How To Dry Bathroom Rugs: Solution for Soaking Wet Mats

Bathroom rugs add softness and coziness to your bathroom’s hard floor. They also absorb water as you step out of your shower or tub, keeping your floors clean and preventing messes. The only problem is that when you do that, your mats become soaking wet, and you will have to dry them. But how?

You can either air dry bathroom rugs or tumble dry them. The best method to use depends on the type of rug you have and the material it’s made of. Read the label and see whether you can put them in a dryer or, better, hang them on the clothesline.

2 Tested Ways To Dry Bath Mats

There are exactly two ways to dry bath mats: you can air dry them or throw them in the dryer. While you can air dry all mats, not all can be tumble-dried. For this reason, you should always read the label before choosing a method.

Air Drying

While air-drying works for all bath mats, it might take longer compared to a dryer. However, this is the only viable method for drying cotton, rubber, or silicone mats.

Air drying your mats outdoors is faster than drying them on an indoor rack. However, you may not be able to hang them outdoors if it’s raining. If you have to hang them indoors, do it in your bathroom or in a well-ventilated laundry room to prevent trapping moisture inside your home.

When drying them outdoors, choose a ventilated yet shaded area. Even though direct sunlight speeds up the process, it will discolor the mats faster.

Where To Hang Bath Mat To Dry?

For faster drying, hang your bath mat on a clothesline in your backyard. If you don’t have one, use a clothes drying rack – you can place it on your patio or even on a terrace or balcony for better airflow and quicker drying.

On rainy days or in winter, you can hang the mats on a rack in your bathroom or laundry room.

If you believe this would take too long – but the label on your rugs says you can’t dry them in the dryer – you could use a trick.

Throw them in the dryer and set the appliance on the Air Only setting. As its name suggests, this setting doesn’t warm the air inside the dryer but only blows cool air inside. Choose the slowest speed and run a short drying cycle to wick the moisture in the mats.

You can then hang them on a clothesline or clothes drying rack either indoors or outdoors. Another trick is to place a fan in your bathroom in front of the clothes drying rack. Turn on the fan and the bathroom vent to speed up the drying process and to prevent moisture from getting trapped indoors.

Drying Machine

If your mat’s label says that you can tumble dry it, you can throw it in the machine and have it dry in less than an hour. All-fabric mats can go directly into the dryer. However, if your mat has a non-slip back (labeled as okay to dry in the machine), you should get the dust off it first.

1. Shake the mat

Grab two of the mat’s corners and shake it vigorously. If the mat is dripping soaked, the shaking will result in splashing some water around your bathroom. Thus, you can do this outdoors or remove any other mats so that you can mop the floors right away.

2. Brush the mat

Shaking the mat can help you remove the largest particles from it, but hair and dust might still cling to the anti-slip backing. 

Use a soft-bristled brush to remove as much dirt and grime as you can. You should do this even if you want to wash the rug before drying it, as hair and grime can clog your washing machine.

3. Dry the mat

Place the mat in the drying machine and set it to tumble drying. Select the lowest temperature and lowest speed. A short cycle of about 20-30 minutes is generally long enough to dry your mat completely. However, if it still feels damp, you can leave it for 10 minutes more.

Remove the mat from the dryer immediately after the cycle has ended and hang it on a clothesline or lay it on the floor to help preserve its shape.

Can You Put Bath Mats in the Dryer?

Yes, you can put bath mats in the dryer, as long as their label says so. Always read the tag (usually on the back of the mat) or check the manufacturer’s website for care instructions if you’re unsure.

As a rule of thumb, cotton, rubber, and silicone mats should be air-dried. The same goes for plastic mats – the heat in the dryer will not only damage the plastic but the plastic in the mat could also damage your appliance.

Synthetic fiber mats and some mats with thin rubber backing can go in the dryer. If the mat is all-fabric, check the max temperature you can use (although you should always dry it at the lowest temperature setting). If the mat has a rubber backing, always use the lowest temperature or the air-only setting of your drying machine.

Bath Mat Won’t Dry? (Try this)

Bathroom mats that are dripping wet or that you have just washed might take ages to dry – even when you’re using the dryer. This happens because there is too much water trapped inside the fibers. There are ways to wick some of that moisture, though, and speed up the process.

An easy way to remove some water from the mat is to spin it in the washer with a couple of dry towels. The washer’s drum can’t reach high speeds when spinning heavy stuff like bathroom mats, but the towels will absorb most of the water inside the mat. You can then transfer the mat into the dryer and dry it as explained above. 

Alternatively, you can semi-dry the rug in the tumble dryer for about 30 minutes to an hour, on the lowest speed and lowest heat setting.

Take the mat out and hang it on a clothesline or clothes drying rack. Let it air dry overnight.

How to Dry Bathroom Rugs with Rubber Backing

The best way to dry a bathroom rug with rubber backing is outside, preferably in a semi-shaded spot. Hang it on a clothesline, over a fence, or even on a chair and wait for the air and sun to do their job. If that’s not possible, you could dry it in the dryer.

1. Remove the dirt and debris

If you’re drying a mat that you soaked while coming out of the shower, brush its back and shake it a little to remove the dust and grime.

2. Dry for 20-30 minutes

Place the rug in the dryer and select the lowest speed setting. Depending on how damp the rug is, choose between the lowest heat or air only. Let it dry for about 20-30 minutes. 

3. Check the mat

Take the mat out and check if it’s dry. If it feels damp to the touch, you can continue drying it.

4. Dry for another 10-20 minutes 

Return the mat into the dryer. Use the same settings as before but only spin it for 10 to 20 minutes. 

5. Remove the mat immediately

When the cycle ends, remove the mat immediately from the dryer. Letting it sit all wrinkled in the appliance could cause it to lose its shape. Place the mat back on the floor or hang it on a clothes rack overnight.

How To Keep Bath Mats Dry: 3 Effective Tips

Stepping onto a soggy mat doesn’t feel nice. When your family or roommates share the same bath, you may want to find ways to keep the mat dry in-between showers. Here are a few tips.

Dry off in the shower

Hang your towel somewhere near the towel and dry it off before stepping onto the mat. If your shower is too small for such acrobatics, squeegee your body and hair with your hands to remove excess water and dry off each foot before placing it onto the mat.

Place a towel over the mat

If you like to get out of the shower while you’re still dripping, place a thick towel on top of the mat. The towel will absorb most of the water, leaving the mat underneath mostly dry.

Use plastic or bamboo mats 

Another trick is to use a mat that doesn’t soak water, such as a plastic or bamboo mat. The plastic variety is an excellent choice if you don’t want to deal with a pool on your floors, but you’ll have to hang the mat to remove excess water pooling on top of it. Bamboo mats let water pass through, but they dry out faster.

Related Questions

Drying bathroom rugs doesn’t require you to be a rocket scientist, but you may still have questions. Find out the answers below.

What can I do with old bathroom rugs?

Bathroom mats are easy to recycle, and you can do lots of fun stuff with them. For instance, you could cut an old bathroom mat (the towel type) into strips and wrap it around a cardboard post to turn it into a cat scratch post. 

Fluffy bathroom mats with a rubber backing could be transformed into slippers. You could also place an old bath mat into the mudroom and place your soiled footwear on it. 

How often should you wash your bathroom rugs?

Ideally, you should wash your bathroom rugs weekly if you have a small family or twice a week for a larger one if all members of your family use the same bathroom. However, if the rug has rubber backing, you should only wash it once every 2-3 weeks.

Is it hygienic to wash rugs in the washing machine?

Yes, as long as you’re not washing them with other bathroom items, such as towels. Wash the bath mats alone, using cold water and a gentle cycle, then air or tumble dry them.


Bathroom rugs are easy to dry outdoors on a clothesline or in the dryer. The best method varies from rug to rug, and we hope this guide can help you choose the best option for your bathroom mats.

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