Quick And Easy Shower Curtain Cleaning Tips

Keeping a house clean can seem like a monumental task sometimes, with everything that needs to be done to keep it in the best shape possible. The bathroom alone can be a huge task, so knowing tips to make things quick and easy is key to having the time to get things done.

The shower curtain, while often neglected, must be washed monthly—though this will very much depend on how many people use it and how often. You can either machine or hand wash your shower curtain, depending on what’s convenient for you and the material.

While it may be tedious to wash your shower curtain, it helps keep your bathroom clean and pretty. So let’s take a closer look at how to keep your shower curtain clean, including the different methods you can use. 

How Often Should You Clean Your Shower Curtains?

Simple bathroom with red and brown colors in shower curtain

For the average family, once a month is usually okay when it comes to cleaning your shower curtains.

However, if you have a big family that shares one shower or members who shower more than once a day due to their job or other factors, you may want to consider washing it more often. In general, if you see buildup on the curtain or the liner, it’s time to clean it. We explain how to clean shower curtain liners in our other post, so check that one out as well.

How to Wash a Cloth Shower Curtain

If you have a cloth shower curtain, there are two ways you can clean it: either by hand or machine. It’s your choice, and there’s an effective way to do either.

To hand wash a cloth shower curtain:

  1. First, dampen a clean cloth with some warm water.
  1. Once you’ve done that, sprinkle some baking soda (on Amazon) over the same cloth and give your shower curtain a good scrub. You can do this while it’s still hanging up.
  1. Get a separate cloth dampened with warm water (but without the baking soda), and wipe the curtain down. If there’s still buildup, repeat these methods until it’s all gone.
  1. Give it a final rinse with the shower head to remove all of the baking soda.

If it’s more convenient for you to machine wash your cloth shower curtain, that’s fine too. Use a mild detergent and put some baking soda in there to get rid of the grime and bad smells that may have built up over time. Throwing some towels or blankets in the washer is also a good idea to help protect it.

You can either hang it up to dry or tumble dry it but if you choose to do the latter, keep the dryer on low heat to ensure the curtain doesn’t get damaged.

How to Wash a Plastic Shower Curtain

Shower curtain

if you have a plastic shower curtain, things might look a little different when washing it. You can use the same method as above for hand washing or, instead of vinegar, use a solution that’s equal parts white vinegar and warm water before rinsing it off.

Great care needs to be taken with machine washing:

  1. First, check the label to ensure machine washing is even possible.
  1. Once you’ve asserted it is, use a very mild detergent and keep the water temperature lukewarm at best.
  1. And never tumble dry a plastic curtain—instead, find a place to hang it up and dry (back in the shower works just fine!). 

Washing with Bleach vs. Natural Ingredients

If there’s a lot of buildup on your shower curtain, or you want the job done faster, you might be wondering if you can use bleach. This is possible if you have a white or transparent shower curtain. Simply add half a cup of bleach to a machine wash to kill off the more stubborn stains.

Natural ingredients (like baking soda and vinegar) are always better where possible, but sometimes, they just don’t have the strength to do the job. If there’s any mold on your shower curtain, you will definitely need some bleach (on Amazon).

Making Your Own Cleaning Solution

If you decide that natural is good enough to do the job, making your own cleaning solution is fortunately very easy. One parts vinegar (on Amazon) to four parts water in a spray bottle is suitable to spray over the curtain and leave it for a bit, breaking down any bacteria. If you choose to use baking soda, sprinkling some over your cloth with warm water should be sufficient.

As an alternative, you can mix a quarter cup of baking soda with a cup of water and then put a splash of laundry detergent in there. This makes for a somewhat more thorough hand cleaning!

The best way to clean your shower curtain depends on two factors: the material and how much buildup there is. If you’re not sure, start with hand washing and natural ingredients; if that doesn’t work, you can always throw it in the machine with some bleach to really clean it.