydrogen peroxide or bleach

  • Scrub brush

How to Wash a Bath Mat by Hand

For bath mats made of natural fibers, such as bamboo or jute, or fragile materials, it's better to hand wash them. For how to clean your bath mat by hand washing, just follow these steps.

  1. Take your bath mats outside and shake them out. You might also choose to use a hose to vacuum the dirt from both sides.

  2. In a spray bottle, mix 1 cup of white vinegar, 1 cup of water, and two tablespoons of Dawn.

  3. Spray down any stains and scrub them with a cloth.

  4. Fill your tub with water and add a few tablespoons of detergent.

  5. Mix with a gloved hand and use the water to scrub your mat gently with a sponge. Be sure to avoid completely submerging bamboo mats.

  6. Rinse with water.

  7. Hang outside to dry.

How to Machine Wash Bath Mats

Some bath mats are a bit more durable and can be thrown in the washer without a problem. Rugs that can typically be machine washed include cotton, polyester, and nylon. Be sure to follow the recommended settings on the rug. However, in general, you'll:

  1. Either vacuum or shake the mat out.

  2. Fold the rug in half.

  3. Place it in the washer.

  4. Wash alone, with other mats or towels only.

  5. If you can, throw the mat in the dryer or hang the rug to dry.

How to Clean Bath Mats With Suction Cups

Plastic bath mats with suction cups can be susceptible to mold and mildew if not cleaned regularly. Therefore, you'll want to make sure to disinfect these bath mats when it comes time for cleaning. To disinfect a bath mat with suction cups, you need to:

  1. Peel it off the floor of the shower.

  2. Lay it flat with the suction cups facing up.

  3. Fill the bath with enough warm water to submerge the mat.

  4. Add two cups of bleach or hydrogen peroxide to the mixture.

  5. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes to a few hours.

  6. Scrub it with the bristle brush. You can also use a toothbrush to get into the cracks.

  7. Rinse with water and suction it back to the shower floor.

Note: The peroxide is a bleaching agent that will make your mat white again.

Anti-slip rubber mat

Best Ways to Clean Plastic Bath Mats

When it comes to plastic bath mats, the cleaning solution you use depends on whether it is all plastic or just plastic backed.

How to Clean Plastic- or Rubber-Backed Bath Mats

When it comes to plastic-backed bath mats, throwing them in the washer is an option. However, if you need to just give your bathmat a quick cleaning, follow these steps.

  1. Shake the mat outside or vacuum it to remove loose dirt.

  2. Use the vinegar and Dawn solution to clean to spot clean any stains on the rug top of the mat.

  3. Flip the rug over and spray the back down with straight vinegar.

  4. Let it sit for ten or so minutes.

  5. Wet the scrub brush and add a drop of Dawn.

  6. Scrub down the entire plastic backing.

  7. Use a damp cloth to rinse until all the soap and soap residue is completely gone. (It could slip if not thoroughly rinsed.)

  8. Hang outside to dry.

How to Clean a Solid Plastic Bath Mat

Like any bath mat, a plastic mat can be a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. Therefore, giving these a disinfectant soak can be helpful.

  1. Throw the mat in the tub.

  2. Submerge it in cold water.

  3. Add a cup of hydrogen peroxide or bleach.

  4. Allow it to sit for a few hours.

  5. Hit it with the scrub brush on both sides.

  6. Rinse it well.

  7. Hang outside to dry.

How to Clean a Rubber Bath Mat Without Bleach

When it comes to cleaning rubber bath mats, you can throw them in the wash or use the bleach soak to clean. However, some people don't like the thought of using bleach on their bath mat. In this case, you can substitute bleach with white vinegar to disinfect. For a bit of extra cleaning power, add a bit of Dawn to the mix and let it soak for a few hours. Additionally, rubber mats should not be put in the dryer.

How to Clean a Memory Foam Bath Mat

Memory foam bath mats do great in the washer. However, you need to make sure to follow a few specific instructions for cleaning this material.

  1. Set the machine to delicate.

  2. Use a mild detergent.

  3. Wash in cold water.

  4. Do not use bleach.

  5. Hang to dry. (Memory foam bath mats should not be put in the dryer.)

How to Clean Microfiber or Chenille Bath Mat

When it comes to cleaning your microfiber or chenille bath mat, you'll also want to use the washer method. For washing a chenille bath mat, you need to:

  1. Use cold water and the delicate cycle.

  2. Dry alone on low heat to get them fluffy again.

Purple Microfiber bath mat

How Often Should You Wash Your Bath Mat?

Bathroom rugs are notorious for picking up dirt, grime, and germs. Therefore, when it comes to cleaning your bathroom mats, you don't want to let them go longer than a week. A good rule of thumb is to give your bathroom rug a cleaning every four days, especially with large families.

Can You Wash Bathroom Rugs With Towels?

When it comes to machine washing, you can wash your bath mats with towels. It's recommended to wash bath mats with other bath mats or towels for the best results. However, remember the bacteria and germs that collect in rugs. Therefore, you'll want to consider the bacteria that are getting washed with your towels before mixing these two. However, when it comes to drying, towels can cause an issue with some materials like chenille.

Cleaning Your Bath Mats

When it comes to cleaning your bath mats, most of them can just be thrown in the wash. This is a time saver. However, remember to read the tag to ensure you are following the proper directions for your material.

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How to Clean Bath Mats of All Types