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How to Wash Bathroom Rugs

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How to Wash Bathroom Rugs

When was the last time you washed your bathroom rugs?

Bathroom rugs are the most forgotten if not ignored during cleaning. Yet they are the same ones we dry our clean feet on and we rely on to protect us from slipping and falling on the wet slippery bathroom floor. For most folks, it’s always a “next time I will clean them” convo that goes on. And the next time hardly comes by soon.

If you are of those next-time people, quit the procrastination already, go to your bathroom and take out all your bathroom rugs. We are going to show you how to wash the bathroom rugs in this article.

Follow through keenly.

How to Wash Bathroom Rugs?

If you are still wondering whether to wash your bath mats or not imagine all the bacteria, dander, hair, dust, fungi, and all sorts of microorganisms that your bathroom rug is collecting.

Do you know every time you leave your bathroom after a shower you pick up some of those and spread them to the rest of the house? If you have babies that are still crawling and you’ve been wondering why they keep having stomach bugs, now you know where they get it from.

Convinced that you need to start the cleaning now? Well, let’s start off with the basics then.

Bathroom Rug Washing Basics

How to Clean Bath Mats

Cleaning bathroom mats is as easy as cleaning regular rugs. You have to be highly considerate of the material of the mat. Some fabrics like cotton, polyester, and microfiber dry up very fast. Others like bamboo and memory foam require special handling.

Start off your cleaning by taking out your rugs outdoors and give them a good shake to remove dust and other loose dirt. You could use a vacuum cleaner instead though shaking it outdoors works perfectly fine.

What You’ll Need

For Machine Wash

  • Regular mild laundry detergent
  • Oxygenated bleach pods for washing mats with rubber or plastic backing.
  • Disinfectant to kill the germs. You can use half cup borax or any other available disinfectant.
  • Borax
  • Washing machine

For Handwash

  • Mild detergent
  • Stiff bristle brush
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Bowl filled with water

Steps for Cleaning Bathroom Rugs

Step 1: Check the Care Instructions

Before everything else, read the care label at the back of the rug to find out what cleaning detergents work, whether you can machine wash or hand wash, and at what water temperature.

Even though most bathroom rugs can be machine-washed, it’s always important to confirm from the care instructions as different fabrics require different settings.

Step 2: Select the right Cleaning Products

Wash Bathroom Rugs

The right cleaning products are important for two reasons:

1) Harsh and wrong cleaning products will damage your rug or wear it down real fast.
2) A good quality detergent will make your rugs sparkling clean.

Step 3: Machine-wash or Hand-wash your Bathroom Rugs

Depending on the material of the rug, you can either hand wash or load it into your washing machine. Cotton, chenille, polyester, nylon, and memory foam can all go to the washer. But for memory foam, you will have to use cooler settings as heat destroys it.

When using a washing machine ensure you understand how to use the settings on your machine. Most washers will have labels on the settings but if you can’t find one for rugs or towels, use the normal or delicate/gentle setting.

How to Machine wash your Bathroom Rugs?

How to Clean Bathroom Rugs

For rugs with a plastic or rubber material which are the most common in every bathroom, here’s how to go about it:

  • First check if there is any peeling if so, it’s time to get a new one. In the meantime, handwash it lightly as machine washing may destroy the machine. The peelings will come off and clog the machine.
  • Only put in two rugs at a time to avoid overloading the machine.
  • Add your detergents, oxygenated bleach if there are stains and disinfectant.
  • Wash on a cold setting and tumble dry on a low setting.
How to Handwash Bathroom Rugs?

For bathroom mats made of bamboo and other natural fibers, handwashing is the best option. Fill up your bathroom sink or tub with water and add a few drops of mild detergent. Gently handwash or use sponge to gently scrub it till it’s clean. Empty your sink, fill it up again with cold water and rinse off your rug until it is squeaky clean. Hang your mats outside to dry on a clothesline or drying rack in your laundry room.

Step 4: Dry your Rugs

Again depending on the material of your rug, you can either heat dry in your washer or hang dry. You can machine dry all the fabrics that you can machine wash except for memory foam. We already told you why – heat will make the foam lose its shape.

For hanging dry, use your clothesline, towel rack, shower rod, or even the side of your bathtub. Most preferably is to dry them outside in the sun but not directly under the sun to avoid discoloration.

Tips on Caring for Bathroom Rugs

How often to Wash Bathroom Rugs

In the very same spirit that you take good care of your bathroom fixtures and clean your bathroom, do the same to your bathroom rugs. In all fairness they protect you from falling or slipping in the bathroom. You should know by now that bathroom falls are the top causes of accidents in homes. Enough with the lecture. Here are tips to help you care for your bathroom rug.

  • Check cleaning recommendations beforehand, taking note of any cleaning products or washer settings that you need to avoid. The care tags are usually attached to the underside of the rug.
  • Use a dry microfiber cloth or any other soft clothing to wipe the rubber backing before washing it in the machine.
  • For solid stains and bulky dirt, use a stiff-bristled brush or toothbrush to scrub off the stains.
  • When handwashing, use warm water for white and brightly colored rugs to keep their colors vibrant and cold water for dull-colored rugs to prevent the colors from running.
  • Always use the right cleaning products. Stick to mild detergents and fabric softeners if you want your bathroom mats to last longer. Your skin will also thank you for keeping off harsh detergents.
  • Ensure that your bathroom rugs have dried completely to prevent mold and mildew from forming. Have a spare rug to use as the clean one gets completely dry.
  • Always wash new rugs before using them. Most harbor toxic chemicals that they get while on transit.
  • To help you remember when to clean the rugs, wash them after cleaning your bathroom.
  • For rugs that get wet easily like the ones placed in front of the tub or shower should be hanged dry as soon as you are done showering. You can hang them on the side of the tub or even over a towel rack. These will prevent molds and odors from forming.
  • If you can’t find the time to clean your rugs regularly, seek cleaning services. It will be costly yes, but not as much as using a dirty rug for a prolonged time.

Precautions when Cleaning Bath Rugs

  • Never use heat for drying rugs with a plastic or rubber backing. That will be an easy ticket to damaging your rugs. Heat makes the glue used to hold the mat together to come off. It also causes the backing to shrink.
  • Avoid direct sunlight when dry hanging your mats outside. The heat will cause your mats to shrink and discolor.
  • If you are going to hand dry your rugs indoors, ensure there is ventilation in your laundry room to cut down on the steam settling into the rugs.
  • Never use harsh detergents for the sake of your hands and the rug.


Q1: How Often should you Wash Bath Rugs?

According to mama’s laundry how often to wash your bathroom rug will depend on the traffic on the rug, the type of backing, and the amount of spillage. Kids tend to spill a lot of water on the mats and are not so keen on keeping the mat dry and clean therefore you need to clean it weekly. This goes for bathrooms that are frequently used. Rugs with plastic or rubber backing can be washed every 2-3 weeks to prevent them from wearing down faster.

Q2: Can you mix Bathroom Rugs with Towels when Washing?

It’s not hygienic to wash your rugs with your towels. Load them separately. Also, rugs tend to collect lint when mixed with towels which can be hard to get rid of.

Q3: What Bathroom Rug is easy to Clean?

All bathroom rugs are easy to clean if you follow the care instructions at the back of the rug.

Q4: Can you use Bleach or Vinegar to Clean Bathroom Rugs?

No, you can’t. Vinegar and bleach are very strong and can damage the carpet fibers and rubber backing.

Q5: How do you Clean Memory Foam Bathroom Rugs?

Load it into your washer, add in your mild detergent and fill the washer with cool water. Set you washer on gentle cycle and once clean, hang it to dry outside.

Final Thoughts

That’s all there is to washing a bathroom rug, nothing complicated really. You first have to check the tag for cleaning instructions and then do as we have taught you. Remember to use the right products and avoid heat for sensitive fabrics like memory foam.

Now that you know how to wash bathrooms rugs, how about you get to it right away. 🙂


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