Is it hygienic to machine wash floor mats? (Explained)

Washing a floor mat in the washing machine with appropriate detergents and disinfectant is considered to be hygienic. Most modern-day detergents are strong enough to handle the dirt and grime on the mats.

However, it may not be a good idea to wash your floor mats in the washing machine because they can soak up too much water. This means that mats can get very heavy, possibly exceeding the maximum load capacity of the washer.

Key Takeaways

  • Washing a floor mat in the washing machine is considered to be hygienic as long as you use a high-quality detergent.
  • The major drawback of machine washing the floor mats is that they can get heavy and may exceed the washer’s capacity.
  • Overloading your washer may cause damage to the spin basket bearings, drum fittings, drain motor, and other internal components.
  • If your washer can handle large laundry loads, you may machine wash the mats by using a good quality detergent and liquid disinfectant, as regular detergents may not be able to kill the bacteria.
  • Always maintain good washing machine hygiene by sanitizing it after cleaning dirty laundry items.

What types of floor mats are machine washable?

Not all floor mats are machine washable.

For instance, many bathroom mats have a rubberized backing that deteriorates and tends to release small pieces of rubber that clog the washer.

Whereas, floor mats made of materials such as microfiber, chenille, cotton, polyester, nylon, viscose, etc. can be machine washed.

With that said, make sure to check the care label first to see if they are machine washable.

If the care label recommends machine washing, you can wash them in one load and try not to mix them with any other laundry items, as mats will get heavy.

How Frequently Should Floor Mats Be Laundered?

Floor mats should be washed at least once every 2 weeks to keep them clean and sanitized. If they start to stain and smell, you can soak them in a mixture of water and vinegar before washing them.

With that said, if you are staying in an apartment or house that accommodates many individuals, you may need to increase the washing frequency.

So, the frequency of cleaning the floor mats should increase in proportion to the number of people residing in the house.

Is it hygienic to wash floor mats in a washing machine?

It’s important to note that washing machines are meant to clean dirty fabrics.

So as far as hygiene is considered, the secret is in your detergent.

The washing machine simply agitates the fabric to provide comprehensive stimulation in order to remove dirt and grime.

The better the quality of your detergent is, the better the hygiene will be.

Most modern-day detergents are strong enough to eliminate dirt and grime efficiently. They are also able to keep the bacteria away up to a certain extent.

To make the wash even more hygienic, apply a disinfectant solution such as Lysol or Dettol.

How to wash floor mats at home?

There are different types of mats and rugs, and each type has different cleaning instructions.

For example, memory foam and chenille mats can be machine-washed, while rubber-backed mats should be spot-cleaned.

Depending on the type and make of the mat, the washer and dryer settings may vary, so it is important to read the cleaning instructions on the care label before laundering.

Furthermore, laundry detergent should be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Once you are familiar with the cleaning method, follow the below steps to clean the floor mats safely and effectively.

Instructions to clean the floor mats

Step 1: Pre-treat the stains on your floor mat

The first step is to make a pre-treating solution by either using liquid detergent diluted in water or distilled white vinegar mixed with liquid detergent and water.

To make a pre-treating solution, simply add a cup of liquid detergent to a bowl of water, followed by pouring in one cup of distilled white vinegar.

Step 2: Machine wash OR hand wash, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation

The next step is to either machine wash or hand wash the floor mat, depending on the instructions on the care label.

Machine Wash

If you are machine washing the floor mat, set the washer to a regular wash cycle and set the temperature to warm (60 degrees Celsius).

Next, add a suitable detergent, followed by putting the mat in the washer and hitting the start button.

In order to sanitize the floor mat, you can pour in the disinfectant solution before starting the wash cycle.

Note: Check your washing machine’s capacity before putting your floor mat in, as it can become extremely heavy.

Hand Wash

The process of hand washing a floor mat is fairly straightforward.

  • Pour some water into the bucket or sink, sufficient to dip the floor mat.
  • Add 2 capfuls of Lysol or Dettol disinfectant cleaning solution.
  • Add suitable laundry detergent.
  • Dip the mat in the sink or tub and leave it for 5 minutes.
  • Next, work on the mat using a brush and your hand.
  • Once you are done with the washing, rinse the mat and get rid of the soap residue.
  • The last step is to hang the floor mat to air-dry naturally.

Note: Some mats may not have a care label on the mat itself; instead, the care label is specified on the container.

How to wash bathroom rugs with rubber backing?

Bathroom rugs with rubber backing should be hand washed using a mild detergent and disinfectant.

Just soak the rugs in a sink filled with cold water and add 2 capfuls of suitable detergent. Next, swish the rugs so that detergent gets soaked into the rugs. Now, work on the rugs using a brush. Finally, rinse the rugs thoroughly and hang them to dry naturally.

How to get rid of stains from rubber mats?

To remove stains from rubber mats, first, soak the mat in warm water for a few minutes. Then scrub the stain with a brush or sponge. If the stain is still present, you can try using a mild detergent or cleaning solution.

Maintaining washing machine hygiene after washing

Your washing machine frequently deals with dirt, grime, and bacteria. Therefore, it becomes equally important to clean your washer to maintain overall hygiene.

Here’s how you can sanitize the washer after washing dirty laundry loads.

Step 1: Wipe the drum and detergent tray

When you’re finished with the wash, use a vinegar solution to clean the drum.

Just mix a cup of distilled vinegar in a bowl of water and dip the sponge or microfiber cloth in the solution.

Next, wipe the internal drum.

Similarly, wipe the detergent dispenser tray.

Step 2: Pour chlorine bleach into the detergent tray

The next step is to pour some diluted chlorine bleach into the detergent dispenser tray.

Step 3: Set the right cycle

Now, set the washer to the hottest possible settings and select the empty wash cycle or clean cycle.

Step 4: Let the clean or empty cycle complete

Once you have set the appropriate cycle, let the washer complete the cycle and drain the water.

Step 5: Wipe the washer

The last step is to wipe the drum area, rubber seals, and detergent tray with a dry cloth.

Tips to maintain floor mat hygiene

Here are some quick tips to maintain the hygiene of your floor mat.

Vacuuming the mat

In order to maintain good hygiene, it’s recommended to vacuum your floor mat once every 2 or 3 days.

Vacuuming the floor mat helps to keep the dirt and debris away, thereby decreasing the washing frequency.

Spot Cleaning

It’s recommended to spot the stains the moment they appear.

This not only prevents stains from becoming permanent but also prevents bacteria from forming as a result of the leftovers.

Carpet Cleaning Solutions

A commercial carpet cleaning solution will eliminate the grime that has accumulated deep inside your floor mats. This also means that you don’t need to wash your floor mats frequently.

Final Thoughts

Because not all floor mats are the same, you should read the care label before deciding on the washing method.

Furthermore, you can easily maintain hygiene by sanitizing the washer after every wash.

Lastly, make use of a disinfectant solution like Lysol or Dettol to further amplify the hygiene aspect.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I wash my bathroom rugs?

Assuming you don’t have any pets that use the bathroom, you should wash your bathroom rugs every three to four months. If your carpets have a rubber backing, they may mildew if they get wet, so hang them to dry after each wash and avoid machine washing.

How can I prevent my bath mats from smelling?

To stop your bath mats from smelling, you will need to clean them on a regular basis by using mild soap, liquid disinfectant, and water. Once you are done with the cleaning, pour fresh water into a bucket or sink and add a few drops of essential oil. Next, soak the bath mats for 10 minutes to help freshen them up. Finally, rinse the mat thoroughly and hang it to air dry.

What makes a bath mat different from a bath rug?

The main difference between a bath mat and a bath rug is that a bath mat provides more utility by preventing accidental slips and absorbing water, whereas a bath rug is more inclined towards styling and gives a luxurious look and feel.

Hemant Sarkar is a seasoned techie with a diploma in computer science and an impressive track record of over 15 years in dealing with speakers, kitchen appliances, and various home appliance-related issues. He is widely recognized for his exceptional expertise in repairing dryers and washing machines from all major brands. In addition to his appliance repair prowess, Hemant maintains engaging blogs on topics related to music and speakers. For any inquiries or assistance regarding appliances or tech-related matters, you can reach out to him at: hemant (at)