Your doormat is often the first piece people see when they enter your home. A clean, fresh, and well-styled iteration lets visitors know what to expect just beyond the threshold, which is why you want to make sure that your doormat is always in the best shape possible. This means keeping it clean, but also replacing it when its fibers begin to show signs of distress.
Home stores are filled with displays of cheerful, welcoming doormats. But once you get your doormat home, its primary purpose is to keep dirt out of your home. For your doormat to continue to work as it was intended to, you'll have to keep it clean! Luckily, it's very easy to clean your doormat.
Why Clean Your 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. Regular cleaning can ensure that you keep the dirt and debris to a minimum.
When you choose a doormat, select one that is reasonably easy to clean and effectively removes debris from shoes and paws. Be sure it is long enough to walk on with both shoes before going into your home.
How to clean your door mat?
Vacuum or beat out the dirt
All doormats, whatever materials they contain, benefit from a brisk cleaning on a weekly basis using a bit of muscle and your vacuum cleaner. This two-fold process will remove debris and allergens and keep the area around your door tidy. Start by shaking the floor covering outside — this should take away much of the dirt. Some people like to beat it on the sidewalk or other outdoor surface or even hang it from a clothesline and use a carpet beater to remove the dust and other build-up. As you repeatedly hit the doormat, you'll dislodge any muck it has.
Afterward, you can use a vacuum cleaner to get anything that remains, either your regular machine or a smaller hand-held version. You might want to repeat this more, depending on the environment around your home. For example, during snowstorms removing the salt daily from your doormat will prevent people from tracking it indoors (from The Spruce).
Use baking soda to deodorize
Anytime you do a general doormat cleaning, you can add on some extra techniques to spruce it up even more. For instance, baking soda, often used in DIY solutions, works well on your doormat, too.
After you finish your vacuuming and the bulk of the dust and dirt is dissipated, try sprinkling some baking soda on the mat to keep it sweet-smelling, said How to Clean Stuff. You can either use a scrub brush or a broom to sweep the substance into the fibers, then allow it to penetrate them for several minutes. If your mat won't become damaged by water, you can rinse everything off with a hose; the pressure will also help remove any build-up. Make sure that you prop the doormat up as it dries so both sides can become free of the H20. For more delicate mats, you can also simply vacuum up the baking soda, said The Spruce.
How to clean doormat stains
Sometimes the vacuum, broom, and baking soda won't take out the stubborn stains, and you might need some stronger stuff. In cases like these, a mixture of dish soap and water can help, said SFGate. First, scrub the area with the solution and a brush, then leave it for five to 10 minutes to soak. Next, rinse until all bubbles are gone and hang the mat on a clothesline or over your porch's railing or a deck chair — in the sun, if possible. This will help it dry. If you leave it flat and pockets stay wet, all your good work might be for nothing if mildew forms.
WD-40 also recommends creating a solution using a mild detergent and water. You can put this on the stains and work it into them with a toothbrush. Allow this to penetrate the area for an hour, and then take water and paper towels to blot up the cleanser. You can repeat this process until the mat is like new again.
Use antimicrobial spray on doormats
Besides cleaning your doormat regularly, you can keep all those nasty bacteria, germs, or viruses at bay by using an antimicrobial spray in between all your doormat housekeeping endeavors. Such a spray won't prevent everything, of course, as Sweeping Dimensions Cleaning Service said, but it will keep your floor mat smelling clean and allow its surface to stay sanitized.
You can use a DIY version or something more commercial, such as an off-the-shelf product like Lysol. Don't forget to wear reusable or plastic gloves when spraying; you want it on your mat NOT irritating your hands, said Martha Stewart. You should also evaluate your doormat as you perk it up, added Sweeping Dimensions Cleaning Service. These handy mats are tough, but they don't last forever. If you see it crumbling or coming apart, it's time to buy a new one. Sometimes the best way to keep your floors clean is to remove and replace the doormat.
Consider going shoe-free inside
Sometimes cleaning is about prevention. If you reconsider where you leave your shoes — say, on the front porch before you come in — you will make your doormat's work so much easier. "A shoe-free home is a clean home!" said Jenna Arkin, vice president of innovation at ECOS, to Martha Stewart. "Leaving shoes just inside the door after using the doormat ensures that you're not tracking extra dirt and soil inside the home." Keeping shoes off not only makes those doormats cleaner, but it prevents all that dirt, oil, and bacteria from ever entering your home, said Healthline. Plus, less vacuuming and cleaning prevent some wear and tear for your carpets and floors.
To go shoeless, you can create a shoe area on your porch, mudroom, or by the front door. You can leave a shoe rack there and even put out slippers for those who dislike going barefoot. For visitors, you can simply ask if they mind leaving their shoes (and their dirt) at the door.
How to prevent your door mat from fading?
Maintain a Cleaning Schedule
While it's not necessary to deep clean or change your doormat every week, it's a good idea to follow this schedule to avoid tracking in unwanted dirt or allergens.
Weekly: Shake out the doormat when you sweep your porch or after your lawn is mowed. A good shaking will remove a lot of dust and dirt that otherwise might be tracked into your home. You can also help dislodge dirt ground in the mat by smacking the mat against an outside surface such as the sidewalk. After shaking, you can quickly vacuum the doormat to make sure all the dirt got out, whether you use a small hand-held or traditional vacuum cleaner. Doing this weekly will help keep dirt and stains out of your doormat.
Monthly: Vacuum the doormat, if you haven't already, to release deeply embedded dirt that shaking alone won't always reveal. This is a good time to inspect your doormat and make sure it's still in good condition. If your doormat has a strange smell, you can use baking soda to get rid of the odd odor. Put some baking soda on your doormat and let it sit for ten minutes before using a scrub brush to rub in the baking soda. You can let the mat sit for about five more minutes before vacuuming.
Seasonally: Be sure to follow your manufacturer's instructions, but many outdoor doormats can be rinsed off with a garden hose. Some tougher spots may need a tiny bit of mild dish soap. This is ideally done seasonally to get your doormat in great shape for whatever weather the next season brings based on your particular location. For example, in winter you may want to use a sturdy mat outside that doesn't hold onto moisture and prevents mold, mildew, mud, and muck. When the streets are salted, sweeping or vacuuming the salt off your doormat on a frequent basis will make sure it doesn't get into your home and ruin your floors.