A shower curtain is a practical and decorative accessory for your bathroom, but it can also become a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and soap scum if not cleaned regularly. These stains can make your shower curtain look dirty, smell bad, and even affect your health.
You don’t have to throw away your shower curtain when it gets grimy. You can easily clean it and restore its freshness and beauty with simple steps and common household products.
What You Need to Clean a Shower Curtain
Depending on the type and condition of your shower curtain, you may need different tools and ingredients to clean it effectively. Here are some of the items you may need:
- A washing machine
- Laundry detergent
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- Bleach (optional)
- A spray bottle
- A microfiber cloth
- A dryer or a clothesline
How to Clean a Fabric Shower Curtain
A fabric shower curtain is usually made of cotton, polyester, or nylon and can be washed in a washing machine like other linens. However, you should always check the care label for specific instructions from the manufacturer before washing your fabric shower curtain.
Here are the general steps to follow:
- Remove the shower curtain from the hooks or rings and place it in the washing machine with a couple of towels. The towels will help balance the load and prevent wrinkles.
- Add your usual laundry detergent and 1/2 cup of baking soda to the washer. You can also add 1/4 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle for extra cleaning power and odor removal.
- Choose a gentle cycle with warm water and the highest water level. Avoid using hot water or bleach, as they may damage or fade your fabric shower curtain.
- Once the cycle is complete, shake your shower curtain and hang it back on the rod to air dry. You can also tumble dry it on low heat if the care label allows.
How to Clean a Plastic Shower Curtain or Liner
A plastic shower curtain or liner is usually made of vinyl, PEVA, or EVA, and it can also be washed in a washing machine with some precautions. Alternatively, you can clean it with a spray solution and a cloth.
Here are two methods to choose from:
Method 1: Washing Machine
- Remove the shower curtains or liner from the hooks or rings and place it in the washing machine with a few towels. The towels will help prevent crinkling and scrub off dirt and residue.
- Add a small laundry detergent and 1/2 cup of bleach to the washer. Bleach kills mold and mildew spores, but ensure your shower curtain or liner is white or transparent to avoid damage.
- Choose a gentle cycle with cold water and the highest water level. Do not use warm or hot water, as it may melt or warp your plastic shower curtains or liner.
- Skip the spin cycle if you are washing plastic shower curtains or liners, as it will not retain water. However, you may want to spin the towels separately.
- Shake out your shower curtains or liner and re-hang it on the rod to dry.
Method 2: Hand Washing
- Remove the shower curtains or liner from the hooks or rings and spread it on a flat surface.
- Make a cleaning solution by mixing one part white vinegar and four parts water in a spray bottle.
- Spray the solution on both sides of the shower curtains or liner, focusing on any stained areas.
- Let the solution sit for 10 minutes, then wipe it off with a damp microfiber cloth.
- Rinse the shower curtains or liner with clean water from top to bottom.
- Re-hang it on the rod to dry.
How to Prevent Mold and Mildew on Your Shower Curtain
The best way to keep your shower curtains clean and fresh is to prevent mold and mildew from forming. Here are some tips to help you do that:
- After each shower, pull the shower curtains closed instead of leaving them bunched up on one side. This will help it dry faster and more evenly.
- Use your bathroom fan or open a window while showering to reduce humidity and moisture in the air.
- Spray your shower curtains or liner with a vinegar solution once a week to prevent mold and mildew growth. You can use a commercial mold, mildew remover, or bleach solution, but rinse well afterward.
- Wash your shower curtains or liner at least once a month to remove any dirt and soap scum that may accumulate on them.
- Replace your shower curtains or liner when it shows signs of wear and tear, such as holes, tears, or cracks.
To clean fabric shower curtains, take them off the hooks, and wash them in the machine with mild detergent, towels, and cold water. Air dry or low heat in the dryer.
Yes, you can clean a vinyl shower curtain in the washing machine. Remove detachable parts, such as hooks or weights, and place the curtain in the machine. Add a small amount of mild detergent and a few towels for scrubbing. Run a gentle cycle with warm water. Hang the curtain to dry or reinstall it while still damp.
Mix water and white vinegar in equal parts to remove the shower curtain mold. Scrub with the solution using a brush or sponge. For tough stains, try baking soda and water. Rinse and dry fully before hanging again.
Clean a plastic shower curtain liner with warm water and mild detergent. Fill the sink with warm water, add detergent, and agitate to create suds. Scrub gently with a sponge or brush. Rinse and hang to dry.
It is recommended to clean your shower curtains every two to four weeks to prevent the buildup of soap scum, mold, and mildew. However, if you notice visible stains or odors, it’s best to clean it sooner. Regular cleaning helps maintain a clean and hygienic shower environment.
A shower curtain is an essential part of your bathroom decor, but it can also become a source of dirt and germs if not cleaned properly.
Following these simple steps and tips, you can clean your shower curtains and get them looking like new in no time. You will also enjoy a cleaner, fresher, and healthier shower experience.