When was the last time you cleaned your shower curtain? If you can't remember, it's probably been too long. Shower curtains can accumulate dirt, soap scum, and mold. This does not only look unsightly but can damage your health.
That is why our experts prepared this guide on how to clean your shower curtain fast. Follow their steps, and your shower curtain will look fresh in no time, and they also include some pro tips for extra shine. So grab your spray bottles, and let's get started.
The Equipment & Tools You'll Need
Here's a list of tools and equipment you may need to prepare before you start cleaning your shower curtain:
- Mild detergent: Choose a gentle detergent suitable for the material of your shower curtain. Avoid harsh chemicals or bleach, as they can damage the curtain.
- Vinegar: Vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that can help remove stains and odors from your shower curtain. It's useful for fabric or plastic curtains.
- Baking soda: Baking soda is another versatile cleaning agent that can help remove stains, mildew, and odors. It's effective for fabric curtains.
- Soft brush or sponge: Use a soft-bristled brush or sponge and gently scrub the curtain. It works for spot treatment or to remove stubborn stains.
- Bucket or basin: You can use a bucket or basin for preparing the cleaning solution and rinsing the curtain.
- Clean towels: Keep some clean towels handy for drying the curtain or place them in the washing machine to prevent tangling during the wash.
- Washing machine: If your shower curtain is machine washable and you have one, it can simplify your cleaning process. Check the care instructions on the curtain's label before you throw it in.
- Mesh laundry bag or pillowcase: To protect a delicate or sheer shower curtain during machine washing, use a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase to prevent damage.
- Clothesline or drying rack: The clothesline or drying rack will allow the curtain to dry evenly.
- Hooks or rings: Remove them from the shower curtain before cleaning and ensure you have them ready to reattach once the curtain is clean and dry.
- Pre-treatment solution (optional): Depending on the condition of your shower curtain, you may need a pre-treatment solution like a mild detergent, vinegar, or baking soda to target specific stains or mildew patches.
Cleaning a Shower Curtain Without Removing It
Many people think the only way to clean a shower curtain is to remove it, but there is a simple and effective way to clean it without taking it down. Here are the steps to follow:
- Start by filling your bathtub with a few inches of warm water and adding a small amount of mild detergent or bleach.
- Hang the shower curtain on the rod inside the bathtub, making sure that the bottom of the curtain is submerged in the water.
- Use a soft-bristled brush or sponge, and gently scrub the surface of the shower curtain, paying special attention to any areas with visible stains or buildup. Be careful not to scrub too hard, as this can damage the fabric or cause it to tear.
- After scrubbing, rinse the shower curtain thoroughly with clean water, making sure to remove all soap or bleach residue and let it air dry.
- The specific tools and equipment required can vary depending on the type of shower curtain you have in place.
- Read the manufacturer's instructions and care labels for additional recommendations or precautions.
Cleaning a Shower Curtain in a Washing Machine
Cleaning a shower curtain in a washing machine is a simple and effective way to keep it looking fresh and clean. It's a great way to remove dirt, soap scum, and mildew that can accumulate over time. The best part is it saves you the hassle of hand scrubbing or replacing the curtain. Here are the steps to follow:
- Preparation: Start by removing the shower curtain from the rod. Take off any hooks or rings attached to it.
- Inspection: Give the curtain a quick inspection, and look for any stubborn stains, mildew patches, or areas that require extra attention.
- Pre-treatment (only if necessary): If you spot any tough stains or mildew, pre-treat those areas before washing. You can use a mild detergent, baking soda, or a mixture of vinegar and water. Apply the pre-treatment solution to the stained areas and gently scrub with a soft brush or sponge.
- Loading the washing machine: Before placing the shower curtain in the machine, ensure there is enough space for it to move freely. If you have a large curtain or multiple curtains, you may need to wash them separately or with a smaller load of laundry.
- Add cleaning agents: Add your regular laundry detergent or a mild detergent specifically designed for delicate fabrics. Avoid using bleach, as it can damage the curtain's material. If you want to enhance the cleaning power, you can also add a cup of white vinegar to the detergent compartment.
- Choose the appropriate settings: Set your washing machine to a gentle or delicate cycle with cold or lukewarm water. Don't use hot water because it can shrink or damage the curtain. Additionally, select a longer duration cycle to ensure a thorough cleaning.
- Pro-tips: To prevent the curtain from getting tangled during the wash, you can place a few towels or a few pieces of clothing in the machine with it. If your shower curtain is made of a delicate or sheer material, consider placing it in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase to protect it during the wash.
- Post-washing care: Once the washing cycle is complete, remove the curtain from the machine promptly to prevent wrinkles or mold growth. Shake it gently to remove excess water.
- Drying the curtain: You can air dry it, spread it out, and hang it or tumble dry it on a low heat setting. Add a couple of clean, dry towels to the dryer to help absorb moisture and prevent wrinkles.
- Rehang it: Now, when the curtain is completely dry, all that is left to do is hang it again.
Cleaning a Shower Curtain by Hand
Cleaning a shower curtain by hand is another effective way to clean it while being gentle on the materials. If you can't use a washing machine or your shower curtain is delicate and needs special care.
Here are the steps to follow to wash your shower curtain by hand:
- Prepare the cleaning area: Find a clean and spacious area where you can hand wash the curtain. It could be a bathtub, a large sink, an outdoor space, or a backyard with a hose.
- Remove the curtain: Take it down and detach any hooks or rings if needed. Lay the curtain flat on a clean surface.
- Check the curtain: Before you get started check if it has any stains, mildew, or spots that need extra attention. It can help you focus your cleaning and choose the right cleaning method.
- Spot treatment: For any stubborn stains or mildew patches, pre-treat them before washing. You can use a mild detergent, baking soda, or a mixture of vinegar and water. Apply the cleaning solution to the stained areas and gently scrub with a soft brush or sponge.
- Cleaning solution: Fill a clean basin, bathtub, or large sink with warm water. Add a mild detergent or a shower curtain cleaner specifically designed for delicate fabrics. Mix the solution well to create a soapy mixture.
- Hand wash: Submerge the shower curtain in soapy water and gently agitate it using your hands. Pay attention to any stained or soiled areas and give them extra attention. Use a soft brush or sponge to scrub the surface of the curtain, working in circular motions.
- Rinse thoroughly: Once you're pleased with the cleaning, drain the soapy water and refill the basin or sink with clean, warm water. Rinse the curtain by swishing it around in the water, ensuring you remove all the soap residue.
- Drying the curtain: After rinsing, gently squeeze out the excess water from the curtain. Avoid wringing or twisting it, as it can cause wrinkles or damage the material. If you have a clothesline or a sturdy rod, hang the curtain up to air dry in a well-ventilated area. Alternatively, you can lay it flat on a clean towel or a drying rack.
- Final touches: Once the shower curtain is completely dry, inspect it again for any remaining stains or spots. If needed, repeat the cleaning process or spot-treat those areas to ensure a thorough cleaning. Once you're satisfied, reattach the hooks or rings and hang the curtain back on the rod.
Cleaning Mold from Shower Curtains
Here are the steps to follow to clean mold from your shower curtains:
- Safety first: Put on your rubber gloves and mask to protect your hands and respiratory system while dealing with mold.
- Remove the curtain: Take down the shower curtain from the rod and detach any hooks or rings. Lay it flat on a clean surface.
- Assessment: Check the shower curtain for visible mold patches. Pay close attention to the folds, corners, and bottom edges where moisture tends to accumulate.
- Pre-treatment: If you notice mildew stains or significant mold growth, it's helpful to pre-treat the curtain before cleaning. Mix a solution of equal parts water and vinegar or use a mild detergent. Apply the solution to the affected areas and let it sit for a few minutes to loosen the mold.
- Scrubbing: Using a scrub brush or sponge, gently scrub the moldy areas of the shower curtain. Start from the top and work your way down. Apply a bit of pressure to ensure thorough cleaning, but be gentle to avoid damaging the curtain.
- Rinse thoroughly: Once you've scrubbed away the mold, rinse the curtain thoroughly with hot water. This will help remove any remaining mold residue and cleaning solution.
- Drying: After rinsing, squeeze out the excess water from the curtain. Hang it back on the rod or a clothesline to air dry completely. Make sure the curtain is spread out evenly to promote faster drying.
- Prevention tips: To prevent mold from returning, keep your bathroom well-ventilated. Open windows or use a fan to circulate air. Regularly clean and dry the shower curtain to prevent moisture buildup. Consider using a mold-resistant curtain or installing a dehumidifier in your bathroom.