You always want to keep this front-of-house staple spotless, but sanitizing it during the COVID-19 pandemic is especially important.

By Nashia Baker
November 12, 2020
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mature woman and dog walking on doormat and out of the front door
Credit: Getty / Thomas Northcut

No one wants to drag dirt and hazardous germs into their homes—especially now, as the world continues to fight off the COVID-19 virus. Keeping your home clean and tidy is something that actually starts at the front door. According to Jenna Arkin, the vice president of innovation at ECOS, using a doormat is a good first step in the fight against grit, grime, and germs. "If used properly, doormats can act as the first line of defense for incoming dirt and soils," she says. "All the dirt captured by your doormat is dirt that you don't need to clean off of your floors!" This means, however, that your doormat is, well, dirty. Ahead, Arkin shares her best tips for cleaning and sanitizing this essential household accessory.

Routine Cleaning

Arkin suggests rinsing off your doormats at least once per week. "For weeks that have inclement weather or higher traffic in and out of the house, twice a week may be necessary," she notes. The more dirt-free your doormat, the better off your floors will look, she adds: "Cleaner doormats are able to collect more dirt, and a clean doormat ensures you aren't tracking in new dirt when you enter the house."

Extra Step

While water alone can effectively rid your mat of excess dirt and debris, an extra step is occasionally necessary. "If a doormat becomes particularly dirty, [like] after a storm, you can use a detergent—such as ECOS Laundry Detergent ($16.24, amazon.com), which is greywater safe—to give it an extra deep clean," Arkin shares. "Once per season, I recommend a deep clean—either with added soap or with a power washer. This ensures that you're trapping dirt and not carrying it inside."

Clean Before You Disinfect

Since you're spending a lot of time cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces, you know how important it is to keep a surface cleaner on hand and at the ready. The same goes for cleaning your doormat. "A good surface spray cleaner like ECOS All-Purpose Cleaner ($2.39, walmart.com) is a great choice for cleaning high-touch surfaces before disinfecting them," Arkin says. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) guidelines, make sure you are wearing reusable or disposable gloves when disinfecting household surfaces and materials, including your rugs and doormats. The CDC recommends simply using soap and water first to reduce any amount of germs, then using a disinfectant to kill the bacteria on contact.  

Shoe-Free Home

As an added tip, Arkin recommends keeping shoes off when wandering through the house. "A shoe-free home is a clean home!" she says. "Leaving shoes just inside the door after using the doormat ensures that you're not tracking extra dirt and soil inside the home."

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