Your mats do a lot of dirty work: they protect the floors in your house from ruin and keep dust and dirt out of your home. But what have you done lately for your mats? Keep your outdoor, kitchen, bathroom and decorative mats clean and bacteria-free with these tips.
Note: It’s always best to read the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning a mat. This is a basic guide, but there are exceptions to every cleaning technique.
Bath and kitchen mats. Most plastic-bottomed bath and kitchen mats can be machine washed, but check the label before throwing them in the machine. If the mat is machine washable, run it on its own cycle with a mild detergent at a warm temperature (less than 105 degrees). Tumble dry the mat on a low setting until it’s completely dry to prevent mold growth.
Outdoor mats. This one is already outside, but since it probably accrues the most dirt, it’s best to clean it on your lawn or another out-of-the-way, outdoor area. Mix a 50/50 concoction of mild dish soap and warm water in a plastic spray bottle. Spray the top of the mat, paying special attention to the visibly dirty areas. Then use a soft-bristled brush to loosen any stubborn dirt. Once the front of the mat is clean, spray the entire mat (front and back) with a garden hose. Lay it out in the sun and let it dry completely. Note: To avoid mold growth, make sure both sides of the mat are completely dry before removing it from the sun.
Woven or braided mats. Woven mats can have a wide variety of cleaning needs. Before you begin, check the mat’s label. If it’s machine washable, run it through its own gentle cycle with cold water and mild laundry detergent. Tumble dry on low until the mat is completely dry. If the mat isn’t machine washable, read the label carefully for cleaning instructions. In general, we recommend using the outdoor-mat approach (see step #1). Be very careful to get the mat completely dry before bringing it back into your house to prevent mold growth.