How To Wash Bathroom Rugs [Machine and Hand Washing Explored]

Bathroom rugs are meant to be soft, touchable, and remarkably absorbent. For the most part, this is a great thing. They can help prevent the growth of mold on tile and also work as a way to prevent slipping on your wet floor. However, bathroom rugs also have a tendency of absorbing odors, grime, and dirt. Are you looking for some serious research on the best ways to wash bathroom rugs? You’re not alone.

There are several ways to sanitize and clean your bathroom rugs, each of which has its own perks and pitfalls. The most popular methods include:

  • Machine Washing
  • Hand Washing

Keeping your bathroom rugs clean is a basic part of home cleanliness, and it’s important to know how to maintain them before you buy them. Luckily for all of us, it’s not that big of a deal. We delved deep to find out how you can cut this chore time in half…or at least do it the right way. Be sure to keep reading. 

Modern Bathroom with a retro look, Subway tiles and pedestal sink, Hardwood fir floor, How To Wash Bathroom Rugs [Machine and Hand Washing Explored]

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How To Wash A Typical Bathroom Rug

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bathmat infront of a rollmop bath

The most common way to wash a bathroom rug is by popping it in the washing machine, and thankfully, most bathroom rugs are made to be machine-washable. Before you try this method, check to see if your rug’s tag says it’s machine-washable. If it is, here’s what you will need to do:

  1. Place your bathroom mat in the washing machine, and add a gentle laundry detergent. 
  2. Turn the washing machine on at its coldest setting, on a gentle speed. (Handwash or delicate works best.) 
  3. After your mat has finished washing, hang it up to dry outside or place it in a dryer at the coldest setting.

Click here to get this gentle laundry detergent from Amazon.

How To Hand Wash A Bathroom Rug

If you have an exceptionally intricate bathroom rug, you might only be able to wash it by hand. Hand washing a bathroom rug is similar, to a point. Here’s what will be required to do this appropriately:

  1. Fill up a tub (either your bathtub or a bucket) with cold to lukewarm water. Add a little bit of detergent. 
  2. Place the bathroom rug into the tub, put on some gloves, and just scrub away at it. 
  3. Remove it from the tub, and lay it flat on a clothesline in order to let it dry. 

Can You Wash Bathroom Rugs With Towels?

While it may make sense to wash your rugs with your bathroom towels on a superficial level, this is a terrible idea in practice. You should never wash a bathroom mat with your towels. Towels need to have a higher water temperature, which could easily damage a typical bathroom rug. 

Moreover, it’s important to remember what bathroom rugs are typically sullied by: urine, toilet water, shower water, and more. If you add your bathroom rug to your towel laundry load, the bacteria and stuff from your bath mat will also touch your towels. While, yes, you will be cleaning them both, it’s still gross to consider. When you also take into account the risk of color bleeding, it’s just a bad idea.

Are Bathroom Rugs Sanitary?

Bathroom in vintage style with elegant interior, contemporary black tub, textile carpet, green plants in flower pots, and bathroom rug

If bathroom rugs weren’t sanitary, they wouldn’t be used in most homes, would they? With these items, it’s all about how well they’re maintained. Bathroom rugs are sanitary as long as they are well-maintained and cleaned. If they are neglected, then your bathroom mat will become a nice, fuzzy biohazard. 

Why Do Bath Mats And Rugs Get Moldy?

Bath mats and rugs are fairly durable, but they still retain the risk of growing mold. These rugs are regularly exposed to water, and often retain moisture for long after most other bathroom surfaces have dried. Like other parts of your bathroom, there’s always going to be the chance of being exposed to mold and mildew spores. 

When you combine the high risk of spore exposure with the near-guarantee of having other biological components fall on the mats, it’s easy to see where mold could start to take hold. After adding the high degree of moisture that most mats tend to retain, it’s fairly obvious why mats tend to get so moldy, so quickly. 

How Often Should Bathroom Rugs Be Washed?

Believe it or not, you should wash your bathroom rug far more frequently than you probably do. If you have a large family, are very active in sports, or otherwise have a lot of bathing going on, you should wash your bathroom rug at least once a week. Otherwise, twice a week to once a month will suffice. 

Is There Any Way To Prevent Mold Growth On A Bathroom Rug?

A good bathroom mat is hard to come by, especially if you are a fan of unique designs. That’s why you might want to do what you can to prevent extensive mold growth and prolong the life of your rug. Thankfully, it’s easy enough to reduce the chances of a ruined bathmat. These tips below can help:

  • Remember that mold and mildew spread, then act accordingly. Mold spreads by contact, so knowing how to clean mold off your tile will prevent the mold from spreading to your mat.
  • Keep your bathroom well-ventilated. Stuffy, non-ventilated areas are more likely to trap moisture. This, in turn, can increase the chances of mold and mildew growth dramatically. 
  • If you have the space, choose a bathroom layout idea that places your rug away from the toilet. While this won’t completely rule out all the chances of having mold growth, it will help slow the growth of some forms of bacteria. It also will help give your bath mat enough space to adequately dry.
  • Keep your household’s (or at least your bathroom’s) humidity levels below 50 percent at all times. If you live in a naturally humid environment, then you might need to get a dehumidifier or an extra fan to help remove the moisture from the air.

Click here to get a dehumidifier from Amazon.

Is There Such A Thing As A Mildew-Resistant Bath Rug?

Absolutely, and they are one of the best weapons you can wield in the fight against mold in your bathroom. Mildew-resistant bath rugs are made of substances that absorb moisture fast without giving enough porousness for mold to grow in. Most of them, for example, are made of cork, teak, or microfiber chenille. 

The best way to fight against foul odors and mold in your bath rug is to get a cork or chenille mat. The majority of bathroom mats that are mildew-resistant will be labeled as such. If it’s not, just check for the material that the mat’s made from. If it’s cork, teak, or chenille, you’re good to go.

Click here to get a mildew-resistant bath rug on Amazon.

In Closing

If you haven’t washed your bathroom mat since you bought it, you’re long overdue for a cleaning. Don’t worry though! Most bathroom mats are designed to be easy to wash, and can actually be placed in your washing machine with little problem. As long as you use a gentle detergent, avoid putting towels in the same wash, and keep cleaning your mat on a regular basis, you should be able to enjoy your rug for years to come.

With that said, cleaning your bathroom rug is only half the battle. To truly extend the life of your stuff, it’s best to take preventative measures to keep mildew away from your rug. By reducing moisture in the air and investing in a high-quality bathroom rug, you’ll ensure that your bathroom will be as sanitary as possible.

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