How To Wash Bathroom Rugs: Keep Your Bathroom Clean And Fresh

One of the most overlooked cleaning activities is washing those pesky bathroom rugs. We cover everything you need to know about rug sanitation!

How To Wash Bathroom Rugs: Keep Your Bathroom Clean And Fresh

Ah, the bathroom rug. It's a soft and warm covering that keeps your feet from getting cold when you step out of the shower. It also helps prevent falls and can make your space look more inviting and add to bathroom safety.

But let's face it, it can also be a breeding ground for bacteria. The damp atmosphere and humid environment can cause mildew and unwanted odors. Not only are the odors unwanted, but they are usually unpleasant!

Bathroom rugs need regular cleaning and maintenance, but the thought of washing them might seem like a chore you can't tackle. Fear not! In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about washing and cleaning your bathroom rugs, so you can enjoy a clean, cozy, and sanitary bathroom.

How Often Should You Clean A Bathroom Rug?

Nobody wants to think about what lurks in their bathroom rugs, thinking about the germs can set even the mildest germaphobe into a downward spiral.

That's why regular cleaning of the bathroom and your bath rugs is critical! Depending on your household's size and traffic, you should wash your bathroom rugs at least once every two weeks. If you have children or pets, you might need to wash them more frequently and may want to consider a weekly cleaning. Remember, the longer you wait to clean your rugs, the harder it will be to remove stains and odors.

The Basics Of Cleaning Bathroom Rugs

Before you jump into cleaning you will want to gather your cleaning supplies. Some tools you may need are:

  1. Broom and or vacuum.
  2. Gentle detergent
  3. Soft-bristled brush
  4. Gloves

The first thing you will want to do is check the label for washing and drying instructions. That's the best way to find out if the rug is machine-washable and the cleaning methods you should employ. If you will be machine washing that makes your job that much easier but some types like a memory foam bath mat may need more care to get it clean.

Whether you will be hand washing or doing a machine wash you will want to shake out debris, vacuum, or sweep the rug to prep it for the deep clean. You can even go so far as to beat the rug out with a broom handle which is how my mom did it when I was growing up.

How To Machine Wash Bath Mats?

If your bathroom rug is machine-washable,  toss it in the washing machine after you shake out the debris. Use cold water and mild detergent or simply follow the manufacturer's wash instructions.

Avoid using hot water or bleach, as they can damage the rug's fibers and colors. For extra softness and freshness, you can add a cup of white vinegar or baking soda to the wash cycle. Be sure to use a low spin cycle and air-dry your rug to avoid shrinkage or damage.

Can You Wash Bathroom Rugs With Towels?

Although it may be tempting to clean bathroom rugs with your towels we advise against it. We like to keep rugs in their own, separate load for sanitation purposes. I mean, I dry my face with my towels and I don't want them in the same load as the rug that sits on the floor and gets stepped on.

This is a personal preference and some people may choose to wash towels and rugs together to save on water and waste. That is the more eco-friendly approach.


How To Clean A Bathroom Rug By Hand

If the rug is not machine-washable, don't worry, you can still clean it by hand. Fill a bathtub or sink with cold water and mild detergent, then soak the rug for 10-15 minutes.

You can use warm water as well but the color can leach out of the fibers in warm wash water. Scrub the rug with a soft-bristled brush paying special attention to stained or soiled areas. Rinse the rug thoroughly with cool water and hang it to dry, away from direct sunlight.

How To Dry Your Bathroom Rugs

No matter what cleaning method you choose, you should dry your rugs properly to prevent mold, mildew, or odor. Using a dryer can result in the rug shrinking or damaging the fibers of the rug. No one wants that!

Instead, try air-drying your rug by hanging it on a clothesline outside. We also have a drying rack in the laundry room that we use on rainy days to make sure that the weather doesn't affect our cleaning schedule.

If you need to speed up the drying process, you can use a fan or dehumidifier to promote air circulation. Be sure to let the rug dry completely before you put it back down.

Clothes line

Best Practices To Keep Your Rugs In Top Shape Between Cleanings

To keep your bathroom rugs in top shape between cleanings, it's important to follow some best practices.

  • First, try to minimize moisture and humidity in your bathroom by using a vent or opening a window while showering. This will prevent your rug from getting damp and soggy, which can lead to mold and odor.
  • Second, vacuum your rug regularly to remove dust, debris, and pet hair.
  • Finally, spot-clean any stains or spills as soon as possible to prevent them from setting in.
  • You can even swap out rugs if you have spares and clean them all at once for extra convenience and to limit your wash loads.

How To Sanitize Rubber Bath Mats

Rubber bath mats can be an excellent solution for preventing slips and falls in your bathroom. Just because they are rubberized though doesn't make them immune to bacteria.

To sanitize your rubber mat, mix equal parts vinegar and water and spray it on the mat. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse it with cool water and let it air dry. You can also use a disinfectant spray or solution, but be sure to follow the instructions carefully.

To learn more about cleaning with vinegar check out our article and learn more about natural cleaning recipes for your bathroom! There are also a number of other homemade cleaners you can try out.

When Should You Replace Bath Rugs and Mats

As much as we love our bathroom rugs and mats, they don't last forever. Over time, they can become worn, faded, or stained. Which can affect their effectiveness and appearance! If you notice signs of wear and tear, such as frayed edges, loose threads, or flattened fibers, it's time to replace your rug. You should also replace your rug if it's been damaged by water or bleach or if it has a persistent odor that can't be removed.

If you need a new bathroom rug look at our top picks below:


Washing and cleaning your bath rugs might not be your chore of choice, but it's an essential task for maintaining a clean bathroom. By following our tips and tricks, you can ensure that your rugs are fresh, soft, and germ-free! That way you can enjoy a cozy and healthy bathroom environment. Now, go ahead and give your bathroom rug a well-deserved spa day!

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