This bathroom essential is the dirtiest thing in your house – here’s how to clean it

Spoiler: it’s not your toilet!

Lifestyle image of a bathroom
(Image credit: Lotus Design N Print / Unsplash)

Regardless of your stellar cleaning habits, the bathroom will always be the dirtiest room in your house. As it’s the area where you shower, brush your teeth and use the toilet, it’s a bit of a breeding ground for bacteria but surprisingly, there’s an object in there which is actually the dirtiest of them all… and no, it’s not your toilet.

Regular maintenance of your bathroom is essential to keep it clean and hygienic but while you make sure to scrub your toilet and wipe down the surfaces, there’s one thing you might be overlooking… your bath mat.

That’s right, your bath mat might be the dirtiest thing in your entire house, but especially in your bathroom. Whether you use a bath mat for decorative purposes or to keep the floor dry, it collects a ridiculous amount of dirt, mould and other bacteria.

The main reason your bath mat is the dirtiest essential in your bathroom is because it’s constantly getting wet as you step on it when getting out of the bath and shower. As it gets wet, it also stays wet which can cause mould to set into the fabric and in the bathroom itself. Its proximity to the toilet also doesn’t help, as the repeated flushing of the toilet can spray onto the mat.

After a recent survey found that people only wash their towels once a year, it’s now more apparent and important than ever to give your bath mat a good clean. But how often should you clean or change your bath mat? And how exactly do you do it? Here’s everything you need to know.

How often should you clean your bath mat?

Feet stepping out of the shower onto a fluffy grey bath mat

(Image credit: Amazon)

The quick answer is that you should be cleaning your bath mat at least once a week. While you might not think it gets as dirty as your best bath towel which comes in contact with your body multiple times a day, it needs to be cleaned just as often as you clean your towel.

If you have multiple people living in your home and using the bath mat, you might want to clean it more regularly, like two or three times a week, to ensure it’s as hygienic as possible.

How to clean a bath mat

Okay, cleaning your bath mat might seem pretty straightforward and self-explanatory (and it is…), but it’s important to know exactly how to do it so it doesn’t continue to host germs and mould after you’ve cleaned it.

Firstly, prevention is key so try to keep your bath mat as dry as possible. While this might sound impossible considering you typically step on it when you’ve just got out of the shower, try to dry yourself off before you come into contact with mat. So, rather than soaking your bath mat, it’s only getting a little damp. Once you’ve finished using it, don’t leave it on the floor for ages but instead, hang it up to dry immediately.

To wash your bath mat, put it in the best washing machine with your towels, followed by a spin in the best tumble dryer to keep it soft and fluffy. Make sure to read the care instructions first on the label, as some materials won’t like too much heat. For any tough stains, or if your bath mat is plastic, rinse it with either a diluted bleach solution or hydrogen peroxide and scrub it with a brush.

For more bathroom cleaning tips, check out how to remove stains and smells from towels.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!