How to wash rugs with rubber backing

In general, bath mats are made of plastic and can be placed to get in or out of the bathtub or shower, thus avoiding accidental falls. The other type of bathroom rugs are those that are placed outside the shower or bathtub to dry your feet and prevent someone from slipping on the wet floor. The two types of rugs with rubber backing require different care.

Rugs with rubber backing are very common to avoid slipping and getting a mess in the shower or bath, but if they are not cleaned well they can accumulate grease and become dangerous. If you want to know how to clean rubber bath mats, read on and take note of the steps to do it successfully.

Fungi and mold can also form on these carpets, since it is a closed and humid space. With that come bad smells, in addition to the danger of catching an infection or slipping with the fat they generate.

There are several ways to clean rugs with rubber backing, but one of the most effective is to use the bathtub.

When washing it, peel off the rubber mat from the bathtub floor. Support it in the bathtub, without sticking it to the surface.

Fill the bathtub with lukewarm water.

Protect yourself with rubber gloves and I poured two cups of bleach into the water.

Scrub the carpet with a clean bristle brush.

Once you’ve finished cleaning the carpet on both sides, allow the water to drain, then rinse the bathtub and carpet thoroughly.

If the carpet has fungus or a bad smell, let the bleach mixture work on the surface for a couple of hours. When using bleach, open the windows to let in fresh air and, as a precaution, follow the directions on the package label.

Rugs with rubber backing: washing machine cleaning method

If you don’t want to wash your rug by hand, you can let your washing machine do the heavy lifting.

Put the rug in a washing machine with some soft items, such as towels or laundry, to help scrub with the touch of stains.

Set a gentle wash cycle with hot water.

Then, hang up the rug and let it dry on its own.

Remember: Never put a rubber mat in the dryer, because it will deform and spoil.

Other Steps to clean rugs with rubber backing

  • Get a bottle of bleach, gloves, and goggles.
  • Open the bathroom window so that it is well ventilated, since the gases emitted by the bleach can cause dizziness. 
  • In the bathtub, washbasin or sink, add 4 liters of cold water, having previously detached the carpet. The water has to be cold. Hot water will intensify the bleach gases.
  • Add a cup of bleach to the bathtub. One cup of bleach for every 4 liters of water. The solution should completely submerge the carpet.
  • Let the mat sit in the diluted bleach for 3-4 hours.
  • After that time, rub it in. You can do it with a mixture of a cup of white vinegar and a cup of water. Make sure you remove any dirt or debris.
  • Once you are done with the cleaning, let the rug air dry. If it can be in the sun, much better. Never put it in the dryer, as the heat will deform it.
  • Rinse the bathtub or wherever you’ve cleaned the carpet well to remove any bleach residue.

These are instructions for cleaning car rugs with rubber backing

  • Mild soap water
  • Bucket Scrub brush
  • Hose with spray nozzle
  • Degreaser
  • Towel curl
  • Linseed oil
  • Soft cloth
  • Vinegar
  • Nonoily tires and protective rubber
  • Foam pad


Remove your rubber floor mats from the car and lay them outdoors on a hard, clean surface.


Mix two tablespoons of mild detergent with a gallon of warm water in a bucket. Scrub the buildup of mud, dry with a stiff brush dipped in soapy, detergent water on the surface of the carpet.


Rinse the tarp with a high pressure nozzle on a garden hose. Pick up the mat and give it a shake to remove any buildup of water.


Spray degreaser on the mat if you notice any cloudiness or dirt residue. Allow the degreaser to sit on the mat for 15 minutes and rinse off with a quick stream from the garden hose.


Dry the rug with a terry cloth towel and examine the surface for salt deposits, water stains, or tar. Remove tar by wetting a soft cloth with linseed oil and rubbing it on the sticky residue until it is removed.


Clean hard water or salt deposits with the vinegar and a soft cloth, rubbing the moistened cloth over the mat until the rind is removed. Rinse the rug under running water and pat dry with a terry cloth towel.


Treat the canvas with a non-greasy, rubber finish treatment such as Zaino Z-16 Perfect Tire Gloss. Dampen a foam pad with a small amount of dressing and rub in a circular motion over the canvas to bring up the shine. Let it soak for five minutes and remove any remaining dressing with a clean cloth.