Are you guilty of this bath mat drying mistake? This is what you should be doing with it between uses

It's time to rethink your drying routine

Roll top bath in a bathroom with dark blue walls and white tiles and a black and white patterned tiled floor
(Image credit: Future PLC/Clive Doyle)

Bath mats are a bathroom must-have, helping to keep your floor dry from any post-shower havoc and also make a great decor addition to an otherwise plain space. However, we must admit that there's nothing worse than stepping onto a bath mat just to realise it's still wet from the last time you used it. Gross.

Realistically, bath mats should be washed often alongside your bath towels to keep them clean and free from musty odours. However, if you're finding that your bath mat is consistently damp between washes and starting to smell, it's probably down to the way you're storing it between uses. Yes, we regret to inform you that if you're simply leaving your wet bath mat on the floor after using it, you should probably stop.

'Leaving your bath mat on the floor after you've dripped on it post-shower or bath is a big no-no,' explains Jayne Lovatt, head of homeware at Terrys. 'The water has nowhere to travel or escape to, and pressing up against a hard, non-porous surface will only lead to that water run-off stagnating.' So, what do you do to avoid this? It's as simple as remembering to hang your bath mat after using it.

Bathroom with tiled floor and pink coloured bath mat

(Image credit: Future PLC/Darren Chung)

Why you should be hanging your bath mat between uses

'After use, it's best to drape your bath mat over the side of your bath or shower screen to dry. Don't fold it,' advises Lucy Ackroyd, towel and bedding expert at luxury towel brand, Christy. 'The extra surface exposed to air will mean it dries more quickly, which is what you want.'

Making a habit of hanging your bath mat will be well worth it in the end, as you'll find that you won't have to replace your bath mat as often either, as it stays fresh and odour-free for longer.

'Ensuring moisture doesn't become trapped underneath your mat will prevent unpleasant odours and deterioration of the mat material over time,' add Emily and Jonathon Attwood, founders of scooms. 'By allowing the bath mat to air dry thoroughly, you will also reduce the risk of mould and mildew – which can compromise the cleanliness of your bathroom and pose a potential health hazard.'

Blue and marble tiled bathroom walls with tiled floor, pink bath mat and wooden sink

(Image credit: Future PLC/Katie Jane Watson)

Although keeping your bath mat fresh is as simple as draping it over the side of your bath or shower screen, if you've got an electric towel rail (or are considering investing in one), that'll also work a treat.

'Using an electric towel rail has loads of benefits, from 100% efficiency at the point of use to simple installation and zero maintenance. They also offer a convenient place to hang and dry your towels quickly; helping to keep mould and mildew at bay,' assures Stephen Hankinson, energy efficiency expert at Electric Radiators Direct.

Roll top bath in a bathroom with dark blue walls and white tiles and a black and white patterned tiled floor

(Image credit: Future PLC/Clive Doyle)


Are you supposed to hang bath mats?

Hanging a bath mat after every use to ensure it dries quickly before your next shower will help to prevent mould and mildew from forming.

Should you leave your bath mat on the floor?

After you've used it post-shower or bath, you should avoid leaving your bath mat on the floor and instead hang it up to dry properly. Bath mats can quickly become one of the most unsanitary items in your bathroom, and leaving it on the floor when it's wet can trap germs and bacteria across the bathroom.

It's a simple change, but rest assured that similar to hanging your bath towels correctly between uses, it'll be very effective in prolonging the longevity of your bath mats.

Plus, you'll feel a lot more satisfied putting your feet onto a dry and fresh bath mat after a well-deserved everything shower, which is a win in our books.

Jullia Joson
Junior Writer

Jullia Joson is a Junior Writer at Ideal Home. She's always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham where her love for journalism blossomed following her internship at ArchDaily. Now focused on home tech, Jullia works on writing features and explainers to help people make the most of their home appliance investments. When she isn't writing, she loves exploring the city, coffee shop hopping, and losing hours to a cosy game.