- The dirtiest thing in the bathroom is the bath mat, pro cleaner Bailey Carson told Insider.
- Dirty shower water and flushing toilets can make mold, mildew, and bacteria grow over time.
- If you’re only cleaning your mat a few times a year, it may be time to get scrubbing.
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Most people think the most disgusting thing in their bathroom is the toilet, Bailey Carson told Insider.
But that thought actually makes the toilet the most regularly cleaned object in the bathroom, the professional cleaner and Angi Home Expert said.
The dirtiest items in our homes are the ones we often overlook. In the bathroom, Carson says, it’s the bathmat.
“After every shower we step out onto our bath mat, allowing it to soak in any excess water or soap that might be dripping,” Carson said. “While this prevents our floors from getting damp, the reoccurring build-up of water when left untreated can lead to mold growth.”
If that wasn’t gross enough, the bath mat is also defenseless against bacteria spraying from flushing toilets.
People typically wash their bath mats once or twice a year, if at all, Carson says. But bath mats should be washed every few months to keep them mold and bacteria-free.
How to wash your bath mat
If your bath mat is machine washable, cleaning it is easy enough: just fold it in half and send it through the washer and dryer, Carson said.
If your bath mat is plastic or has suction cups, you’re going to need hydrogen peroxide or a heavily diluted bleach solution, as well as a little elbow grease.
“Put the mat in your tub or large sink with the suction cups facing upward, rinse in hydrogen peroxide or a heavily-diluted bleach solution for a few hours, then scrub with a bristle brush,” Carson said.
For nooks and crannies that are tough to reach with the brush, Carson recommends using a toothbrush.
Once it’s clean, hang up the bath mat to air dry in the shower.
Carson added a precautionary step to keeping your bathroom clean: close the lid on the toilet before you flush. This will prevent millions of bacteria from spraying onto handles, the floor, or the bath mat.
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