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How to Care for Your Shower Curtains


Proper shower curtains, that is, ones made of canvas, nylon, cotton and vinyl play a fantastic role in preventing water from leaking outside the shower during a bath. They act as a wick because they channel water with the help of the cloth into the tub. Natural fiber or nylon shower curtains can last for years if provided proper care. However, fabric shower curtains are especially vulnerable to mildew and mold because they can easily retain moisture. When shower curtains remain wet after a bath and fail to dry properly, mold and mildew set in. However, there are certain ways to avoid these problems.

Drying and Washing

It is extremely important that you read the instructions label on your shower curtain before you proceed to wash it. Most shower curtains, especially ones made of synthetic material, should not be placed in the dryer; the care label should be checked for specific instructions. The best method would then be to hang the washed shower curtains back on the rods to dry. Also, the steam from the warm water helps remove wrinkles from shower curtains. Since fabric shower curtains are designed to dry quickly, you can put them in a machine dryer on low heat setting.

Different Shower curtains require different levels of care since they are manufactured from a variety of different materials. Shower curtains may be washed with the usual detergent you use at home in a regular washing machine. If the instruction label on the curtain does not restrict it, you may add one cup of bleach to the regular cycle. This will help eliminate the mildew and mold, as well as deodorize the shower curtain. If bleach cannot be used, use baking soda. It is necessary to make sure that cold water is used and not hot water because hot water may damage synthetic shower curtains. Cloth shower curtains can be washed but many others like vinyl cannot. (Great deals on cloth shower curtains can be found online with free shipping.) Care should be taken when removing shower curtains from rods; a tiny tear can eventually damage the whole curtain.

It is also a good idea to spread shower curtains open and hang them outside the tub after using the shower. Also, reducing humidity in the shower area by opening a window or maybe running the exhaust fan can help with drying.

Remove Mildew and Stains

The prevention of mildew and mold is extremely important in order to care for shower curtains. There are commercially available shower sprays to take care of that, but since many of these chemicals are damaging to human health, other natural remedies may be used. One natural remedy is to soak shower curtains in a solution of water and white vinegar to eliminate mildew. Here’s a tip: you can carry this out in a washing machine. Once done with the soaking, spin the shower curtains and then hang them on the rod to dry.

Another simple method is to make a paste of lemon juice and borax, rub it into the stains on the shower curtains, and let it sit overnight. Then wash the shower curtains in a washing machine and hang to dry. An even easier solution is to spray the stains while the shower curtains are hanging on the rods. The stains will vanish when cleaned with a brush and rinsed. The mildew will not return as long as the shower curtains are allowed to dry properly each day.

Care varies for different materials of shower curtains. For example, almost all vinyl shower curtains are treated with a certain biocide that makes them resistant to mildew and mold. On the other hand, shower curtains made out of natural fabrics are not applied with biocide because it washes out in a few washes and would therefore be useless.

Other Methods to Care

One of the best tricks to care for your shower curtain is to have two shower curtains that can be hung on shower curtain rods alternately. When you take one down, wash it and dry it while you use the other one. Shower curtains should be rotated on a regular basis. Also, it should be made sure that the bathroom has a decent amount of ventilation.

Another tip to care for your shower curtain is to always use a shower curtain liner with a cloth shower curtain. Even if you have a fabric curtain that is made to repel water and moisture, using a shower curtain liner can help maintain the longevity of the fabric curtain. You can easily find polyester or vinyl liners for shower curtains in the market. However, remember that the shower curtain and its liner should be hung on the same rings.


After washing shower curtains, before you hang them up on shower curtain rods, soak them in a solution of water and vinegar. Soaking in vinegar solution helps stop mildew and mold from growing on shower curtains. This makes cleaning the curtain in the future very easy. After soaking, the shower curtains should be hung on rods and allowed to dry. (Great deals on shower curtain rods can be found online with free shipping.)

Another tip to make shower curtains last longer is to make it a habit never to leave them pulled off to one side of the rods. If you do this, the folds of the curtains trap water and moisture which helps mildew and mold to grow. It is better that you always pull your shower curtain so that it does not have any folds, and dries quickly and easily.

Cleaning and caring for shower curtains and shower curtain rods can help extend their lives while making your shower area fresh and clean.