Best Ways to Clean a Dirty Shower Curtain and Liner!

We all get cleaned ourselves in bathrooms but have you ever noticed that the more cleaner you get in your shower, the dirtier your shower curtain and liner can become? Apart from dust and soap scum, the heat and moisture can produce conditions that can grow mold and mildew. Yes, that’s true. So how to clean a shower curtain?

These days many people prefer to use shower curtains as they not only keep water in its proper place (just like a shower door), gives privacy, but it is also a great decorative bath accessory that looks stylish and aesthetic. There are many types of best curtains available in the market, such as vinyl and plastic shower curtains, fabric shower curtains, and microfiber shower curtains.

But no matter what type of curtain you choose, one thing is sure that they all will be going to get dirty. When they are exposed to bath soaps, body soil, and lots of moisture and humidity, they get dirty, and if not properly cleaned, there can be a growth of mildew.

“A study shows that a shower curtain can contain 60 times more bacteria than your toilet seat. In fact, shower curtains and liners are the dirtiest spots in the bathroom.”

This is true that it is challenging to keep shower curtains and liners clean and tidy, but not anymore if you know the correct way! Today in this blog, we’re going to tell you how to clean shower curtains in the right and easy way. So whether you have plastic curtains, layered or luxury ones, or cotton curtains, all these methods will work for them. So, make them clean and keep your bathroom environment healthier.

How to Clean Shower Curtains

Clean Shower Curtains

This cleaning guide includes washing methods for all types of shower curtains. Basically, curtains can be washed in 2 ways: In a Machine or By Hands! But before you follow any of the below-washing procedures, check the label for any special washing instructions. If you find any fiber content, washing, water temperature instructions, it’ll be better to follow them.

So, let’s start with the fabric curtains:

What You’ll Need


  • Heavy-duty detergent
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Oxygen-based bleach (optional)
  • Chlorine bleach (optional)


  • Washer
  • Dryer

How to Clean Fabric Shower Curtains

Clean Fabric Shower Curtains
  • First, take your shower curtain down to get the best cleaning results. Slowly and carefully remove it from the shower rod, check the rings or hooks to see if they need cleaning or not. (further, in the blog, we’ve also described how to clean the shower curtain rings).
  • You can also check where there are any rips or tears in the curtain or not.
  • Use a heavy detergent and warm water, then put it in the washing machine on the permanent press cycle.
  • After your curtains are washed, it’s time to dry them. For that, use a dryer.
  • Set the dryer on a medium to low heat setting for tumble dry. Make sure to remove your curtain while it is still slightly damp. This will prevent set-in wrinkles. Later hang them, and even if there are any wrinkles left, they’ll go as soon as they finish drying.
  • Some of the fabric curtains with heavy materials need ironing. Just look for the care instructions to select the right ironing temperature.
  • After ironing, you can hang your clean shower curtains.

Note: If you feel that there is a lot of soap scum in your curtains, you can also include or mix one cup of distilled white vinegar in the washer.

How to Remove Mildew Stains From Fabric Shower Curtains?

Sometimes after the wash, discoloration from mildew and the stains remain. If this happened with your curtains, use an oxygen-based bleach and water solution to remove them. Just soak them away in this solution for at least four hours overnight. After this, rinse them well and dry.

If your shower curtain is made from natural fiber like cotton or linen and it is pure white, use a solution of chlorine bleach and water. Mix both the solution in equal parts and soak your curtains in it for 15 to 30 minutes. Ensure that you do not soak the curtains for longer than this because chlorine bleach is harsh, and it can result in yellowing, holes, or weak fibers.

Repairs & Storage Of Fabric Shower Curtains

If your fabric curtain has some holes or it got ripped, worry not because you can easily repair them. Either by hand- or machine-stitching with a matching thread, you can repair them in under 10 minutes.

For storage, just make sure that they are completely clean and dry. Just fold them and store them in a box or hang them over a padded hanger in a closet.

How to Wash Vinyl Shower Curtains

Wash Vinyl Shower Curtains

Another type of curtains that people are using in their shower is the Vinyl or plastic ones. The reason is that they do an excellent job of keeping water inside the shower enclosure. They’re generally made of PEVA or polyethylene vinyl acetate or PVC or polyvinyl chloride. They also come in various designs and weights; that’s why many people are using them as a liner for a fabric shower curtain. So let’s know how to clean them properly:

What You’ll Need


  • Heavy-duty laundry detergent
  • Chlorine bleach (optional)


  • Washer


  • The first step is always to take down your shower curtains and check whether there are any rips or tears or not. If there is any, then you have to buy new ones because they can’t be repaired.
  • You can wash them in the washer but only with cold water. So set your machine in a cold water setting and in the gentle cycle.


Add some colorfast towels or t-shirts with the curtains as it will prevent excessive wrinkling.

  • The next step is to dry them, but don’t use a tumble dryer. After the washing, just shake them and hang them back up on the shower rod to air dry. Don’t worry about the wrinkles, as they will be gone until the curtains are fully dried.

Note: Washing a plastic shower curtain sometimes requires you to add either a half cup of detergent, vinegar, or baking soda. You can add them to your washing cycle, along with a few towels in a cool setting.

How to Remove Mildew Stains From Vinyl Shower Curtains?

A white shower curtain hanging from a metal rod

If you see any mildew stains or discoloration remain after washing, use mild chlorine bleach and water solution. Soak them in this solution for about 10 to 15 minutes. Be careful with the bleach and use only one-half cup of bleach per gallon of water. After washing, simply hang your plastic curtain back up to dry.

Repairing & Storage of Plastic Shower Curtains

Unfortunately, vinyl or plastic shower curtains can’t be repaired, but you can make them work for a few days by placing waterproof duct tape until you get the new curtain. One more thing, before you fold them and store them, make sure that they’re completely dry.

How to Wash a Shower Curtain by Hand

Don’t have a washer? Don’t get worried because you can also wash them with your hands. Below are some instructions for those people who don’t have a washer in their room or apartment.

  • First, take a clean and slightly damp microfiber cloth. Then, sprinkle some baking soda over the cloth.
  • Now start scrubbing your curtain with this cloth. First, do it with a light hand and focus on removing basic grime and dirt only.
  •  Now get a new cloth and wet it in warm water. After this, start rinsing your curtain with it until all the baking soda is removed. Also, scrub at the stains and do it until all traces of baking soda are gone. Repeat the process if necessary.
  • If there are any stubborn stains or marks, do scrub them again with baking soda and then rinse again.

How to Clean a Shower Curtain Liner

If you have a liner with your shower curtain, here’s how you can keep it clean:

  • Takedown your shower liner and put it in the washer.
  • You can add a bath towel, which will help in scrubbing the shower liner.
  • To prevent damage, make sure to set the machine on a gentle setting.
  • Lastly, hang the curtain liner to dry completely.

How to Clean Shower Curtain Rings

Now the last thing to clean after washing your shower curtains and liners is the shower curtain rings. Here’s how to wash shower curtain rings:

  • First, carefully remove all the rings from the shower curtain rod.
  • Fill your bathroom sink or a tub with warm water, and then add a cup of white distilled vinegar to it.
  • Soak the rings for some time, then drain and rinse with warm water.
  • If any stubborn soap scum residue is there, you can use a brush or even your fingernails to remove them.

Tips for Shower Curtain Maintenance

Here are some extra tips and things that you should keep in mind while cleaning your favorite shower curtain:

  • After every wash, ensure that your shower curtain is left open to air so that it can completely dry. If it remains wet, there is a chance of the growth of mold and mildew again.
  • Do regular cleaning as it will prevent mildew from building up and also makes your cleaning process less hectic next time.
  • Shower curtains should be washed at least seasonally, but if your bathroom has poor air circulation, wash them once a month.
  • In between, if you see any mildew build-up, spray a solution of half water and half vinegar on them for the next few days.
  • When your shower curtain and liner remain clean, there is no need for replacement unless they become torn.

The Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about how often to wash shower curtains? Our suggestion for you is that wash them regularly (means once a month) to keep your bath clean and fresh. Shower curtain not only creates a healthier environment but also extends the life of the curtain. Also, they give a bathroom a brighter, fresher appearance.

So this is all about how to clean shower curtain, liner, and rings. I hope this blog helped you understand the deep cleaning routine of the shower curtains. If you find this blog helpful, do share it with your friends and family.

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Himadri Shakya
Himadri Shakya
Himadri Shakya is an enthusiastic Content Writer and Editor. She loves to create creative, engaging, and SEO-friendly content. Through her extensive research skills and practice, she has been generating high-quality and informative articles, and blog posts for over 4 years.

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