Aug 28, 2023

The Feature In Your Bathroom That Should Be Cleaned In The Dishwasher

If you like to dress up your shower while adding a level of safety, odds are you have a rubber shower mat. Not only does it work to prevent accidents when bathing, but it comes in a wide variety of patterns and colors, adding the perfect amount of decadence to any bathroom space. Unfortunately, you may also be familiar with how quickly mold forms on its underside. Since rubber has pores, mold can quickly infiltrate this substance, turning your bath mat into a breeding ground for fungi. And since your bath mat likely receives plenty of use, it's the perfect place to harbor germs and bacteria. Luckily, the days of continuously buying new bath mats are behind you. You can simply wash your rubber bath mat in the dishwasher.

You might be worried about your rubber mat melting in the dishwasher, but this simply isn't the case. For starters, dishwashers don't commonly get hotter than 155 degrees Fahrenheit. If your bath mat is made from natural rubber, it won't melt until it reaches a temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit. This means you can safely wash it in your dishwasher, rinsing away mold, mildew, and a host of dirt.

If you're ready to give your rubber shower mat a thorough cleaning, you can wash it in your dishwasher once a month. Rubber can safely be washed on the top rack, although the bottom rack offers optimal cleaning for stubborn grime. If you're leery of cleaning your bath mat with your dishes, you can run it through a cycle by itself. You don't need a special soap, either — any type of mild dishwasher detergent will do. If you opt to remove your rubber mat before the dishwasher completes its drying cycle, you should let it hang dry in your shower or tub before putting it back. Every time your shower mat sits in water, it allows mold and mildew to grow.

Although a dishwasher can sterilize your bath mat, you can also take steps to prevent mold and mildew from growing in the first place. After each use, pick up your bath mat from the ground and let it hang dry. Consider installing hooks inside your shower just for the mat. You can also place it over an expandable bathtub caddy, helping water to drain from all its surfaces. Just remember to drape it with the suction cup side facing down so all the water thoroughly runs off. This will help keep your bath mat sparkling between dishwasher cleanings.

Although this hack is great for rubber bath mats, it won't work for all materials. PVC (polyvinyl chloride), for example, is not safe in the dishwasher. A PVC bath mat's melting point is 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which is no match for your dishwasher's temperature of 155 degrees Fahrenheit. If you were to run it through the dishwasher, the bath mat would warp or lose its shape. But this isn't the only reason you should avoid putting PVC shower mats in the dishwasher.

PVC can leach when heated, releasing toxic gases (hydrogen chloride, to be exact). This is actually one of the reasons why more and more people are investing in rubber shower mats instead. Opting for green, non-toxic products in your home keeps toxic plastic out of landfills. And best of all: you can throw your rubber bath mat in the dishwasher without worrying about it losing its shape or leaching toxins.