5 Steps To Proper Bath Mat Etiquette

In the comfort of our own homes, we don’t tend to think twice about following any proper etiquette, let alone bath mat etiquette! But what happens when you’re a guest?

Perhaps you’re staying with friends soon, or need to impress your future in-laws, whatever the circumstance, there are certain unspoken rules that you should follow when using someone else’s bathroom.

Bath mat etiquette may seem a step too far for many, and it’s easy to see why you may think that. However, it all boils down to leaving the bathroom as neat and clean as you first found it and showing respect to your hosts and the efforts they have gone to.

Here are our 5 bath mat etiquette rules dry off before stepping onto the mat: clean the mat; don’t leave the mat in the tub; don’t use show towels and use a spare towel on the mat.

What Is Bath Mat Etiquette?

Whether you use a bath mat, a towel, your bath mat etiquette, or simply none of the above, whatever you do in the comfort of your own home isn’t for anyone else to judge and of course we all let our cleaning wait a bit longer than we should from time to time.

When staying with guests, certain rules are considered respectful and polite to follow from the products you use (or don’t) and even bath mat etiquette.

Not everything is as simple as leaving the toilet seat down, and following our 5 steps to proper bath mat etiquette is a great way to make sure you are not left out of every social event or considered to be a low-level lodger.

5 Steps To Proper Bath Mat Etiquette

While the term bath mat etiquette sounds posh and overly complicated, it isn’t as difficult as you may think and if you are a regularly welcomed guest then you probably already follow these rules without a second thought!

1. Dry Off Before Stepping onto the Mat

Of course, we are all secretly thinking that drying off before stepping onto the mat that is designed to soak up water is a little bit strange, but no one wants to be left to deal with a soaking wet bath mat on their bathroom floors.

The first and arguably most important rule of bath mat etiquette is to dry off as much as you can whilst still in the tub or shower to avoid soaking the floor.

A great tip is to dry the soles of your feet as you get out to avoid carrying water out of the tub with you and completely defeating the point of drying beforehand.

2. Clean the Mat

Once you are all finished, make sure you leave the mat clean and ready to use again. It is polite to squeeze the rug out into the bath or shower before you leave so no one is left with a wet mat to deal with.

You could either hang it on the side of the bath if it was still quite wet or put it onto a towel rack, but make sure it won’t dampen any clean towels that are present.

3. Don’t Leave The Mat In The Tub

This brings us to the next rule, of where NOT to leave the mat. Even if the mat is soaked, you should never leave it directly inside the sink or bathtub.

Even if you are lazy enough to do this in your own house, doing it in someone else’s house where they would be left to clean up after you is considered a big offense to many who appreciate bath mat etiquette.

bath mat etiquette

4. Don’t Use Show Towels

Want to know how people end up with Instagram-worthy bathrooms at all times? Show towels! These towels are usually easy to spot and will have a pretty design or embroidery on them and are purely there to make the room look nice.

Although we often grab the closest clean towel when we jump out of the bath or shower, pay attention and make sure you’re not about to use a show towel as this would ruin any bathroom or bath mat etiquette.

5. Use A Spare Towel On The Mat

Our final golden rule to achieve impeccable bath mat etiquette is to use a spare towel on top of the mat.

Whether you use one towel or three to dry yourself off, using one on top of the bath mat is the best way to achieve ultimate bath mat etiquette and save yourself from needing to mess around with a wet mat once you’re done.

Bathroom Etiquette Do’s & Don’ts

Now we have covered the 5 steps to proper bath mat etiquette, other unspoken bathroom rules are more than just cleaning up your mess or putting the seat down.

You should never search through someone’s bathroom cupboards or cabinets if you are a guest as this is quite rude or invasive to your hosts. If you need to know where something is, just ask.

This links nicely to our next rule which is to never use someone else’s soap. This may seem obvious to some people, but you should never assume you can use another person’s bathroom products and should bring your own along.

Other cleanliness etiquette rules include rinsing the bath out after yourself, making sure you’re not leaving hair across the sink or flooring and taking showers as short as possible as you never know if someone has an older heating system with limited hot water.


Are you supposed to hang bath mats?

After having a shower, the best way to avoid the growth of mold is to hang your bath mats to dry so they don’t stay damp for long periods which encourages bacterial growth.

Where is a bath mat supposed to go?

Larger bath mats are designed to go in front of your bathtub or shower, and smaller ones can be placed by the bathroom sink. If you are limited in space in your bathroom then you can place a smaller mat for daily use by the shower and a runner across the rest of the floor,

Can you leave a bath mat in the tub?

Not only is it considered rude in bath mat etiquette, but it is also a bad way to encourage possible rusting on your tub and mold growth in your bath mat.

Can you use a towel as a bath mat?

If you are desperate then you can use any towel in place of a bath mat and it will do the same job as a bath mat would.


Bath mat etiquette may seem like obvious rules to follow for those of us who are used to staying as a guest, but you might be surprised to see how many people are blissfully unaware of the carnage they leave behind them after they have had a shower or bath,

As long as you are clean and respectful when using someone’s bathroom then you’re more than likely already following the 5 steps to proper bath mat etiquette.