Because they are regularly exposed to so much water and humidity, shower curtains can become moldy and mildewed. Additionally, they can become grimy from soap scum and hard water stains. While most home cleaning experts agree that shower curtains can be safely laundered in a washing machine, whether or not they can be safely dried in a dryer depends upon the material the curtain is made of and the expert you consult.
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Fabric Shower Curtains
Inspect your shower curtain to see if it has a care label. If so, follow the instructions on the label. If not, hang the curtain back up on the shower rod to dry, or try it in the dryer on a low heat setting, checking it every few minutes. Chances are it will come out fine, especially if it made of polyester or a polyester blend.
Vinyl Shower Curtains
When it comes to vinyl shower curtains, experts give conflicting advice. While the cleaning experts at the "Mrs. Clean" website advise hanging them to dry after shaking out any excess water that the machine did not spin out. Cleaning maven Heloise, on the other hand, recommends placing a vinyl shower curtain in the dryer and setting the heat at low, or air only. Vinyl can melt, so check on it every few minutes. Or, play it safe and hang it to dry.
Specialty or Novelty Shower Curtains
Specialty or novelty shower curtains include those that are embellished or have an unusual design. For example, a very formal, luxurious bathroom may have a shower curtain with fancy fringe or other trimmings that could become damaged if you dry it in the dryer. Whether your specialty shower curtain is embellished or plain or made of fabric, vinyl or some other material, play it safe and hang it to dry.
Washing a Shower Curtain
Before washing your shower curtain, check to see if there's a care label. Because shower curtains are made to withstand water and humidity, chances are it is washable. Heloise suggests filling the wash basin to its highest point, and throwing a couple of towels in to help "scrub" the shower curtain. The experts at "Mrs. Clean" recommend using warm or hot water, and adding one cup of soap and one cup of bleach. Keep in mind that bleach may lighten or spot colored fabric shower curtains.