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How to Clean a Shower Curtain for a Spa-Worthy Refresh

Jennifer L. Betts
Blue shower curtain in the bathroom

Learn how to clean a shower curtain quickly and easily. Find out how and when you should clean your shower curtain and curtain liner, whether it's fabric or plastic. You'll also get tips for keeping your shower curtain in good condition.

How to Clean Shower Curtains

If you have a dingy plastic or fabric shower curtain, they aren't destined for the trash bin. Learn how to clean a shower curtain and liner easily with only a few tools. However, before you get too ahead of yourself, there are a few basic cleaning necessities to grab.

Supply List

How to Clean Plastic Shower Curtains

When it comes to cleaning a plastic shower curtains, the washing machine might not be the first thing you think of. However, you can easily throw your plastic shower curtain in the washer.

  1. Fill a spray bottle with straight vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.

  2. Spray the hard water stains on the curtain.

  3. Give it a few swipes with a scrub brush.

  4. Take the curtain off the hooks.

  5. Put your shower curtain in the washer with a few towels.

  6. Try to place the curtain so it's wrinkled the least to prevent it looking like crumpled wax paper when done.

  7. Set it to a gentle cycle and cool water.

  8. Add a mild detergent.

  9. Pull the curtain out before the spin cycle.

  10. Hang it on the rod to dry.

How to Clean Shower Curtains Without a Washing Machine

You don't always have to use the washing machine to clean your plastic shower curtain. Instead, you can wash it by hand.

  1. Put the curtain in the tub and submerge it in water.

  2. Add a cup or two of vinegar.

  3. Allow it to soak for 15-30 minutes.

  4. Rinse the curtain.

  5. Dampen a microfiber cloth and dip it in the baking soda.

  6. Scrub any hard water stains remaining.

For this method, you don't even need to remove the hooks.

How to Clean Shower Curtains With Bleach

Do you have mold or mildew on your shower curtain? When it comes to how to remove mold or mildew from a shower curtain, you can reach for the bleach.

  1. Wet a damp cloth and dip it in baking soda.

  2. Scrub at the moldy areas.

  3. Rinse the baking soda.

  4. Place the plastic curtain and a few white towels in the wash.

  5. Add ½ cup of bleach and the recommended amount of detergent.

  6. Hang the shower curtain on the rod to dry.

mold on plastic interior shower curtain

How to Clean Clear Plastic Shower Curtain Liners

When it comes to how to clean a clear plastic shower curtain, you need to first pretreat any stains then work on getting it clean.

  1. Pull the curtain off the hooks.

  2. In a spray bottle, mix a 1:1 vinegar to water ratio and a squirt or two of dishwashing detergent.

  3. Spray down both sides of the clear plastic curtain liner.

  4. Allow it to sit for 10 or so minutes.

  5. Put it in the washer following the instructions for plastic curtains.

  6. In addition to detergent, add ½ cup of baking soda.

  7. Hang to dry.

Clear shower curtain

How to Clean Fabric Shower Curtain or Curtain Liners

Cleaning a fabric shower curtain or curtain liner is pretty simple. Prior to just throwing it in the washing machine, you'll want to look it over for stains to pretreat.

  1. Pretreat stains with straight detergent, working the material with your fingers.

  2. For hard water stains, spray them down with straight vinegar or hydrogen peroxide for white fabric shower curtains and let them sit for 30 minutes to an hour.

  3. Give it a few swipes with a scrub brush.

  4. Put the fabric curtain in the washer.

  5. Use warm or hot water for fabric curtains.

  6. Add the recommended amount of detergent along with ½ cup of baking soda.

  7. In the rinse cycle, add a cup of vinegar.

  8. Allow it to finish the cycle.

  9. Hang on the rod to dry.

How to Keep Shower Curtains Clean

Shower curtains are there with you every time you take a shower, but that doesn't mean they need to be dirty. Instead, you can take a few precautions to keep from having to throw it in the washer all the time.

  • Keep a spray bottle of vinegar in your shower and spray down the plastic shower curtain after your shower.

  • Use your towel to dry off your curtain quickly.

  • Choose the best material for you, either plastic or fabric.

  • Replace it when necessary.

How Often Should You Wash Your Shower Curtain?

You might be thinking that your shower curtain takes a bath when you do, but that is simply not true. The moisture and saturation of the curtain can lead to hard water stains, calcification, soap scum, or mold. To keep your shower curtain and curtain liner in great shape, wash it at least once a month. If you have a large family or your shower gets extra to use, you might want to consider it more often. Now it's time to clean your shower curtain.

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How to Clean a Shower Curtain for a Spa-Worthy Refresh