A good bathroom should be stylish, safe, and functional. Since bathroom activities involve water, leaving puddles behind easily can lead to domestic accidents.
Therefore, both maths are put in bathrooms to curb issues of slips and falls. Bath mats function by absorbing all the extra water and holding moisture.
But, wet environments are often breeding grounds for bacteria. So, people often wonder if bath mats are unsanitary.
Whether or not bath mats are sanitary depends on how you maintain them. They absorb water and take time to dry, fostering an environment for bacteria and microorganisms. However, regular cleaning and drying prevent the growth of mold, bacteria, and mildew, thereby promoting hygiene.
Are Bath Mats Hygienic?
Bathrooms are where we go to wash off dirt & grime and freshen up. When we step out of the shower or bathtub, our bodies are wet and dripping, making it easy to slide and fall.
This point is where bath mats come into play. There is no straightforward answer to whether bath mats are hygienic.
The answer varies from one owner to another, depending on how sanitary they are and their cleaning routine.
Bath mats are kept in the most humid part of the house and function by soaking up extra water.
Due to the nature of their environment and task, it’s easy for bath mats to develop mold and grow bacteria.
According to ASM (American Society for Microbiology), bath mats serve as a breeding ground for bacteria.
Though the above statement is true, it isn’t always the case. Bath mats are only unsanitary and unhygienic when left to accumulate dirt.
It’s your choice to either have a grimy and smelly or a fresh and clean bath mat. A dry mat is unsuitable for mold, mildew, and microorganisms.
So, to keep your bath mat neat and hygienic, you should air dry it daily and wash it regularly. The state of your mat is up to you.
Are Wooden Bath Mats Sanitary?
Bath mats are products of different materials that can correlate with the versatility of bathroom designs.
Hence the wooden bath mats are products of bamboo wood or teak. Wooden bath mats are sanitary because their manufacturing involves anti-mold and anti-mildew treatments.
Apart from enhancing the hygienic qualities of wooden bath mats, these treatments are also a form of factory maintenance.
So, the mats are sustainable and can last for years, even with daily use. Wooden bath mats are even more sanitary than cloth mats as the material stands up to water and bacteria.
They are mostly waterproof and often have open seats, which aid in faster evaporation and better ventilation. You should opt for them if your bathroom looks and feels like a beauty spa.
If you’re undecided about buying a wooden bath mat or a cloth mat made of fabric, let’s go through the pros and cons of the former to help you decide.
Do Bathroom Mats Get Moldy?
Yes, of course, bathroom mats get moldy. It would be a miracle if they didn’t since they’re perpetually locked in the humid bathroom all day long till wash day.
Moreover, the moistness, dampness, and wetness provide the perfect condition for mold to grow.
Depending on your bath mat’s material, the mold issue could be more or less prominent. Bath mats that are products of fabric are more prone to mold.
This situation is more pertinent with highly absorbent but slow-drying fabrics.
Such materials have a high propensity to breed mold, bacteria, mildew, microorganisms, and viruses. On the other hand, non-fabric wooden mats are the best for avoiding mold.
Their design is the reason for this. Wooden mats either have slats of interlocking, thus preventing water absorption.
The presence of slats also aids in quick drying. Also, these mats are raised, thus allowing proper passage of air.
In addition, wooden mats are mold resistant as manufacturers spray them with anti-mold and anti-mildew chemicals.
So, to avoid mold on your bath mat, you’ll have to dry it daily or purchase a wooden mat.
How Often Should You Clean Your Bath Mats?
It’s not enough to have your bathroom looking good; it should be equally clean.
That involves maintaining and sanitizing all bathroom decor and aids. Since you use your bath mat daily, you should wash it regularly to keep it clean.
Washing is a necessary hygiene regimen for a safe, healthy environment. Since washing your bath mat should be part of your cleaning routine, you may wonder about the right frequency.
How often you clean your bath mats depends on the bathroom traffic. You should consider factors like the number of people using the bathroom and how often the users bathe daily.
If you’re the sole user of your bathroom and bath mat, it’s okay to clean the mat once a week. However, the bath mat can accumulate dirt much faster if you share a bathroom with others.
Therefore, it would be best to clean the mat twice weekly or more regularly to maintain hygiene.
Can You Wash Bath Mats?
Bath mats absorb high quantities of water. The resultant wetness makes it easy for residue and dirt to stick.
As such, owners must devise a means of regularly cleaning their bath mats. Yes, you can wash your bath mats whenever they’re dirty.
Washing them ensures that they maintain neatness and retain the squeaky clean look. You’ll also be more comfortable stepping on a mat that you know is clean.
A dirty mat is irritable, and you wouldn’t even want to step on it. If you eventually do, you’ll flinch your toes when they get in contact with the mat.
Also, dirt and wetness don’t go well together, meaning that a wet bath mat will begin to smell.
To avoid all these, simply wash your bath mat. You can wash most bath mats in a laundry machine.
All you’ll need is cold or cool water and a mild cleaning agent or laundry powder. You can also hand wash your bath mat if you prefer.
Cotton bath mats are the easiest to hand wash since the material is fluffy and foams well. After washing your bath mat, dry it with a dryer or spread it outside.
If you’re using a dryer, I’ll advise you to set the heat to the lowest to get the best result. Don’t worry; you’ll be taking out a relatively new mat from the dryer.
Four Ways to Keep Your Bath Mat Safe
A bath mat is important as it has multiple versatile uses that keep you safe. Since bath mats play their roles perfectly, it’s only nice that you engage in safe maintenance practices.
If you keep your bath mat safe, it will serve you longer. Bath mats are useful as they prevent you from stepping on cold floors after showering, absorb runoff water and prevent dangerous accidents.
They also keep you comfortable and protect your floor. So, let’s see four ways to keep your bath mats clean and safe while lengthening their lifespan.
#1. Regular Washing
Your bath mat should always be neat. Therefore, you should wash it as frequently as possible to keep it clean.
#2. Frequent Drying
Every time you bathe, your bath mat soaks your water. Frequent drying keeps the bath mat crisp and fresh. Hence, you should try drying it daily or once in two days.
#3. Maintaining an Aerated Bathroom
Ventilation is necessary for a bathroom as the proper flow of air reduces dampness and aids fast drying.
So, you should leave your bathroom windows open during the day as it can help to stabilize the air’s humidity.
Nothing lasts forever. Therefore, you should replace your bath mat when it grows old and weary.
The estimated replacement time varies from one bath mat material to another. You could replace fabric mats every three years and wooden mats every ten years.
However, if your wooden bath mat breaks sooner, you should replace it immediately to prevent injuries. Also, if the rubber grips on your fabric mats wear out before three years, you should replace them.
A bath mat is a very important bathroom accessory with versatile functionality. However, it may become a breeding ground for viruses if left to become unsanitary.
To prevent this, you should always clean your bath mat regularly and perform the necessary maintenance.