Shoes worn outside can track in all kinds of dirt and microbes. Research shows about one-third of the dust and grime accumulating inside the average home comes from outdoor sources, with a significant portion of that being brought in on shoe soles. This can amount to several kilograms of dirt being trampled into your home over the course of a season – leading to dirty carpets, premature wear and tear on flooring, and even slips or falls on slippery, wet floors.
Investing in a high quality indoor door mat is one of the best ways to trap that dirt and moisture before it ever reaches your floors. But just as regular vacuuming keeps carpets looking their best, your door mat also requires regular cleaning and maintenance to remain effective.
In this guide, we’ll walk through the best practices for keeping your indoor door mat in tip-top shape. We’ll cover cleaning methods tailored to different mat materials like coir, rubber, cotton and nylon/polyester. You’ll also learn handy maintenance tips to extend the life of your mat, like regular vacuuming, spot cleaning, and periodic deep cleaning.
Properly caring for your indoor mat ensures it continues trapping dirt and absorbing moisture day after day, providing a clean, dry, and safe entrance to your home or office.
Indoor mats are one of the most effective ways to stop dirt at your door year-round. For more on how they keep your floors clean and slip-free, check out this article.
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How to Clean Different Types of Indoor Door Mats
Indoor door mats come in a variety of materials, each requiring a specific cleaning approach to keep them looking their best.
Coir Door Mats
Coir door mats are made from coconut fibres and are often characterised with a very deep pile. This dense pile is great for removing and trapping dirt and moisture, but can also allow grit and debris to filter down to the base of the mat over time. This can be extremely difficult to remove if left. Regular cleaning is key to prevent abrasive particles from accumulating and damaging the coir fibres.
For routine cleaning of small coir mats, simply pick up the mat and shake it out vigorously outside to dislodge dried mud or dirt. For larger mats that can’t be shaken, sweep the surface with a broom to remove surface-level debris. Then use the hose of a vacuum cleaner to extract embedded dirt from the pile. Work slowly and methodically to lift dirt from the base. A vacuum cleaner with roller brush will help to agitate dirt from the surface of the mat, but will not be able to get deep down into the base of the mat.
For periodic deep cleaning, mix a mild detergent with warm water in a bucket. Use a stiff brush dipped in the solution to scrub stains and dirt build-up. Do not soak the mat. Allow the mat to air dry completely before placing it back in service.
Rubber Door Mats
Thanks to their solid, flexible rubber construction, rubber mats are quite easy to clean. Their textured tread pattern also effectively scrapes dirt from shoes, but they do not absorb moisture, so are not an ideal indoor mat.
To clean a rubber door mat, simply sweep or vacuum loose debris from the surface. Then use a damp mop or cloth to wipe down the mat and lift any remaining dirt. For tougher stains, create a mild detergent solution, scrub with a soft brush, rinse clean and allow to air dry.
You can also take rubber mats outside and clean them with a garden hose. Avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaners that could react with the rubber leading to cracking or bubbling.
Cotton Door Mats
Prized for their softness and comfort underfoot, cotton mats absorb moisture well but can be tricky to keep clean, due to their knack of holding onto dirt and retaining stains. Where possible, blot spills immediately before they can set and stain the fibres. Routinely vacuum to lift surface dirt and regularly shake the mat out upside down outside.
For deeper cleaning, mix a mild laundry detergent with warm water and scrub stains gently with a soft brush. Rinse thoroughly until water runs clear. Allow the mat to air dry completely to avoid mildew. For tougher odours or set-in stains, consider using a carpet shampooer or professional mat washing services.
Polyester & Nylon Door Mats
Synthetic mats made of nylon or polyester fibres are quite durable and generally easier to clean than natural fibre mats. Check the manufacturer’s care instructions, but many can even be machine washed which makes the task of cleaning, far more straightforward.
Routinely vacuum these mats and spot clean any spills or stains right away. Use an all-purpose cleaner and damp sponge or soft brush to scrub marks. Rinse thoroughly. Some mats can be washed in a washing machine on a gentle cycle using laundry detergent and warm water. Do not use fabric conditioner, as this can reduce the absorption abilities of the mat. Hang to air dry before putting back into use.
Handy Maintenance Tips
With the right routine cleaning and care, your indoor mat can better control dirt and last for years. Follow these tips:
- Vacuum frequently – Ideally vacuum your indoor mat once a week. Vacuuming lifts dirt from deep within the pile, extending the mat’s life.
- Spot clean spills ASAP – Don’t let spills set in and stain. Blot liquids right away and use a recommended cleaner and soft brush to scrub marks.
- Deep clean periodically – Every few months, do a thorough deep cleaning. The method depends on the material: washing, detergent scrubbing, professional mat cleaning service, etc.
- Allow proper drying time – After washing or deep cleaning, let your mat completely air dry before placing back in use to prevent mould and mildew. Natural fibre mats take longer to dry.
- Rotate periodically – Rotate the position of your door mat every few months to evenly distribute wear in high traffic areas.
By properly caring for your indoor door mat, you’ll keep it looking fresh and maintaining its dirt and moisture trapping abilities. Don’t let your mat track in the very dirt and grime you purchased it to control!
Keep Your Entrance Clean with Proper Mat Maintenance
Indoor door mats are invaluable for keeping dirt, grime and moisture from being tracked into your home. But like any item that sees heavy foot traffic, mats require regular care and cleaning to continue working effectively.
Now you know how to properly clean different types of indoor mat materials, from natural fibres like coir and cotton to synthetic mats made of rubber, nylon or polyester. You also learned key maintenance tips like frequent vacuuming, spot cleaning spills, periodic deep cleaning and rotating your mat’s position.
By caring for your quality indoor mat from Trusted Mats, you’ll keep it looking fresh and functioning well for many years. Your floors, carpets and indoor air quality will thank you!
If you’re not sure where to start in choosing the right indoor mat for your home, this guide provides a helpful overview of the different types available.
For more handy tips on selecting the perfect door mat for your home and keeping it clean, explore the Trusted Mats blog. And feel free to contact us if you need any advice on choosing or maintaining the ideal indoor mat for your needs. We’re happy to help you keep your entrance clean and welcoming.