Bacteria and germs thrive in the warm and damp environment in which rubber-backed bath mats are used. Rubber-backed bath mats can be washed, however, ridding them of germs and sometimes putrid odours.
Vacuum off the mats. If you're unable to use a vacuum, sweeping or beating dust off the mat will suffice. The best place to sweep or beat the bath mat is outside.
Pre-treat spots using a stain or spot lifter. A stain or spot lifter for carpets or clothing works best. Many of these foam up and can be massaged into the fibres gently. A soft-bristled brush can help lift some stains.
Put the mat into the washing machine. Set the machine on a cold water-and-gentle cycle. This will help keep the structural integrity of the mat intact during the wash, preventing little rubber pieces from flaking off. Mild washing powder works best.
Remove the bath mat from the washing machine and dry it. If the quality of the mat wasn't particularly high to begin with, hang it up and allow it to air dry. This will also help preserve the integrity of the mat. If you use the clothes dryer, set it on low or no heat.
Using both a fabric softener and a dryer sheet can help to remove deep-seated scents from your bath mat. Scented fabric sprays can also aid in removing odours.