How to Wash Bathroom Rugs with Rubber Backing

Rubber Backed Bathroom Floor Mat.

How to Wash and Dry a Bathroom Floor Mat with Rubber Backing

Bath mats are standard items most of us use in our bathrooms. Many of us use the non-skid type that has a rubber backing to protect from slipping. But how often do you wash your bathmats?

It’s something that many of us don’t think about doing on a regular basis. And if you do you wash it on a somewhat regular basis, do you wash it in a way that won’t damage the backing?

Believe it or not, some manufacturers recommend washing before use to remove any residual smells leftover from the factory. Many of us would never know this because we don’t take the time to read the care label on our bath mats.

If you are careful in the way you wash and dry a bathroom floor mat with rubber backing, they can last quite a long time before you need to replace one.

Why Wash the Bath Mat and How Often?

If you’ve read some of our other articles on cleaning bathrooms then you know the bathroom is the perfect environment and breeding ground for mold, mildew and other bacteria. Bathrooms are damp, can have a lot of humidity, some don’t have enough air flow, and they are low light areas. This not only applies to the shower and tub, sink and floors but the floor coverings as well.

How often you wash bath mats depends on whom and how many family members are using the bathroom. If you have kids of various ages sharing a bathroom, you may have to wash the bath mats more frequently than you would in the master bathroom.

How to Wash the Bath Mat

Most bathroom mats can be washed but you should still check the label. If you bought your bathroom rug from a second hand store and it doesn’t have a label, these steps will come in handy. I will always wash two or more bathmats at a time.

  1. Take bath mats outside and give them a good shaking to remove as much hair, paper and lint as you can before washing.
  2. If necessary, apply a small amount of stain removal product. I use hydrogen peroxide if needed. If you have a colored bathmat, test a small area in the corner prior to using.
  3. Place bathmats in the washing machine, add laundry soap, and use a gentle, cold water setting.
  4. If you are treating for stain removal, let washer fill with water before adding any additives other than laundry soap.
  5. If needed, you can add baking soda for odor removal and borax to help disinfect bath mats. About 1/ 2 cup per load.

Note: Don’t use a hot water setting or chlorine bleach as it could (overtime) loosen glue and breakdown the rubber backing. I also don’t overstuff when washing bathmats, I will wash two or three at a time.

How to Dry a Rubber Backed Bath Mat

If possible, take the bath mat outside and let the good ol’ air and sunshine dry the mat. 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.

  1. Use a gentle low heat or air dry setting for about 20 minutes. Too high of a heat setting will damage the rubber backing.
  2. Don’t let them sit wrinkled up in the dryer, remove them immediately.
  3. If still a little too wet, let them tumble in the dryer for another 10 to 20 minutes.

They may not be completely dry so you can hang them on a rack to dry completely.

Alternatives Ways to Wash a Bath Mat

If you don’t want to wash the mats in the washing machine, you can always take them outdoors and rinse them with the hose. Just treat if necessary for stain removal as mentioned above, let sit for 10 minutes or so, then gently rinse with water – use a light spray setting.

In Between Cleanings

If there are only a couple of people in the house and the bathroom floor mat does not need washing often, at least once week or every couple of weeks, take it outside, shake it out, and if it’s a nice day – leave it out to soak up the fresh air and sunshine.

If you’ve had problems in the past with the rubber backing breaking down or peeling off, a careful washing and drying can keep it looking good for a long time.

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