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Soap scum, mildew, and other grime are common on shower curtains. These contaminants affect the feel and durability of the hangings. It means their cleaning is mandatory. Ironically, many people don’t know how to clean the shower curtains. Thus, it makes the matter worse.

When curtains remain unclean for a long time, they also become unhygienic. As you know, shower curtains are made of different materials. They can be made of fabric, plastic, or even nylon, and each requires different cleaning methods.

If you need cleaning information, fret not! This piece will guide you through cleaning the shower curtains and liners. So, let’s dive into it!

Necessary Tools & Supplies

Before you begin the cleaning process, it is important to have basic tools. Some of those supplies are must-haves. However, a few tools are optional and are used for extra cleaning and shine in your curtain. Here is the list of accessories you must arrange before starting to clean:

  • Detergent (Soup)
  • Scrub or Sponge
  • Washing machine
  • Vinegar and bleach
  • Microfiber cloth or towels
  • Large tub if hand washing is needed
  • Baking soda in case of stubborn stains

Having all of these tools will save you time and effort. Before starting to clean, analyze the curtains. You must arrange baking soda and bleach if they have sharp and stubborn stains. If the stains are mild, you can start the process without those.

How to Clean the Shower Curtains & Liners?



Everyone has different cleaning methods. However, the two most common methods are hand and washing machines. If you’re busy, a washing machine will be a suitable option. However, hand-washing curtains provide better performance.

What method you should use also depends on the type of curtain you are using. Every curtain comes with an instruction label. It would be best if you read it before starting the cleaning process. It will tell you whether you can use the washing machine or not.

1- Cleaning of Curtain Using Washing Machines


Almost every house has a washing machine. So, most of the people do laundry using these machines. They are both quick and effective, reducing human involvement. Here are the steps that you can follow to clean the curtain using wash machines:

  • Take the Curtain:Remove the curtains from the hooks or rings. If the curtains are too old, take them off with care. The rings support the curtain when it is hanging. Remove not only the curtain but also the curtain rings.
  • Initial Cleaning of Particles:Clean the curtain with a microfiber cloth. This cleaning removes dust particles present on the curtain. If you don’t remove these particles, they will stick to the curtain and come into contact with water, making it hard to remove them later.
  • Slow Mode of Washing Machine:Once the initial dust particles are removed, put the curtain in the washing machine. The cycle must be in a slower mode.
  • Use Mild Detergent:Put some drops of detergent in the washing machine. Don’t use cold water. Instead, use mild, warm water for better results. Detergent works best when used in warm water. In this step, you can remove the mild stain from the curtain.
  • Vinegar for Stubborn Stains:If you notice any stubborn stains, I recommend using a few drops of vinegar. It will enhance the cleaning and remove hard stains.
  • Dry the Curtain:Start drying once you know all the stains are gone. You can dry the curtain in sun heat or use a dryer machine. It is recommended to put the curtain under sun heat and fresh air. Although it will take more time, it won’t affect the quality of the curtain. Dryers sometimes weaken the stuff of curtains.

2- Cleaning of Curtain By Hands


Some curtains require hand washing. If there is any such instruction on the label of curtains, it is advised not to use the machine then. Any mishandling can affect the curtain badly. Thus, I recommend you follow the instructions of the manufacturer. Here is how you can clean the curtain by hand:

  • Use Bucket:Put the curtain in the bucket or bathtub. Women usually make the mistake of washing them in an open place without a bucket. This approach needs to be corrected. The detergent does not remain in contact with the curtain for longer, resulting in ineffective cleaning.
  • Put Detergent:Add a few drops of detergent to the bucket like the above method. The mixture of water and detergent will clean the curtain. You can agitate the curtain with your hands for better performance.
  • Use Baking Soda:Are any stains that did not go with the detergent? To remove such stubborn stains, apply one tablespoon of baking soda to the stain. Once it is used, put water on the stain. Once done, rub the baking soda on the stain with a microfiber cloth. This will remove the stickiest stains from the curtains.
  • Dry Curtain:Once all the stains are removed, you must dry the curtain. If you are not in a hurry, put the curtain under the sun. However, you can use the dryer machine if there are clouds and the sun is absent. It makes the drying process quicker.
  • Remove Wrinkles: After drying, the shower curtain will get wrinkles. To remove these wrinkles, use a steamer or iron. When wrinkles are removed, hang the curtain back with rings on the rod.

Precaution: It is recommended that you wear gloves while hand-washing the curtain. This will prevent your hands from coming into contact with detergent and baking soda. It is a must-do in case you’re allergic to detergents, etc.

How to Clean a Shower Curtain Liner?

Curtain liners are very sensitive. They remain in the bathroom and face many contaminants. Those include soap scum, moisture, molds and germs. Their cleaning is mandatory. However, it requires a slightly different cleaning technique. This is due to its sensitive nature.

You can wash the liners with your hands or in a machine. There is no issue; however, a gentle approach is a must. Don’t rub or agitate the liner harshly. Doing so will affect the lines’ quality, durability, and performance.

Here is how you can clean the curtain liners:

  • Put the liner in the washing machine. Regarding detergents, only add a few drops to the washing machine. Too much detergent is not needed. The small amount in the machine will ensure effective cleaning.
  • You will also have to put one or two towels in the machine along with the liner. These towels will protect the liners from excessive abrasion.
  • Keep the washing machine on a slower cycle. The speed should be manageable and slow, as aggressive agitation can damage the liners.
  • Add a few drops of vinegar to the machine if you notice streaks or stubborn stains. This will improve the cleaning of the curtain liners.
  • Once the cleaning is done, put the curtain liners in an open area for drying. The airflow and sunlight will make them hygienic. It is not recommended to dry the liners in the dryer machine.

Quick Highlight: You can also clean the liners by hand. Just make sure to use cold water instead of hot. Moreover, don’t rub the liner while applying baking soda. Vinegar is good for machine washing, but baking soda works when washing by hand. The process remains the same as we discussed earlier for cleaning the shower curtain by hand.

How to Clean a Vinyl or Plastic Shower Curtain?


Both vinyl and plastic curtains are common. These two types differ from each other in many ways. For example, vinyl curtains are more durable and stronger than plastic ones. However, both are cleaned in the same way. Here is how you can clean these two:

  • Remove these curtains from the rings. Please don’t put them in a washing machine.
  • Instead, spread these curtains on a flat surface. Make sure that the surface is cleaned.
  • Once spread in a clean place, gently apply a few drops of detergent on the curtains.
  • Scrub the curtain with a sponge to remove all the contaminants.
  • If you see stubborn stains, use vinegar or baking soda. I recommend putting baking soda on the microfiber cloth and then rubbing the microfiber cloth on the curtains. This will save the surface from abrasions.
  • If the curtain is white, you can also use bleach. However, don’t use bleach for colored curtains. Once the cleaning is done, dry them in the open air under the sun. It is advised not to put these curtains in the washing machines.

How to Clean Shower Curtain Rings?


Curtain rings are usually ignored during the cleaning process. If the rings remain uncleaned, they can also contaminate the curtains. Cleaning them takes little effort or time. Let’s discuss how you can easily and effectively clean curtain rings.

  • First of all, take a bucket and half fill it with water.
  • Pour some vinegar into this bucket. If available, you can also add mild detergent.
  • Let this mixture settle in for 20 to 25 minutes. You can slide off the rings from the curtain rod during this time.
  • Once the rings are removed, clean them with a dry microfiber cloth to remove dust particles. Clean the particles before putting them in the bucket.
  • Put the shower curtain rings into the bucket. Allow the mixture to act on the rings and clean them, which will take 20 minutes. Then, you can remove the rings and rinse them with water.
  • After completing rinsing, your shower curtain rings will shine. It is time to dry them. Before putting them under the sunlight, wipe all the moisture with a cloth. Once you believe the rings are fully dried, slide them back on the rod for use with curtains.

Quick Tip: Don’t put the curtain rings with the curtain in the washing machine. Doing so will affect both your machine’s functionality and fabric quality. It is recommended that you clean them using a bucket or bathtub.

How to Clean a Shower Curtain Without Taking It Down?


You may not have a washing machine or dislike the hassle of removing the curtain from its rings. It can indeed be a tedious task and take extra time. Whatever the reason, there is another simple solution to cleaning hanging curtains.

  • Don’t remove the curtain from rings and rods. Let it hang on there.
  • Make a mixture of water and vinegar. In this make, 75% should be water, and 25% should be vinegar.
  • Put this mixture into the spray bottle. Now, spray the mixture on the curtain as it is hung with rings on the rods.
  • Once you have sprayed all the mixture, it is time to remove the contaminants using a microfiber cloth.

How often Do you Wash a Shower Curtain?


It usually depends on the frequency of usage of the shower curtain. If many family members frequently use one bath, cleaning the curtain every month is a good idea. However, cleaning once every six months is a good routine for a single-person washroom.

It is a fact that cleaning is compulsory. However, no one likes to clean the curtains now and then. Thus, it is important to know and understand cleaning frequency. It will help keep the curtain safe from unhygienic molds and other soup scum. But what is the routine for cleaning curtains?


If you have the resources and time, consider cleaning the curtain monthly. As you have read, cleaning is easy and does not take much time. However, someone with a busy schedule can do curtain cleaning once every six months. Even once a year is fine if the washroom is not very frequently used.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my shower curtain liner get so dirty?

The curtain liners remain towards the washroom. So, they get exposed to moisture, molds, and soap scum. Because of the buildup of these soap scum and other contaminants, they become dirty.


How can I clean mold off a shower curtain in the washing machine?

Vinegar is handy for removing mold. Thus, you can put the curtain in the wash and add a few drops of vinegar and detergent. It will remove all the mold and clean the curtain.


Does white vinegar remove mold from curtains?

Yes, white vinegar can effectively remove mold from curtains. However, be careful when using vinegar, and don’t pour too much on the curtain. Excessive amounts can also damage the curtain.


Can I put my shower curtains and liners in the washing machine?

Yes, you can wash shower curtains and liners in the washing machine. However, it is recommended that you write the instructions on labels for your specific curtains. Some curtains are sensitive and require hand washing.


How can I prevent mildew and mold buildup on shower curtains and liners?

There are multiple ways to prevent mildew and mold buildup. However, the best solutions are regularly airing out curtains and using a mildew-resistant spray. Moreover, keep cleaning the curtains to ensure mold does not sit on them.


Can I use bleach to clean shower curtains and liners?

Yes, you can use bleach; however, dilute it with water. It won’t affect the quality of fabrics. Moreover, if the curtain is colored, don’t use bleach. It will affect the color. I recommend you use bleach only when you have a white curtain with a stubborn stain.



Cleaning the shower curtain is a must. It will improve its durability and longevity. If you need to know the accurate method, don’t worry. This guide covers all the best practices for cleaning curtains and liners.

You can clean them using machines or hands. Both have their pros and cons. If you decide to clean the curtain with your hands, use gloves. They will protect you from detergents and baking soda.