How To Wash Your Bath Mat: My Simple Step-by-Step Guide

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The other day I had decided that I needed a bath mat for our bathroom. We ran out to the store and finally decided on a brand and design.

A high-quality bath mat isn’t cheap. You obviously want to maintain it so that it’s going to last you a very long time.

We’ve been using the bath mat for the last couple of weeks, and we’ve started to notice that it’s beginning to smell. I had no idea that I even had to wash our bath mat, so I did some research, which I discovered.

Making sure that your bath mat is washed and cleaned should be a part of your routine bathroom cleaning. It’s so easy to forget that you even have to clean your bath mat. Because bath mats are so absorbent, they become a popular breeding ground for mold, mildew, and bacteria.

Bath mats are thicker than other mats in your home, and because of this, there is a particular way they have to be washed. This article will walk you through the steps that I took to wash my bath mat.

How To Wash Your Bath Mat

Anytime you place a bath mat on the floor, you want to ensure that you’re not placing it on water. Use a towel to wipe up any water, and then place your mat. This will ensure that it doesn’t slip and that mold and mildew don’t grow under the bath mat.

Before you wash your bath mat, you should also locate and read the washing instructions that came with your specific mat. Every bath mat is different, and it might specify different instructions for your particular bath mat. Washing instructions should come with the bath mat or will be written on your bath mat’s label.

So how do you wash a bath mat?


Rinse Any Water or Dirt from the Mat

The first step is to rinse off any excess water in the bath mat. You can do this by wringing out your bath mat in the bathtub or shaking off the extra water. Most bath mats are super absorbent and typically can be very wet over time.

I know ours was.

Vacuum Your Bath Mat

Your second step is to shake off any excess dirt from the bath mat.

This can be done by either shaking the mat outside or running a vacuum over it. We have a Shark cordless vacuum, so I usually give it a once-over, and it’s good to go.

This may be a good time to vacuum the entire bathroom, seeing you already have your vacuum out.


Apply a Stain Remover

If your bath mat has stains, then it’s probably a good time to use an oxy stain remover to loosen the dirt, which will make it easier to clean in the washing machine.

Remove Stains on your Bath Mat

You want to apply a high-quality stain remover generously and then lightly scrub the stained area.

I like using my homemade bathroom cleaning solution. It’s made from cleaning vinegar, dawn soap, and water, but I find it very effective in cleaning away stains.


Roll Up the Bath Mat and Place it in the Washer Machine

Roll up the bath mat and place it in your washing machine. Ensure to wash in cold or warm water and put the washing machine mode to a delicate cycle.

You can also add two large towels to the load, and they will act as scrubbers during the cycle and drown out any noise from the bath mat backing smacking up against the sides of your washing machine.

When washing your bath mat, it’s crucial to use a neutral detergent and never use bleach or harsh chemicals.

You can throw a half cup to one cup of baking soda into the load; this will help to assist with the washing and deodorizing process.


Hang Your Mat Up to Dry

Most bath mats have a TPR latex backing which helps them from slipping. The dry heat produced from the dryer will crack and break apart that latex backing. This means that you can’t just throw it in the dryer, or the latex backing will be destroyed.

Air Dry Your Bath Mat

Air drying is your best option. Once your bath mat is washed, you can hang it outside or in your laundry room to dry.

For the bath mats that don’t have a latex backing or state on the label that they can be placed in the dryer, use low heat mode such as tumble dry or delicate.

Maintaining Your Bath Mat

Mold begins to grow under your bath mat because all of that moisture is trapped. It’s better when you’re done with the bath mat to hang it on the side of your bathtub. This lets your bath mat drip dry and frees up all that moisture that would be trapped under the mat.

Place the Bath Mat on the Side of Your Tub

You also want to deal with stains on your bath mat right away. If you find a stain on your mat, then it’s better to rinse and scrub it out before it becomes deep and won’t come out.

Because bath mats are always walked on, it’s common for stains to get caked in. When I purchase a bath mat, I try to stay away from lighter colors for this very reason. I usually choose one solid dark color that doesn’t show dirt as much.

How to Wash a Memory Foam Bath Mat

All memory foam bath mats should come with washing and drying instructions. It’s best to follow these directions. The directions below are how I clean my memory foam bath mat.

Washing a memory foam bath mat is similar to the steps above.

You first want to vacuum or sweep the mat to make sure all the debris is removed.

Next, you want to place the mat in the washing machine in delicate mode, wash with cold water, and use a natural detergent.

Once the mat is washed, you should hang it up to air dry.

How to Make a Bath Mat Fluffy Again

Washing your bath mat should restore it to its original look and feel. Here are a few tricks that will help make your bath mat fluffy again.

First, wash your bath mat in cold water. Next, add a little baking soda to the washing machine, and make sure that you hang the mats out to dry.

A quick tip is to replace your fabric softener with a bit of vinegar.

How often should You Wash Bath Mats?

A good rule of thumb is to wash your bath mat every two weeks. However, this rule is overwritten if you notice dirt, stains, mold, or mildew, and you begin to detect a foul odor.

You also don’t want to overwash your bath mat.

If you’re continually throwing your bath mat into the washing machine, it’s going to wear out the TPR latex backing and ultimately destroy the bath mat. You’ll notice cracking on the back of this TPR latex backing, and pieces of this backing will be everywhere in your washing machine. It will be a big mess.

When the backing begins to crack or break apart, it’s probably time to purchase a brand new one.


The crucial steps to washing your bath mat are cold water, no harsh chemicals, including bleach, and air drying it.

It’s also a good idea to hang up your bath mat after use so that no bacteria or mold grows underneath it.


Sam Harning joined Better Home + Living team as a reviewer and writer in 2018. She has many hobbies and passions. Her favorite thing is trying new products, learning new things, and writing about her experience. She loves sharing with her readers and helping them make better decisions for their homes and family. Sam also loves playing golf, mountain biking, and walking during sunset or sunrise.

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