Welcome mats do an excellent job providing fully functional and safe surfaces where you and your guests can clean footwear, ultimately preventing dirt from getting into your property.
However, for them to do their job effectively, they will need to be cleaned every so often.
In this regard, Can You Put A Welcome Mat In The Washing Machine?
Yes, most doormats, including rubber-backed mats and small cotton rugs, are machine washable. However, because they are designed to catch stone and other debris, it is advisable that you shake your welcome mat outdoors to dislodge free dirt and particulate matter before throwing it in the washing machine. The stone grit is not good for your machine and your drainage system.
Importantly, most mats come with tagged information highlighting how you should care for them, so make sure to check that information before removing the tag.
In this post, you will find everything you need to know about welcome mats and cleaning them.
What Is The Purpose Of A Welcome Mat?
While welcome mats come in many colors and styles to add pop to your space, they are designed to be functional.
Their real purpose is to provide a place where people can wipe off their shoes before entering the house.
Welcome mats take dirt and moisture from shoes and hold onto them so that the mess (dirt, grass, mud, etc.) does not make its way into your house.
An ideal welcome mat should be large enough to allow the feet of those walking in to make contact with it as many times as possible.
No matter the welcome mat you choose, it is important to ensure that it doesn’t interfere with the door’s function.
As such, it should always allow enough clearance so that a door can open without obstruction.
Besides their obvious function, welcome mats can be visually stunning, providing a perfect furnishing touch to your entrance.
Notably, in an ideal world, you need to have two welcome mats:
- a scraper mat to take the first and debris
- and an absorbent mat to soak up the excess moisture from the shoes of those walking into the house.
However, if your budget permits you to buy only one, then go by the scraper doormat with excellent scraping capability.
Six Ways To Clean Dirty Doormats
Entrance mats usually gather a lot of grit, debris, and dirt that comes with your shoes.
From time to time, your welcome mat will have enough dirt and grime on it that it becomes ineffective.
That’s when you need to clean it. So, how do you clean your dirty welcome mat?
The best method for cleaning your doormat will immensely depend on its material. If your welcome mat is washable and has some stubborn dirt, throwing it into a washing machine can be a great way to keep it gleaming.
Here are sure-fire ways to clean your welcome mat, ultimately maintaining cleanliness and a healthy environment in your home.
1. Washing Machine
Washing machines save us the time and physical effort needed to wash laundry.
That said, it should be no surprise that a washing machine often comes into your mind whenever you want to clean your doormat.
Thankfully, a variety of welcome mats can go into an average home washing machine without overloading the appliance.
As for washing, before popping your mat into the washing machine, it is a good idea to shake it out to remove dust, particulate matter, and loose debris.
Also, remember to check if the mat is machine washable.
You will find relevant washing information in cleaning instructions, usually highlighted in the care instruction label.
In most cases, if your welcome mat is made of fabric or carpet materials, you should be able to put it in a washing machine and wash it on a cold, gentle cycle. This will help preserve the mat’s backing.
If you have mats made out of natural fibers, it is likely that your supplier will discourage putting the mats in a washing machine.
Primarily, this is because we tend to use strong detergents in washing machines that can inadvertently cause discoloration or leave your doormat with annoying marks.
2. Wet And Dry Vacuum Cleaners
Vacuuming is one of the most preferred methods for cleaning welcome mats, but for a good reason.
Cleaning mats with wet and dry vacuum cleaners has proven to be the ultimate method as it delivers unmatched results.
Most wet and dry vacuum cleaners come with powerful motors that pick up and collect most of the hidden dirt and debris trapped on the floor of your mat.
Although dry vacuuming is likely to remove most of the particulate debris embedded in the fiber of your welcome mat, it is a good idea to give the mat a deep clean to get rid of stubborn dirt marks and stains.
For excellent results, sprinkle cleaning powder generously all over the mat, let it rest for 30 minutes and then vacuum it. This should leave your mat very clean.
3. Carpet Cleaner
If your welcome mat is not washable, you can clean it using a carpet cleaner, a product commonly used by most commercial cleaners to clean mats.
A carpet cleaner extracts the dirt settled deep in your floor mat, achieving the results of using a vacuum cleaner.
Once your mat is clean, you can dry it in the air.
4. Garden Hose
If your welcome mat is washable, but you fear that it may overload your washing machine, you can benefit by washing it with a hose and drying it in the air.
Washing a welcome mat with a hose is deemed the cheapest and easiest way for cleaning doormats.
5. Damp Cloth
Although rubber-backed doormats are machine washable, you can elect to clean yours with a damp cloth.
To avoid bleaching your entrance mat or giving it nasty patches, check with your supplier what chemicals are recommended for your mat.
Chemical activity can easily discolor your mat or, even worse, break it down.
6. Vigorous Mat Shaking
Although shaking your mat is considered a prerequisite activity (step) for most doormat cleaning solutions, it could be an easy way to keep your mat clean, especially if the foot traffic in your home is light.
Shaking your welcome mat or banging it against the driveway or a wall can easily and effectively dislodge dust and other debris from the mat.
Welcome Mat Maintenance Tips
Although the frequency for cleaning your welcome mat depends on a number of factors, including the amount of traffic in your home and partly the time of the year, there are a few tips to help you keep your mat clean for the most part of its lifetime.
- Shake your mat regularly to remove dirt and dust
- Clean your mat weekly
- Avoid using strong detergents when machine washing mats – you can use baking soda and get admirable results.
- Always double-check if your mat is washable before throwing it in the washing machine.
- Consider replacing your entrance mat every two years.
Most modern welcome mats are designed to be machine washable, meaning they can be put on the washing machine just like laundry.
However, considering that not all options are washable, it is imperative to always check the care instructions to know if you can put your mat in the washing machine.
Before washing any doormat, check its weight to ensure that it can’t harm your machine.