In this “how to” guide, from the bathroom experts at Victoria Plum, we’ll show you how to keep your bath mat clean and hygienic with step-by-step instructions for hand washing and machine washing.
Nothing beats the feeling of stepping out of the bath or shower onto a clean, fluffy bath mat. Not only does it feel great, but a clean bath mat is also important for the hygiene of your bathroom.
In a humid bathroom environment, mould and bacteria thrive. With your bath mat constantly in use, it’s often damp more than it’s dry, creating the perfect breeding ground for germs. Wash your bath mat once a week to keep it fresh and germ-free. If you leave your bath mat too long between washes it'll give germs and bacteria more chance to build up.
If your bath mat’s seen better days and you’re not sure how to get it back to its best, take a look at our step-by-step guides to both hand and machine washing. We'll even throw in some top tips for good measure!
Can you wash a bath mat in the washer?
Bathroom mats come in a whole range of different materials. The good news is that most bathroom mats can be washed in the washing machine, including ones made from microfibre, chenille, cotton and memory foam. The best thing to do is check your care label. If you see a washing tub symbol that looks like the one below, it’s safe to wash in the washing machine at a temperature up to the number shown.
A bath mat with rubber backing is also safe to pop in the washer, just check for any signs of damage to the rubber such as peeling or cracking. If you notice any damage on a rubber-backed mat, it’s probably best to replace your bath mat as this peeling rubber can clog up your washing machine (which you definitely don’t want).
If you see a "hand wash only" symbol like the one below, it’s not safe for the washing machine. Simply follow our steps for how to wash your bath mat by hand, and you’ll have it looking fresh and clean in no time.
How to wash a bath mat in the washer
Things you’ll need:
- Washing detergent
- Tumble dryer or drying rack
1. Give it a good shake
It’s amazing how much hair and dirt can accumulate on your bath mat (especially in busy family bathrooms), so give it a good shake outside first to remove anything loose.
2. Check the care label
The care label will tell you what temperature is best to wash your bath mat at. The number is normally the maximum temperature so don’t be afraid to wash on a lower temperature. Washing on a colder cycle saves energy which is great for lowering your electricity bills.
3. Add detergent and load the washer
Add your favourite laundry powder, pods or liquid detergent to the washing machine. Just make sure you don’t use fabric conditioner as it repels water which affects your bath mat’s absorbency and fluffiness. It's also best to avoid using vinegar or bleach on bath mats to keep them looking their best for longer. You can pop some of your bathroom towels in with the bath mat, just be careful not to overload the washing machine.
4. Get it dry
As soon as the cycle’s finished, remove your bath mat and get it dry. It’s time to check the care label again, as this will tell you whether it’s tumble dryer safe. If you see the symbol below it will need to be air dried. Give the bath mat a shake to loosen the fibres before hanging on your drying rack (or outside if it’s a lovely sunny day). Make sure the mat’s completely dry before using it again.
How to clean a bath mat by hand
You’ll often find that bath mats made from natural fibres such as bamboo will be hand wash only. The good news is, it’s easy to keep bath mats clean without using a washing machine, and we’ll show you how.
Things you’ll need:
- A large tub (or the bath will do)
- Cold water
- Laundry detergent
- Drying rack
1. Give it a good shake
You’ll find the bath mat much easier to clean by hand if you take it outside and shake off any loose dirt and hair first.
2. Soak in cold water and detergent
Fill a large tub or bath with cold water (enough to cover the bathmat completely). Add a teaspoon of laundry powder and leave the bath mat to soak for around 15 minutes.
3. Rinse and wring
Give the bath mat a good shake before draining or emptying the water away. Rinse it with fresh water (if it’s in the bath, your showerhead is perfect for the job), then squeeze as much water out as you can.
4.Hang up to dry
Nothing beats the fresh smell of line-dried laundry, so if it’s a dry day, hang your bath mat outside to dry. If you’re drying indoors on a drying rack, make sure it’s in a well-ventilated room as towels and bath mats tend to carry more moisture than clothes.
Keep your bath mat fresh between washes by vacuuming it or shaking outside every few days to remove any dirt and hair. Got the cleaning bug? Our how to guides are packed with lots more ways to clean your bathroom from top to bottom.
Further bath mat advice
To help you make informed decisions about your bathroom accessories, you'll find plenty of expert advice, right here, at Victoria Plum. Among our extensive library of resources, we explain how often you should wash your bath mat and examine whether toilet mats are unhygienic.
Shop bath mats
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