Cleaning Guides

How to Clean a Shower Curtain

Ana Anderson /

Many people out there dread the idea of cleaning their bathroom and to be honest – we can’t blame them. Scrubbing tiles, taking care of soap residue, and doing other “pleasant” chores that involve the use of smelly cleaning detergents is no way to spend your Sunday afternoon.

And do you know what is the topmost nasty bathroom cleaning task for many homeowners?

Washing the shower curtains.

No surprise there. Dealing with dirty shower curtains is punishment. Nobody enjoys touching mould, mildew, soap build-up and etc. Still, if you want to have a good looking bathroom, you must face the dirty spots head-on.

In this article, we are going to cover the topic on how to clean a shower curtain. From DIY methods and lazy alternative cleaning solutions to tips on how to pretreat your curtains – we got it all here.

In this article:

How often should you clean your shower curtains?

In order to prevent nasty dirt build-up, it’s recommended that you wash your curtains every two weeks. In that time period, you’ll see how mould will start to show up on the plastic, along with a bit of mildew. If you happen to own a bathroom without proper ventilation, you’ll need to wash your shower curtains once a week.

Pro tip: If you want to cut some time from cleaning shower curtains, especially if find yourself having to wash them every seven days, invest in a second pair. You can swap them when they get mouldy and clean the dirty pair later.

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How to pretreat shower curtains

If you are wondering how to prevent nasty, sticky and most importantly – unhealthy, build-up from forming on your shower curtains, pretreating them is the key to your success.

So, here is the secret behind having clean plastic shower curtains:

Once you open your new curtain, put it inside your washing machine, set the appliance on a rinse cycle and pour some distilled white vinegar inside. When it comes to the heat setting, we suggest a lower temperature. Heat and plastic don’t have the best relationship. You don’t want to end up reading an article about how to remove a melted shower curtain from your washing machine.

After you’ve turned on the appliance, make sure to check the state of the curtains. If needed, lower the heat setting even more.

Once the rinse cycle is over, remove the curtains from the washing machine and hang them in your bathroom so they can dry. That’s it, you are done.

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How to wash your shower curtain

Pretreating your shower curtains can slow down the build-up process, but it won’t stop it entirely. Over time you’ll see how small bits of mould and mildew will start to show up on the plastic. Here are a few effective methods on how to clean the icky stuff:

Clean the curtains in the washing machine

If you are looking for a quick fix, cleaning your curtains in your washing machine is the way to go. Set the appliance on a low heat setting and add a bit of vinegar, baking soda, or laundry detergent. However, you can only choose one. Mixing all of the three cleaning solutions may sound like a good idea, but in reality, it’s not. You risk stirring up a big chemical mess inside your appliance that you’ll have to clean up separately afterwards.

Once the curtains have been washed properly, hand them back on the shower rod to dry.

Remove the mildew with bleach

A good way to destroy the mould, soap scum and mildew lingering on your shower curtains, is by treating them with bleach.

First, you need to take the curtains down and place them in the washer with a few dirty towels, so they don’t get all crinkled.

After that, dilute a half cup of bleach and a bit of laundry detergent in some water. Pour the solution in the washing machine and let the appliance do a few spins with it before placing the curtains inside.

Once you are done washing everything, transfer the items to your dryer and set the appliance on the lowest heat setting for about 10 minutes. Finally, just hang back the curtains.

Get rid of the stains with vinegar

The combination of baking soda and vinegar is a classic one in the DIY cleaning methods. With that being said, you can use the famous duo to wash your shower curtain. But first, there is a bit of preparation you must do.

Again we recommend that you gather a few dirty towels and place them in the washer along with curtains.

After that, get your favourite laundry detergent, some baking soda, and combine an equal amount of the two products. Half of a cup of both will be enough.

Then, set the washing machine on a regular cleaning cycle with the DIY solution and curtains inside. When it’s time for the first rinse, pour 1 cup of white vinegar. Remove the plastic curtains from the appliance before the washer reaches the second spin cycle and hang-dry them.

Use baking soda

If you don’t want to detach and attach your curtains every time, you can always clean them on the spot with a microfiber cloth and every households hero – baking soda. All you need to do is moisten the cloth beforehand, pour some baking soda on top, and start rubbing the curtains. After you are done removing the nasty bits of mould and mildew, get your shower head and rinse the whole thing. Repeat the process if you’ve missed any spots.

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  • Pretreat your new curtains to slow down mould and mildew build-up.
  • When cleaning them in the washing machine, always set your appliance on a lower temperature so you don’t melt the plastic.
  • Place towels along with your curtains when spinning them in the washing machine. This way you avoid crinkles from appearing on the plastic.

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We hope you found our article on how to clean a shower curtain informative and helpful. If you have some extra cleaning tips or experience regarding the topic, please share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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