Can You Put Door Mats In The Washing Machine?
Exterior door mats, typically made from natural coconut coir fibres, are generally not machine washable as the agitation can cause the fibres to deteriorate.
However, interior door mats made from synthetic materials like nylon and polyester can usually be safely washed in a machine.
But what about rubber-backed mats? And how should you clean natural fibre mats if you can’t machine wash them?
Keep reading to learn the best practices for washing and caring for different types of door mat materials. You’ll also find tips on drying mats properly after washing to prevent mould, and alternative cleaning methods for large mats.
What Types Of Door Mats Can Go In The Washing Machine?
Interior door mats made from synthetic fibres like nylon and polyester are often suitable for machine washing. These resilient synthetic materials can withstand the motion of the washing machine without damage.
However, it’s important to check the care label for specific instructions, as some synthetic mats may have special washing requirements.
Selecting The Right Washing Machine Settings
When washing synthetic door mats in a washer, use a gentle cycle with a low spin speed and a cool temperature around 30°C. The gentle cycle helps protect both the top fabric layer and rubber backing from damage.
Why Natural Fibre Mats Can’t Be Machine Washed
Exterior door mats are commonly made from natural coconut coir fibres attached vertically to a rubber backing. The agitation of a washing machine can cause these vertical fibres to come loose and deteriorate.
Hand washing is gentler and recommended for natural fibre coir mats.
How To Clean Coir Door Mats
Here are some tips for keeping coir door mats clean without machine washing:
- Vacuum regularly with the carpet attachment to remove dirt and debris
- Shake or beat the mats outdoors to dislodge dirt
- Use bicarbonate soda to absorb odours – sprinkle on and let sit before vacuuming
- Spot clean stains with a damp cloth and mild detergent
- Avoid excessive water when cleaning to prevent damage
Cleaning Rubber-Backed Mats
For rubber-backed mats:
- Gently scrub with a damp cloth and washing up liquid to clean
- Wipe down with a damp cloth after washing to remove excess water
- Allow to fully dry before reusing to prevent mould and bacteria
- Vacuum weekly to remove embedded dirt
- Wash monthly or as needed, following care instructions
Drying Door Mats Properly After Washing
It’s important to fully dry any washed door mats before reusing or storing them. Leaving damp mats rolled up or piled can lead to mould and mildew.
After washing, hang mats outside in the fresh air or lay them flat until completely dry. This helps prevent bacteria from developing.
Alternative Cleaning Methods
If your door mats are too large for a washing machine, use a hose adjusted to a low pressure setting to wash them. Avoid excessive water pressure especially for delicate door mats.
For carpets and large natural fibre mats, use carpet cleaner sparingly to prevent damage from over-wetting.
And remember, regularly cleaning door mats is key to extending their lifespan and preventing the buildup of grime over time.
Frequently Asked Questions
To clean mats in the washing machine, use a gentle cycle with a low spin speed and a cool temperature around 30°C, especially for synthetic door mats. Always check the care label for specific instructions before washing.
Yes, you can put a rubber-backed mat in the washing machine, but it’s important to use a gentle cycle and avoid high temperatures to protect the rubber backing. Always refer to the mat’s care label for specific washing guidelines.
To clean a door mat, use methods suited to its material. Vacuum regularly, shake or beat outdoors, and spot clean with a damp cloth and mild detergent. For coir mats, avoid excessive water, and for rubber-backed mats, gently scrub with a damp cloth and washing up liquid.
You should wash door mats monthly or as needed, depending on usage and exposure to dirt. Regular cleaning, including vacuuming and spot cleaning, is key to maintaining their appearance and hygiene.