How Often You Should Be Cleaning Your Bath Mat

Bath mats are essential when it comes to bathroom safety, absorbing water when you get out of the tub or shower, and preventing slips and falls. They provide a soft, cushy place to stand, and they can add a bit of personality to an otherwise dull space.

Bathroom mats can get especially dirty. Because they are designed to absorb water so that you don't slip when exiting the shower or tub, they also absorb germs and bacteria. If you don't wash bath mats regularly, it could result in mold growth, which is a major health hazard, especially for children and the elderly, according to Towel Super Center.

Bathmats are a common source of bacterial growth, and frequent use can result in the spread of bacteria between people. Frequent use is also responsible for the loss of absorbency in bathmats, meaning they need to be replaced relatively often.

The kind of bath mat you have, the material it's made of, and how often it's used will all dictate how often you should wash it. Read on to learn what you need to know about cleaning and replacing your bath mats.

How often should you wash your bath mat?

According to Good Housekeeping, it's best to wash your bath mat once a week as a general rule. This timeline, however, is dependent on a number of factors. Some households should wash their bath mats more frequently, while others can get away with laundering them less than once a week. Rinse suggested that if you live in a household with several people, you may want to wash it even more frequently, like every three to five days. If it's used less often, however, you can wash it every ten days rather than weekly.

One of the primary reasons that bath mats need to be laundered frequently is that they become wet and take a while to dry out, which creates an environment that facilitates the growth of mold and bacteria. In order to allow the mat to dry more quickly, turn on your bathroom fan so that air can circulate more readily. It also helps to hang up your bath mat when it's not in use so that it dries more quickly between uses.

How to clean a bath mat

Luckily, cleaning a bath mat is relatively simple. It's important to always follow the manufacturer's care instructions to prevent inadvertently damaging the material. Depending on the material it's made of, washing your bath mat can be as easy as tossing it into the washing machine. Joey Hunter of Two Maids & A Mop told RealSimple, "Many bath mats can be laundered as you would your towels and washcloths," adding, "Always be sure to check the tags on your mats first to be aware of any manufacturer-suggested cleaning products or washer and dryer instructions." Generally speaking, both cotton and synthetic bath mats can be machine washed on a low heat setting with gentle detergent.

Many bath mats can also be put in the dryer. If your mat has a plastic lining, however, it's best to line dry it, according to Martha Stewart, because machine drying can cause the plastic backing to lose its adhesive qualities.

If your bath mat can't be cleaned in a washing machine, hand wash. Mix 3 teaspoons of liquid dish soap with a gallon of warm water in a large bucket or sink. Wash the mat and allow it to soak in the soapy water for a few minutes, then rinse with cold water. Hang to dry.

How do you know when it's time to replace your bath mat altogether? A bath mat should be replaced every six months to a year, depending on its material and how often it's used.