The bathroom is always on top of the list of household cleaning chores, but sometimes the bathroom rug is an afterthought with sinks, showers, and toilets getting all the attention. Yet, bathroom rugs can be a magnet for dirt, bacteria, mildew, mold, and fungi because of the moisture-prone rooms these rugs inhabit. So, just like the surfaces in the bathroom, regular bathroom rug cleaning is a necessity.
How Often Should You Wash Bathroom Rugs?
The answer to this question depends on the number of members in your household and how frequently they’re bathing. If the household contains a family of active members taking a lot of baths and showers, a weekly wash is recommended since moist feet are consistently hitting the rug fibers. For homes with one or two members, washings can be spaced out to bi-weekly or even three weeks depending on how often people are showering and the ventilation in the bathroom
Bathrooms that are closed in have a tendency to stay wet longer, which definitely encourages mold, mildew and bacteria growth. For half baths that don’t have a tub or shower, monthly washing should suffice though homes with pets may require bi-weekly washings.
Bathroom Rug Washing Basics
Before popping any bathroom rug into the washing machine, take a moment to check the manufacturer’s directions. Then, head outside to do a traditional shake like grandma and mom always do. The simple action gets off a lot of dirt, powder and other interesting things that tend to collect on bathroom rugs. Most cotton and synthetic rugs can be washed in the washer in cold water on the gentle cycle. Just remember to avoid putting rubber backed bathroom rugs into the dryer. Doing so could cause the backing to melt or shed. The backing also will not hold up well to weekly washing and drying.
Cotton bathroom rugs do better with air drying. Just like cotton clothing, cotton rugs may shrink in the dryer. Microfiber is another popular bathroom rug material because the fiber is easy on the feet and dries quickly. A microfiber rug can usually be washed, but be sure to use the gentle cycle with cold water. Avoid putting microfiber rugs in the dryer with other bathroom items like towels because the material will pick up lint. A better bet with microfiber rugs after a washing is to let it air dry.
Spot Cleaning Tips
Bathroom rugs are not immune to spills. Toothpaste, soap, lotion, shampoo and more have been known to hit the fibers of bathroom rugs from time to time not to mention other bodily fluids that carry an odor. Those with boys in the house understand the aim is not always on target when it comes to toilet use. When any type of spill or stain occurs, it’s important to address it immediately though remember to check the manufacturer’s directions for spot cleaning as well.
The longer a stain sits the harder it is to get out. If urine is involved, head for the washing machine if the rug can be washed. Otherwise, blot the stain with water from the outside of the stain, heading toward the middle. Avoid rubbing. Rubbing always pushes a stain in deeper. Keep blotting at the stain with water and a clean towel until it’s removed. Once the stain is removed, allow both sides to dry completely.
Other Bathroom Rug Maintenance Tips
Regular rug maintenance can go a long way in prolonging the life of any rug in the home and that includes bathroom rugs. Shaking out a bathroom rug every couple of days can get rid of the unpleasant stuff that builds-up on the fibers. This practice is especially effective for shag rugs in the bathroom.
Vacuuming once a week is another great upkeep tip for bathroom rugs. Weekly vacuuming helps to remove dirt, hair, litter and other debris. For shags, avoid vacuuming often. Shag bathroom rugs respond better to shaking than vacuuming. When you do vacuum a shag bathroom rug use the attachment, not the beater bar. After showers and baths, it’s a good idea to give the bathroom rug some drying time. Hang the rug on the side of the tub or shower bar to allow it to air dry from the morning showers. This practice can help cut down on mold, mildew and fungus growth since these things love moisture.