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How To Clean Your Shower Curtains and Shower Curtain Liner

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For some, the clinging dirt and stubborn stains are a sign to throw away the shower curtains and liner, but there’s an easy way to make the curtains look new again!

Before you decide to get new shower curtains and liners, it would be great to wash the existing ones and see if you can reuse them. It’ll not just save you a lot of money, but you don’t have to worry about the hassle of purchasing new stuff.

How To Clean Shower Curtains

How to clean shower curtains? Can you toss them in the washing machine, or do they need gentle cleaning by hand?

I’ve been washing the shower curtains and liners for quite some time after I saw one of my friends cleaning them, and it’s as easy as it sounds.

In this article, I have covered a detailed process to clean the shower curtains and liners.

How To Clean Shower Curtains

Below, I’ve explained a detailed process to clean different types of shower curtains and liners, including plastic, vinyl, fabric, and more. So check the type of curtains you have, and hop on the right cleaning process.

How To Clean Plastic Shower Curtains

Plastic shower curtains are the most commonly used in bathrooms. Fortunately, cleaning them is easy because the material is non-porous and does not absorb dirt and soap scum.

Teal Bathroom Plastic Shower Curtain with Magnets

How to Clean Plastic Shower Curtain by Hand

This is the easiest and quickest method to clean the shower curtain. First, take a bucket full of water with two tablespoons of baking soda in it. Next, dip a soft microfiber cloth in the water and scrub the plastic shower curtain.

Scrub every corner to remove the stubborn stains and dirt marks. Once done with scrubbing, rinse the curtain and let it dry. Lastly, spritz some fresh scent so that the curtain smells great and hang it in place.

How to Clean Plastic Shower Curtains in the Washing Machine

The best part about plastic shower curtains is that they can be washed in a washing machine as well. Toss the shower curtains in the washing machine one by one, and add some gentle detergent.

Also, add one or two tablespoons of baking soda to get rid of the smell. Finally, run a wash cycle, and hang the curtains to dry.

Plastic shower curtains don’t get dirty easily, so you don’t have to worry about washing them every month. However, it would be nice to wash the curtains 5-8 times a year, depending on the condition of the plastic.

Cleaning the shower curtain properly will keep the soap scum away, thus making the bathroom look spick and span.

How To Clean Vinyl Shower Curtains

Cleaning vinyl shower curtain isn’t very different from the plastic curtain cleaning process since both materials are durable and don’t wear out easily.

Amazon Basics Water Resistant Vinyl Shower Curtain Liner

Things You Need for Cleaning Vinyl Shower Curtains

  • Laundry Detergent
  • ½ cup of Baking Soda
  • White Vinegar


Remove the shower curtains from the rod, and remove all the hooks. Put the curtains in the washing machine and add laundry detergent, baking soda, and white vinegar.

Next, run the wash cycle, and hang the curtains to dry. Repeat the process for all curtains, and dangle them on the rod after they dry.

How to Remove Mildew Stains from Vinyl Shower Curtains

The regular washing machine cleaning won’t be enough to get rid of the stubborn mildew stains, so you have to go through another route to make the curtains squeaky clean.

As per the American Cleaning Institute, you can use safe color bleach to tackle mildew stains. Fill a tub with warm water, and add one cup of liquid bleach. Soak the curtain in the bleached water, and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Rinse the curtain, and let it dry in the shade.

If you are looking for a more natural cleaning approach, you can use white vinegar and a soft scrub to remove the stains by hand. Keeping the curtain dipped in the cleaning solution will help remove the stains easily.

Once done, let the curtain dry and you can hang it on the curtain rod.

How To Clean Fabric Shower Curtains

Out of all the types, fabric shower curtains require the most care, and you can’t be harsh to them while cleaning. You can either clean the curtains by hand or use a washing machine.

Nautical Stripe Design Shower Curtain

How to Clean Shower Curtains in Tub by Hand

When cleaning the fabric shower curtain by hand, you need to soak it in a tub full of warm water. Add 1:1 bleach and liquid detergent and stir it using a plastic rod. Make sure to submerge the curtain under water so that it leaves the dirt and gets cleaned properly.

You can add an extra spoon of color-safe bleach to clean the clinging dirt. Keep the curtains soaked for around 10-15 minutes, and dry them in the shade.

When Cleaning Fabric Shower Curtains by Washing Machine

Cleaning the fabric curtains by washing machine also requires the same items, i.e., bleach and liquid detergent. Put the curtains in the washing machine, and add a 1:1 solution of liquid bleach and run the wash cycle.

For filthy curtains, you can add one more tablespoon of bleach, but make sure to not over-add it. Using warm water will help disinfect the curtains, while the bleach exterminates the foul smell.

Next, put the curtains in the dryer, and let them dry properly. However, air-drying will prolong the lifespan of the curtains.

How to Remove Mildew Stains from Fabric Shower Curtains

Wondering how to clean shower curtain mold? Well, mildew stains are not very common on fabric curtains if they are washed properly. However, if your curtains have these stains, it’s necessary to clean them right away.

Take a small bowl with a small amount of liquid detergent and bleach. Put the solution over the stains, and blot it using a sponge or microfiber cloth.

Be gentle when cleaning the stains, and use good quantities of the solution to get rid of the mildew quickly. Once done with removing the stains, put the curtain in a bucket full of warm water and two tablespoons of liquid detergent. Air-dry the fabric curtains, and rehang them in place.

How to Clean a Shower Curtain Liner

LOVTEX Clear Shower Curtain Liner

Cleaning the shower curtain liner is equally important as cleaning the curtains. Below I’ve mentioned some quick and easy steps to remove the built-up mildew stains and dirt on the go. Also, following this cleaning process will enhance the lifespan of the liner.

  • Take the shower liner down, and put it in the washing machine.
  • Add detergent and a soft bath towel to scrub the liner while it’s getting washed.
  • Run the washing machine on a gentle cycle, and wait for the wash cycle to complete.
  • Hang the curtain liner to dry, and install it back with the curtains.

Some folks even prefer cleaning the curtain liner by hand in order to preserve its shape. If you have a fancy liner, make sure to clean it by hand so that the material remains intact and doesn’t damage due to the powerful blows of the washing machine.

How to Clean Shower Curtain Rings

Titanker Shower Curtain Hooks Rings

Next comes the turn of the curtain rings that are often the most overlooked part of a shower curtain. Usually made using plastic, cleaning the curtain rings is the simplest. Follow the below-mentioned steps and get rid of dust, dirt, and mildew from the rings.

  • Take a bucket full of warm water, and add two tablespoons of liquid detergent.
  • Put the rings in the bucket, and clean them thoroughly.
  • Scrape off the dust and dirt using your fingers, and rinse the curtain rings.
  • Rub them off with a towel to dry, and install them quickly.

Unless you have some fancy curtain rings with beads on them, you can rub them with your fingers. For rings that are too delicate, submerge them in a soapy solution, and rinse.

Tips to Keep Your Shower Curtain Clean

It is essential to follow these shower curtain cleaning hacks if you want the curtains to remain cleaner for longer. Else, you’ll have to spare time every month cleaning the curtains and their liners.

 How to Keep Shower Curtains Clean

1. Rinse the Curtains After Every Bath

Mold grows on the curtains when they are wet and dirty, so you should rinse the curtains regularly in order to remove the soap scum. If possible, you should use a soft microfiber cloth to clean the curtains without making them wet.

2. Use a Gentle Detergent

Never use a harsh detergent when cleaning the curtains and the liners because the harsh chemicals can affect the material. It would be great to do a strip test before you clean the entire curtain.

3. Lukewarm Water Cleans Better

Using warm water will clean the curtains more quickly than using cold water. Also, the detergent and bleach function effectively when mixed with warm water.

4. Iron them for Quick Drying

The curtains may take hours to dry completely, and if you are in a rush, use iron. You can only iron fabric curtains since plastic and vinyl cannot withstand excessive heat. Iron the curtain gently, and you can dry it within minutes.


Q1: How to Clean a Shower Curtain Without Taking It Down?

Teal Bathroom Plastic Shower Curtain with Magnets

A1: Rinse the entire shower curtain from top to bottom, and scrub it with a soft sponge to remove dust and dirt. Rinse again, and you can clean the curtain without taking it down.

Q2: How do I Clean the Bottom of my Shower Curtain?

A2: The bottom of the shower curtains remains in contact with the floor, so it gets the dirtiest. Use a soft sponge, and take some liquid detergent on it. Dip the sponge in water, and rub the curtain’s bottom with it. Once done, rinse the curtain, air-dry it and rehang.

Q3: Does Bleach Damage the Curtains?

A3: Yes, excessive use of bleach can damage the curtains. Also, you should only use gentle bleach that is ideal for cleaning purposes. Always read the care instructions of the curtain before experimenting with anything on it.

Q4: How to Make a Shower Curtain Mold-resistant?

A4: The primary cause of mildew growth is moisture, so you should keep the curtains protected from moisture in order to keep them mold-resistant. Use a vinyl liner with the curtains to keep them dry.

Also, regular cleaning will help keep the curtains away from the mold.

Q5: How to Clean Designer Shower Curtains?

LIVILAN Fabric Floral Shower Curtain Set

A5: Designer shower curtains are delicate, so you should always clean them by hand. Use a bucket full of warm water and some gentle liquid detergent to clean the curtains.

Final Thoughts

So, here’s how to clean shower curtains like a pro to enhance the lifespan of the curtains and to keep them in good shape. Make sure to go through the care instructions of the curtains to follow the right cleaning procedure.

If the instructions say don’t use bleach, never bleach the curtains as it may damage the color. Lastly, it is crucial to dry the curtains properly before rehanging them.


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