How To Clean Shower Curtains

Has it been a while since you cleaned your shower curtain? It might be high time to throw it in the wash.

It might seem strange to wash something constantly surrounded by soap and hot water, but it turns out shower curtains get grimy really fast if they’re not cleaned regularly. The good news is, cleaning a shower curtain is really simple, as long as you know the right way to do it.

Can You Machine Wash a Shower Curtain?

Worried about your washing machine damaging your shower curtain? Don’t be. Sure, washing it in hot water can definitely do more damage than good. But as long as you use the proper settings and water temperatures, your washing machine will thoroughly clean plastic and cloth shower curtains, as well as plastic shower curtain liners.

How to Clean a Cloth Shower Curtain

Here is the step-by-step process for cleaning a cloth shower curtain in a washing machine:

  1. Start by removing the rings and separating it from any plastic liners.
  2. Set your washing machine to “gentle” and the water temperature to “warm.”
  3. Add one cup of white vinegar and a few drops of detergent to the washing machine.
  4. Run the washer for one cycle.
  5. Remove the shower curtain, put the rings back on and hang it up to air dry on the curtain rod.

How to Clean a Plastic Shower Curtain

To clean a plastic shower curtain or a plastic shower curtain liner, follow the same steps listed above, but with a couple of key differences.

The chance for mold and mildew buildup on the plastic liner is much higher since it’s frequently exposed to a ton of moisture. To combat this, add a cup of bleach to the wash instead of the cup of vinegar. Also, be sure to throw a couple of white bath towels in with the load — they’ll help scrub the curtain during the wash cycle.

And never, never dry your plastic liner or shower curtain in the dryer. The heat will melt the plastic into an unusable mess that could easily gum up and ruin your dryer. Have you heard about shower curtain effect? This phenomenon happens after you turn on the shower. As you stand there, the shower curtain drifts toward you, sometimes sticking to you.

Harrison Kral
After spending his college summers pouring concrete and building decks, Harrison Kral decided to find a way to put his insider knowledge of construction to use…. just in an air-conditioned setting. He’s an established writer and editor in the DIY space who has written extensively on the home building industry, the housing market, and general DIY trends.