You have finally finished cleaning your bathroom floors, the shower and the toilet. Your bathroom is now clean and there is nothing more to do, right? Well, not really. When cleaning bathrooms, most of us usually forget one thing: bath mats. In fact, it is not uncommon for most people to skip washing bath mats, even for months.
Yet, knowing how to clean bath mats is essential if your bathroom is to remain thoroughly clean. Bath mats are constantly exposed to high moisture and humidity levels, making them a haven for mold, mildew, fungi and bacteria. Therefore, it is advisable that you clean these on a regular basis. After all, you wouldn’t want to take a refreshing shower, only to step into a pool of bacteria and microorganisms.
However, bath mats come in a wide range of types and materials. Therefore, the most effective cleaning technique may vary from one type of bath mat to another. In this article, we have researched the best cleaning methods appropriate for each type of bath mat.
The Basics of Cleaning Bath Mats
Before you can start cleaning your mat, consult the manufacturer’s instructions or care tabs about any specific machine settings or cleaning products that you should not use. Also, take the bath mats outside and thoroughly shake them to remove dirt, pet hair, and dust that might have accumulated on them.
For those bath mats with rubber or plastic backing, wipe these off using a clean, dry microfiber cloth.
How to Clean Chenille and Microfiber Bath Mats
Chenille and microfiber mats are preferred for their ability to dry very quickly. They are also very soft on the feet, and give that very plush and comfy look to your bathroom.
Gentle Laundry Detergent
1. Place the bath mats in your washer, but do not overload the machine. Add a generous amount of gentle laundry detergent. Set the washer on the cold setting then begin washing.
2. After the bath mats have been washed, set to dry with the lowest heat setting. As an alternative to machine drying, you can hang the bath mats outside to dry naturally.
When you decide to dry the bath mats using the washing machine, do not mix the mats with other fabrics, such as towels. This is because the bath mats might pick up lint from the fabric, such that they do not dry as quickly as expected.
How to Clean Rubber or Plastic Backed Bath Mats
Bath mats backed with rubber or plastic are the most popular types of mats used in most homes. They are usually made of a wide range of materials, such as nylon and cotton. Therefore, it is important that you first check the care tags for these mats before washing them.
Also, look at the undersides of the bath mats to determine if the rubber/plastic backing is peeling. Bath mats whose undersides are peeling or cracking can easily come off during machine washing, and can cause clogging and damaging of your machine. Therefore, if you notice that your plastic or rubber-backed mats have begun peeling or cracking, it would be best to replace these.
Gentle Laundry Detergent
1. Place the bath mats in the washing machine. Make sure that you do not overload the washer. Then, using a gentle laundry detergent, wash the mats on the cold setting.
2. To dry the bath mats in the machine, tumble on the lowest setting. Alternatively, you can hang the bath mats outside to dry naturally.
When drying rubber or plastic-backed bath mats in the dryer, never use heat. The heat could lead to cracking, and even melting of the backing in the plastic or rubber.
How to Clean Bath Mats by Hand
Bath mats that are made using natural fibers are best cleaned by hand washing. These include bamboo bath mats, jute bath mats and other mats made of fragile materials.
Large Bucket (or preferably a bathtub)
Dawn Dish Soap
1. Take the bath mats outside and thoroughly shake them. You can also vacuum both sides of the bath mats using a hose to remove all excess dirt.
2. Fill an empty spray bottle with 1 cup of water, 1 cup white vinegar and 2 Tbsp of Dawn. Then, spray the mixture on all stains on the bath mats. Using a clean cloth, scrub the bath mats, paying more attention to the stains and grime.
3. Fill a bathtub (or large bucket) with water. Add a generous amount of detergent to the water. Using a sponge, scrub the bath mats gently with the detergent water. If you are working with bamboo mats, be careful that you do not submerge these completely into the water; this could permanently damage the bath mats.
4. Rinse the bath mats with clean water, then hang outside to dry.
How Often Should You Clean Bath Mats?
Since bath mats are a haven for bacteria, mold and mildew, they should be washed regularly. However, the frequency of when these mats are cleaned will depend on the type of your household.
For example, if yours is a large household or one that regularly uses the bathroom, you should wash the bath mats at least once per week. The same case applies for those household with kids. However, if your household has only a few people, say one or two people, you can clean the bathroom mats once every 2 to 3 weeks.
Cleaning bath mats may not be a task that you regularly think about. However, these bathroom additions usually undergo lot of action that leads to accumulation of dirt, mold and mildew. Therefore, it is important that you give your bath mats a ‘spa-like’ treatment once in a while.
This article has discussed different effective techniques on how to clean bath mats. Therefore, follow these suggested tips and methods, and your healthier feet will thank you for putting in that extra effort to clean your bath mats regularly.