Cleaning expert shares how to wash bath mats ‘correctly’ - ‘reduce the risk of bacteria’

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Luxury bathroom specialists, Big Bathroom Shop, polled the nation on their cleaning habits and found that almost half of the people surveyed neglect their bathmat. A further 13 percent said they cleaned their bath mat only a few times a year and five percent clean their mat only once a year.

Rikki Fothergill as Big Bathroom Shop said: “Bath mats are a breeding ground for nasty bacteria in the bathroom.

“You should aim to clean it once a week at least, depending on how often it is used.

“Clung to floors, mats have no way of circulating air or drying off and this will create moisture and result in a build-up of mildew and mould.”

Big Bathroom Shop spoke with home cleaning expert Belinda Everingham to find out how people can correctly wash their bathmats.

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Cleaning expert shares how to wash bath mats ‘correctly’ - ‘reduce the risk of bacteria’ (Image: Getty)

Belinda said: “Always remember to regularly clean frequently used bathroom items such as bath mats and towels, as well as highly touched surfaces.

“These are often the dirtiest places in the bathrooms where germs can be spread.”

Firstly, check the care tag of your bath mat before washing it as this will ensure it is cleaned correctly.

Belinda explained that bath mats should be shaken before washed.

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Cleaning expert shares how to wash bath mats ‘correctly’ - ‘reduce the risk of bacteria’

The expert said: “Not only do mats soak up moisture and steam but they also gather dust, dirt and hair.

“Shaking the bath mat before washing is imperative to remove any unwanted debris and avoid clogging up washing machines later on.

“If the mat has a rubber side to it, consider using a cloth on this area to pull away any visible grime.

“A vacuum can also be used for day-to-day maintenance, a quick once over will keep on top of your mats between deep cleans.”

Bath mats are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria (Image: Getty)

When using the washing machine to clean bath mats, it is important to use a warm setting as opposed to hot.

While many people think hot washes will get rid of bacteria, Belinda explained that a warm setting is best to avoid discolouration.

The expert added: “Use your favourite smelling detergent and add in baking soda, half a cup should be fine. This will help to eradicate odours, brighten colours and reduce bacteria.

“Adding lavender can also help maintain freshness and aid in reducing mildew.

Cleaning: How to use baking soda (Image: NC)

“Never overload the washer. Wash one mat at a time and never with other fabrics such as towels, as there is a risk that bacteria could transfer from one material to another.”

When drying a mat, the expert recommended to air dry it outside, if possible.

Although tricky in winter, the breeze will help to prevent any matting of the detail.

Belinda said: “If you are lucky enough for some winter sun, this will also help kill any remaining particles.”

For those in the market for a new bath mat, the expert advises going for a regular cotton one, as it is the easiest to maintain.

The cleaning expert said: “Keep a few bath mats handy so that while one is washing and drying, you have some replacements. This will prompt you to clean them more often and reduce the risk of bacteria build-up in your bathroom.”