Can You Wash Bath Mats and Rugs?

A perfect weekend with guests is something to look forward to. But with their departure comes the need to tidy up for the next guests. You've got the towel washing and linen washing down pat, but can you throw the bath mat in the washer? Can you wash bath mats and rugs?

Bathroom mat beside bathtub and a washing machine with open door ready for washing

Most bath mats and rugs can be washed in your washing machine. If they are plastic or rubber-backed, you're not going to want them to be exposed to heat, so no hot rinses and definitely no dryer. But yes, your bath mats and rugs can be washed.

As you read on, we're going to discuss the types of bath mats out there and the best ways to keep those clean and smelling fresh. We'll also talk about when you should think about replacing your current bath mat and how to get out pesky smells. This and more as you keep reading.

How Should I Wash My Bath Mat Or Rug?

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How Should I Wash My Bath Mat Or Rug

The first thing you should do before washing your rug or mat is to take it outside the door and shake it out. Any loose hair or dander should shake loose. If it has a plastic backing, it's a good idea to wipe that down first before washing.

With most bath mats or rugs, the general rule of thumb is to wash it by itself in the washer. This way, the bulk won't get in the way of other linen items and you can use plenty of water to give it a good soak. Put it on a cold setting and use gentle laundry detergent. You can also pre-spray with an enzyme cleaner to help get rid of any smell.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

If your bathmat has a rubber or vinyl backing, do not put it in the dryer. Hang it to dry instead. You can put a chenille or microfiber rug in the dryer but put it on the lowest heat setting for safety. It's always a good rule of thumb to check the manufacturer's tag for specific cleaning instructions.

This bath mat has a grippy backing that is non-slip for safety AND can be put in the dryer. It has high pile chenille on the top to quickly absorb water and keep it off of your floors.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

Can You Wash Memory Foam Bath Mats?

Rebound memory foam mat

Yes, you can wash a memory foam bath mat. But like the other bath mats, you want to do it on gentle and you want to hang it to dry. Because memory foam bath mats really soak up water, you may end up washing them more often than other bath mats. Some people really love the soft feel of them, and other people find them to be too squishy and wet.

This memory foam bath mat shows the softness with how the foot leaves an indentation. Reasonably priced and comes in a number of colors so easy to replace when it's time to swap your bath mat out. This one is both machine-washable and can be thrown in the coolest setting in the dryer, but dries quickly on its own.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

How Often Should You Wash Your Bath Mat?

Washing bath mat in the washing machine

If you have a bath mat that is super absorbent and takes a long time to dry out and if your bath mat is in a high-frequency bathroom, you're probably going to want to wash it weekly or even every 3-5 days. Bath mats can hold on to molds and mildew if they're not allowed to dry properly. And since we step on them both before (dirty) and after (clean) our showers and baths, bacteria and germs can also infiltrate the fibers.

That's why it's important to keep these items clean to truly have a clean bathroom. If your bath mat is near your toilet, you definitely want to wash it at least once a week.

How Do I Stop My Bath Mats From Smelling?

White tiles in a modern small bathroom, grey bath mat and bamboo toilet paper stand next to the toilet

So maybe you waited a bit too long to wash your bath mat and it never really had a chance to dry out between uses. As a result, the bath mat has started to smell. One way to stop your bath mat from smelling is to replace it. They are inexpensive, often under ten dollars, which may be cheaper than running your washer. Below are three great bath mats that cost less than a tenner.

Click here to see this on Amazon

Click here to see this on Amazon.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

Another way to get the smell out of your bathmat is to use an enzyme cleaner. Enzyme cleaners work to break down the microorganisms that are caused by bacteria and mold and mildew. Most of this work by pre-treating before sending it through the wash like regular. Once the bacteria and mold are rectified, the smell should be gone as well.

An enzyme cleaner like this one has the bonus of being non-toxic and safe for the environment. It works on many stains as well as odors. It can also be used to clean the tile and other surfaces in your bathroom getting rid of even more nasty invaders.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

How Often Should You Change Your Bathtub Mat?

White tiles in a modern small bathroom and grey bath mat

A number of factors go into this decision:

  • Wear and Tear
  • Use
  • Fading
  • Decor

If you have a rubber-backed bath mat, you'll want to replace it when the rubber starts to get brittle and flake off. Without that backing, water will soak through straight to your floor and cause harm. If your chenille bath mat has started to fray or the loops are starting to undo, time to replace it.

If you have a bathroom that sees a lot of use, a good rule of thumb is to replace your bath mat every six months to a year. Better to be safe than deal with foot fungus or other nasty bacteria that can reside in a heavily trafficked and wet bathroom.

If your bath mat has started to fade or lose its color, freshen it up. There's no need to hang on to something that looks worn out, even if it hasn't started to tear or disintegrate. Keep your house lively.

Change your mat if you're changing your decor. A fresh color scheme in the bathroom can be as simple as new towels, a new shower curtain, and new bath mats. It's an inexpensive reno project.

There are lots of great bath mat and shower curtain sets online when you're ready to update your look. We like this one for the neutral schemes so popular in bathrooms today.  

Click here to see this on Amazon.

Hopefully, we've answered all your questions about the cleaning of your bath mats and rugs. Remember, cool temps in both washer and dryer, and for ultimate safety, wash only, then hang to dry. Wash once a week and replace when worn out.

Here are a couple of other posts about bathrooms on Home Decor Bliss that we hope you find helpful -

10 Awesome White Bathroom Accessories [Special Sets]

12 World Map Shower Curtains You Can Study While Taking a Bath

11 Industrial Shower Curtains For a Truly Special Bathroom

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