ua en ru

When to wash bath mats - Tips for effective laundry

When to wash bath mats - Tips for effective laundry How to properly wash the bathroom mat (illustration: Freepik)

Quite often, to avoid slipping on wet floors, a mat is placed in the bathroom - either rubber or textile. Besides, it provides comfort since it's not as cold as tiles. However, daily use and exposure to moisture require regular maintenance.

Martha Stewart explains how often you need to wash the bathroom mat and how to do it correctly.

How often you should wash a bath mat

Bathroom mats can get heavily soiled as they absorb moisture and dust, which can accumulate in the bathroom. Moreover, moisture and warmth create favorable conditions for mold growth and bacteria proliferation.

For this reason, it's necessary to wash the mat regularly and occasionally treat it with special products. Generally, washing the bathroom mat is recommended about once a month or more frequently if there are visible signs of dirt, such as stains or unpleasant odors.

Additionally, it's a good idea to shake out dirt or debris from the mat occasionally or vacuum it to keep it looking fresh between washes.

When you should throw away a bathroom mat

It's time to replace a bathroom mat when there are visible signs of wear and tear - such as fraying, darkening, or color fading, and loss of density.

Rubber bathroom mats may show the most obvious signs - it's easy to notice when the rubber backing starts cracking or tearing.

However, regular and thorough cleaning of the mats using products designed for deep cleaning and odor removal can prolong its lifespan.

Here's how to effectively clean a bathroom mats:

  1. Check care instructions: First, familiarize yourself with the care instructions for the mat to ensure it can be machine-washed. Most mats, even rubber ones, are machine washable, but it's important to verify this to avoid damaging the mat.

  2. Hand wash if needed: If the rubber backing of the mat shows signs of damage, it's better to hand wash it to prevent rubber pieces from coming off and potentially damaging the washing machine.

  3. Remove debris: Vacuum or shake the mat to remove dirt, hair, or debris. This helps keep your washing machine's filter clean and makes care easier.

  4. Load into the washing machine or wash by hand: Load the mat and other items into the washing machine, or if washing by hand, place it in a tub and fill with water at the appropriate temperature. Rubber rugs are recommended to be washed in cold water or water at room temperature to prevent deformation.

  5. Use detergent: Use laundry detergent or, if stains persist, enzyme-based laundry detergent for deep cleaning to remove stubborn odors and dirt.

  6. For textile mats: For textile mats, after the main washing cycle, add fabric softener to the fabric softener compartment and activate the rinse cycle if using a machine. This allows the softener to be dispensed during the rinse cycle, ensuring it doesn't interfere with the detergent cycle.

  7. Spin at high speed: Select a setting with relatively high spin speed to remove excess water and facilitate drying. However, for rubber rugs, choose low spin cycles to avoid damaging the material.

  8. Handwashing textile mats: If handwashing a textile mat, fabric softener can also be used to maintain fiber elasticity and soften the fabric or pile.

Following these steps will help you effectively clean your bathroom mat and keep it fresh and in good condition.