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How To Clean A Shower Curtain: Washing A Plastic Or Vinyl Liner

There is nothing worse than having a nice hot shower, you are all relaxed and then all of a sudden, you look at your shower curtain and see the nastiest looking stain right in front of your face. Is it mold, mildew or some kind of alien parasitic life form?

No matter what it is, it is creeping you out and spoiling your shower! Thankfully, getting rid of these kinds of nasty stains is not that hard and today I am sharing with you tips on how to clean a shower curtain.

Use A Washing Machine

Washing Machine

That is right, you can actually put a plastic shower curtain in a washing machine! Some of you may be worried about it melting or breaking your washing machine, but with the right steps, a washing machine is a perfectly safe place for a shower curtain, just make sure you follow these steps.

How To Clean Plastic Shower Floor

Step 1

Do not use your regular washing powder and make sure that the heat is low, 40 degrees at the most. A standard laundry detergent can be fine as long as it is rather mild. Treat the shower curtain like you would any other item of laundry.

If you want to really make sure that mold, soap scum, and other nasty stuff that is on there comes off, mix in a little bit of white vinegar and baking soda with your detergent.

If you can add these at different times, add the baking soda during the wash cycle and the white vinegar during the rinse. Of course, not all washing machines will allow you to do this mid-cycle.


As a shower curtain can be a slippery customer the water and whatever you are using to clean it in the washer, can have trouble sticking to it and can slide right off. To counter this, you can place an old towel in the washing machine with the shower curtain. This helps give it that extra bit of roughage to help get the grime, slime and mold off it.

Washing Machine Towel


Once you have taken out the shower curtain from the washing machine, give it a good looking over. You will probably notice that there are a few more stubborn pieces of mold and soap residue stuck on there, especially at the seams. You can get rid of these with the help of a toothbrush…. An old toothbrush!


Be sure to let your shower curtain dry properly, some people just hang it back up in the bathroom and let it dry that way. Or if the weather is nice, you can leave it outside.


Some shower curtains will tell you that they cannot be machine washed so you have to take them out back and burn them… wait a minute that is not right! All is not lost, you can roll up your sleeves and give the shower curtain a good handwashing.

Method 1

Handwashing Shower Curtains

The first method I have for you is to put your shower curtain in the tub and then get a microfiber cloth and get it nice and damp. Once it is damp, use some baking soda and sprinkle a little bit of it onto the sponge.

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Give it a really good scrubbing with this and you will notice all that grime and mold start to wash off. Once it you have finished, give it a rinsing with the shower and if there is still soap scum, mold or whatever, you can repeat the process.

Method 2

Another method that you can use still involves washing powder. Fill up your bathtub with warm water and mix in some washing powder (biological) leave the shower curtain to soak in there for an hour or so. You can now use a scrubbing brush or a toothbrush to scrub away anything that is on there.

Method 3

Again, just as if you were using a washing machine, make sure you let it dry properly, either in the bathroom our out on the washing line.

How Many Times A Year Should I Clean My Shower Curtain?

Do not worry, a once-a-week cleaning of your shower curtain is not necessary at all. Some people will give theirs a clean once a month and that is more than enough. If your bathroom is actually quite well ventilated (which helps keep away mildew and mold) you can even get away with cleaning it every couple of months.

It is also a good idea that once you have finished having a shower, you give the curtain a quick little rinse to get off any soap that may be still on there.

Read More: How to clean your showerhead with vinegar

You Can Pretreat Your Shower Curtain

Pretreat Your Shower Curtains

While there is no way to fully pretreat a shower curtain to the point where soap scum and mold will never be an issue, although it is 2018 so you would think science would have invented a mold-proof shower curtain (that actually works) by now!

In all seriousness though, when you get a new shower curtain before you hang it up, you can make sure that it is ready for the abuse it is going to get.

You do this by putting it in the washing machine. Not on an actual wash, but a rinse cycle with a little bit of white vinegar. While it will not keep the soap scum away forever, it will certainly give your new shower curtain that extra bit of protection that just throwing it straight up on the shower hooks provides.

So as you can see it is not as hard to get rid of that nasty three-week-old soap, that awful grime, and the mold that is staring you in the face! Just make sure that you allow your shower curtain to dry properly as this is the one step that many people seem to forget.

Allow your shower curtain to dry properly before you next use it. Trust me when I tell you it is a lot easier to enjoy a shower or a bath when you do not have your other half’s soap scum on the curtain!


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I'm obsessed with cleaning (maybe to an unhealthy degree) and want to share all of my best tips and hacks with you.

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