How to Clean a Vinyl Shower Curtain

146892408Many of us are guilty of chronic shower curtain abuse. We buy them cheap, use them up and throw them in the garbage, never bothering to try to clean or maintain them.

This behavior is wasteful because it is unnecessary. Even vinyl shower curtains can be cleaned with relatively minimal effort, and while they don’t cost much to replace no one is giving them away for free, either. If you can make them last longer it will save you money while reducing your landfill contributions.

Stocking Up

No matter how dirty it might look, cleaning a vinyl shower curtain is really a piece of cake. Here’s a list of the supplies you will need to get the job done right:

  • Laundry detergent
  • Vinegar
  • Bleach
  • A scrub brush

That’s it, that’s all there is to it. Most likely you already have these items in your home, and if you don’t you likely would have bought them for other uses at some point anyway.

Cleaning Your Curtain: A Step-by-Step Guide

Dirt, soap and mildew are the staining culprits that can make your vinyl shower curtain look greasy, grungy and spotty. To remove them try this cleaning routine:

  1. Take your shower curtain down off its hooks and place it in the tub.
  2. Identify any dirt, soap stains or mildew that may have accumulated.
  3. Clean affected areas with a scrub brush as you hold the curtain beneath the running bathtub faucet.
  4. If any stains remain, try scrubbing them with a washcloth soaked in vinegar or laundry detergent for a minute before switching back to the scrub brush. If those stubborn deposits look like mildew try a small amount of bleach instead of the vinegar or detergent.
  5. If stains still remain your best hope may be the washing machine. You should wash a shower curtain with laundry detergent and bleach in cold water on a gentle cycle, and wash it along with a few dirty towels to keep the vinyl from sticking.
  6. After the washing cycle is complete, do not put your curtain in the dryer (it can melt or even catch on fire). Hang it up in the bathroom and boost the drying process with a fan if you aren’t willing to wait.

By this point your vinyl shower curtain should be spotless. But if it isn’t you’ll have to decide if you can live with the stains or would prefer to get a new one.

An Ounce of Prevention …

Naturally if you can prevent stains from forming in the first place that would be ideal.

There are two good ways to do this: either spray the curtain daily (when dry) with a vinegar/water solution, or remove it and soak it once a month in a tub of water with one cup of bleach added.

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