By their very nature, door mats are meant to get dirty. It’s important to clean them occasionally to keep them looking their best, even if they are just for wiping your shoes.
But what’s the best way to do this? Can you put door mats in the washing machine? Let’s take a look.
Can You Put Door Mats in the Washing Machine?
Whether you can put a door mat in the washing machine ultimately depends on what it’s made from.
Traditional exterior door mats are made from natural fibres such as coir (coconut fibre), and can’t be put in the washing machine.
Interior door mats are often made from synthetic pile fibres, and are usually safe to be machine washed.
Almost all door mats have rubber backing to provide grip. If the top material is suitable for machine washing, make sure you run the washing machine at a temperature suitable for the rubber backing.
You should use a 30-degree Celsius cycle with a slow spin (up to 800 rpm).
If you’re confident your door mat is machine washable, check whether it has a care label. Synthetic fibre door mats can usually be washed at 30 degrees Celsius, but see if there are any special care instructions first.
What’s the Easiest Way to Clean Door Mats?
Exterior door mats are often made from coir, which comes from the coarse fibres of a coconut’s outer shell. They’re not suitable for machine washing because of how the fibres are attached to the rubber backing – they’re glued in vertically and can come out quite easily.
As such, the easiest way to clean coir door mats is by hand. Here are some rough steps:
- Vacuum the mat using the carpet setting on your vacuum cleaner’s head.
- Take the mat outside and shake it well. If possible, hang it up somewhere and beat it with a carpet beater, tennis racket, or similar.
- If it smells, sprinkle over bicarbonate of soda and leave for a few hours. Vacuum it off.
- Spot clean any marks or stains with a damp cloth and some washing up liquid.
Generally, you shouldn’t need to wash coir door mats, even if they’re really dirty. Running over them with a vacuum cleaner is often enough to keep them looking fresh.
For other types of door mat, such as rubber, clean them with a damp cloth and washing up liquid.
You can be more liberal with how much water you use, but make sure you wipe them over with a clean damp cloth before hanging to dry.
If you’ve got a natural fibre carpet door mat, your best option is to use a carpet cleaner and suitable detergent. You might be able to machine wash it, but a carpet cleaner will also work fine.
You shouldn’t assume you can machine wash a door mat, as they usually need to be cleaned by hand. However, this isn’t a difficult job, and provided you do it regularly, you can keep your door mats looking fresh for a long time.
Jacob is a freelance writer based in Wales, where he lives with his partner and two dogs. All his work is fuelled by extensive research and buckets of coffee.