how to clean bath mats with suction cups

How to Clean Bath Mats with Suction Cups

Glass shower doors, shower onions, chrome fixtures and bath mats are all bathroom trends and we are here for them. And when it to the choice of mats, bath mats with suction cups are among the best if safety and functionality are anything to go by.

We all love bath mats with suction cups because of the firm grip a quality one provides on the shower floor or bathtub. After all, what’s better than keeping the danger of slipping on the floor or sliding in the tub at bay?

Unfortunately, these kind of mats come with a host of challenges including the difficulty to clean. This alone can drive you crazy, especially with some brands available in the market today.

Since the options that cater for bathroom slickness are very limited, learning how to clean bath mats with suction cups is a worthy skill.

How to Clean Bath Mats with Suction Cups

bath mat with suction cups in the tub

To properly clean bath mats with suction cups, you have to understand how they work first. These mats are mostly made of plastic material such as PVC or vinyl. Ideally, it can be this or another plastic material that finds use in common household items.

 Although most of these plastic materials are safe, they gradually change in color as the mat ages. For example, you might notice a clear color mat dulling or developing a yellowish color as it ages. This happens even after you repeatedly use bleach to restore it to its original appearance.

The mats feature multiple suction cups to provide powerful grip.  Although this enhances their reliability, dirt can collect inside the cups, making them harder to clean.

This might not seem like a problem common to all because it is more prominent with the use of hard water. You can address the challenge by using softeners. Besides making it harder to clean your mat, hard water also stains shower heads, shower doors, fixtures and fittings, walls as well as bath tubs and sinks.

molds on a bath mat with suction cups

Suction cups can also be favorable breeding spots for molds and mildew. This happens if they do not dry properly every time you use the mat. As such, you must rinse your mat properly after use, and hang it to air-dry.

Lastly, most mats with suction cups have numerous drain holes. Dirt and hard water deposits can collect and form rings around the holes.

 This is also another source of challenges when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. Further, a mat can develop discoloration around the holes as it ages or even cracks that make it difficult to wash in the machine.

You have to put these things in mind when hand washing or tossing your mat in the machine. It helps you to do a better job with cleaning and maintenance.

Hand Washing

In my experience, it is easier to clean bath mats with suction cups by hand. Hand washing gives you more control over the process which means better focus on each suction cup and the drain holes.

Step 1: Peel the mat from the bathroom floor or bathtub.

Step 2: Fill a sink, tub or container with enough warm water and add bleach in the appropriate ratio. Submerge the mat into the solution and let it soak for at least one hour. Bleach is good because its disinfectant properties destroy mold and mildew.

Step 3: Scrub the mat with a brush. Preferably, use a brush with long bristles so that you can dislodge dirt from the suction cups. If your mat is too dirty, you might need a small brush such as a tooth brush. Use it to remove dirt keenly from each suction cup.

Step 4: Drain the bleach and water solution. Add warm water and detergent to the sink and scrub the mat again for a minute or two.

Step 5: Drain the solution and fill the sink again with water. Rinse the mat thoroughly and hang to air dry.

Machine Washing

Generally, most bath mats come with instructions for washing them in the machine. Check the instructions and follow them for best results. If the instructions are missing, here are simple steps you can follow to clean your mat.

Step 1: Inspect you mat to ensure that it is in the right condition to go to the washer. Do not throw it into the washer if it has cracks and pieces that are coming off.

Step 2: Presoak your mat. You might need to presoak your mat depending on how dirty it is. The presoak setting in your machine helps remove stubborn dirt. You can use it to remove mold, mildew and stains from your mat.

Step 3:  Choose warm water and a gentle cycle setting for your mat.

Step 4: Rinse the mat and hang to air dry.

How to Care for Mats with Suction Cups

Since these kind of mats are difficult to clean especially after collecting dirt for some time, rinse your mat thoroughly after every use. You can even scrub it gently in a solution of warm water and detergent. Finish up by rinsing in running water and hanging to dry.

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