How to Clean a Doormat

It Only Takes 15 Minutes To Clean Your Doormat

Brown doormat with white shoes on top and behind houseplant

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

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. It only requires three items and 15 minutes of your time.

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.

What You'll Need

These three doormat cleaning materials will help you when it comes time to clean: a vacuum cleaner, a garden hose, and mild dish soap. Some people also use baking soda, a broom or a scrub brush, and a clothesline, depending on their cleaning method. Do check the manufacturer's directions before using anything other than a vacuum to clean your mat.

Materials for cleaning a doormat laying on tan carpet and brown doormat

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

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.
Brown doormat being shaked by hand to remove dirt

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

Black vacuum hose passing over brown doormat for deeper cleaning

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

Baking soda sprinkled on brown doormat and brushed through to remove odors

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

Brown doormat washed down with garden hose

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

Mild dish soap added to tough spots on brown doormat

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald