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How to Clean a Cloth Shower Curtain

A shower curtain is essential to any bathroom, providing privacy and keeping water from splashing all over the floor. However, over time shower curtains can become dirty and covered in soap scum, mold, and mildew. Cloth shower curtains require even more attention and care to keep clean and hygienic. In this article, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to clean a cloth shower curtain, including natural and chemical cleaning solutions, tips for preventing mold and mildew, maintenance tips, and common mistakes to avoid. We will also discuss alternatives to cloth shower curtains and answer frequently asked questions.

Why It’s Important to Keep a Cloth Shower Curtain Clean

Keeping a cloth shower curtain clean is crucial for several reasons. It helps keep your bathroom fresh and clean, has several hygienic benefits, and can prevent mold and mildew buildup. Regularly cleaning your shower curtain can help extend its life and prevent you from replacing it too frequently.

Hygienic Reasons

Over time, shower curtains can accumulate bacteria, mildew, and mold due to the moist environment in the bathroom. These can cause health problems such as respiratory issues and allergies. Therefore, it’s essential to keep your shower curtain clean.

Prevention of Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew can accumulate on shower curtains due to constant exposure to water and humidity. If left unchecked, mold and mildew can cause significant damage to your bathroom and lead to unpleasant odors.

Regular cleaning of your cloth shower curtain can prevent mold and mildew buildup, keeping your bathroom fresh and odor-free.

Preservation of Shower Curtain

Keeping your shower clean and free of mold and mildew can help prolong its life. If you neglect to clean your shower curtain, it will weaken, and you will have to replace it more frequently, which can be costly.

Steps for Cleaning a Cloth Shower Curtain


Before cleaning your cloth shower curtain, remove all the rings or hooks holding it in place. Put your curtain in the washing machine along with a few towels. This will help prevent the curtain from wrinkling or getting tangled during the wash cycle.

Removing Soap Scum and Stains

Spray a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water on the affected areas of your shower curtain and let it sit for a few hours. Then gently scrub the curtain in a circular motion using a scrub brush or a sponge.

Washing the Curtain

Once you’ve removed all the stains and soap scum, it’s time to wash your shower curtain. Place it in the washing machine with mild detergent on a gentle cycle. Avoid using hot water and bleach, which can damage your shower curtain.

Drying the Curtain

Once the washing cycle is complete, remove the shower curtain and hang it to dry. Do not use a dryer, as it can cause shrinkage or damage to the curtain. Ensure it is dry before hanging it back up in your bathroom.

Natural and Chemical Cleaning Solutions

Natural Cleaning Solutions

Vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice are excellent natural cleaning solutions that help you clean your cloth shower curtain. These are all readily available in most households and can save money and time.

Chemical Cleaning Solutions

There are several commercial cleaning solutions available for cleaning shower curtains. These are formulated specifically for cleaning shower curtains and can remove tough stains. It’s essential to read the manufacturer’s instructions before using any commercial cleaning solution.

Pros and Cons of Each Solution

Natural cleaning solutions are generally non-toxic, eco-friendly, and readily available. They are also less expensive than commercial cleaning solutions. However, they may not be as effective as commercial cleaning solutions in removing tough stains.

Commercial cleaning solutions are formulated specifically for cleaning shower curtains and can remove tough stains quickly. However, they can be expensive, and some may contain harsh chemicals that can harm the environment.

Tips for Preventing Mold and Mildew on Shower Curtains

Proper Ventilation

Ensuring proper ventilation in your bathroom can help prevent mold and mildew buildup on your shower curtain. Use exhaust fans or open a window during and after showers to allow proper airflow.

Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning is essential to prevent mold and mildew buildup on your shower curtain. Aim to clean your shower curtain at least once a month to keep it looking fresh and clean.

Using a Shower Liner

Using a shower liner can protect your cloth shower curtain from direct exposure to water and soap scum, preventing mold and mildew buildup. Shower liners are inexpensive and easy to replace, making them a great investment.

Maintaining a Clean Cloth Shower Curtain

Daily Maintenance:

If you want to keep your cloth shower curtain clean and fresh for longer, it’s important to maintain it on a daily basis. After every shower, wipe down the curtain with a squeegee to remove moisture or soap residue. This will prevent mold and mildew from forming and keep your curtain looking clean.

Weekly Maintenance:

Once a week, it’s important to give your cloth shower curtain a more thorough cleaning. Start by removing the curtain and giving it a good shake outside to remove any loose dirt and debris. Then, toss it in the washing machine with a couple of towels to prevent it from wrinkling. Use a gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent. Once the cycle is complete, hang the curtain back up to dry.

Monthly Maintenance:

Giving your cloth shower curtain an extra deep clean every month is a good idea. This will help to remove any stubborn stains or buildup that may have accumulated over time. To do this, soak the curtain in a mixture of one part vinegar and three parts hot water for an hour before washing it in the machine. This will help to kill any bacteria and remove any buildup.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Shower Curtains

Using Hot Water:

One of the biggest mistakes people make when cleaning cloth shower curtains is using hot water. Hot water can cause the fabric to shrink and fade, ruining your curtain. Always use cold water to wash your cloth shower curtain.

Using Bleach:

Another mistake people often make when cleaning cloth shower curtains is using bleach. Bleach can damage the fabric and cause it to weaken over time. Instead, use mild detergent and vinegar to clean your curtain.

Using Too Much Detergent:

Too much detergent can leave residue on your cloth shower curtain and cause it to become stiff. Use a small amount of detergent, and make sure to run an extra rinse cycle to ensure all the soap is removed.

Alternatives to Cloth Shower Curtains

Glass Shower Doors:

If you’re looking for an alternative to cloth shower curtains, glass shower doors are a great option. They are easy to clean and give your bathroom a modern, sleek look.

Plastic Shower Curtains:

Plastic shower curtains are another option if you don’t like the look of glass shower doors. They are easy to clean and come in various colors and patterns.

Shower Liners:

A shower liner is a great option to protect your cloth shower curtain from water damage. They are affordable and easy to clean and can help to extend the life of your cloth shower curtain.


How Often Should You Clean Your Shower Curtain?

It’s recommended to clean your shower curtain once a month to prevent the build-up of mold and mildew. If you notice any stains or spots, clean them as soon as possible.

Can You Put a Cloth Shower Curtain in the Washing Machine?

Yes, you can put a cloth shower curtain in the washing machine. Use a gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent to prevent damage to the fabric.

What Is the Best Way to Remove Mold from a Cloth Shower Curtain?

Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle to remove mold from a cloth shower curtain. Spray the affected area and let it sit for 30 minutes, then rinse with cold water and hang dry.

Can You Use Bleach to Clean a Cloth Shower Curtain?

Bleach can be used to clean a cloth shower curtain, but it’s not recommended as it can damage the fabric and cause discoloration. Instead, try using a natural cleaning solution like vinegar or baking soda.


Bath Arcadia
Bath Arcadia