Cleaning

How to Clean a Plastic Shower Curtain

How to wash a plastic shower curtain in the washing machine or by hand

Shower curtain liners seem to be one of those household items that gets overlooked when it comes to cleaning. Full transparency, there was definitely one point in college when I was guilty of ignoring the specks of mold growing on the bottom of our shower curtain liner… which in retrospect was ridiculous because it’s so easy to clean!

See below for tips on how to clean a plastic shower curtain liner both by hand and in the washing machine.

How to wash your shower curtain liner in the washing machine

  1. Add your shower curtain liner to your washing machine with two full sized towels (the towels act as a buffer between the plastic curtain liner and the washing machine as well as help to scrub away grime)
  2. If the curtain liner is super moldy, try adding a cup of baking soda in the washer drum to provide more abrasion
  3. Run a warm or hot cycle on delicate
  4. Use regular detergent (no fabric softener)
  5. Hang back up to dry

Quick tip: Use the time you spend waiting for your curtain liner to clean in the washing machine to clean your shower and tub!

What to avoid when washing your curtain liner in the washing machine

  • Do not wash in cold – a cold wash cycle can actually make the plastic liner more brittle. A hot cycle makes it more malleable and therefore your plastic liner fares much better when tossed around in hot water.
  • Do not add to the dryer – a hot dryer on the other hand can melt the plastic curtain and ruin not only your curtain liner but also your dryer!

How to clean a plastic shower curtain without a washing machine

Don’t have access to a washing machine? No problem, you can easily hand wash your shower curtain liner.

  1. Dampen a microfiber cloth or rag towel with water and baking soda
  2. Scrub the shower liner with the microfiber cloth to remove surface grime
  3. Rinse the shower curtain by wiping it with another cloth dampened with warm water
  4. For stubborn stains, use more baking soda and scrub with a sponge
  5. Rinse the shower curtain again thoroughly before hanging back up to dry

How to prevent a shower curtain liner from getting moldy

  1. Keep it dry! Ventilate the room after you finish showering by opening a window or turning on the fan for at least 15-30 minutes.
  2. Close your curtains! Keeping your shower curtain permanently in the “closed” position allows your curtain liner to dry more quickly.
  3. Try a daily shower spray! Try this DIY recipe from Clean My Space using 1 cup of vinegar, 1/2 cup of water, and 20 drops of tea tree essential oil to help combat mold and mildew.

Instead of regularly replacing your shower curtain liner, take care of it by keeping it dry and washing it once a quarter. Let’s all do our part to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the environment!

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