How to Wash a Shower Curtain Liner

Using a shower curtain liner is essential if you want a dry bathroom floor. But the constant exposure to moisture means mildew and mold can grow and take over. Ick!

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A shower curtain liner is your first line of defense against a wet bathroom floor. The liner hangs on the inside of the tub or shower stall, preventing water from splashing all over the place (unless you have kids, in which case nothing will stop them). Because of their function, shower curtain liners are often wet—and where there’s moisture, there’s the inevitable mold, mildew and soap scum. Here’s how to wash a shower curtain liner and keep it clean.

Psst! Check out these shower cleaning hacks.

How to Wash a Shower Curtain Liner

To find the right cleaning method, it helps to know what type of liner you own.

PEVA and PVC Liners: Scrub with Vinegar

Plastic liners made from PEVA (polyethylene vinyl acetate) and PVC (polyvinyl chloride) are durable and waterproof. When you notice grime and mildew buildup, the best way to clean a plastic liner is with vinegar; which kills mold and prevents future breakouts.

Fill a spray bottle with three parts water and one part white vinegar and spray the curtain until saturated. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then scrub with a sponge and rinse.

Polyester Liner: Wash in the Washing Machine

Fabric shower curtain liners, usually made from 100% polyester, are water repellant and quick-drying. The best part about fabric liners that is you can throw them in the washing machine when they start to look grimy. Wash it on a warm setting with your regular detergent. If you want an extra boost of cleaning power, add a tablespoon or two of white vinegar to the wash cycle.

How to Wash a Shower Curtain Liner Without a Washing Machine

If you have a plastic liner that can’t be put in the washing machine, or you don’t have a washing machine, use the spray and scrub method from above. However, sometimes your liner might need more than a light scrubbing. If you have an extra-soiled liner, remove it from the curtain rings and hand-wash it in the bathtub. Fill the tub with hot water, add a tablespoon of laundry detergent and 1/4 cup of baking soda. Let the curtain soak in the solution for 10 to 15 minutes, then hand-wash; use a soft sponge if needed. Hang up the curtain to let it air-dry.

How often should I wash a shower curtain liner?

If your shower curtain liner looks gross, it’s time to clean it! Look for the telltale signs at the bottom of your liner like pink mildew, dark mold spots or soap scum buildup. On average, it’s a good rule of thumb to give it a thorough cleaning about once a month.

How often should I replace a plastic shower curtain?

If your liner has been neglected for several months, it might be time to replace it and start fresh. Keep in mind, even with the right care, plastic liners should be replaced every 4 to 6 months. Polyester liners usually last longer because they’re machine-washable. When it’s time for a new liner, measure your tub or shower to make sure you get the correct size; a liner that’s too small won’t effectively keep water contained but a liner that’s too big will have you tripping over the excess material. We also recommend a liner with weights or magnets at the bottom to keep it securely in place.

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Erica Young
Erica is a cleaning and home décor expert. She knows exactly how to tidy a filthy kitchen and straighten out a mixed-up pantry! When she's not writing you'll find her organizing a closet, buying more bins she doesn't need or bingeing her latest TV show obsession.