Choose a Nontoxic Bath Mat

bathroom textiles Jan 02, 2018

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée


Showers and baths are meant to get us clean. Yet, when we step out of the tub and onto the bathmat, our wet feet are collecting bathmat fibers.

Those fibers, as our feet dry and we walk through our homes, become part of the household dust. Depending on what our bath mats are made of, materials can break down over time, releasing chemicals that will become part of our house dust. Dust re-circulates throughout our homes, settling in corners, on countertops and, eventually, into our bodies.

So, what’s the harm in that?

The Harmful Effects of Conventional Bath Mats

Well, in and of itself, it isn’t… depending on what your bath mat is made of.

Bath mats have been found to contain chemicals that may be harmful to health, some of which are potent in tiny amounts.

  • Chlorine – affects eyes, nose, lungs (respiratory) (1)
  • Dioxins – affects skin, development of organs, immune system, and reproduction (having children), cancer (2)
  • Formaldehyde – affects skin, digestive system, immune system, nose, lungs, cancer (3)

Further, when chemicals are combined they may create an unintentional toxin.

That certainly makes a difference, doesn’t it?

Nontoxic Bath Mats

Consider buying nontoxic bath mats as one way to start D-Toxing your bathroom. There are two types of nontoxic bath mats that are easy to find:

1. Organic Cotton

Organic cotton bath mats are made from cotton that is free of chemicals commonly used during the cotton-growing process.  

Some bath mats are made from polyester, nylon and other materials that are petroleum-byproducts that may pose health risks.

Organic cotton bath mats, also known as bath rugs, can be easily found at ‘mainstream’ retail stores such as Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond, Pottery Barn and so many more.

Additional natural fibers that can also be healthy include bath mats made of bamboo, hemp, and linen.

2. Mats without Backing

Choose bath mats with no backing.

Many times bath mats come with an anti-slide backing made from PVC (plastic), or polyurethane foam. Both are made from chemicals that can be toxic.

Cotton and organic cotton bath mats are often made of heavier, thicker cotton, and are free of backing.

Detox your bathroom and your home by swapping bath mats made with PVC for nontoxic options. It’s an easy step in detoxing your home!

Enroll in the D-Tox Academy to gain access to specific brands of products, and tips on how to use and maintain products.  The academy includes short videos and checklists that are helpful when making healthier changes. Detox your home and life at a pace that’s comfortable for you!



(1) Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry - 1 

(2) Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry - 2 

(3) Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry - 3 





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