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How to Clean Bath Mat Suction Cups

Updated February 21, 2017

Bath mats are typically a functional and decorative addition to any bathroom. Not only do they keep you from slipping when entering and exiting the shower or tub, they can also come in designs and colours that complement your decor. The suction cups in bathroom mats can become filled with mould and mildew, turning them brown and making them slimy to the touch. If you want to keep your bath mat from giving you the creeps, maintain and clean it.

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  1. Lift the bath mat from the bottom of the tub; then flip it over and drape it over the back of the tub in an upright position every time you or someone in your home is finished taking a bath or shower. The reason mould accumulates in the bath mat suction cups is if left in position between baths and showers, they are never given an opportunity to dry. If you allow your bath mat to dry fully, mould will not form and you'll have minimal grime build-up.

  2. Soak your bath mat in hot water and a capful of bleach. If you don't clean your mat often and allow dirt and mould to accumulate, this will help loosen it up for removal. After soaking, use an old toothbrush to dig mould out of each suction cup.

  3. Put your bath mat in the dishwasher (without any dishes). Use the warm setting (not hot), and don't use the heated drying setting. This should be done only if the mould is mostly removed from the bath mat, perhaps as a form of maintenance cleaning, rather than deep cleaning. You don't want to deposit large amounts of tub mould in the same place where you clean your dishes. Once you remove the mat from the dishwasher, hang it to dry before putting it back in the tub. If you put the mat back in the bathtub wet, you are once again providing an environment for mould to grow.

  4. Wash your bath mat in the washing machine. Place towels in the machine along with the bath mat; this will keep the mat from floating in the water and will provide it with a vigorous scrubbing. Use a cold or warm setting (not hot), and don't put the mat in the dryer. Do this only if the mould is mostly removed from the bath mat, as you don't want to put the mould from your bath mat onto your bath towels. Allow it to air dry before putting it back into the tub.

  5. Wash the mat in the dishwasher or washing machine at least once per week to keep mould, mildew, and grime from building up in the suction cups of your bath mat.

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Things You'll Need

  • Bleach
  • Toothbrush
  • Dishwasher
  • Washing machine

About the Author

Oubria Tronshaw specializes in topics related to parenting and business. She received a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Chicago State University. She currently teaches English at Harper Community College in the Chicago area.

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