Can You Wash Bath Mats to Eliminate Odors?

September 30, 2019 | Blog, Home & pets, News, Odorklenz laundry, Remove mildew smell, Uncategorized

As you step out of the shower, you are accosted by a foul putrid scent that has invaded the air throughout the small bathroom area. Using your detective nose, you go in search for the unmistakable odor source, sniffing the air like a bloodhound in pursuit. Finally, you land on the source and it may be surprising to learn that your thought-to-be clean bath mats and rugs are far from the clean smell you had imagined they would be, with musty scents wafting from the material of the mats. Bathroom mats and rugs are typically made up of materials that are absorptive and will retain water along with other odors into this material. These mats overtime will harbor water and odors, creating a stronger scent like mustiness that will be exuded from the bath mats into the air. What can you do to eradicate these odors and perform regular odor maintenance on this material? In this article we are going to discuss the proper methods for washing and deodorizing bathroom rugs and mats and learn ways that you can regularly fight off odor-causing residues from this rug’s fabric. 

Odorous Problems with Rubber Backed Bath Rugs

Rubber Backed Bath RugsThe development of odors on bathroom rugs can accumulate with more and more use of these fabrics when getting in and out of the shower. When water saturates the absorbent material of these rubber backed bath rugs they will collect and produce a moldy, musty smell when the water is not dried from the rugs before the next use. Musty odors will produce a sour smell into the airspace of the environment that can invade the smell of the entire area. Additionally, other odors can also make their way onto this material such as hard water stains, pet odors, and even outdoor odors that are brought into this space and onto the material through shoes. All of these odors are caused by bacteria that develop when introduced onto this item. When the bacteria begin to reproduce it will be the culprit behind those pesky odors that are giving trouble to the fabric of these mats in your bathroom.

Where to Place Bathroom Rugs

The decision on whether or not to place a bathroom rug inside of your bathroom is something that many people will carefully consider. There are many benefits to having a rug in this area, such as a pop of color and decoration, a comfortable material for standing on, and even an absorbent fabric to retain excess moisture that develops after taking a shower or bath. However, as we discussed before, rugs can also be an odorous culprit that will allow for a flooding of odors to swarm inside of this airspace. When placing a bathroom rug inside of this environment, it is important to be strategic in your placement of this material. Most people will select the location of this rug for in front of their showers/bathtubs or even in front of their bathroom mirror. The decision is up to the homeowner to decide, but this can play a major role in the potential buildup of odors overtime, where you chose to place this bathroom rug.

How to Wash & Deodorize Bath Mats

How to Wash Bath MatsMost bathroom rugs are constructed with a rubber backing that prevents the rug from skidding and slipping when the floor becomes wet. Typically, these rugs are made with cotton or synthetic fibers that are known to be absorbent materials that will retain nearly everything that comes into contact with the material. The retention capabilities of this fabric make it necessary to wash and deodorize bath mats regularly to fight off these offending odors quickly and rapidly. What can be done to perform this washing and deodorization process on rubber backed bath mats? There are many different methods that can be used to clean mats, rugs, and carpeting that have several odor issues on the material. Whether it be laundering the material, using deodorization products like vinegar and baking soda, or even trying to place these bath mats into your washing machine to give the rugs a proper washing and deodorization – but depending on the type of material, this may not be the best option when it comes to washing bath mats.

Can You Wash Bathroom Rugs?

Before you throw your bathroom rugs into the washer for a quick spin to get clean and odor-free, it is essential that you carefully read the care label prior to using your washing machine to clean these materials. Additionally, this label will also identify which products can and should be used to clean the material such as bleach, laundry detergent, etc. These care instructions on bathroom rugs is due to the material that is used within the mat like cotton and synthetic fabrics and the rubber backing on the bottom of the rug.

How to Wash Bathroom Rugs

Plastic and rubber backed bathroom floor mats are fairly standard in most homes, and this material will place a lot of restrictions on how to wash this rubber backed rug when placing it in the washing machine. There are many different settings on a washing machine, and when you are washing something like bathroom rugs it is critical to place these settings on the necessary option to protect the material and the quality of the rug. The washing instructions for these rugs is as follows in your washing machine;
  1. Close-up of matsLook at the bottom of your mats to see if there are any noticeable cracks or peeling that has occurred on the rubber backing. If this is the case, then the mats rubber back may disintegrate inside the washing machine. When this happens, it can ultimately lead to clogging or damage to the drain of the washing machine. Therefore, it may be best to throw these rugs away and get new bath mats for your bathroom.
  2. If mats are able to be placed in the washing machine, then place the mats in the washer to be washed. Be sure not to overload the washing machine and place this wash load on a cold, gentle setting with normal detergent.
  3. After the washing cycle has been completed, the best method to dry these items is to hang them outside, or if you want to dry your mats quicker use the dryer and tumble dry on the lowest heat setting. However, be sure to never heat plastic or rubber backed bathmats because it can lead to damage to the mat’s material.
How Often Should You Wash Bathroom Rugs
How often should you wash your bathroom rugs? This is something that can be dependent on the conditions in the environment and the amount of use that your rugs are exposed to each day. Also, the material of the rug will play a role in how often to wash bathroom rugs, especially those mats that have non-skid rubber backings. This rubber backed rugs are not designed to withstand frequent washings in the washing machine, due to the construction of this rug. Therefore, it is a good rule of thumb to wash these bathroom rugs every 3 to 4 weeks.

Does Baking Soda Clean Carpet on Bath MatsDoes Baking Soda Clean Carpet on Bath Mats?

A go-to odor removing method for most fabrics is the well-known deodorizer baking soda. Baking soda is a proven odor absorber that’s particles go deep down into the carpet to reach the base of the odor to absorb and neutralize the smells. This deodorizer can be easily applied to the fabric material of your bath mats to aid in the removal of most odors from the material – this can be a great alternative to performing a through wash in the washing machine. However, this solution will not be a super powerful solution, and may need to be performed multiple times to completely remove the odors.

Carpet Deodorizer Powder

OdorKlenz Carpet & Rug RefresherInstead of using multiple applications of baking powder to deodorize your bathroom mats or even risking the quality of the rugs by placing them in the washing machine, you may want to invest in and use an effective non-toxic carpet deodorizer powder to remove the unwanted odors. The OdorKlenz Carpet & Rug Refresher is an ideal product for maintenance odor elimination on rugs and carpets in your home. This carpet deodorizing powder is a quick and easy way to manage daily odors on your soft flooring by simply sprinkling the powder onto the fabric surface and removing the powder after it has sat for about 15 minutes on the surface. This product can be used on a variety of surfaces in the home such as upholstery, automobile interiors, drapes, carpeting, rugs, etc. It contains no masking agents or fragrances, just the use of an effective earth mineral technology for absorption and containment/neutralization.

Carpet & Rug Refresher


Made of Safe, Natural earth minerals that provide a complete odor elimination on fabrics like carpeting and rugs

Fast acting, without the use of masking agents or fragrances

Easy to use; Sprinkle on and wait approximately 15-20 minutes, then vacuum thoroughly from surface

Can be used on upholstery, automobile interiors, and drapes to remove tough odors like cooking, pet, smoke, musty and mildew odors