How To Clean A Shower Mat

stack of bathroom mats

Dirty, damp bath mats are a breeding ground for bacteria, so it is essential to clean shower mats thoroughly to prevent this from occurring.

While non-slip bath mats might keep you safe by preventing slips, they can get pretty filthy over time. Fortunately, it’s incredibly easy to clean shower mats, and you probably have most of the supplies in your cleaning cupboard already.

Because bath mats are made from different materials, there are a few different ways to clean them. We have cleaning tips for all types of shower mats, from rubber bath mats to bathroom rugs.

Top ways to clean bath mats

Do you wonder whether to wash bath mats with laundry detergent or if a chlorine bleach solution would be better? Keep reading, then put on rubber gloves and get scrubbing!

1. Wash your rubber bath mat in the bathtub

Wet purple rubber bath mat

Cleaning rubber bath mats isn’t too difficult, even with an oily build-up from soap and hair products.

To give it a hand wash, all you have to do is pop it on the tub floor, add enough water to submerge the mat, and add bleach. Of course, you should wear gloves and goggles to protect yourself from bleach fumes and use a scrub brush, or even an old toothbrush, to remove any stubborn stains.

Rubber shower mats should be cleaned in this way around every 2-3 weeks.

2. Put your bathroom rug in the washing machine

Bathroom rug in washing machine

To wash bathroom rugs, you can use the washing machine to make things easy. Of course, you should first check that it is machine washable. Depending on the material, you can use cold or warm water when machine washing.

Use a laundry detergent suitable for the type of material, taking care of rubber-backed bath mats. Some mats can be thrown in the dryer for ease, but check the label first if it is better to leave it to air dry.

3. Clean a bamboo bath mat in soapy water

Bamboo Bath Mat on tiled floor infront of shower cubicle

Bamboo shower mats are mold-resistant, and there are gaps to ensure adequate drainage between uses. This makes them a great choice if you don’t like cleaning bathroom mats!

To wash bath mats made of bamboo, mild soap, and water is all you need. Wash it by hand, using a gentle brush to remove any soap scum if necessary.

4. Shower mats made from teak should be sealed every few months

Photo showing a modern bathroom fitted with a large rectangular shower enclosure and shower tray, complete with a slatted wooden teak bath mat, also known as a 'duck board'.

A teak bath mat is another excellent, low-maintenance option. These shower mats only need a wipe down when you are cleaning your bathroom. Like a bamboo mat, you can use a soft brush, mild soap, and warm water to remove stubborn stains.

You can use a special teak cleaner and teak oil to prolong the life of your shower mat; around every three months should be sufficient.

5. Clean a bath mat with suction cups using bleach

Suckers On The Back Of A Green Bathmat

Plastic bath mats with suction cups on the back might need a little more scrubbing than other types. You can soak a plastic or rubber mat with suction cups in the tub with some chlorine bleach and use a brush to scrub around the cups. Take care to wash this plastic mat thoroughly – soap scum and mold can quickly build up around the suction cups.

You can also use laundry soap and cold water to wash your shower mat in the washing machine before leaving it to air dry.

6. Remove mold and mildew with white vinegar

Chemical free home cleaner products concept. Using natural destilled white vinegar in spray bottle to remove stains.

White vinegar is an excellent alternative to bleach and works similarly. It’s a good choice if you are cleaning a baby shower mat and can also be added to the washer to get rid of bad smells.

To use vinegar and water to clean your shower mat, place the mat in the bathtub or sink and fill it up with water. Next, add a cup of white vinegar and leave it to soak for a while before scrubbing any stubborn mold stains. Then, rinse it off with fresh water before leaving it to air dry.

7. Wash a rubber bath mat in the dishwasher

Rubber anti-slip children bath mat with suction cups

Did you know that using a regular wash cycle on your dishwasher is a practical, easy way to clean shower mats? It’s much less effort than hand washing and gives impressive results!

If your shower mat is made from rubber, you can go ahead and pop it on the top shelf of the dishwasher and let it do its thing. Baking soda or vinegar could be added to remove stains and odors from your shower mat.

You can clean other bathroom accessories in this way, too – shower caddies, showerheads, plugs, and soap dishes!

8. Wash memory foam bath mats on a delicate cycle

Bath Mat hanging on a washing line

It’s possible to machine wash a memory foam shower mat, even if it has a rubber backing. You should take care to use a cold water cycle and avoid using any bleach or other harsh chemicals.

You can use a spray bottle to remove stubborn stains before popping them in the wash. When it’s time to dry your memory foam shower mat, it’s best to check the instructions. Reshape the mat before it is fully dry.

9. Clean solid plastic shower mats in the tub

Anti slip plastic tiles for bathroom or wet areaTo clean bath mats made from plastic, you can use some of the techniques outlined above. The easiest way to clean plastic bath mats is in the bath using bleach. Submerge the mat fully in cold water, add one cup of hydrogen peroxide or bleach, and let it work its magic.

After letting the mixture work for a few hours, scrub the mat gently with a sponge or brush and hang it up to dry.

Plastic shower mats, like other types, benefit from regular cleaning. When cleaning your bath, give the mat a quick spray and wipe down, and try to let it dry out between uses to slow the growth of mold and other nasties.

Bath mat cleaning FAQs

Got more questions about how to clean a shower mat? You’ll find all the answers you are looking for here.

How often should you clean bath mats?

It depends on the type of bath mat you have. Clean bath rugs in the washing machine every time you change the towels to keep things fresh.

Rubber shower mats should be cleaned every few weeks to prevent a build-up of molds and mildew. Wooden and bamboo mats should be dried after each use but should only need more thorough cleaning every couple of months.

Can I use the washing machine?

For certain types of bath mats, you can absolutely use the washing machine. This makes life easy – toss it in with a bit of laundry detergent, and you’re good to go.

Rubber shower mats, those with suction cups, and bath rugs with or without a rubber backing can all be washed in the washing machine.

How do I stop my bath mat from getting mold and mildew?

It can be a bit difficult to remove mildew and molds from your shower mat, but it’s also not easy to prevent them from growing in the first place. Unfortunately, the warm, damp environment of the bathroom is the perfect breeding ground for mold.

It can help ensure the bathroom is well-ventilated by opening a window or running the fan while showering. Using the tips above, it’s also a good idea to ensure you always have a clean bath mat. Even if you can’t see any mold, clean rubber bath mats regularly to stop it from growing.

Try to let your mat fully dry after use, too. Either use towels or a microfiber cloth to remove excess moisture or let it hang over the side of the tub or even a towel rail to dry out.

What are the best cleaning products to use on my bath mat?

Simple laundry detergent or dish soap can be used for routine cleaning, such as removing soap residue. However, if you need to do a deeper clean, making a baking soda paste, white vinegar, or diluted bleach solution can help. In addition, a stain remover can help you clean bathroom rugs if a regular wash can’t take the stains out.

You don’t need any special equipment either – just some rubber gloves and a scrub brush will have your bathroom mat looking as good as new in no time.


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