Imagine stepping onto a comfy bathroom mat after having enjoyed a relaxing shower, sounds like heaven right? We don’t mean to ruin your fantastic dream, but there’s something you should know: underneath your feet likely lies microscopic little critters occuring thanks to the abundance of warmth and moisture. Bathroom rugs are a haven for mildew, bacteria and even fungi (Yuck!). That’s why we’re here to help you break down how and how often to wash bathroom rugs!
How often to wash bathroom rugs
Bathroom rugs are a magnet for hair and dust. Not only that, the moisture and warmth in bathrooms produce the perfect environment for mildew and bacteria to flourish. Obviously, the last thing you want to do after taking a refreshing shower is to step into a cesspool of microorganisms. Because of this you should wash your bathroom rugs regularly.
The frequency with which you launder your rugs is really going to depend on how often the rugis exposed to post-shower or -bathing moisture. You should wash your bath mat once a week if it gets so much use that it never dries. In contrast, if there are only one or two people living in your house and each of you takes a shower once a day, you may spread out your washings so that you only need to clean the bathroom rugs every two or three weeks.
Less time to dry means that mold and mildew have more chance to set in. Up the frequency even more if your bathroom has poor ventilation because mildew can grow more easily in a humid environment.
The kind of washing your rug can handle will also determine how often to wash it. If you can wash your rug in hot water with bleach and use a hot dryer, you will essentially be able to eliminate all the germs and mold from your rugs—and you won’t have to wash them as often. Alternatively, you can remove about 90% of the bacteria and mold by hand-washing your rugs in a mild detergent and letting them drip-dry.
How to wash bathroom rugs
What You’ll Need
- Washing machine
- Drying rack or clothesline
- Laundry detergent
- Stain remover (optional)
- Laundry disinfectant (optional)
Shake out the rug
Before doing anything else, you should take out the bathroom rug and give it a good shake. This will get rid of debris such as lint, hair, and sand that has become lodged in the fibers (You’ll be shocked by how much dirt, dust, dander, and hair fly out of it). Additionally, if your bathroom rugs have plastic or rubber backing, go ahead and wipe that off with a dry microfiber cloth.
Check the care tag
Pay extra attention to the care tag on the back of your rug so you don’t miss any important instructions. The instructions will tell you whether you can machine wash your rug, what water temperature to use, whether you can use bleach (and what kind), and how to dry it. Moreover, check the care tag to make sure you’re not supposed to use any specific cleaning products or washer and dryer settings.
Inspect the back of the rug
If the bathroom rug has a skid-roof backing, flip it over and quickly check it. If the rubber is peeling and cracked, you should replace the rug. Another washing may add more loose pieces of plastic to your washer, damaging the water pump. A new bathroom rug costs a lot less than repairing a washer.
Add Rug to Washing Machine
Remember to wash bathroom rugs with similar fabrics and colors. Add some extra bath towels to the load if you have them lying around. This helps prevent your washing machine from off-balancing and making those thunderous noises mid-cycle.
If you are washing several rugs in a top-loading machine with a center agitator, be sure to place them opposite each other so that the machine will stay balanced. Be careful not to overload.
Choose warm or hot water, and wash with your regular detergent if you want the water and detergent to reach every surface easily.
Choose the correct setting
- Adjust the cycle speed: If your washer’s spin cycle has adjustable speeds, reduce the speed if your bathroom rug has a non-skid backing. This will help avoid cracking and reduce any wear and tear.
- Choose a suitable temperature: high heat is best for killing bacteria and mold, but it’s only suitable with cotton, polyester, nylon, and plastic rugs. A foam bath mat must be washed in a cooler temperature to keep the synthetic material intact.
Drying bathroom rugs is simple. After taking your bathroom rugs out of the washer, give them a good shake (again) to remove wrinkles. Hang the rug from a clothesline, or place it over a drying rack to air-dry. Check the instructions again, if your care label warns against machine drying and you are able to line-dry your laundry, opt for that since sunlight is a gentle-yet-effective disinfectant.
Choose the drying method
How to wash bathroom rugs with rubber backing
Dealing with a rubber-backed bathroom rug? Don’t worry, just follow those steps above. But in the last step – drying your mats, you should pay more attention:
If possible, take the bath mat outside to dry in the fresh air and sunlight. Just hang over the fence or a chair.
If it’s not possible to use the power of the sun, then you’ll want to put them in the dryer for a little bit.
- Use a gentle low heat or air dry setting for about 20 minutes. Too high of a heat setting will damage the rubber backing.
- Don’t let them in the dryer to become wrinkled; take them out right away.
- Allow them to dry in the dryer for an additional 10 to 20 minutes if they are still a touch too moist.
You can hang them on a rack to dry entirely because they might not be completely dry.
How to choose a new bathroom rug?
You wanna buy a new bathroom rug? Remember these tips before you choose your material:
Cotton is comfortable and simple to wash, but the longer it is left on a wet bathroom floor, the more thin and susceptible it becomes. Bamboo is superior, but durability comes at the expense of comfort. Polyester and nylon are the best materials to use in restrooms with high traffic since they are more durable and slip-resistant.
- While letting a bathroom rug air dry in between usage is a good idea, automated dryers are one sort of drying you should stay away from. Any non-skid backing could melt under the intense heat, and the tumbling motion could shatter backings.
- After each use, make sure to hang your mat up. This helps it dry faster and prevents the growth of mold and mildew.
- To prevent your mat and towels from remaining damp for an extended period of time, encourage air circulation in your bathroom by using a fan or opening window.
- To prevent mold and bacteria, families should wash their mats once a week. If you live alone, you can wash yours twice a month.
Don’t let your bath rugs get rugged!
That’s all there is to it when it comes to learning how to wash bathroom rugs. And your feet will thank you for taking the time to wash bath mats regularly.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to keep your bathroom rugs looking like new for longer.
Bathroom rugs are an important part of keeping your bathroom clean and tidy so it’s important to take care of them. Just remember to use cold water, mild detergent, and never put them in the dryer!
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