At first glance, moss bath mats might seem utterly bizarre to keep in your home.
But once you start peering into this unique way of drying your feet after a shower, you’ll soon find it makes a lot of sense.
Not only is moss comfortable to step on, but it’s also natural, organic and has some impressive water absorption qualities that will give any commercially produced bath mat a run for its money.
But before you rush out and buy one of these natural bath mats, we should talk a bit about some of the problems you might face owning one.
Most Common Moss Bath Mat Problems
Moth bath mats can come in a few different forms.
Some common moss types are reindeer, fern, mood or pole.
Its texture and softness might vary a bit depending on which type you use.
You can even get ‘preserved’ moss that isn’t alive but shares similar properties.
Regardless of what type you end up with, they will always work great as substitutes for your regular shower mat.
They absorb water exceptionally well (they are plants, after all) and can hold a massive 20 times their weight in water content alone.
This is ideal if you live in a humid country where when water hangs around too long, mold or mildew follows it.
Moss is exceptional at ‘self-regulating’ and stopping mold and bacteria from growing on them.
So they’re comfortable standing on, cleaning and absorbing a ton of water, perfect!
Well, not so fast.
Let’s look at some of the issues you’ll have to contend with if you decide to fit your bathroom with one of these unique mats.
Keeping them clean
Moss bath mats are very clean in removing dirt and water and are resistant to mold and bacteria.
However, that’s not the only thing that tends to collect on a bathroom floor and if you live in a house with multiple people with long hair, you already know what we mean.
Over time hair and fibers will build up in the mat and need to be removed.
With a regular bath mat, once the hair gets too much, you can easily comb or wipe them off and then throw it in the washing machine and not overthink it.
You can’t do this with a moss bath mat as the shaking in a washing machine cycle would destroy it.
So technically, it doesn’t need washing in a traditional sense, but you will have to keep on top of the hair and fiber to stop them from getting too entangled in the mat.
Potential for bugs
As moss is a living organism, it does have the potential to attract specific bugs that thrive in a mossy-type habitat.
This can be anything from peloridiids or spiders to other living organisms like fungi.
Now your shower is not exactly in the middle of the forest, so don’t expect to be contending while a whole ecosystem of bugs, but it is something you should be mindful of and keep an eye on.
There are a few simple ways to keep on top of or prevent bugs from appearing, which we will cover in the next section.
Can turn hard/brittle
Preserved moss is already a little bit hard anyway, but most regular moss types need a relatively consistent water source to stay hydrated and therefore, soft.
Getting water consistently is not a big problem when your job is a shower mat.
However, if the mat is deprived of water for a prolonged period, it will lose its color, become slightly hard/brittle and potentially even die.
It’s possible to overwater it
While keeping a moss mat hydrated to a degree is very important, it’s also possible to go too far in the other direction to where if you over-saturate, it can also harm the moss.
Fortunately, there are some easy solutions to this and they are straightforward to drain excess water.
But you must remember to do this and be mindful.
Can become malformed over time
As moss is a living organism, over time, as your body weight is pressed upon it, it can become malformed or even start to break away from the base.
So a few simple steps can be made in choosing the right mat and maintaining it well to ensure it holds its shape for as long as possible.
I’m sure it’s no surprise to hear that a plant requires sunlight to thrive, it doesn’t need a lot, but there should be some natural light source making its way into your bath/shower room to keep our moss bath mat nice and healthy.
Can be messy
Usually, moss bath mats have a base underneath them that generally keeps the mat in good shape and held together.
However, they can still tend to litter your floor with debris or bits of moss that have become loose, requiring you to sweep your bathroom floor perhaps a bit more often than you were previously.
How to fix Moss bath mat problems
Some of these issues are problems that need to be kept up with and maintained, while others have some easy fixes.
Follow these steps, and your moss bath mat will remain in great shape for a long time.
1. Regular remove hair and fibers
While it’s perhaps not as convenient as just throwing the thing in the washing machine, this little bit of maintenance is more than made up for in other ways.
About once a month, you can go over the mat with a brush (or even your fingers work) to remove most of the hair.
No other cleaning products are necessary here.
2. Remove or prevent bugs from appearing
Simple day-to-day use of the bath mat already acts as a kind of natural deterrent to bugs as humans trampling over it daily make for a very unhospitable environment.
However, two other significant deterrents you can utilize are using a preserved moss bath mat.
This is where the moss is essentially dead, so bugs won’t want to habituate in it anyway.
But full-preserved moss mats are not as comfy to step on.
So a great middle ground is to use a 50/50 preserved moss and natural moss mat.
It provides most of the comfort and water absorption capabilities that a full real moss mat will offer, but having the real moss patches broken up so much with preserved moss acts as an effective bug deterrent.
3. If you’re not using it – water it
Remember that this is still a living organism and requires water to live.
If, for any reason, you won’t be using your shower for an extended period (let’s say you’re having a bathroom remodeled), be sure to give it some water, so the moss doesn’t dry out too much.
4. Don’t overwater it
Likewise, if you use the shower a lot and the bath mat gets drenched every day, this can harm the mat.
Fortunately, if it does get saturated, you can hang it up over a towel rack or even over the side of the bath to help it drain.
Gravity is your friend here!
Likewise, you should also check for letting excessively hot water soak it which may also damage the mat.
5. Prevent malformation
To stop the mat from breaking apart over time, you can purchase a ‘backing mat’ for it, which will help the moss retain its shape and prevent it from breaking apart.
6. Give it some sun
While it doesn’t need much, a small amount of sun exposure can help keep the mat looking green and feeling bouncy and soft.
If you have blinds in the bathroom, consider lifting them to allow some natural sunlight to make its way into the room.
This doesn’t need direct sunlight, either.
Just some natural light is good enough for moss.
7. Clean it regularly
It’s pretty normal for small bits of moss to come away over time.
Make a habit of sweeping the room to stop the debris from getting too much and making your bathroom look unsightly.