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How to Clean Shower Curtain and Liner at Home

A hot spot for bacteria

Whether you’re cleaning the toilet, shower, or sink one can make the proper deductions that the bathroom area can be a host for bacteria if not cleaned properly. High levels of moisture from taking hot or warm showers can lead to mold and other germs that stick to the surrounding environment.

One of the biggest problem areas is the shower curtain and liner. Many homeowners end up either removing these shower counterparts in exchange for new ones or scrapping the shower curtains for shower doors. Both of these options are incredibly costly and will leave a dent in your wallet.

For those new homeowners who don’t have experience in cleaning duties, we got you covered. The importance of having clean shower curtains and liner is critical when maintaining your bathroom area, bacteria can immediately make your bathroom a less appealing place to be in or to use when you glance at yellow stains or overwhelming mold.

Picture this: you decide to have a get-together with friends, so you invite them over to your home. Before this gathering, you give your home an inefficient cleansing. Believe it or not, there will be a guest who ventures into your bathroom and notices the small details.

This will eventually put off any guest from returning to your home or using your bathroom. Maintaining your home is not only aesthetically pleasing for guests but also puts into question your health and wellbeing. A good start to cleaning your bathroom is cleaning shower curtain and liner, this task is also extremely easy when you have the right strategies.

While many homeowners simply end up hiring a laundry service, we’ll show you a few ways and strategies on how to clean shower curtains.

For Cloth Shower Curtains

What is the best way to clean shower curtains made of cloth?

Cloth shower curtains are a bit more complex to cleanse than plastic curtains so for this next strategy, you will need to get detergent and white vinegar.

For cloth shower curtains

We suggest using white vinegar as it not only removes tough bacteria-ridden stains but also washes away any leftover odor. Luckily you will be able to let the washing machine do the work with the following steps:

  1. Remove shower curtains from the rings: although this is a no-brainer, many new homeowners can accidentally remove shower curtains with the rings on.
  • Start your washing machine and use the warm water setting: A high temperature can have anti-bacterial benefits for your shower curtain.
  • Add a small amount of detergent and one cup of vinegar: With this powerhouse combination, you’ll be able to rid yourself of any stains or smelly odors attached to the shower curtain.
  • Put in the shower curtains: The washing machine must be on a gentle setting to not ruin the cloth.
  • Air dry: When it comes to cloth curtains, it is favorable to have them air dry so there aren’t any loose threads or discoloration. Place the shower curtains back into the rings and let it air dry.

Plastic Shower Curtain

How do you clean plastic shower curtains?

Before going straight to the washer, first, you will need to inspect your plastic shower curtain to spot any mold, spores, or mildew.

Plastic Curtain

It is important that if your shower curtain has any of these bacterial areas to tackle them with bleach or a similar solution like vinegar with baking soda. Simply using detergent might not cut it when it comes to more serious conditions like these.

When it comes to plastic shower curtains, you can use a washer to clean them, however, it is necessary to follow these steps to ensure that the shower curtains stay properly intact:

  1. Remember to always have it on the cool setting: hot or warm water tends to melt the plastic.
  • Add in some bath towels: This will keep the shower curtains from swooshing around too much which could end up also ruining them if done too hard.
  • Never put the plastic shower curtain in the dryer: as we mentioned earlier, any form of heat can result in melted plastic, so you must keep the plastic shower curtain as far away from the dryer as possible. 
  • Air dry: last but not least you will need to hang it back up on the shower curtain rod so it will air dry or hang it up outside for some time until it is slightly damp. 

Shower Cleaner Liner

What is the best way to clean the shower cleaner liner?

The shower cleaner liner can have even dirtier areas than the shower curtain since it tends to be closest to the shower making it an inevitable hot spot for mold due to the high levels of moisture and warmth.

Shower Liner

Most homeowners end up discarding the shower liner every month and buying a new one, often resulting in a costly expense that can be avoided. For the shower curtain liner, you will need to:

  1. Remove the curtain liner from the shower curtain rod: you will also be able to wash the shower curtain liner in the washing machine.
  1. Remember the bath towels: Bath towels are the best way to ensure that the shower liner is completely cleansed in the washing machine.
  1. Always on gentle setting: It is a critical step needed to avoid damaging the shower liner in the washing process.
  1. Air dry: Hang the shower liner back on the curtain rod to dry.

If the shower liner has mold, mildew, or persistent stains you can also give it the bleach treatment. You can also add half a cup to one cup of baking soda mixed in with the detergent before washing the liner, this will help boost the probability of removing the problem areas efficiently.

Once it is in the rinse cycle, you can add half a cup or one cup of distilled white vinegar. This will help lessen any odors that it also may have.

A Faster Cleansing

 What is a good strategy for a quick cleansing for shower curtains?

 If you ever find yourself needing to expedite the cleaning process due to unforeseen circumstances such as an impromptu visit from guests or family. We’ve all been there, a visit from the in-laws or those spontaneous friends who like to drop in, then as soon as they step into your home with judging eyes, they see an unkempt mess of a space.

White Vinegar as a Disinfectant Method

For those who have some time before the visit, fret not, you can wash the shower curtain at the least to prep the bathroom by following these steps:

  • Mix one part white vinegar to four parts water: After mixing the solution, pour into an empty spray bottle. 
  • Extend the shower curtain: Make sure that the shower curtain is extended to its full length before spraying the solution to get every part.
  • Spray the solution on the bathtub side: The inner side of the shower curtain is usually the grimiest so it is necessary to spray this area mostly.
  • Scrub the bottom if stains are persistent:  Some stains are particularly more difficult to remove than others, for those we recommend using a brush or sponge to loosen the dirt or grime.
  • Rinse the curtain:  The final step is rinsing the curtain with either a handheld showerhead, a bucket of water, or a spray bottle filled with water. Make sure to rinse from the top-down, getting all areas of the curtain.

After this you will extend the shower curtain so that it can air-dry, to mask any lingering odors it is recommended to use an odor-free freshener spray. Using vinegar and water is a powerhouse combination as vinegar breaks down any mold or grime easily. This should help you steer clear from any judgmental eyes from visitors.

Deep Clean Solution

What are some ways to deep clean a shower curtain and liner?

Many homeowners decide to skip out on shower curtain cleaning duties due to their unawareness or laziness.

The dirt and grime eventually accumulate for months, this could lead to foul odors or mold which will make the bathroom look even more unsightly. In terms of health, mold can lead to sickness or allergic reactions. This is why it is especially important to maintain your shower curtain.

 However, fear not, if you find yourself dreading the abnormally grimy state of your shower curtain then there is a deep cleaning method that can work well against the stubborn dirt or stains. Here are the steps:

  • Hand washes: to get some of these stains out, you can hand wash and scrub the shower curtains in the bathtub or sink.
  • Baking soda: we cannot stress enough the magic of baking soda, you will use a quarter cup of baking soda and a small amount of detergent 
  • Odor-free freshener: to mask any odor, either use an odor-free freshener or vinegar rinse to completely disperse any foul smells. 
  • Air dry: No matter which way you wash your shower curtain, air drying is the only way to dry your shower curtain to avoid damage that could occur in a drying machine. 

The alternative to this deep cleaning method is to wash it in the washing machine, which will be less of an effort, however, it can be less efficient as it doesn’t spot treat the shower curtain or liner.

In this case, you can spray a vinegar and water solution on the stubborn areas before putting the shower curtain in the washing machine. This will assist in removing the stains or dirtier areas completely after removing them from the machine.

We also suggest throwing the shower curtain in with some towels if it’s plastic to keep the curtain from sticking together and not washing properly. When it comes to this deep cleaning method, we suggest putting a warm or hot setting on the machine as the heat will likely kill any bacteria.

Once it is clean, you can go ahead and let it air dry like the previous method as well. These methods are sure to do the trick when you’re faced with a shower curtain that hasn’t been cleaned in weeks or months.

Tips For Shower Curtain Maintenance

What are some tips when it comes to maintaining your shower curtain?

If you want to avoid having to deep clean your shower curtain or make too much of an effort trying to scrub away the stains, we suggest some of these tips that will avoid your shower curtain getting dirty on a weekly or monthly basis.

  1. Keep your shower curtains extended: This will help the shower curtain fully dry in between showers, when it is bunched up the leftover moisture will lead to mold.
  • Swap bar soaps for body wash:  Many are unaware of this little-known fact, but bar soaps tend to cause more grime build-up in the shower than body wash. 
  • Odor-free freshener: When it comes to keeping your shower curtain in great shape, you will also need to tackle the odor problem every week by spraying or applying an odor-eliminating freshener of your choice. 
  • Exhaust fan: Some homeowners have an exhaust fan in their showers which can help lower the humidity that arises when taking a shower. Running the exhaust fan is a must and can decrease the chances of mold. 

Other than these tips, it is critical to clean your shower curtain on a weekly or biweekly basis to avoid more serious issues such as mold, mildew, or overflowing bacteria. 

When you wash shower curtain, you’ll have one less area of the shower to worry about. Naturally, since the shower curtain and liner are a hot spot for bacteria, you will decrease the risk of it spreading throughout your bathroom. Now, you can save those twenty to thirty dollars you would spend on a month-to-month basis on new shower curtains and you can say hello to a clean mildew/mold-free shower space.


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