How To Wash A Shower Curtain Or Shower Curtain Liner

Shower curtains/liners are essential bathroom staples that you need to clean pretty often. The more you use them, the more grime they accumulate over time. This means stuffy and funky smells coming out of your bathroom, and subsequent possible compromise of privacy. Is there a way to clean them? Of course, there is! We’ve looked up the best cost-effective and time-saving methods to get your curtain/liner squeaky clean.

Here’s the most straightforward way to wash your shower curtain/liner:

  1. Remove your curtain/liner, and toss it into your washing machine.
  2. Add some bleach to eliminate stains in the form of mold or mildew.
  3. Set your machine on ‘gentle’ to avoid ruining your liner.
  4. Wash it in warm or hot water.
  5. Take out your liner at the end of the cycle and hang it back up to dry.
  6. Most vinyl and plastic liners are machine-washable, but to be on the safe side, check the care tag first for any special instructions.

Are the steps above clear enough? No? Don’t worry. We’ve explained them in greater detail in this post. What’s more, we’ve added a few handy tips and answered a couple of related questions to this particular topic. We hope it helps!

A white shower curtain with stainless steel curtain, How To Wash A Shower Curtain or Shower Curtain Liner

Can You Machine-Wash A Shower Curtain/Liner?

Most shower curtains and liners are machine washable. Before washing yours, it’s essential to check the instructions on the care tag first. Some of curtains and liners may be hand wash only. Inserting shower curtains of this nature into a washing machine may do more harm than good.  

Also, some shower curtains are washable in certain bleaches or detergents. Others might require a more specific or professional method of cleaning. It helps to know what yours needs before you machine-wash it.

If your shower curtain liner has scum or appalling stains, don’t get rid of it. Just remove it from your shower and place it in your washing machine. We’ll get into the necessary steps you’re supposed to follow from there in a moment.

Can You Put A Plastic Shower Curtain In The Washing Machine?

It’s 100 percent possible to wash your plastic shower curtain using a washing machine. It’s a straightforward process that doesn’t require any professional guidance or assistance. 

It’s essential to give your shower curtain a pretreatment before tossing it into your washing machine. This helps to prevent soap scum from accumulating on your curtain. Pre-treating your shower curtain also helps in getting rid of mildew or other stains easier.

Plastic shower curtains should be washed regularly at a minimum temperature of 40 degrees. This is slightly lower than linen, which you wash at 60 degrees. 

You can wash your curtain at 30 degrees, though it might come out crinkled. Any temperature higher than the specified temperature may melt your curtain, considering its soft plastic.


How To Wash A Shower Curtain/Liner In A Front Load Washer


  1. Washing machine
  2. Laundry detergent
  3. White towels (2-3)
  4. Baking soda (1 cup)
  5. Liquid bleach
  6. White vinegar (1/2 cup, optional)

What to Do:

1.Take Down Your Shower Curtain/Liner

Gently remove your liner and curtain from the shower rod, and detach all the rings. Hand washing it while it’s still up may not bring about the most effective results.

2.Toss it into your Washing Machine

Toss it - along with two white towels - into your washing machine. The towels will offer better scrubbing and a cleaner result.  

Wash the liner using warm water and a sizeable amount of your regular detergent. You could also use liquid bleach, vinegar, or one cup of baking soda. Never use all three o at once. 

3. Add Bleach to Eliminate Stains

The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) recommends that you add liquid bleach to the wash cycle to tackle stubborn stains. Alternatively, you can soak your liner in a bathtub full of warm water mixed with one cup of bleach for at least 20 minutes. If you don’t have bleach, add half a cap of white vinegar during the rinse cycle. 

Click here to view white vinegar on Amazon. 

4. Dry your Shower Curtain

Once the wash and rinse cycles are up, take your shower liner out and give it a shake or two. Leaving it in your washing machine will bring about musty smells and wrinkles as well. Pat down your liner using a dry towel then hang it up on your curtain rod to dry. 

Hand Washing Your Shower Curtain/Liner

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  1. Borax Detergent Booster
  2. Distilled White Vinegar
  3. Water

In a container, mix the detergent booster, vinegar, and water. Pour it on your liner and let it stay for 10 to 15 minutes. Use the sponge or cloth to scrub every part of the shower curtain/liner thoroughly.

Rinse the liner with warm water and do a thorough check for any hard water stains or soap scum patches left. Any stain should be eliminated with a thorough scrub using baking soda. Rinse once more until there are no stains left. 

Hang it and allow it to air - dry. By the time it dries, your liner will leave a fresh scent in your bathroom – and around your home. 

Can You Clean Shower Curtain/Liner With Vinegar?

There’s no harm in washing your curtain/liner with vinegar. What most people don’t know about vinegar is that it’s super useful when it comes to getting rid of mold and mildew. 

Click here to view Heinz Cleaning Vinegar on Amazon.

You can use it as a natural/homemade shower cleaner. You can do this by measuring half a cup of water into a container – more specifically, a spray bottle - and add half a cup of vinegar. If you find the smell too irritating, you can combat it by adding at least five drops of lemon essential oil.

Click here to view Lemon Essential Oil on Amazon.

Each time after taking a shower, spray the bottom of your liner with the mixture. Stretch it out to ensure it dries properly. This method is ideal f between washes. 

Can You Clean Shower Curtain/Liner With Bleach?

Compared to vinegar, bleach is a popular disinfectant for shower curtains and liners. Chlorine bleach fights off any mildew, mold, bacteria, and germs.  

Powdered bleach is just as effective as liquid bleach. Both forms of bleach offer a non-toxic and safe way to deodorize and sanitize your shower curtain/liner. This is perfect for families with young kids or those who prefer a fast means to disinfect their curtain.

The best thing about bleach is that it’s available for both white and colored shower curtains. Clorox works wonders on white shower curtains. It gets rid of heavy mold or mildew to leave your shower curtain fresh and spotless. It’s also safe to use on liners.

Click here to view Clorox on Amazon.

Clorox 2 and OxiClean are two of the best bleaches that we strongly recommend for colored curtains/liners.

Click here to view Clorox 2 on Amazon.

Click here to view OxiClean on Amazon.

What Side Of The Shower Liner Goes Inside?

Ever used a shower liner and wondered if you’re using the right side? Probably you haven’t, but it’s still worth knowing all the same.

One side of the liner has a smoother, better-looking appearance – that’s the front. The back is somewhat rougher in texture. It also has edges that have folded seams. It makes sense that the rougher side should be inside and the smoother one outside. When you’re standing in the tub, the liner’s good side should be visible. 

How Often Should You Change Your Shower Curtain/Liner?

Most people change their shower curtains/liners once they notice it’s changed color. Not only is doing so a waste of money, but it’s also a waste of time. Why buy new bathroom staples when you can always clean them yourself and get them to look good as new? Just unhook your liner from the shower rod and throw it into your washing machine.

Even if you have the money to spend, just cut back on buying new shower curtains/liners. Think of it as doing laundry. Whenever your clothes get dirty or stained, you need to wash them and wear them again. Like clothes, liners don’t have a defined expiration date. Once they reach a point where they are not coming clean or have become stained or faded, then it is time to replace. 


Now that you know how to wash a shower curtain make an effort to clean yours as often as possible. Ideally, curtains and liners should be cleaned at least once a month. However, if you do it at least thrice a month, you’ll enjoy the luxury of taking a bath in a fresh-smelling and squeaky clean bathroom.  

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