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Everyday Cheapskate: How to Fix a Bathmat That's Lost Its Anti-Slip Backing and More

Mary Hunt on

Got a slippery throw rug? A bathmat that's lost its backing after just one too many trips to the clothes dryer? Today's first reader can certainly identify.

I've got great news for both of you, and it's something you may have already that's sitting on a shelf in the garage.

Dear Mary: Is there any way to rescue throw rugs that have lost their rubber backing? They are no longer safe on the floor when they slip around, but the tops are in perfect shape. I hate to throw them out. There must be some kind of adhesive backing available to buy or make. -- Mary M.

Dear Mary M.: There is. In fact, you have a couple of options.

To Repair: To give a bathmat or other type of area rug some traction to give it a new lease on life, flip it over and apply lines of acrylic-latex caulk every 6 inches or so. Once dry, you can safely use that rug again; the rubbery strips of caulk will hold it in place.

To Restore: Another option is an excellent product, Fiber-Lok Non-Skid Rug Backing. You may be able to find this locally, at select Staples, Joann or Walmart stores, but for sure online on Amazon. It comes in a pint, quart or gallon. As I write, Amazon prices are the most reasonable and have the added benefit of Prime shipping on the pint and quart options.


Use a paintbrush to apply this rubbery liquid to the back of a bathmat, carpet runner or area rug using a paint brush, being careful to follow the label instructions.

Once applied and allowed to fully cure, both rugs treated with acrylic-latex caulk and Fiber-Lok Non-Skid Rug Backing are washable.

In the future, I suggest you not machine-dry mats and rugs with rubber backing. The heat has a way of breaking down the some types of rubber, which could be the reason you're facing the task of repair and restoration.

Hope that helps!


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