Can you wash bath mats with towels? How often to wash bathroom rugs? How to make bath mat fluffy again? These are just some of the questions that people have when they are maintaining their bathrooms. Bath mats are fluffy, they do the job right, but they can be cesspools of bacteria if you don’t wash them.
While it’s true that bath mats can dry out over time, this doesn’t mean that the dirt and bacteria are gone. On the contrary, the longer you keep a bath mat unwashed, the more likely it’s going to be packed with dangerous human pathogens.
Washing Bath Mats the Right Way
How often should bath mats be washed?
One of the main reasons why bath mats have such a bad reputation when it comes to hygiene is because it doesn’t have the opportunity as other rugs and carpeting to dry out completely. Bath mats, according to the experts, should be machine-washed at least once a week.
The bathroom is one of the most humid places in the house, and the fact that people shower several times a day means it’s going to be perpetually moist. Moisture in places where there isn’t sufficient ventilation is the formula for bacterial growth and molds.
People also tread across bath mats with shoes and whatnot, so soil and other nasty stuff are also transferred to them easily. While they may look fancy, they’re no cleaner than your average doormat because of the amount of traffic they get – and they’re always wet, too.
How do you wash a bath mat in the washing machine?
The first thing you should do is to check the manufacturer’s notes on the tag of the bath mat. Is your bath mat machine-washable? If so, you can proceed. If not, it would be dangerous to put it in a washing machine as the cycle might damage it. But don’t worry – most bath mats are machine-safe, and the manufacturers will even tell you how to wash it.
After cleaning the surface of the bath mat of any visible dirt and grime, place it in the washing machine and begin filling the tub with warm or hot water. Unless you are washing memory foam, hot/warm water is safe for most bath mats. Hot water is also our “shortcut” for easily killing the majority of bacteria, fungi, molds, and mildew that may be hiding out in the fibers of your bath mat. You may wash bath towels alongside your bath mat if you dislike the loud noise during the spin cycle. Otherwise, you are free to wash it on its own.
Add the correct amount of detergent to the load plus one cup of white vinegar. Alternatively, you may also add several tablespoons of baking soda to help control odor and remove additional grime from the deepest fibers of the bath mat. Once the cycle is over, use only a low-heat setting for drying the bath mat and remove it while it is still damp. Air-dry your bath mats for the best results.
What do I do with non-machine washable bath mats?
You will have to clean and wash the bath mat by hand. Fill your sink with warm water and put on a pair of long gloves. Mix a cup of detergent in the sink or bucket, and one cup of white vinegar. You now have a nice pool of pure cleaning solution. Submerge your bath mat in the solution and scrub the surface. You will see the dirt coming off easily. Feel free to leave the bath mat in the solution for a few hours to deep-clean the fibers. Rinse several times and hang to dry.
How to Wash Memory Foam Bath Mat
Can you wash memory foam bath mats?
Of course, you can. Memory foam bath mats are still bath mats, and only they’re made with slightly different materials. Some guys prefer memory foam because they relieve strain on the muscles when you stand on them for a long time. They’re cushy and perfect for bathrooms. However, like other types of foam, they will absorb moisture whenever the opportunity presents itself, and there is no guarantee that you won’t have bacteria teeming at the surface of the memory foam bath mat after a few weeks.
The first step is to clean the surface of the mat to remove most of the visible dirt and grime. This can be done with the help of a regular vacuum cleaner, or if you like, you can also brush the surface of the mat. Try to remove most of the visible dirt on the mat.
If there are any heavy stains to be found, spot clean the stains and make sure you pretreat the spots as well before putting the memory foam bath mat in the washing machine. Heavily soiled bath mats require more spot cleaning and pretreating – do not place the bath mat directly into the washing machine; the washer won’t be able to remove the stains completely.
Memory foam can react and warp to hot water, so always use cold water for washing a memory foam bath mat. Add any regular laundry detergent to the water and run a regular cycle. Bleaching memory foam is not recommended as the bleach can weaken the synthetic material, and there is bound to be some discoloration, too.
Some manufacturers recommend setting the washer on low and doing only a short spin cycle to prevent damage to the backing of the bath mat. A longer spin-dry cycle can warp and damage bath mats, so even though it’s still damp, it would be best to remove it and just hang it up outside to dry in the sun. Natural sun-drying and air-drying are best for bath mats as the sun’s rays destroy any remaining bacteria on the surface of the bath mat. Air-drying, on the other hand, allows the bath mat to become bone dry before you pick it up again and use it in the bathroom.