Can you wash bathroom rugs with towels? The answer is NO. Why?

Bathroom rugs are placed on the floor so they tend to get quite dirty. They get soiled easily from shower and toilet water as well as urine. For this reason, they harbor harmful bacteria compared to your bath towels.

So, hygienically, it is not recommended to mix bathroom rugs and mats with bath towels when washing.

There are other reasons why you shouldn’t wash them together, which we shall look at in this article.

Can you wash bathroom rugs with towels?

Let’s look at some of the reasons why mixing bath rugs and towels in a washing machine is not a good idea.

1. Bath mats harbor bacteria 

As we earlier stated, bacteria can accumulate on the bath mat and survive for weeks without you noticing.

So if you wash mats with towels, these bacteria can be transferred to the towels which you use for your body. This is definitely a health risk to you and your family members.

Ideally, you can sterilize the towels after washing to kill germs and bacteria.

See also: How long is a shower curtain?

2. Bathroom rugs are dirtier than towels

Bathroom rugs are far dirtier than you may think. They are a magnet for dirty water, hair and dust, and any other thing they pick up from your wet feet.

Moreover, they rarely get a chance to dry completely since they are used on a daily basis.

If your room is not well ventilated, the rugs can have mildew and fungus. So it is wise to wash them separately.

See also: How to wash memory foam bath mats 

3. Colored towels may bleed 

New colored towels look lovely but they may ruin your mats if washed together.

The color may bleed and run in the washer and ruin the bath mats.

For instance, if you mix your cream or white bath mat with a blue towel, your bath mat is likely to have blue streaks if the towel is not colorfast.

can you wash bathroom rugs with towels

Reversing a color bleeding damage is not a big deal, but it will take much of your time and money.

In some situations, the damage is irreversible, and the only option is to get new bath mats.

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4. Bathroom rugs and mats might have an odor

Bath mats and rugs are placed on the floor. So, they are bound to get a splash of urine and toilet water every now and then.

Sometimes the splashed water and urine go unnoticed until the mats start stinking.

You don’t want to mix these smelly rugs with your towels in the wash for obvious reasons.

Apart from the odor, the bacteria and germs on the rugs may transfer to the towels and pose a health risk to you.

See also: How to clean bathmats with suction cups 

5. They are made from different materials

Every item has a tag which you should read to see the washing instructions. This varies based on the material of the mat or towel.

You will find that some materials can only be hand washed while others can be machine washed.

Most bath mats have a non-slip rubber backing which can easily get damaged if washed in a machine. So they might need to be hand-washed.

Moreover, both mats and towels may need to be washed at different temperatures using different detergents.

See also: Best bath mat material 

See also: How to remove stains from rubber bath mats

6. They may need different washing products 

While towels do not need any special cleaning detergents, bath mats may need odor removers like vinegar and baking soda.

For instance, if the rugs and mats have an awful odor, you can use white vinegar to get rid of the bad smell and hydrogen peroxide for the stains.

See also: Best bath mats for refinished tub


Can you wash bathroom rugs with towels? This is a very common question.

To some, washing bath rugs and towels together saves time since they just have to do one load. However, for the reasons we have discussed above, this is not recommended.


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Bathroom rugs may have bacteria since they are placed on the floor and are dirtier than towels. Towels on the other hand tend to bleed color and have a different material.

So before you wash the towels or bath mats, it is important to read the washing instruction on the tags carefully.