Posted by Bridget Reed

How To Wash Bath Mats and Rugs

5 min read

Have you ever wondered what the dirtiest thing in your bathroom is? 

Take a moment and guess. It’s not your toilet, although that is a popular answer. It’s not your sink or your shower, either. 

The dirtiest item in your bathroom is likely your bath mat. Are you surprised by that answer? So were we! However, after digging into it, this makes a lot of sense. 

Your bath mat doesn’t just get walked on by everyone who enters your bathroom. It’s also the resting place for hair, dirt, bacteria, and other germs that fall to the floor. Plus, it’s exposed to all of the germs that spray into the room when you flush the toilet!

Unfortunately, while bath mats can be the dirtiest surface in your bathroom, they’re also the most likely to get overlooked on cleaning day. It can be easy to forget about them or avoid cleaning them because it may seem a little complicated. 

Don’t worry. We’re here to help with this quick guide on how to wash bath mats and rugs. 

How Often Should You Wash Your Bath Mat or Rug? 

First, let’s talk about cleaning frequency. How often should you wash your bath mat to keep it clean? 

The average recommendation is once a week. This way, you can minimize your contact with germs, bacteria, and other things that can build up in your bath mat over time. 

While we’re on the topic, here’s a quick guide on how often you should clean some other items in your house: 

  • Kitchen counters: daily
  • Refrigerator: every few months 
  • Carpets: weekly 
  • TV remote: weekly 
  • Smartphone: daily (seriously, think about how many places this has been!) 
  • Bedsheets: weekly
  • Bath towels: every three to four uses 
  • Makeup brushes: weekly

Creating a cleaning schedule for the items in your home may seem daunting, but if you break it down into a list like this, you can easily plan ahead.

Can You Wash a Bath Mat in Your Washing Machine?

This question is a bit controversial. 

If the recommendation is to wash bath mats once a week, it certainly would be convenient to wash them at home, right? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t a simple “yes” or “no.” Bath mats are among some of the items we don’t necessarily recommend putting in your washer at home. 

Before you lose hope and Google your nearest laundromat, take a look at your specific washing machine and find out how much weight it can hold. The weight of a wet bath mat is the biggest risk when it comes to washing. 

If you put a bath mat in the wash and it is too heavy, it can do significant damage to your washing machine — it may even break it. Even if your washing machine says it’s ok to wash a bath mat, make sure not to overload it. Try to wash one at a time, and definitely don’t wash more than two at once. 

If your washing machine isn’t an option, the laundromat truly is the next best thing. Most laundromats have heavy-duty washing machines that are made to handle items like bath mats. Be sure to stock up on some quarters and bring a good book to read while you wait. 

If you’re already planning a trip to the laundromat, you might want to bring along some other items that shouldn’t go in your washing machine at home, such as:

How To Wash Bath Mats and Rugs

There are a few different ways to wash your bath mat. 

The most straightforward way is using your washing machine or taking it to the laundromat. However, you can also wash your bath mat or rug by hand at home. We’ll break down each of these ways into a few simple steps. 

Washing Your Bath Mat at the Laundromat

Before you leave your house, there are a few steps you'll need to take. 

Make sure you have all of your laundry supplies, such as your laundry detergent, dryer sheets, quarters, and a laundry basket. Instead of lugging around a heavy laundry detergent bottle, consider getting some laundry detergent sheets instead. These lightweight alternatives are super easy to carry around, and they’re much better for the environment. 

You’ll also want to shake out your bath mat before taking it to the laundromat. To do this, go outside and give it a few good shakes. You may be surprised to see how much flies off your bath mat just by doing this.

Once you’re at the laundromat, identify which washing machine is able to handle heavier loads. There are usually two or three heavy-duty washing machines, so you may have to wait for one to become available.

Next, simply place your bath mat inside along with your detergent, pop your quarters in, and wait for the cycle to run. Be sure to read the specific washing instructions for your bath mat before washing so you can choose the right water temperature and other washing factors. 

Washing Your Bath Mat at Home

You have two options when washing at home: you can put your bath mat in the washing machine if it can handle the weight, or you can wash it by hand. To use your washing machine, follow the same steps as above (minus the quarters). 

To wash by hand, follow these steps:

  1. Take your bath mat outside to shake it out.

  2. Fill your bath (or another large container) with cool water.

  3. Add laundry detergent to the water.

  4. Submerge your bath mat and make sure the detergent is distributed evenly.

  5. Soak for about 30 minutes.

  6. Move the bath mat around in the water by hand for a few moments. You may want to rub the detergent into the bath mat or use a scrubber to deep clean the mat.
  7. Rinse the mat until the water runs clear.

  8. Let it air dry. 

When Should You Avoid Washing Your Bath Mat? 

The main reason you would avoid washing your bath mat is if the bottom rubber grip is worn out. 

Putting a mat like this in the wash is a bad idea because little pieces can dislodge while being washed and get caught in your washing machine. If this is how the bottom of your bath mat looks, it is likely time to invest in a new one. 

Can You Put a Bath Mat in the Dryer? 

Most bath mats can be put in the dryer, but it is important to read the wash instructions. 

If your bath mats have rubber or plastic grips on the bottoms, you shouldn’t put them in the dryer. They may melt and cause quite a mess. If you aren’t quite sure how you should dry your bath mat, stick to air drying. 

Clean the Bathroom Like Never Before

Don’t let the dirtiest part of your bathroom get dirtier. Now that you know how to wash your bath mats and rugs, you can make it a regular part of your cleaning routine. 

You may be surprised how much of a difference a clean rug can make! Your feet (and health) will thank you. For more laundry tips and products, visit Miracle Brand.


Flushed Away: Images Show Bacteria Propelled From Toilets When Flushing With Lid Open | The Independent

A Professional Cleaner Reveals the Dirtiest Thing in Your Bathroom | Insider

How Often Should You Clean This? | WebMD

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