How to Clean a Shower Curtain


Shower curtains are subjected to water, soap and general humidity, in addition to typical household dust and dirt from daily handling. Periodic cleaning must address the removal of grime, mold, mildew and soap scum. It's not necessary to wash the entire shower curtain every time you clean the bathroom. You can, instead, spot clean weekly and schedule overall cleaning at less frequent intervals, such as monthly. Fabric shower curtains are typically used with a liner, which is cleaned in the same manner as a vinyl curtain.

Things You'll Need

  • Chlorine bleach
  • Soft scrub brush
  • Watering can (with a spout or sprinkler head)
  • White vinegar
  • Detergent
  • Baking soda

Spot Clean

  • Leave the shower curtain in place and locate any spots of mold or mildew that need to be cleaned.

  • Mix a solution of nine parts water and one part chlorine bleach. Dip a soft brush into the solution and use it to gently scrub away any spots of mildew, mold or grime.

  • Pour water over the inside of the curtain to rinse away the bleach solution. A watering can with a spout or sprinkler head works well.

  • Spray the inside of the curtain with vinegar if it shows numerous hard-water spots. Let it sit for 15 minutes and use the watering can to do a final rinse.

Wash in the Bathtub

  • Fill the bathtub halfway to the top with warm water. Add 1 cup of bleach.

  • Remove the shower curtain from the hooks that hold it onto the rod and submerse it in the bleach water. Let it soak for 30 minutes.

  • Drain the water from the tub. Add enough fresh water to cover the shower curtain, and use your hands to swish it in the water to rinse.

  • Drain the water and shake the excess from the shower curtain. Replace the curtain on the hooks and allow it to drip dry.

Wash in a Washing Machine

  • Remove the shower curtain from the hooks that attach it to the rod. Place it loosely in the washing machine around the agitator. Add two to three towels to the load.

  • Set the washing machine for a cold-water wash on the gentle cycle. Add 1/4 cup detergent and 1/4 cup baking soda to the machine.

  • Add 1 cup of white vinegar to your machine's liquid fabric softener dispenser, if it has one, and start the machine. If there is no dispenser, stop the machine as soon as the rinse cycle begins and pour in the vinegar.

  • Remove the shower curtain from the washing machine at the end of the cycle. Carry it to the bathroom in a laundry basket.

  • Hold the shower curtain over the bathtub and shake off the excess water. Re-hang it using the hooks on the shower curtain rod. Allow it to drip dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Turn on the exhaust fan to remove excess humidity while the shower curtain is drip drying.
  • Washing a shower curtain with a few towels keeps the vinyl from sticking together, protects the material from tearing and helps scrub soil from the curtain.
  • Wear plastic gloves to protect your hands when using bleach or bleach solutions.
  • Protect fabric shower curtains by hanging a liner on the inside of the curtain. Wash the shower curtain and liner and separately.

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