September 14


How To Wash Bathroom Rugs

By Robin Hatch

September 14, 2021

Bathroom rugs or bath rugs are some of the most underrated bathroom elements. The most common use of bathroom rugs is from preventing you from slipping.

When stepping out of a bathtub or a shower, to help you avoid the cold and dreadful floors of a bathroom after a warm bath, the bathroom rug is indeed a significant element to have in a bathroom. But unfortunately, not many people know how to take care of their bath rugs.

To wash bathroom rugs, first, read the tag to see if your bathroom rug can be machine washed or if it must be hand washed. If the material is too thin, the label may recommend it be washed and dried on the lowest setting, so the fabric doesn’t get torn apart.

How To Wash Bathroom Rugs

Below are instructions on how to wash your bathroom rugs properly.

Read The Instructions

Before opening the rugs from the seal or package, look through the instructions to ensure you have basic information about the bath rugs. For example, identify the rug’s material type and whether there is a rubber backing or not.

All this information will help you a great deal when washing your rugs.

Choose The Right Washer Setting 

Now, this is where you’ll find reading the instructions handy because knowing what your rugs are made of will help you pick the correct setting in your washing machine.

For example, washing machines nowadays clearly label each setting you might need for a particular type of material like cotton, polyester microfiber, chenille, and nylon. Etc. Some of the latest machines have a towel setting that is gentle enough to keep your towels rugs clean.

But, if you can’t find any easily identifiable setting related to your mats or bath rugs, based on the fabric, which you should know by now because you read the instructions, you will want to choose a delicate or standard-setting for it.

These options aren’t for everyone, as some rugs may not be machine washable.

Some rugs may not be machine washable since they may have materials too delicate for a washing machine or unique bathroom rugs with plastic or rubber backings.

These rubber-backed rugs or mats can quickly melt with machine drying and ruin the rug.

So if you happen to own rubber-backed rugs that can’t go into a washer or dryer, do not worry because hand washing, though not the easiest method to clean your bath rugs, may still give you great results if done right.

Use Gentle Detergents And Cleaning Aids

A general rule of thumb is to use gentle detergents and fabric softeners. These are best to use because they are less harsh on both the fabric and your skin.

If you’re looking for a gentle detergent or fabric softeners, we recommend trying out Tide’s free and gentle detergent here.

The cleaning aid that you consistently use will have long-term effects on your rug if you don’t use the right one. We recommend looking at the box or label of your rug to understand how the manufacturer wants you to wash it best.

Quick Tips For Handwashing Your Bath Rugs

First, grab some rubber gloves for the process. You can decide to do it in your kitchen sink or get a regular bucket of water.

Fill either with warm water and a few tablespoons of laundry detergent.

Consider a plastic drop cloth or towel to protect your floor from excess water if you’re cleaning inside the bathroom. Add the bath mat to the mix and use a sponge to scrub it gently.

Empty the sink or bucket of water, and finally, rinse your bath rug with cool water until the soap is thoroughly rinsed out.

For bathroom rugs made with bamboo or other natural fiber rugs, you should try as much as possible not to soak them in water thoroughly. Instead, dip a sponge into a warm, soapy water bucket to spot clean.

Note: When washing, you should use warm water for white-colored bath rugs to keep them looking sparkling clean and cold water for dark colors.

Drying Your Bathroom Rugs

You should be done cleaning by this time, so drying is the next step.

Always make sure your bath rugs are completely dried out before use. You may want to use a dryer for this.

Note: The best setting would be a dryer with a tumble dry on a low setting.

If you don’t own a dryer, or maybe you own a rubber-backed bath rug, using a dryer may not be such a great idea as they may not be able to handle the heat of the drying process and end up melting off, as earlier said.

If this is the case, allow the mat to air dry thoroughly.

Air drying may take some time, depending on the thickness of the bath rug. This is why we recommend you put the rug into direct sunlight so it will dry faster.

Best Time To Wash Your Bathroom Rugs

It should go without saying that newly purchased washable items should be adequately washed before first use, and bathroom rugs are no exception. But many might not understand why, after all, it’s “clean from the factory and unused, so why bother!”

Here is why:

During packaging, many bathroom rugs may be exposed to some chemical residue, or over time, some bath rugs that spent more time in warehouses may collect dirt and dust particles, etc., that may get trapped within the fabric of these mats.

As for washing after usage, you should probably wash your bath rugs more often as they usually hold in a lot of moisture during their time being used – water that drips from your body as you step on them straight from the bathtub or shower.

These can lead to mold growth and other disgusting stuff you wouldn’t want to learn about. So you must wash your bath rugs often.

I often mean once a week, or at least twice a month, to ensure your rugs are always in the best hygienic conditions. If you easily forget to wash your bathroom rugs on their own, remember to add them to the list of stuff you need to wash when cleaning your bathroom.

General Tips For Washing Bathroom Rugs

Wash bathroom rugs or mats alone, not with other items. Avoid mixing clothes or sheets with rugs in the washing machine. Use warm water and plenty of detergents during washing.

Expect the dry cycle to take a long time, especially for thicker mats. Have a spare bathroom rug to use during this time.

If you are prone to allergies, get a fragrance-free, dye-free brand of detergents as it’ll be less likely to irritate your skin.

Next Steps

If you’re looking for more resources on washing bathroom rugs, read Our Guide On Washing Bathroom Rugs With Clothes.

We’ve compiled a complete list of frequently asked bathroom questions for new and experienced homeowners.

Our experts answer these questions to help you through DIY projects and home repairs.

Robin Hatch

About the author

For over a decade, Robin has been a real estate agent, interior design specialist, and mother. Through her trials and tribulations, she wanted to create the perfect website to help you save money and make your home look beautiful.

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