Your Shower Curtain is Probably Gross, Here’s How to Clean It

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Is there anything better than the feeling of a super clean house that’s been scrubbed from top to bottom? Your laundry is folded, dishes are washed, your robot vacuum cleaner has swept the floors for you and your stainless steel surfaces are entirely scratch-free. It’s bliss and may even give your brain a chance to let out a sigh of relief as well.

While wiping down the kitchen counters and decluttering your desk are relatively straightforward, albeit annoying, cleaning tasks, there are spots in your home that are harder to keep sanitarily neutral. Grout in your shower can be an easy breeding ground for bacteria, along with your coffee pot, which tends to gather mineral deposits if you don’t clean it enough. Last but not least? Your shower curtain can quickly collect mold, mildew, and bacteria in the hot, humid environment where most of us bathe daily.

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Your Shower Curtain is Probably Dirtier Than You Think

Some studies have shown that it’s not your toilet seat, sink knob or toothbrush head that contains the most germs in the bathroom. It’s actually your shower curtain, the translucent piece of plastic you slide back and forth pre- and post-cleanse. It probably has more grime on it than you expect, especially if it’s within spitting distance of your toilet every time you flush. We won’t get too graphic, but unless you shut close the toilet cover before every flush, you could be spreading fecal matter throughout your bathroom, including onto your shower curtain.

Fecal matter, mold and mildew can easily gather on it, and once it starts growing, the heated environment can help the bacteria thrive if left unchecked. While there’s very little evidence that the grime on a typical shower curtain poses a significant risk to most people, it’s still a good idea to regularly clean your shower curtain.

  

Are Showers More Hygienic Than Baths?

In general, the answer to this question is yes. However, baths do win out on several factors, too. When it comes to general hygiene standards and cleansing the body of general dirt and bacteria, showers are the way to go. Evenly distributed water from a showerhead enables proficient lathering with your soap or shower cream. The continuous flow of water is then able to wash the dirt-filled water away, leaving your body cleaner and no longer in contact with the dirt. However, this is different in a bath because you’re constantly surrounded by any dirt scrubbed off, making them a less hygienic way to wash.

  

What is the Difference Between a Shower Curtain and a Shower Liner?

You might often find yourself referring to your shower “curtain” as a curtain when it is, in fact, considered a liner. The main difference between a shower curtain and a shower liner is the materials they are made of. A shower curtain is usually installed in your shower to provide privacy or provide a decorative look. On the other hand, shower liners create a waterproof barrier between the inside of the shower and the rest of the bathroom. For this reason, shower liners are generally made from water-resistant polyester or vinyl, whereas shower curtains are more commonly made from softer materials, such as linen or cotton.

  

How Often Should You Clean Your Shower Curtain?

How often you should mainly clean a shower curtain depends on how often it gets used. If it’s the only shower you’ve got in your house and you’re using it daily, a monthly or quarterly clean, at least, is necessary. Is it’s the one in the guest room that’s hardly touched? You don’t have to clean it as often.

What is the Best Way to Clean a Shower Curtain?

If you have a fabric shower curtain in your bathroom and it’s looking a little worse for wear, such as discoloration at the bottom or dirty splotches all around, here’s a step-by-step guide to return it to a cleaner, like-new state:

  • Step 1: Remove the shower curtain from the rail
  • Step 2: Throw the shower curtain into your washing machine with a small amount of detergent or white vinegar
  • Step 3: Start your machine on a gentle warm water wash
  • Step 4: Hang the shower curtain out to dry, either in your backyard (weather permitting) or back on the rail  

What is the Best Way to Clean a Shower Liner?

You can clean plastic shower curtains and liners in your washing machine combined with one of several different products. Wash them with either color-safe bleach, detergent, vinegar, or baking soda and everyday towels on a cool setting. However, it’s important not to combine any of these products together, as doing so may result in an unwanted chemical reaction. Below is a step-by-step guide to cleaning your shower liner. If you’re looking for a quicker, less time-consuming option, a microfiber cloth and some bicarbonate soda is a proven and effective answer to cleaning shower liners, too.

  • Step 1: Remove the shower liner from the rail
  • Step 2: Throw it into your washing machine with some large everyday bath towels
  • Step 3: Set it on a gentle warm water wash
  • Step 4: Hang the liner out to dry either in the backyard (weather permitting) or back on its rail to dry

Below, we’ve compiled a list of eight of the best hacks when it comes to solving the problem of how to clean your shower curtain. Options include both products designed specifically for cleaning shower curtains and liners, as well as everyday products you may already have in your kitchen cupboards. Trust us, until you investigate it further, you won’t realize how much in need of a cleaner your shower curtain and liner are.

  

Your Shower Curtain is Probably Dirtier Than You Think

Some studies have shown that it’s not your toilet seat, sink knob or toothbrush head that contains the most germs in the bathroom. It’s actually your shower curtain, the translucent piece of plastic you slide back and forth pre- and post-cleanse. It probably has more grime on it than you expect, especially if it’s within spitting distance of your toilet every time you flush. We won’t get too graphic, but unless you shut close the toilet cover before every flush, you could be spreading fecal matter throughout your bathroom, including onto your shower curtain.

Fecal matter, mold and mildew can easily gather on it, and once it starts growing, the heated environment can help the bacteria thrive if left unchecked. While there’s very little evidence that the grime on a typical shower curtain poses a significant risk to most people, it’s still a good idea to regularly clean your shower curtain.

  

When Should You Buy a New Shower Curtain?

If your current shower curtain is ripped, torn or has stains on it you can’t seem to remove; it’s time for a new one. If your existing shower curtain has accumulated a decent amount of mold or mildew, which tends to appear as black, bright red, or green sludge, it’s best to throw it out and start fresh with a new one. You can also just get a new liner if the fabric shower curtain is in fine shape. If you do splurge on a new shower curtain, start a new cleaning regimen as well, so it’ll last you a bit longer than the last one did.

LiBa PEVA Bathroom Shower Curtain Liner

BEST SHOWER CURTAIN LINER

This shower curtain liner has a waterproof design to keep your bathroom as clean and dry as possible. It’s got a convenient and durable construction, with three heavy magnets on the bottom for keeping it as straight as possible. It’s made of high-quality, earth-friendly PVC material, rust-proof grommets, and it’s got a reinforced header that prevents tearing.

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LiBa shower curtain liner, how to clean a shower curtain Courtesy of Amazon

LiBa PEVA Bathroom Shower Curtain Liner

$11.99

  

mDesign Hotel Style Waffle Weave Shower Curtain

BEST SHOWER CURTAIN

Shower curtains don’t have to be expensive to look expensive. Clean, crisp, white and easy to wash, this shower curtain is the perfect addition to the room you want to look and feel its cleanest. Using a 65% polyester and 35% cotton blend keeps the curtain soft but largely odor- and stain-resistant.

Amazon shower curtain Courtesy of Amazon

mDesign Hotel Style Waffle Weave Shower Curtain

$20.99 $24.99 16% OFF
  

Hall & Perry Store Modern Farmhouse Tassel Shower Curtain

RUNNER UP

This decorative shower curtain has a classic striped design for a fresh, clean look in the bathroom. The thick stripe is a darker taupe color, while the thinner, more complimentary stripes are a charcoal grey. It’s got tassels along the bottom that give it a fun, updated look, and it’s sized for standard bathtub dimensions. Since it’s a fabric curtain, it’s best to pick up a waterproof plastic curtain liner to pair with it and make it easier to dry.

modern farmhouse tassel shower curtain, how to clean a shower curtain Courtesy of Amazon

Hall & Perry Modern Farmhouse Tassel Shower Curtain

$29.95 $49.95 40% OFF

  

natu2eco Colorful Marble Shower Curtain

BOLDEST SHOWER CURTAIN

This fabric shower curtain can be paired with a shower curtain liner or not, as it’s been given a waterproof treatment to prevent splashing and make it easier to dry after your shower. It’s got reinforced holes up top to avoid rupture after long-term use, and it’s machine washable.

natu2eco shower curtain, how to clean a shower curtain Courtesy of Amazon

natu2eco Colorful Marble Shower Curtain

$21.99

  

How to Clean a Shower Curtain

1. Spray After Every Use

One option for keeping a shower clean is to spray it down with a cleaning solution after every shower to inhibit mold growth and decrease the likelihood of bacteria built-up. Here are a few great solutions you can use every day if you’d like to avoid having to do a monthly or quarterly deep clean.

Wet & Forget Weekly Shower Cleaner

BEST OVERALL

This Wet & Forget shower cleaner is designed not to require scrubbing or wiping and cleans to prevent the build-up of grime, oils, soap scum, mold and mildew stains on your shower curtain. It contains no bleach or harsh fumes, which can be harsh when sprayed directly into your shower and not rinsed afterward, and has a soft vanilla scent. The formula is designed to contain 12 weeks of cleaning power in each spray, making it a convenient and practical choice.

wet & forget shower cleaner, how to clean your shower curtain Courtesy of Amazon

Wet & Forget Shower Cleaner

$16.89 $23.84 29% OFF

  

Lucy’s Family Owned White Vinegar

BEST ALL NATURAL

For an all-natural way to ensure your shower curtain receives a comprehensive clean, try adding some Lucy’s Family Owned White Vinegar into the mix. It comes in a sizeable one-gallon bottle, which means you’ll have enough vinegar for months, if not years, to come. Handily, this versatile product can also be used to clean hard surfaces around the house, whiten clothing garments, or restore a glass shower screen.

how to clean shower curtain lucys family owned Image courtesy of Amazon

Lucy’s Family Owned White Vinegar

$12.99 $14.99 13% OFF

  

ECOS Shower Cleaner with Tea Tree Oil

BEST BIODEGRADABLE

Powered by plant-based ingredients, including tea tree oil and aloe vera, this ECOS Shower Cleaner with Tea Tree Oil is an eco-friendly way to keep your shower curtain in top condition. For the best results, it’s recommended you spray the area you wash it after every use and then leave it to soak in, without using wipes or scrubbing. By doing this, this popular spray helps to prevent future soap scum, mildew and mold.

how to clean shower curtain ecos cleaner Image courtesy of Amazon

ECOS Shower Cleaner with Tea Tree Oil

$10.07

  

Method Daily Shower Cleaner Spray

RUNNER UP

Method makes a tremendous daily shower cleaning spray of biodegradable formula that dissolves quickly and prevents soap scum. It cleans without the need for rinsing, is cruelty-free, and is formulated with a crisp eucalyptus mint scent that leaves behind a pleasant smell.

method daily shower cleaner, how to clean a shower curtain Courtesy of Amazon

Method Daily Shower Cleaner

$22.16

  

2. Complete a Monthly Deep Clean

If you’d rather not spray down your shower curtain every day or simply don’t have time, a monthly deep clean of the curtain should do just as well. Most fabric shower curtains can be laundered in your usual washing machine and left out flat to dry on a cold cycle. The plastic shower curtain liner is the more challenging part, as it requires more deliberate cleaning to avoid bacterial growth.

Spraying it with one of the following cleaners, scrubbing it and then rinsing it thoroughly will do the trick. These contain bleach, so it’s essential to rinse your shower curtain thoroughly and keep kids and pets out of the room when using them.

Kaboom Foam Tastic Bathroom Cleaner with OxiClean

BEST OVERALL

This foaming bathroom cleaner is basically the opposite of the gentle, plant-based cleaners above, but it’s made to deep clean surfaces without the need for intense wiping. This 19-ounce bottle contains an OxiClean citrus scent, sprays on blue, and turns white when it’s ready to be wiped away. It’s formulated to remove tough dirt and grime and would work perfectly on those stubborn grooves in your shower curtain where bacteria accumulates.

Kaboom foamtastic cleaner, how to clean a shower curtain Courtesy of Amazon

Kaboom Foam Tastic Bathroom Cleaner

$3.58 $4.99 28% OFF

  

Fox Trot Hard Water Stain Remover

BEST FOR TOUGH STAINS

Removing hard water stains is a frequent headache for folks who live in areas where the water contains more minerals than in other parts of the country. Hard water can leave behind mineral deposits, oily residue and rust stains, but this cleaner is designed to tackle and remove it all. The cleanser is formulated to remove everyday grime and comes with a non-scratch, dual-action sponge with a tough and smooth side. This formula works on a whole bunch of surfaces around your home, including showers and shower curtains.

fox trot hard water stain remover, how to clean a shower curtain Courtesy of Amazon

Fox Trot Hard Water Stain Remover

$18.49

  

RMR-86 Instant Mold and Mildew Remover

BEST MOLD AND MILDEW REMOVER

If your shower curtain already has mold stains or smells like mildew, this spray is formulated to get rid of them quickly and remove unwanted odors as well. This fast-acting spray requires no scrubbing and is safe to use on shower curtains, bathtubs, brick, drywall, and various other surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom.

RMR-86 mold and mildew remover, how to clean a shower curtain Courtesy of Amazon

RMR-86 Instant Mold and Mildew Stain Remover Spray

$16.99

  

Clorox Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner Spray

BEST WITH BLEACH

When in doubt, use Clorox. This bleach formula is designed to sanitize almost any surface in your bathroom, from your shower curtain to your tub, toilet bowl, counter, and floor. The spray can kill up to 99.99% of germs commonly found in bathrooms, including E.coli, and cuts through soap scum, grime, mold, and mildew that can riddle a shower curtain. This 2-pack will set you up for several deep cleans and arms you with a powerful formula that can bring your grimey shower curtain back to an acceptable state.

Clorox disinfecting spray, how to clean a shower curtain Courtesy of Amazon

Clorox Disinfecting Bathroom Spray

$12.99 $15.45 16% OFF

  

MR.SIGA Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

BEST MICROFIBER CLOTH

Get yourself an MR.SIGA Microfiber Cleaning Cloth and some bicarbonate soda, and you’ll be well on your way to a cleaning shower curtain. Dampen the surface, sprinkle a little bicarbonate soda on and use one of the cloths to wipe away unwanted dirt or bacteria. Each included cloth is surprisingly soft yet highly effective at cleaning and can be machine washed for reuse.

how to clean shower curtain mr siga microfiber Image courtesy of Amazon

MR.SIGA Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

$11.99

  

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

BEST BAKING SODA

By topping up your wash cycle with a little bit of this Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, you’ll be able to achieve next-level results when cleaning a plastic shower liner. In addition, baking soda is a highly versatile product used for specific baking recipes and cleaning and deodorizing surfaces around your home. The powder is also free of harsh chemicals and gentle enough to use around the house. However, it’s still more than capable of delivering impressive results when it comes to cleaning tasks.

arm hammer baking soda Image courtesy of Amazon

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

$14.10 $20.40 31% OFF

  

Coastal Shower Doors Restoration Kit

BEST FOR DOORS

If you’re not really into floaty shower curtains and opt for glass or perspex doors instead, this Coastal Shower Doors Restoration Kit is for you. The three-step kit is an ideal cleaning addition for any homeowner with a glass door on their shower. Each of the three included solutions takes you through a specific step when cleaning, including cleaning, sealing and maintaining the quality of the glass. Additionally, the set comes with all the sponges and clothes required to deliver the best results.

coastal clarity shower door restoration kit Image courtesy of Amazon

Coastal Shower Doors Restoration Kit

$40.00

  

Option 3: Washing Machine

You can also put your plastic shower curtain liner into the washing machine if you’ve got stubborn stains you can’t get out. Put it on a gentle setting with a few bath towels to help with the scrubbing, add in a bit of detergent and bleach, and you’re in business. You can also just hang it back up on your shower rod to dry afterward and help remove built-up mold and mildew.

Tide Liquid Laundry Detergent Soap

BEST LAUNDRY DETERGENT

Adding Tide Liquid Laundry Detergent Soap to the machine is a simple yet effective answer to cleaning a shower curtain. This product boasts Tide’s original scent, delivering a refreshing finish. The formula is also designed to tackle general dirt while brightening colors. To top it off, the bottle cap features level markings to show how much product is required for different load sizes, so you can be confident you’re pouring in just the right amount.

tide liquid laundry detergent soap Image courtesy of Amazon

Tide Liquid Laundry Detergent Soap

$11.97 $16.00 25% OFF

  

Grab Green Natural Bleach Alternative Pods

BEST PODS

Grab Green Natural Bleach Alternative Pods are a great choice if you’re concerned about reacting to the product used to clean your shower curtain. Their hypoallergenic formula is made from plant and mineral-based ingredients, making them safe for you and your family. Plus, the fact that they come pre-packaged in individual pods means you don’t need to worry about measuring the correct amount each time.

grab green natural bleach alternative pods Image courtesy of Amazon

Grab Green Natural Bleach Alternative Pods

$16.00

  

The Best Washing Machine Cleaners To Cut Through Odor And Grime

  

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