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Tips on How To Clean Shower Curtain

When you do your weekly bathroom cleaning, you may not think to clean your shower curtain, but they do get dirty and need to be cleaned. Although your shower curtain may not look dirty, it is best to be proactive in cleaning it before any mold, mildew, or soap scum forms. 

Luckily, there are many options for cleaning your shower curtain, depending on the size and material it is made from. Unfortunately, tackling the shower curtain rings may be the most challenging part of sprucing up your bathroom. 

how to clean shower curtain

How Frequently Do I Need to Clean My Shower Curtain?

Performing regular maintenance cleaning on your shower curtain will help prevent issues and extend the life of your shower curtain. It would be best if you did a weekly quick clean on your shower curtain when you clean the rest of your bathroom, and this will allow you to perform a more thorough cleaning monthly or quarterly, depending on your needs and usage. 

How to Regularly Clean Your Shower Curtain

If you perform weekly cleaning for your shower curtain, you can prolong how frequently you have to take it down to clean it fully. One of the best ways to clean your shower curtain is to spray it weekly with a vinegar solution to help break it down and prevent mold and soap scum.  

How to clean your shower curtain with vinegar:

  1. Get an empty spray bottle.
  2. Add one part vinegar to four parts water in your spray bottle.
  3. Pull your shower curtain closed across the rod. 
  4. Spray your mixed solution on your curtain, fully covering it.
  5. Rinse your shower curtain with warm water from top to bottom. 
  6. Let your shower curtain dry fully extended across the rod. 

Cleaning a Shower Curtain in a Washing Machine

One of the easiest ways to clean your shower curtain is to run it through the washing machine. However, you will need to check any tags or listed specific instructions for your shower curtain to make sure they can go into your washing machine.  

Washing Fabric Shower Curtains

Once you have confirmed your fabric shower curtain is okay to go into the washing machine, you can follow these steps to wash it monthly or quarterly. 

  1. Remove the shower curtain from the rings.
  2. Fill your washing machine with warm water on the most significant load and gentlest setting.
  3. You can add a small amount of detergent or a cup of white vinegar for maximum cleaning. 
  4. Add your shower curtain and once the washing cycle is complete, hang your curtain back on the rod spread out fully to air dry. 

Washing Plastic Shower Curtains or Shower Liners

You can wash your plastic shower curtain and/or shower liners in the washing machine, but you will need to wash them separately.    

To wash your plastic curtain or liner:

  1. Remove the shower curtain from the rings. 
  2. Add your plastic shower curtain or plastic shower liner to your washing machine. 
  3. Add a bath towel or two to the washing machine. 
  4. Turn the washing machine on the cold water setting and add a half cup of color-safe bleach, detergent, or vinegar. Please note you can only add one of the chemicals. Adding multiples can result in a chemical reaction and damage your shower curtain. 
  5. Once the cycle is complete, hang your shower curtain on the rod and spread it out thoroughly to air dry.  

Cleaning Your Shower Curtain Rings

While your shower curtains are uninstalled and being washed, you can take a moment to clean your curtain rings. Depending on how dirty they are and the material they are made of, you can either wipe them down with a damp cloth or clean them more aggressively. 

You can clean them with an all-purpose cleaner or white vinegar, depending on what you have on hand. The best way to clean them with the cleaner is to place them in your sink, spray them, wait a few minutes, and then wipe them down and rinse them if needed. If you are cleaning with vinegar, you will need to place them in the sink and fill them with hot water, then add a cup of vinegar and allow them to soak. Once done soaking, drain the sink and rinse the rings with warm water. 

How to Clean a Shower Curtain by Hand

Whether you don’t want to do several more loads of laundry or your shower curtain directly states not to use the washing machine, you can still thoroughly clean your shower curtain.  

Here is the best way to clean your shower curtain monthly or quarterly by hand:

  1. Remove the shower curtain from the rings. 
  2. Fill your tub, large sink, or large bucket with warm water.
  3. Add a quarter cup of baking soda and a splash of detergent to the water and mix until suds form.  
  4. Add the shower curtain to the water mixture and gently move around or scrub spots as needed. 
  5. Rinse well with clean water.
  6. Hang your shower curtain back on the rod and spread it out fully to air dry. 

Cleaning Mold from Shower Curtains

Bathrooms are typically very damp, making them more susceptible to mold and mildew buildup. If you find mold on your shower curtains, all is not lost, and you can still clean it up. An easy way to remove mold from your shower curtains is to:

  1. Use gloves and a mask to avoid breathing in mold spores and keep them off you.
  2. Get an empty spray bottle.
  3. Mix two parts hydrogen peroxide with one part water in your spray bottle. 
  4. Spray the solution onto the mold and allow it to sit for five to ten minutes.
  5. Rinse the shower curtain with warm water.
  6. If any stains remain, you can take a small amount of baking soda and warm water to create a paste and rub on the stain. 
  7. Rinse the shower curtain again with warm water. 
  8. Hang your shower curtain back on the rod and spread it out thoroughly to air dry.  

When is it Time to Replace a Shower Curtain?

After cleaning it thoroughly, you should invest in a new shower curtain or liner when you see any mold or leftover mold stains. Of course, you can replace your shower curtains or liners any time you want a new look or don’t want to scrub the existing ones. However, with proper cleaning, your shower curtains and liners can last several years, saving you more money than constantly replacing them.  

A Note of Caution

Please be mindful of any chemical products that have touched your shower curtain before any of the above suggestions. Mixing chemicals can produce deadly and toxic gasses that harm you or your loved ones. When dealing with chemicals, more is not better! Please do not change any of the suggested levels to ensure proper cleaning and no damage. Lastly, always make sure you are cleaning in a well-ventilated area.

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