Why You Should Keep a Pants Hanger in the Shower

published Nov 6, 2023
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Someone holding plastic pants hanger
Credit: Sarah Crowley

There are a few housekeeping situations that have always been somewhat of a conundrum for me. Among these are how to store rags that are still in use in the kitchen without them getting musty and what to do with clothes that have been worn but don’t need to be washed yet. 

I have my ways of solving these problems: To try to prevent perpetually soggy rags, I use Swedish dish cloths that dry quickly (or at least more quickly than regular rags). Then I hang them on an octopus hanger to dry completely before tossing them in the rag laundry basket. For clothes that aren’t quite dirty but aren’t quite clean, I hang them on accordion hooks in my closet until they’re ready to be tossed in the laundry hamper. These solutions aren’t perfect — the cloth sits wet for longer than I’d like and sometimes my clothes stretch out a bit from being hung on hooks — but they solve real-life daily problems. 

I recently came across a solution for another little thing that’s always been tricky for me to figure out — in this case, related to bath mats. 

No matter what kind of bath mat I buy, one thing stays the same: They need to dry between showers or they get moldy. And drying them isn’t as simple as it sounds. Leaving them on the floor isn’t an option, because the lack of air circulation is just asking for mold issues. Usually, I hang them up over the side of the bathtub, but that doesn’t offer any more air circulation than leaving the mat on the floor!

Credit: Shifrah Combiths

Then I learned that you could use a pants hanger to dry your bath mat. I love this solution because it’s such a simple, straightforward solution that doesn’t require any extra equipment. I, for one, have several unused pants hangers in my closet. I also appreciate that setting it up involves nothing more than hanging a hanger over the shower curtain rod, which can stay there unobtrusively, waiting to do its unexpected duty as a bath mat dryer. 

Hanging my bath mats on a pants hanger will help me go longer between washes, and ultimately help my bath mats stay nicer and last longer. I won’t have to worry about mold and I’ll get to enjoy stepping on a nice, dry, absorbent mat rather than one that’s all too often still damp from a family member’s earlier shower. 

I may still be on the hunt for a bath mat that I really like, but I know now how to best take care of the ones I already have.