The kitchen is one place that hygiene really matters. The purpose of a dish mat in your kitchen is to absorb water dripping off your clean utensils. For this reason, the mat is always a wet kitchen item that easily attracts bacteria, mold, and mildew.
If a drying mat is not regularly cleaned, it starts having a foul smell and forming stains. The general appearance of a dirty mat will be unattractive and the smell would be a total turnoff.The key to a clean dish drying mat is proper maintenance. A well-maintained drying mat will look new even after a long period of use. Read on to understand how to properly maintain your mat.
You May Like:
How Often Should Dish Drying Mats be Washed?
The fact that a kitchen is a busy place means that the drying mat will be perpetually moist. If there is no proper ventilation, the mat might be a perfect spot for mold to thrive. You should wash the mat at least once a week to maintain proper hygiene.
Cleaning Dish Drying Mats
Before delving into the method of cleaning your dish drying mats, it is necessary to read the manufacturer’s instructions on whether the mat is machine-washable or not. Drying mats with rubber backing, for instance, need extra care when cleaning as they may deteriorate on high heat dry cycles.
Method 1: Machine Wash
This method is the fastest and easiest way of washing your dish drying mats. All you have to do to get it done is:
- Vacuum the rag before putting it in the washing machine.
- Shake off any dirt on the drying mat.
- Fold the mat into two.
- Place the mat into the washing machine.
- Set the machine to a gentle cycle and the water temperature to warm or hot to kill the mold.
- Pour cleaning detergent in with the mat to clean.
- After it’s done, take out the mat and dry it under a shade to prevent fading by the sun.
After washing, you can dry microfiber dish drying mats on minimum heat settings. Remember also to not overload the machine or wash the mats in cold water. You should, however, follow the manufacturers cleaning instructions, especially on timing. Always use hot water on polyester made dish drying mats and set the washing speed to minimum to extend the mats useful life.
Method 2: Handwashing
Not all dish drying mats can be machine washed. Some can only be hand-washed, and it’s a better choice in extending your mat’s life.
What you will need
- Laundry detergent
- Add some warm water into your basin.
- Pour a cup full of laundry detergent into the water and vinegar to kill any mold and bacteria.
- Put the mat into the basin with water.
- Scrub the dish mat softly using a sponge both on the front and back sides. Scrubbing hard will damage your mat.
- Rinse your mat with warm water.
- Hang your mat in the laundry room and, not under the sun, to prevent discoloration.
- Use it after it is fully dried.
NOTE: Do not use any bleach, sheet dryers, or any fabric softener
Cleaning rubber dish drying mats
Some mats have a rubber backing that might quickly attract mildew and mold. If the rubber is tossed in the washer, it can degrade rapidly, especially if put in the dryer.
Use a soft sponge to clean both sides and pour some vinegar while scrubbing. Go ahead and hang the mat to dry and make sure both sides get enough fresh air.
If you go for the option of cleaning it in the machine, place the mat into the machine and set it to warm water, wash it for a few minutes and lastly take it out and hang it to dry.
Note: Do not dry it in the dryer. The heat will cause the rubber to flake away.
If the mat has any stains on it, pour some baking soda on the stains and scrub softly with a brush. A dishwasher is also useful in removing the stains.
Cleaning with a spray solution
This is the third method you can use in cleaning rubber dish drying mats. It’s a bit of the vinegar trick but somehow different. Check these steps:
- Take one-fourth of vinegar and water and make a solution.
- Fill the solution into a clean spray bottle.
- Spray the solution all over the mat
- Scrub the mat gently using a soft cloth. Do not rub it too hard.
- Scrub well till no smell or dirt is seen.
- Rinse it under running water
- Dry it either under a shade, sun, or fan
Cleaning Mold off Dish Drying Mats
The mats in a busy kitchen can quickly get moldy. A damp mat acts as a breeding ground for these harmful fungi. Ensure you regularly clean the mat, get rid of unpleasant odors and any mildews. Drying them after every use is also a crucial thing to keep molds at bay.
To get rid of the mold, add vinegar and washing detergents and scrub the mold off. If you clean it in the machine, add some unused dish towels and the mat into the machine and add vinegar to eliminate mold. To prevent an increase in their growth, ensure you clean it at least once a week and hang it to dry after every use.
How to Stop you Drying mat From Getting Moldy
These simple measures prevent dish drying mats from getting moldy. Here are the precautionary steps to prevent rugs from being moldy: –
- Keep mats dry after every use.
- Hanging them outside in the sun is good.
- After cleaning, always air dry them to stop mold growth.
- Give your mat a good vinegar and water soak.
- Keep your kitchen windows open.
- Wash the drying mats regularly.
Getting rid of mildew smell on Your Dish Drying Mats
No one likes the mildew smell lingering in our dish drying mats. After all, you might instantly feel like your utensils are dirty. The good news is that you can get rid of the smell quickly.
- Place the dish drying mat into the washing machine with a cup of distilled vinegar. Set to warm water and access them after the cycle is complete.
- If there is a lingering smell, wash a second time with a cup of baking soda.
- If the smell is gone, dry them accordingly.
Preventing Mildew Smell on Your Mats
Mildew formation on your mats might be typical as the mat is usually wet. After cleaning the mat and they get their fresh smell, follow these steps to keep the mildew away: –
- Avoid leaving the non-slip mats draped over the counters for too long. This will encourage mildew growth. If the mildew smell is on the tips, hang the mat to dry.
- Keep your kitchen ventilated. Always open your kitchen windows when the weather is nice.
- Keep the mats clean. Wash your mats regularly, depending on your intervals of usage.
There you have it! By now, you know how to take care of your dish mats. These mats demand constant care and attention to keep bacteria, mold, and mildew at bay. Remember to keep the mats dry and follow the above cleaning guide, and you will be surprised at how fresh and clean your drying mats will be.
Jennifer D. Simon has spent the last 26 years studying and practicing nutrition science. She has used a larger part of this time in improving people’s livelihoods. She has done so by coming up with unquestionable ideas on how to tackle food problems in her community. Read More