Guide to Washing Your Shower Curtain

How to clean shower curtain

  Reading time 5 minutes

Keeping a shower curtain clean is a crucial task to ensure a fresh and hygienic bathroom environment. With regular cleaning, you can prevent the buildup of mold, mildew, and soap scum. This article will guide you through different methods to efficiently and effectively clean your shower curtain, whether it’s fabric, vinyl, or plastic.

Materials Needed

Before you start the cleaning process, ensure you have all the necessary materials on hand. Different types of shower curtains may require different cleaning supplies. Here’s a list of items you’ll typically need:

  • Laundry detergent
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • A large washing machine or bathtub
  • A soft brush or sponge
  • Clothesline or a drying rack

Having these supplies ready will make the cleaning process smoother and more efficient.

Cleaning a Fabric Shower Curtain

Fabric shower curtains are usually machine-washable, making them relatively easy to clean. Follow these steps to deep-clean your fabric shower curtain:

  1. Remove the shower curtain from the rod.
  2. Check the label for washing instructions to ensure it can be machine washed.
  3. Place the curtain in the washing machine, along with a few towels to prevent it from crinkling or tearing.
  4. Add your regular laundry detergent and half a cup of baking soda for extra cleaning power.
  5. Wash on a gentle cycle with warm or cold water.
  6. Hang the curtain immediately to dry, either outdoors on a clothesline or indoors on a drying rack.

These steps will help keep your fabric shower curtain looking fresh and new.

Cleaning a Vinyl or Plastic Shower Curtain

Vinyl and plastic shower curtains can accumulate soap scum and mildew over time. Here’s how to clean them effectively:

  1. Remove the shower curtain from the rod.
  2. If the curtain is heavily soiled, rinse it with warm water to remove loose dirt.
  3. Place the curtain in the washing machine, accompanied by a few towels to help scrub away the grime.
  4. Add a small amount of laundry detergent and a cup of vinegar to the wash cycle.
  5. Wash on a gentle cycle with warm or cold water.
  6. Let the curtain air dry by hanging it back on the rod or using a clothesline.

These steps ensure that your vinyl or plastic shower curtain is sanitized and free from any unpleasant residues.

Steps for Cleaning a Shower Curtain

Preventing Mildew and Mold

Prevention is key to keeping your shower curtain clean for longer periods. To prevent mildew and mold from forming, try the following tips:

  • Ensure proper ventilation in your bathroom by using a fan or opening a window.
  • Spread the shower curtain out fully after each use to allow it to dry completely.
  • Periodically wipe down the curtain with a mixture of half water and half vinegar.
  • Consider adding a mold-resistant spray to your cleaning routine.

Implementing these preventive measures can significantly extend the life of your shower curtain and keep it looking clean and fresh.


Cleaning your shower curtain doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can maintain a pristine and hygienic bathroom environment. Whether you have a fabric, vinyl, or plastic shower curtain, regular cleaning coupled with preventive measures will ensure it remains free from mold, mildew, and soap scum.


How often should I clean my shower curtain?

You should aim to clean your shower curtain every month to prevent mold and mildew buildup.

Can I put my shower curtain in the dryer?

It’s generally not recommended to put shower curtains in the dryer, as high heat can damage them. Air drying is the best method.

Is bleach safe to use on shower curtains?

You can use a diluted bleach solution on white or clear plastic and vinyl curtains, but always check the label first.

What if my shower curtain has stubborn stains?

For stubborn stains, soak the curtain in a solution of water and vinegar or baking soda before washing.

Do I need special detergent for shower curtains?

No, regular laundry detergent works fine, but adding baking soda or vinegar can enhance the cleaning power.