How to Wash Bathroom Rugs

People who use bathroom rugs would know what a lifesaver they are – soaking up all the excess water outside our bathtubs and literally saving us from the great Humpty-dumpty fall. In fact, bathroom falls and slips are the top causes of injuries among seniors. Other than their savior properties, some people love to buy bathroom rugs for their aesthetic features, with many considering them essential for bathroom decorations.

Regardless of why you have a bathroom rug in your restrooms – the idea is they often end up becoming a forgotten piece of cloth and rubber on your bathroom floor. It may be a little too late when you finally remember that cleaning your bathroom rug is now overdue. Dumping it in the washing machine in a hurry is not a good idea. This is why we have created a step-by-step guide for you on how to wash bathroom rugs.

What You Will Need

Cleaning your bathroom rugs will be a super easy task if you have the right items in store. This is why we have listed below the essentials you will need. Make sure you have these before you begin with the cleaning.

How to Wash Bathroom Rugs

A microfiber cleaning cloth

Oxygenated bleach

Laundry detergent


Step 1: Read the tag attached to your bathroom rug.

Before you start cleaning your bathroom rug, read the instructions on its tag carefully. This is a step most people miss and end up with damaged bathroom rugs after a single wash. These tags are usually attached to the bottom of the rug and inform the user if they can/cannot use bleach, what temperature to wash the rugs at, and other similar information.

Step 2: Shake the rug to get rid of any dirt and dust particles.

Next, you should take your rug out in an open area and shake it vigorously to get rid of any loose dirt particles that have settled in the rug’s fibers. Hold the rug vertically from two corners (this may vary depending on the shape of your rug) and strongly move it up and down in the air. This will ensure more effective cleaning in the washing machine.

Step 3: Wipe the plastic or rubber backing of the rug.

The idea behind shaking and wiping your bathroom rug when still dry is that the water in the washing machine will not get as dirty, ensuring more effective overall cleaning. Therefore, the next step for cleaning your bathroom rug will be to wipe its back with a microfiber cloth. Its microfibers will pick up even the most microscopic dirt particles. Make sure to cover the whole back area.

Step 4: Add the laundry detergent, oxygenated bleach, and borax to your load.

This is the step where you will be using all your cleaning essentials. Start by adding a pod of oxygenated bleach into the washing machine. Do not use bleach or vinegar because those can damage the rug’s fibers and break its rubber backing. Then add your laundry detergent – follow the instructions on the label to determine the optimum quantity.

Finally, add half a cup (120 ml) of borax to kill any mildew and mold spores. This is an essential ingredient for cleaning your bathroom rug because it is mostly damp throughout its use and runs a high risk of becoming home to mildew and fungi. However, if you are only trying to remove stains from the rug, you can skip these steps and only use the laundry detergent.

Step 5: Set the washer temperature to cold and wash setting to ‘gentle’.

Settings of temperature and intensity of your washing machine are more important than you think when it comes to cleaning your bathroom rug. This is also why we instructed you to read the tag as the very first step. Usually, cold water is recommended for washing rugs and carpets as hot water can loosen the adhesive that holds the rug’s fibers and rubber backing together. Warm water is fine to use if your rug does not have a rubber backing.

Step 6: Wash the rugs on the ‘gentle’ setting of the washing machine.

Similarly, set the intensity to ‘gentle’ once you start washing the rugs. You can wash up to 3 rugs at a time if you have more than one to clean. However, make sure to read the tag instructions of them all concerning water temperature and intensity settings. We recommend gentle as a general rule to ensure thorough cleaning without damaging the fibers and rubber backing.

Step 7: Air-dry your bathroom rugs.

Finally, once the rugs are washed and stain-free, you can now proceed to dry them. Air drying is an important step in cleaning your bathroom rug because, without this step, the cleaning process will remain incomplete. If the sun is out and the weather is warm, it is your bathroom rug’s lucky day because the sun will cause minimum damage and also sanitize your bathroom rug with its UV rays.

However, it is possible that the weather conditions are not ideal for air-drying your bathroom rugs, in which case you can tumble dry them. However, do not leave it in for more than 20 minutes and set the heat at ‘low’ because it can damage the rubber backing and carpet fibers. Do not leave the rugs in the dryer for long, as that will wrinkle them badly.

Our Final Thoughts

Bathroom rugs are the non-living furry creatures that save us from slipping on wet floors and give our bathrooms a sophisticated look. It is only fair that they receive a thorough cleaning treatment when we do remember to wash them finally. While it may seem like a lot, in theory, the actual washing process is not that hard or time-consuming in practice.

We hope that our easy steps on how to wash bathroom rugs help you keep yours clean and tidy at all times!