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How to Clean Shower Curtains

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1
How to Clean a Shower Curtain in a Washing Machine
A white washing machine contains a load of white laundry in a laundry room.
  • If your shower liners or curtains are labelled machine washable, begin by detaching them from the shower curtain rings. 
  • Place them in the washing machine along with one or two clean, white towels, which will help scrub the curtains and liner while keeping them from wrinkling. 
  • Add mixture of half a cup of baking soda to the usual amount of gentle laundry detergents or mild all-purpose cleaners.
  • Run on the washing machine’s warm, normal cycle. 
  • Stop after the rinse cycle – the spin cycle is usually unnecessary when cleaning shower curtains or liners. 
  • Reattach to the curtain rings and allow to hang dry. 


Tip: Most shower curtains and liners don’t need to be sent through the dryer and will adequately hang-dry in the shower. An exception is shower curtains of heavy natural fibers, which may need to tumble dry and be ironed afterward. Check instructions. 

2
How to Wash Shower Curtains With Deep Stains
A person pours laundry cleaner into a cap atop a white washing machine.

There are two alternate methods for how to clean a shower curtain liner or curtain with stubborn stains. 

  • Run in the washing machine as above, but use mixture of 1/2 cup laundry detergent and 1/2 cup baking soda. Before the rinse cycle, add 1 cup of vinegar. After the rinse cycle, hang the curtain and liner to dry. 
  • For the more stubborn stains, run in the washing machine as above, but use mixture of 1/2 cup chlorine bleach and 1/4 cup mild laundry detergent. Only use bleach on white or transparent shower curtains. 
3
How to Wash a Shower Curtain by Hand
A gray shower curtain hangs outside a bathtub in a white bathroom.
  • Sprinkle baking soda on a damp, microfiber cloth
  • Scrub the entire shower curtain. 
  • Rinse with a clean, damp cloth until all the baking soda is removed. 
  • If the curtain has more stubborn stains, scrub them again with baking soda until the stains are gone, then rinse again. 
4
How to Clean Shower Curtain RIngs
Shower curtain rings hang on a shower curtain rod in a bathroom.

This method allows you to clean your shower curtain rings.

  • Remove the rings from the shower curtain rod.
  • Fill a bathroom sink with warm water and a cup of white distilled vinegar.
  • Soak the rings while the curtain is in the wash, then drain and rinse with warm water. 
  • Any stubborn soap scum residue can be removed with a brush or even your fingernails. 
5
Tips for Shower Curtain Maintenance
Vinegar, baking soda and a spray bottle stand next to a bucket for mixing a cleaning solution.

Knowing how to wash your shower curtain is important, but shower curtain maintenance can prevent mildew from happening in the first place. 

  • Shower curtains should be washed at least seasonally, and more often if the bathroom has poor air circulation or otherwise frequently sees visible mold or mildew. 
  • To keep mildew at bay, mix a solution of half water and half vinegar, and spray the shower curtain every day. 
  • If you keep your shower curtain and liner clean, they should not need replacement unless they become torn. 

Having a dirty shower curtain and liner may keep you from feeling completely clean. Knowing how to wash a shower curtain and keeping up with regular maintenance are important parts of keeping your bathroom fresh.