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Washing a Shower Curtain Liner

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Save money by washing a shower curtain liner in the washing machine. So easy to do!

Spring is here, which means it’s time to give the house a good cleaning after a long winter. At the top of my to-do list every Spring is washing the shower curtain liner and cleaning the shower. 

collage of small white bathroom and dirty shower curtain liner

I used to buy a new one every 4 to 6 months but I didn’t like the idea of throwing them away to sit in a landfill. We also tried to repurpose them but there’s not much you can do with a gross, dirty shower curtain. So, several years ago I figured I had nothing to lose and threw the shower liner in the washing machine.

It’s really simple to do and I get a clean, like-new shower curtain every time that’s free of mold, soap scum and hard water stains. 

Washing a Shower Curtain Liner

All you need to do is to take your shower curtain down and put it in the washing machine.

I can’t believe I’m sharing my dirty laundry (literally) but this is what the bottom of mine looked like. I know, gross!

dirty shower curtain liner with soap scum

Adding 2 or 3 old bath towels, that I use on the dog, will help clean the curtain.

2 white bath towels on top of a small white stool

Next, I add a small amount of detergent and a little bit of bleach and set the washer to use hot water on a regular cycle. Make sure you use hot water for this.

I’ve used both a top loading and a front loading machine to do this and I have always gotten great results from both.

After the cycle is done, pull your curtain out (it will have some water in it so be careful).

You could put it in the dryer for a little bit with a towel, but I just hang it back up in the shower to dry. The easy way to do this is to put it in a laundry basket to carry to the bathroom. Then I open it over the tub and hang it back up, smoothing it out as I go.

a clean bottom of a vinyl shower curtain

That’s it!

In no time your curtain will dry and you’ll have a clean, like-new shower curtain for zero dollars. I have had the same curtain now for about 4 years and as long as it gets clean and stays intact, I’ll keep using and cleaning it.

To keep your shower curtain clean longer, and cut down on washing, you could cut the folded hem off the bottom. It’ll keep water from collecting and mold from growing.

Also, the simple act of closing the curtain after a shower, making sure the folds aren’t touching, will allow the curtain to dry.

A shower and a sink in a bathroom

Do you wash your shower curtain liner?

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22 Comments

  1. Thanks for the tips. I’ve always washed my plastic shower curtain in the washer with 2 towels a bit of laundry soap and vinegar.
    Only in the dryer for 10 minutes , then their hot and you can stretch out the wrinkles.

    1. Good idea to pop it in the dryer for a few minutes. Thanks so much for sharing, Jan! πŸ™‚

  2. And if you want a nice curtains decor, made like me. I put two curtains on the same ring, a lovely decorated and that which remains outside of the shower and a “normal” that is useful protection against water.
    Excuse me for the language I am French.

  3. Hey there like to get new/old idea on any subject and my daughters like my ideas as well. my girlfriend gave me a hint that my house stunk (I didn’t take it personal) because she was right! I have a cat and his litter box is in the bathroom as well as my younger daughter dog. I ran low on cash this month, so what I did was just your basics. Baking soda, vinegar,water, and a drop or two of dish washing soap and washed my floors twice and now the smell is gone. I was able to open the windows as well.

    I love the ideas!

    1. That sounds like a great idea Julie. Thanks so much for sharing! πŸ™‚

  4. I myself have done this for YEARS – I too always put it in with towels – hot hot water and as hot a rinse as you can – and yes its got water in it when you take it out – but I just shove it in the dryer and turn it on NOT hot but good and warm – for about 5 mins – maybe 10 – take it right out and fold it or put it right back up – not a wrinkle in it! Of course they are only like 4 dollars at Market Basket but what the hey. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks for sharing your tips on this Evelyn. Great info! πŸ™‚

  5. I will have to try that. Which work best: front load cycle or top load washer?

    1. I have used both front load and top load and I never really saw a difference in the way it cleaned the shower curtain. Thanks so much for visiting.

  6. Phyllis Cooke says:

    Shower curtain clean tip. Instead of clorox use vinegar. It works wknderfully and is less harsh on ghd curtain

    1. I tried vinegar a long time ago and it didn’t get all the mold off. I’ll have to try it again next time I clean the curtain. Thanks so much for the tip Phyllis!

  7. We don’t have a shower in our current home but in previous homes I’ve thrown the liners in the washing machine. I never knew you could put them in the dryer. Someday I hope to have both baths renovated so we can shower instead of having to have a bath every morning. Baths are for soaking after a long, hard day. lol

    1. I’m not really a bath gal. I grew up taking baths, we had no shower, so I guess I’ve had my fill of them. LOL Thanks for visiting Shirlee, it’s great to hear from you.

  8. Sara Enos says:

    I have cleaned mine the same way for years, but I also put it in the dryer for a few minutes – Make sure to take it out while it is still hot and every wrinkle will be gone. Just carry it straight to the tub and hang it – Perfect!

    1. I used to put mine in the dryer when I first started washing them but I feel that it’s a step that I can skip. Thanks for sharing your idea though. Much appreciated. πŸ™‚

  9. I had actually cleaned all of my vinyl shower curtains this way in the past….but for the past 10 years I have not had to as I eliminated all of the shower/tub combos from the plans when we built our house. Nothing like a squeaky clean shower curtain…

    1. You’re right about having a squeaky clean shower curtain Shirley. I would love to not have them too but, for now, it is what it is. Thanks for stopping in Shirley and I hope you have a great weekend.

  10. That looks great Kristi. I know, I hate throwing them away, too. I have actually switched to the fabric liners. They are about $5.99 at Marshall’s or Home Goods, but I wash them and they come out great. If I ever go back to the vinyl liner, I will give your trick a shot!

    1. I’ve never used fabric liners in my own home. I have used showers that had them while on vacay and they usually ended up sticking to my legs. I guess it could have been type of fabric? Maybe I’ll check them out once my vinyl curtain bites the dust. Thanks for the suggestion.

  11. Before I even read further I knew what you do to clean your shower curtain. I’ve been doing that for years and I mean years, since I’ll be married 43 yrs. this July. It is so easy and like you said you have a new, clean shower curtain each time. Believe me my shower curtain can get that dirty too. It’s so easy not to see it because it’s down at the bottom.
    FYI: The tub is painted!

    1. Yay! So glad you finished your bathtub. I bet it looks great…and I bet you’re happy it’s done! Have a great weekend MJ.

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