Here’s How Often You Should Be Cleaning Your Welcome Mat

When was the last time you cleaned your welcome mat? If you can't remember the answer, you might want to get to it soon.

When was the last time you cleaned your welcome mat? If you can’t remember the answer, you might want to get to it soon. Keeping our homes clean is more important than ever these days, and most of us are doubling down on house cleaning. That’s why it’s crucial to remember to clean your welcome mat often. For those of you wondering how often you should be cleaning your welcome mats, we talked to experts to find out the answer. Before you start, make sure you also check out these home cleaning tips straight from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Why is it important to clean your welcome mat?

“Your doormat plays host to every shoe and paw that’s ever stepped through your door. As a result, it harbors everything from allergens to road dirt to bits of rotting leaves and mulch. If you have pets, the doormat may even house ticks or fleas,” says Sean Parry, cleaning expert at the house cleaning company Neat Services. “Doormats are our first line of defense for keeping our floors clean and dry, yet many of them get neglected which can make them become less effective at doing their job. Regular cleaning can ensure that you keep the dirt and debris to a minimum.”

A 2016 study by researchers at the University of Arizona backs up Parry’s point. The average shoe sole is covered with 421,000 bacteria and 90 percent of those bacteria transfer directly to a clean tile floor on the first contact, according to the report. A 2017 study on shoe bacteria by the University of Houston also showed that more than 26 percent of shoes examined tested positive for C. diff, a bacteria that causes a potentially deadly super diarrhea.

How often should you clean your welcome mat?

doormat welcome matLOUISE BEAUMONT/Getty Images

When it comes to how often you should clean your welcome mats, Kait Schulhof, founder of A Clean Bee, suggests you take a strategic approach. You should shake out your welcome mat to remove surface-level dirt and to keep your welcome mat in good working condition once a week, Schulhof advises. Do a deeper clean of your welcome mat every month, she adds.

“Invest in a stiff bristle brush and use it to loosen up dirt that is trapped in the fibers of your doormat. If possible, hang the mat over a fence and use a broom to bang away the loosened dirt,” she says.

She also suggests that depending on the material of your welcome mat, it isn’t a bad idea to give your mat a quarterly thorough rinse to remove most of the surface level and deeper set dirt. “Fabric mats will also benefit from a scrub with a stiff brush and a small amount of dish soap,” says Schulhof.

What else can you do to be extra safe?

In addition to all these cleaning tips, Tom Klimaszewski, safety and compliance manager at Bee Line Support, suggests you follow some other tips to be extra careful.

“Never place anything onto mats that can be brought into the house, such as book bags, briefcases and grocery bags. Assign an area near the door for shoes to be placed after entering a building,” says Klimaszewski. He also suggests you keep some disinfectant or sanitizer nearby and spray the mats often to help reduce the pathogens that build up.

Next, check out these 17 cleaning tricks for hard-to-clean household objects.

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