Bathroom Cleaning

How to clean and wash shower curtains

The shower curtain is exposed to a lot of water and soap studs which means it needs regular cleaning. Read on for simple tips on how to clean a shower curtain!

Key Steps:

  1. When machine washing a shower curtain, you can try adding a towel or two to the wash to help dislodge dirt.
  2. Avoid adding fabric softener to your wash as this could damage the plastic.
  3. An old toothbrush is handy for scrubbing hard-to-remove stains.

In some bathrooms it is not possible to have a shower screen, or it may be your personal preference to have a shower curtain. In either situation, a shower curtain can serve as a smart bathroom accessory, as well as a useful tool in avoiding flooding the room. However, inevitably for an item that is exposed to water and soap suds on a daily basis, the curtain will get dirty and the problem of how to clean shower curtains is one that often needs to be addressed.

In general, shower curtains are relatively cheap and you may choose simply to buy a replacement. Despite this, you may find yourself wondering how to wash shower curtains and the good news is that there are alternative options to just replacing your shower curtain. This guide will explain simple and effective methods for cleaning shower curtains.

How to Wash Shower Curtains Made of Plastic

  • Plastic shower curtains can usually be machine-washed. You may have concerns that the curtain might melt in the washing machine, however, a wash at a low temperature, on a gentle cycle will not risk damage to either the machine or the curtain: 30 or even 40 degrees is perfectly safe. Be sure to always check the care label on the curtain before washing.
  • The slippery nature of the plastic means that it may be difficult for the washing liquid to find purchase. It is therefore recommended to add a towel or two to the wash, in order to provide another item to apply friction to the curtain surface.
  • A normal laundry detergent should be sufficient to clean the curtain. However, if some marks are proving hard to shift and you are wondering how to clean a shower curtain with mould and mildew stains, you can turn to the old faithful – white vinegar and baking soda. The baking soda can be added to the detergent during the wash cycle, to add extra abrasiveness and another agent to combat the mould. Then the vinegar should be added to the rinse cycle, for its acidic properties to fight the stubborn stains and to help provide a cleaner, more sparkling finish.
  • Even after washing, some marks may remain, particularly around the hems at the top and around the bottom of the curtain. In those cases, use a standard mould or mildew remover, or alternatively prepare a solution of water and baking soda or vinegar, or a weak bleach-water solution, and apply a good dose of elbow grease, using a nailbrush, or an old toothbrush to remove the more caked-on stains.
  • If your shower curtain cannot be machine washed, the alternative option is to leave the curtain to soak in a bath filled with a solution of biological washing powder for an hour or so. Then scrub any tough stains with a nailbrush or an old toothbrush, as in the previous step.

In all cases, whether having washed by machine or by hand, the curtains should be air-dried. Give them a shake to remove all excess water, then hang them up and open them out in order to let them dry fully. Ideally, hang them up on the washing line to dry, if the weather permits.

How to Clean Shower Curtains ­– Extra Tips:

  • After every use ensure that your shower curtain is left open to air so that mould and mildew isn’t given the chance to form in any crumpled up sections that remain damp.
  • Regular cleaning of your shower curtain will also help to prevent mould and mildew from building up and will ensure that the task is less of a chore in the long-run.

To see how the process is done check out this article for a step-by-step video on washing a shower curtain.

Top Tip


If your shower curtain is machine washable, simply pop it in the washer with a laundry detergent – something like Persil small & mighty biological detergent – and select a low temperature setting. This is a quick and easy solution that won’t take up much of your time! Just remember to check the care label on your shower curtain.