How to Wash Bath Mats (2 Methods) + More!

How to Wash Bath Mats

Bath mats tend to be damp and attract mold due to the humid nature of the bathrooms in which they are put, it is therefore important to regularly air out and clean your bathroom mats and bathroom.

A bath mat or rug is an often overlooked but very essential element in the bathroom of any household, spa, hotel, etc. It provides an element of hygiene, comfort, and luxury to one’s bathroom experience. Having that experience compromised is certainly not what we’ll want.

My guide below explains cleaning methods, materials, and steps to prevent and clean moldy mats, and maintain proper bathroom mat hygiene all by yourself.

Follow this guide to find out the steps and tips on how to clean your bathroom mats and rugs, and make your bath mat soft and fluffy again.

You’ll Need

Here is a list of items that you will need to wash your bath mats. Most of these are already easily available in any home or cleaning section of a hospitality business (spa, hotel, etc).

1- Front loader washing machine
2- Gentle laundry detergent
3- Water (Cold
4- Vinegar
5- Bleach
6- Baking soda
7- Rubber gloves
8- Scrub brush
9- Large plastic bucket

Methods to Washing Your Bathroom Mat

There are two major methods for washing your bathroom mat.
Some other kinds of materials like memory foam also have specific cleaning steps and requirements.

Here are all of the methods:

A. Washing Bathroom Mat by Hand

This method of washing a bathroom mat or rug is majorly used to clean fiber-based mats like bamboo and jute, plastic or large rubber-backed bathroom mats which are too big for a front loader, and mats whose care tags have particularly stated that cleaning is to be by hand only.

These are the steps to clean your bathroom mat by hand:

STEP 1: Check the care tag for the cleaning preferences of the rug as provided by the manufacturer. This will tell you what kind of backing the mat has, the cleaning processes to avoid, and the caution to regard when handling the mat.

STEP 2: Take your mat outside and thoroughly shake it to remove any dirt and loose debris, you can also vacuum it to remove more stubborn particles.

STEP 3: Wear your rubber gloves and fill a large bucket with warm water and gentle laundry detergent.

STEP 4: Submerge the mat into the soapy water and use the scrub brush to gently scrub the mat thoroughly. Alternatively, you can spray the water on the mat if it is a very large mat.

STEP 5: Scrub off any mold left on the mat or rug by applying a mix of vinegar
(half cup) and water to the mat and using the scrub brush to clean off the mold.

STEP 6: Rinse the mat with warm water and hang it for drying in the laundry room or in an area without too much sun to avoid discoloration.

B. Washing Bathroom Mat With a Machine (Front Loader)

This cleaning method is particularly used for mats that are made from materials like chenille, plastic, rubber, polyester, etc. It is easy to follow and requires less energy than the handwashing method.

Here’s how to wash your bathroom mat with a front loader washing machine…..

STEP 1: Check the care tag for the cleaning Instructions of the rug as provided by the manufacturer. This will tell you what kind of backing the mat has, the cleaning processes to avoid, and the caution to regard when handling the mat.

STEP 2: Take your mat outside and thoroughly shake it to remove any dirt and loose debris. You can also vacuum it to remove the more stubborn particles.

STEP 3: You should only wash a few mats at a time so put 3 or4 mats in the front loader and add a towel or two to reduce the risk of damage to the mats and for load balance.

STEP 4: Put your machine on the cold, gentle setting and add cold water, gentle laundry detergent, a quarter cup of vinegar or bleach to remove mold and germs, and add a half cup of baking soda per load to remove any bad odor from the mats.

STEP 5: It is preferable to hang dry your bathroom mats and rugs to reduce the risk of damage that occurs to the rubber or plastic backing of some mats from the heat of a dryer and preserve the fluffiness of the mat.

You can hang dry your mats by hanging them in your laundry room or outside in an area without too much sun to avoid discoloration. Alternatively, you can still tumble dry your bath mats, provided you use the lowest drying setting at lower a temperature.

How to Wash Memory Foam Bathroom Mats

Memory foam bathroom mat is a common type of bath mat made from a polymer known as polyurethane. It is machine washable but requires specific care when being washed with a machine. These specific care instructions include:

1- Use a cooler temperature for the front loader.
2- Wash with cold water and keep washing settings to a minimum.
3- Do not use bleach when washing a memory foam mat.

How Often Should You Wash Bathroom Rugs?

1- Bathroom rugs must be cleaned regularly. This is important because it prevents the gathering of bacteria and mold in your bathroom and on the mats.

2- It is advisable to wash your bathroom mats or rugs weekly and more often depending on your usage frequency.

3- For institutions such as a spa or hotel, the cleaning cycle should be weekly and more often due to the high usage by many people, unlike in a home where usage is considerably lesser.

4- You should also wash your bath mats immediately you get them, this freshens the mat and removes any chemical residue or scent present from the factory or packaging of the mat.

5- The cleaning frequency can be reduced keeping in mind the type of bathroom mat you have.

Chenille or micro-fiber mats can be washed regularly while rubber or plastic-backed bath rugs can be washed slightly less frequently to preserve the rubber and plastic in them and reduce the risk of cracking, peeling, and other damage.

Common Questions

Can You Wash Towels With Bathroom Mats?

Yes, you can. Towels usually share similarities with bathroom mats in terms of materials and washing together helps to balance the load and reduce the risk of damage to the bathroom mat.

Can You Wash Bathroom Rugs With Clothes?

No, you cannot. Bath mats and rugs are to be washed either with other mats and rugs or with towels. DO NOT add clothes or sheets to the front loader when washing bath mats or rugs.

How Do You Wash Large Rubber-Backed Rugs?

This type of bathroom rug can be washed with the handwashing method. Refer to the steps provided and increase the quantity of soap and water depending on the size of the bath mat or rug.

How Do You Know When To Replace Your Bath Mat or Rug?

You can check the sides and backing of the mat to see if the plastic or rubber is peeling, which is a clear sign that you need to replace your bath mat. For mats that do not have plastic or rubber backing, you can replace them when the material begins to fade, shed, and become weak. Bath mats and rugs should be changed occasionally to preserve bathroom hygiene.


Proper care of your little bathroom environment including your bath mats and rugs helps to preserve and protect your health and hygiene as a whole.

The cleaning steps and methods provided above will bring back the fluffiness of your bath mat, clear all the dirt and mold, and make it as good and clean as new.


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