Sure, your bath mat probably feels nice and soft on your feet after every shower, but underneath all that comfort may be some pretty gnarly grime and not-so-nice germs.
Before you add burn bathmat to your to-do list, we recommend at least skimming this post. Just as with bed sheets and clothing, there is a correct way to care for your bath mat so that it stays fresh and clean, shower after shower.
How Often Should You Wash Your Bath Mat?
Bacteria and fungi love moisture and warmth, something your bath mat has a lot of after every shower. As such, it isn't surprising to see these unwanted microorganisms thrive in your bathroom.
This should convince you that your mat needs to be cleaned every now and then. How often, you ask? Well, it depends on your household.
For instance, if you live alone and shower once a day, you are okay to clean your mat once every 2-3 weeks. However, if you have children and your mat spends many hours of the day damp, you'll likely want to sanitize it every week.
How to Wash Bath Mats in the Washing Machine
Great, today is the day your bathroom rug is getting a wash. Here's what to do:
Shake the Bath Mat
The first step is giving your bath rug a good shake to remove any debris like hair and dust.
Next, inspect your bathroom mat for any stains. Although rare, you might find residue from makeup or toothpaste that made its way to your bathroom floor, especially if it's a memory foam or cotton bath mat.
If you have found some stains, use a stain remover or hand wash the spots before placing the rug in the washer.
Put the Bath Mat in the Washing Machine
Now stain-free, the time has come for machine washing to take care of the rest. Don't forget to check the care label for any special washing or drying instructions before running the load.
Air Dry Your Bathroom Rug
After the washer is done, take out your bathroom mat as soon as possible. While some rugs can be tossed in the dryer (those without any plastic) and go through a tumble dry session, it is best practice to let them air dry. To do this, place your bath mat flat on a drying rack or clothesline and leave it there until it is fully dry.
How to Wash Bath Maths by Hand
Some bath rugs are made of delicate materials (memory foam mats, for example) that are not suitable for machine washing. If that's the case, you will need to roll up your sleeves and wash them by hand. Here is how:
Shake Any Excess Dirt
Start by shaking out your mat to remove particles and debris. Ideally, do this outside to avoid spreading them indoors.
Just like you would before machine washing, inspect your bathroom mat for any stains. If you have found some stains, use a stain remover to treat the spots.
Fill Bathtub with Warm Water
We recommend using your bathtub or a large sink to hand wash your cherished chenille or memory foam mat. Start by filling it up with warm water and add drops of gentle laundry detergent.
Submerge the entire bath mat in what will become a foam bath for your rug. Rub it gently with your hands, targeting any visibly dirty spots.
Rinse the Detergent with Cold Water
Now that your mat is clean, wash away the laundry detergent with cold water until no residue remains.
Hang the Bath Mat Flat to Dry
Your mat will be quite heavy and drip, so consider this when placing it to air dry. Again, use a clothesline or drying rack to ensure it dries properly and quickly.
3 Tips to Care for Your Bath Mats
Congrats, you're now the expert on cleaning your bath mats! Not quite. Here are some additional pro tips to care for your bath rugs effectively.
Determine How Much Use Your Bathmat Gets
The condition of your bath mat comes down to how much you use it.
If you’re like most people, you are using it daily. If you share a bathroom with more than one person you then have to factor in their daily usage in addition to yours.
You also need to consider the time in between each use when your bath mat can dry and air out. The more it is used and the less time it has to dry the more likely your bath mat has unseen dirt, germs, and even mold or mildew settling in!
Wash Your Bath Mats Accordingly
As we mentioned above, the answer to how often you should wash your bath mats can be subjective and a bit complicated. If you want to keep things simple, a good rule of thumb is to wash your bath mat at least once per week.
If you find yourself in a household that shares a bathroom between two or more people, it is perfectly acceptable to wash your bath mats every three to five days.
If you have your own bathroom, you may be able to get away with washing your bath mats about every 14 days to prevent mold or mildew from building up underneath the fabric.
Minimize Long-Term Moisture
It’s important to create an environment that allows your bathmats to fully dry.
Turn on your bathroom fan or open a window during and after showers. Why? Adding a little ventilation to your bathroom helps cut down on the steam buildup, which can seep into both soft (read: bathmats) and hard surfaces, making your bathroom a tropical paradise for mold spores, bacteria, and other unpleasant things.
When you are done using your bath mat, hang it up! Exposing both sides of the bath mat to the light of day will help it dry more quickly and reduce the risk of mold and mildew.
Keep Your Bath Mats Clean With Rinse
So now you're fully convinced that your bathmats need regular cleaning and should be considered a part of your laundry routine. But what if you just don't have the time or energy to do it?
Like most things related to laundry, we have an easy solution for you – Rinse. If you have regular laundry to do (like most non-nudist adults), our subscription Wash & Fold service, Rinse Repeat, may be just what you need. You just fill up your Rinse Repeat bag with all of your laundry – including bathmats – and we’ll pick it up, wash it, fold it, and deliver it back to you on a weekly or biweekly cadence (depending on your plan).
So, then next time you hop out of the shower, remember your hardworking bath mat and be sure to give it the care it needs!
Contact us at Rinse today to see our skill in action.