How to Clean a Shower Curtain: Step by Step Guide

Shower curtains tend to become dirty and uncleaned over time due to soap scum, mold, & mildew. Most of the shower curtains are machine washable. However, some of them instruct only hand wash. In that case, rubbing the curtains manually using warm water and baking soda will do.

How to Clean a Shower Curtain

Read the article till the end, and you’ll know how to clean a shower curtain.

Learn more about how to clean a shower curtain

Things to collect:

  • Microfiber cloth piece (more than two or three)
  • Vinegar
  • Warm water
  • Baking soda
  • Detergent
  • Bleach
  • Washing machine

METHOD 01: Use a washing machine to clean shower curtains

Placing the curtain into the washing machine

Removing the curtain from the wall and placing it into the machine is the very first step.

Before the placement, remove all the metal hooks from the curtain.

At a time, place one or two towels in the machine

Forcing many curtains at a time isn’t a wise step. Keeping some towels between curtains avoid the curtains from tearing apart, sticking to themselves, or wrinkling. The towel also plays a role in scrubbing the curtains while moving.

The towels should be white and clean.

Adding the washing ingredients

Baking soda and laundry detergent are your requirements. Add the detergent in a normal amount according to your experience. As for the baking soda, take half or a full cup of it. The bigger the curtain is, the more soda you need.

Starting the machine

After turning the machine on, go for the highest level of cleaning. Pour warm water instead of normal temperature.

Dealing with built-up stains

If mildew is all that your curtain has got, baking soda & detergent is all you need. However, if there are more stains and excessive mildew, add some bleach. After adding basic things, turn on the machine, then pour the bleach in the half cup as you see the washer’s water fills.

You can prefer adding bleach if and only if your curtain is transparent or white.

Vinegar for the rinsing cycle

Open the machine soon; it switches to the rinsing cycle. Pour distilled vinegar into it. The measurement should be half to one cup. Now, restart the washing machine and let it finish the entire cycle.


For drip-drying, hang the curtain. After the washing, hang it directly to the shower instead of drying. It would help if you never dried it.

Read Next: 2 ways to clean a Michael kors fabric purse

METHOD 02: Washing manually or hand washing the shower curtain

Take a dampened cloth and add baking soda to it

Take a microfiber cloth that is clean enough and slightly damp. Sprinkle soda over it, forming a light layer of it.


Then, use the dampen soda sprinkled cloth to scrub the curtain down. At first, give a light scrub and let the soda loosen the stains. Then take your focus on the basic dirt & grim to remove them.

Rinsing the curtain using warm water

Take a new cloth for this step. Dampen the cloth using warm water. Swipe it over the curtain with a motive to remove water and soda. It would help if you scrubbed the curtain till all the soda is gone. Keep adding water to the cloth as it requires.

Clean the stain residual

After the general cleaning over the curtain, prepare your cloth again by dumping it and sprinkling soda over it. Now, clean any soap residue or mold residual. Focus on the parts you skip the first time for loosening the stains.

Repeating the rinsing

Get another new clean cloth and damp in warm water. To omit any least possible presence of baking soda, rub the curtain again.

Keep rinsing the curtain till it’s clean. Don’t leave any lingering soda behind.

METHOD 03: The precautions

Spot test

You possibly won’t want to ruin the entire curtain with your assumptions. So, before you apply any washing material to the curtain-like, like bleach, detergent, cleaner, etc., check them upon a small area of the curtain for spot test.

Check if they made any discoloration or any fabric damage. Quickly opt for something else as soon as you see the damage.

Going through the care label

As you read the instruction manual of a product before using it, read the curtain’s care label as well. As I mentioned before, most curtains are machine washable whereas, still, some of them prefer only hand wash.

Moreover, some curtains include some specific kind of cleaning. You’ll know where your curtain falls as you read through the care label.

Maintaining the cleanliness of the shower curtain

Taking steps against the future mold and mildew built-up is good. Make a solution of half water & half vinegar and spray the solution down the curtain per day. The curtain’s bottom part gets soap scum & mold easily, so wash it weekly using the same mixture of vinegar and water.

If possible, choose body wash over the soaps. Bar soaps cause more scum.

Now that you know how to deal with the mildew once it forms. Let me give some tips upon some pre-steps to avoid mildew forming.


Select shower curtains having a smooth and consistent surface.

Curtains having etched or raised patterns to allow the moisture to be stuck and store in certain spots. On the other hand, smooth curtains let the water glide down without storing. 

Airflow through the washroom during the shower and after that is important.

Washrooms tend to remain wet and moisture store in places. Enough ventilation dries the washroom and the corresponding clothes faster by eliminating moisture buildup.

For the exact ventilation, open the washroom’s window or switch on the ventilator fan.

If you have dirty fans, it’s better to wash it by removing the cover. Cleaned fans will maximize the moisture suction.

Opening the curtain wide enough

Many of my friends tend to darken the washroom as soon as they’re done taking a shower. It’s not appropriate. It not only gathers the moisture but also stores a bad odor in the closed washroom.

Keep the curtains partially wide open soon after your shower. This way, the trapped moisture will escape from the wet curtain and dry easily.

Shaking the curtain out and separating any present fold will help the escaping process of the trapped moisture.

Take the possible steps or use a hook to keep the wet curtain away from the tub.

Hanging pattern of the curtain

Hang the curtain outside the tub instead of inside. This step will prevent the mold buildup at the curtain’s bottom or the section that contacts the bathtub.

But don’t do the above step right when the curtain is wet. Let the curtain drip dry on the bathtub and then remove the curtain outside the tub when it’s partially wet. Or the water will drip on your bathroom’s floor.


After each use, dry the curtain is the only effective measure to deal with the future mildew and soap scum.

Use a dry rag to remove the water from the curtain.


What is the importance of having a curtain liner?

Curtain liners avoid excess water leakage from the tub during showering. Usually, the shower curtains are made from fabric, and so they aren’t waterproof. But the liners are water-resistant. Many use liners to protect the curtains. However, it’s up to your preference.

How to clean the curtain without taking down?

Take a spray bottle and make a solution taking one part vinegar and four part of water. Extend the full part of the curtain & start spraying the mixture over the entire curtain. The vinegar is acidic and will break down the mold.

How often should one wash the shower curtain?

Ideally, one should wash their shower curtain once a month. If you own the plastic curtain, consider washing it once in three months.

To sum it up, you’ll be washing the curtains four to twelve times a year, which isn’t that frequent. And now that you know the process, the work won’t be that tiresome.

Does pink mold need any different wash or as same as others?

Pink molds are very common on the shower curtain, and they’re the result of soap and shampoo residuals. The washes aren’t different at all. Consider washing the curtain on the washing machine with warm water.

Please give it a gentle wash, and the curtain will get rid of Serratia marcescens bacteria and its associated stains.

Are pink molds dangerous?

Pink molds aren’t that dangerous as black molds. Still, it can affect your health if it comes in contact with your skin. It’s risky for elderly members or the ones with weak immune systems.

Final Words:

By now, you have known the right way to clean a shower curtain and what is the weekly maintenance. The weekly maintenance delays the mold built up, and you don’t have to clean the curtain that frequently. Give the cleaning and maintenance a try. It will eventually astonish you with the output.

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