Keeping the dishes clean after being washed is one of the most important things to do in the kitchen. The use of dish drying mats is one of the ways to do it.
Dish drying mats are made of a durable non-woven fabric that can be used repeatedly. These mats are designed to absorb any water on the dishes.
You might love how your dish drying mats look, but they may harbor harmful bacteria if you don’t wash them regularly. But can you wash dish drying mats?
This article examines whether you can wash your dish drying mats and how often you should wash them.
Can You Wash Dish Drying Mats?
Dish drying mats are great accessories that help you quickly dry your dishes. Since they absorb a lot of water, they can get dirty.
Over time, a dish drying mat will likely get dirty and accumulate grime if used a lot. Regularly washing your mat is essential to keeping it sanitary and clean. As a result, you will be able to extend the life of your mat and keep its water-absorbing ability.
You can wash a dish drying mat, depending on the material. Generally, if the mat is made from synthetic absorbent materials (like microfiber), it can be machine washed at 30°C and allowed to dry by air.
When the mat is made from natural fibers (like cotton), it may be best to hand wash it in warm water and allow it to air dry. Air drying the mat will prevent shrinkage and preserve its shape.
How to Wash Dish Drying Mat?
The best way to wash your dish drying mat is on the gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent in your washing machine. It will help remove food particles and grease, but avoid using bleach or harsh detergents that may damage the fabric.
If the mat has stains, it’s a good idea to pre-treat them with a stain remover first, then toss it in the washer. If you are extra cautious, place it into a mesh laundry bag before putting it in the washing machine.
Listed below are four methods to successfully wash your dish drying mat to keep it in great condition so you can use it repeatedly.
- By lifting one edge, see if any food particles are stuck in the nooks and crannies of the dish drying mat. If so, scrape them off.
- Put your dish drying mat in the washing machine with items of similar color, such as silicone baking mats, kitchen towels, or pot holders. Set the water temperature to warm and wash cycle to delicate.
- Add a small amount of detergent but avoid any bleach or fabric softener because this could harm your dish drying mat.
- Close the washing machine door and turn it on.
- If possible, use a low spin speed setting. High spin speeds can damage both the mat’s plastic frame and material.
- Once you’re done washing, take the dish drying mat out of the washing machine and place it on a flat surface to air dry.
- Try not to put your dish drying mat in the dryer, which will cause its fibers to break down over time, making it less absorbent.
- Try using a hairdryer on low heat to speed up the drying process.
If you’d like to maintain the appearance of your dish drying mat, here are the steps for cleaning it by hand.
- Wipe the mat down with a wet cloth first. It will remove any loose dirt or food particles that are still wet.
- Rinse the mat with hot water in the sink to loosen crumbs.
- Pour warm water into a sink or large basin and add gentle dish soap (or laundry detergent) squirt.
- Submerge the mat in soapy water and agitate it gently with your hands until all food particles are removed. Use a soft-bristled brush or sponge to remove stains or stuck-on food residue.
- Rinse thoroughly under running water until no more soap bubbles appear, and then gently squeeze out as much water as possible.
- Be sure not to wring it out (you could damage the fibers), but instead squeeze it dry before laying it on a flat surface to dry.
Washing Using Baking Soda
To wash dish drying mats with baking soda, follow these steps:
- Make a cleaning solution using baking soda and water.
- After placing the dish drying pad in the sink, sprinkle it with the baking soda mixture. Then, use a brush or scrubber to remove all stains and dirt from the mat.
- Rinse thoroughly with cold water to remove residue, then let it dry completely in the sun before using it again.
Washing Using Vinegar
Remove all debris from the mat by hand. Run the mat through a normal wash cycle with laundry detergent and an extra rinse cycle. Allow the mat to dry in a high-temperature setting.
You can disinfect your dish drying mat with vinegar by following these steps:
- Add ½ cup of distilled white vinegar and 2 cups of water to a spray bottle.
- Apply the mixture to both sides of the mat and let it sit for 15 minutes.
- Then, scrub any remaining stains with mild dish soap and rinse with warm water.
How to Dry a Dish Drying Mat?
The two easiest ways to dry a dish drying mat are:
Allowing your mat to air dry is the best way to dry it.
- Make sure the mat is sitting flat on a hard surface.
- Allow the mat to dry thoroughly in a well-ventilated area.
- If you cannot place the mat on a drying rack, hang it on a dishtowel over a sink or bathtub to allow the water to drain as it dries.
You can speed up the process by using a dryer.
- Turn the dryer to the lowest setting and let it run for about two minutes. It will help remove the excess water from the mat.
- Be sure to set the dryer to a low or no-heat setting, such as air-dry or fluff-dry (if it has that setting), so the mat doesn’t shrink.
How Often to Wash Dish Drying Mat?
You probably don’t need to be surprised to learn that dish drying mats should be washed after each use. Food, water, and other particles are trapped in the mat’s fibers. The longer you wait to clean it, the more particles will accumulate.
If you want your mat to last longer, wash it regularly. Typically twice per week is recommended. It may seem like a lot, but as I mentioned, your mat will quickly break down if you wait any longer than that.
There are many benefits to silicone dish drying mats, and they can be a great addition to your kitchen. If you wash your dish drying mat promptly and adequately, there is no reason why it won’t last for many years.