Bath and shower mats help keep you and your family safe, but did you know they can also harbour germs? In this handy guide, we find out how often you should wash them and how best to do this.
Did you know that washing your bath or shower mat regularly can prevent mould growth? Whilst being the ideal place for you to relax and unwind, your bathroom is also the perfect environment for germs, where they can grow and spread. Your feet, in particular, can easily track dirt and dampness, leaving your bath or shower mat grubby and unclean.
So, it makes sense that it’ll need a clean every once in a while. But how often should you wash your bath or shower mat? Too little and you could quickly end up with an unsanitary bathroom. Too much and you’ll be spending excessive amounts of cash on detergent and utility bills. In this guide, we finally provide a definitive answer to this highly-debated topic.
Washing your bath or shower mat—factors to consider
How often should you clean a bath or shower mat?
Generally, weekly cleaning is a safe bet. Wash your mats at the beginning or end of each week (whatever suits your schedule) to prevent stains, mould growth and the accumulation of bacteria. However, some shower mats may require more frequent washing than others. There are a few factors that will affect how often your rubber mat should be scrubbed down and sanitised.
Bring some geometric style to your bathroom with this bath mat from Accents
Here are some further things to consider when figuring out how often you should wash the shower mat.
How much do you use it?
The amount of use that your bath or shower mat goes through will heavily impact the importance of and frequency of sanitation. Your bath mat will quickly get dirty when you have different people using the same shower throughout the day. This means the mat would require more frequent cleaning and sanitising.
For example, if multiple members of your household are bathing and showering every day, you may want to clean your bath or shower mat every few days. However, if just you (and perhaps a partner) are using the bath or shower once a day, a weekly wash may suffice.
There are, of course, other reasons why more frequent cleaning may be required:
- If it is your only mat, as opposed to one in a rotation of several mats
- If you’ve had your mat for more than 6 months
- If it is a second hand purchase
A bamboo shower mat, like this one from the Accents range, is made from one of the world’s most sustainable materials and requires very little maintenance
Do you dry it properly after every use?
The answer to this question can have a massive impact on how often you should wash bath or shower mats. Allowing mats to dry fully in between uses helps prevent the growth of mould.
Germs and bacteria also thrive in moisture. If your mat doesn't dry properly after every use, you should wash it more frequently.
The benefits of washing your bath or shower mat
Once you realise how often you should clean your mats, you can schedule a cleaning routine that works for you. Washing it properly can lead to multiple benefits ranging from sanitary to monetary.
Here are just a few…
Save money on replacements
A little maintenance can go a long way. By preventing large stains from settling, your mat can look fresh as new months after you've bought it. It will even smell and function better for longer, meaning you won't have to shell out cash for a replacement until much later down the line.
Maintain a sanitary living space
As we've learned, shower mats can be a hotbed for germs, dirt and mould. If you want to avoid any health issues arising from unsanitary conditions, clean your mats often.
A black chenille bath mat, like this one from Accents, is a great way to introduce accent colour to your decor
How do I clean my shower mats?
If you want to know how often you should wash bath or shower mats, you may also want to know the best ways to get them clean.
First off, it is worth distinguishing between the 2 main types of bath and shower mat:
- A fibre mat that is placed on your bathroom floor next to the shower or bath
- A rubber mat that is placed on the base of your bath or shower tray (and usually kept in place with suction cups)
The same cleaning frequency applies to both types of mat, however, you will likely find that fibre mats are machine washable, so can be added to your usual, weekly washload. With rubber mats, there are a few simple ways that you can sanitise and scrub them without adding hours to your cleaning routine. One of the easiest ways is outlined below.
But first, you’ll need the following equipment:
- A bucket or bathtub
- Bleach (containing chlorine)
- Warm water
- Rubber gloves for safety
- A cleaning brush for scrubbing
Once you're stocked up, you can count on this process to scrub your mats:
- Fill the tub or bucket with warm water
- Put on your rubber gloves
- Add just a drop of bleach to the water
- Place the mat in the bucket of water and bleach
- Scrub using the cleaning brush
- After scrubbing, rinse in water from the tap
- Rinse your bath or bucket out to avoid bleach residue
- Repeat weekly, adjusting more or less to fit your situation
The bottom line
Regardless of the factors that may affect how much use it gets or how well it dries between use, weekly washing is essential. But how often should you wash bath or shower mats that get more or less use than average?
For any mats that need a little more elbow grease, you can switch to cleaning twice a week, and for a relatively inactive mat, try twice a month.
Shop bathroom accessories
If your bath or shower mat has seen better days, there really is no better time to find a new one. Browse our huge selection of stylish bathroom accessories and discover the perfect combination of finishing touches for your space. Simply click on the image below to start shopping.