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The bathroom is usually the warmest and most humid room in a home. You use the bath or shower, steam the place up, and then leave the room in darkness for hours. Hot, humid and dark. Ideal conditions for mold growth. (If you have mold in your bathroom, check out our tips to remove mold from bathrooms after a flood.)

Favorite breeding grounds for mold, most people don’t know how to wash shower curtains. Although they are cheap enough to replace, finding one with the same pattern can be a time-consuming and mind-numbing experience.

In this post, you’ll learn how to wash a shower curtain and liner and treat it to protect it against mold and soap scum stains. Instead of spending a Saturday morning hunting down a new shower curtain, you’ll have the time free for more pleasurable pursuits.

How to hang shower curtains and liners

The shower curtain should always be hung from the curtain rod and fall outside the bathtub. The curtain liner is hung on the inside of the shower curtain, and falls inside the bathtub. If water splashes over the shower curtain and onto the bathroom floor, raise the curtain rod. 

It’s important that the curtain liner spans the bathtub – this ensures no shower splash outside the shower area. Remember, the job of the shower curtain and liner is to keep the water in the tub, and help direct it down the drain.

How to wash a shower curtain

Even though the curtain liner will take most of the water splash, the space between the liner and shower curtain traps condensation. This encourages mold growth, so when you wash the curtain liner make sure you also wash the shower curtain. There are two simple ways to wash shower curtains and liners:

1. Wash in the washing machine

Place your shower curtain in the washing machine with a couple of old, white towels. Add a cup of baking powder, vinegar, or laundry detergent. Wash on a warm water cycle, and hang to drip dry.

You add the towels to prevent damage to your plastic or vinyl shower curtain. Use white towels to prevent color seepage, and make sure they are old towels in case any mold or mildew stains them.

2. Handwashing shower curtains

If you prefer not to wash shower curtains in you washing machine, use the following handwashing method:

  1. Remove the shower curtain from the shower rod
  2. Dampen a microfiber cloth, and sprinkle it with baking soda
  3. Scrub the curtain with the cloth, moving from top to bottom
  4. Rinse with warm water
  5. If any patches of mold or soap scum remain, rescrub and rinse until they are removed
  6. Allow to drip dry before replacing on the shower curtain rod

How to prevent water damage to your shower curtains

There are things you can do to prevent water damage and mold and mildew growth on your shower curtains:

  • When you buy a new shower curtain or liner, place it in your washing machine (again, with a couple of old, white towels) and warm rinse with a small amount of distilled white vinegar.
  • Always rinse down the curtain liner after use – this will remove the soap scum before it has time to stain.
  • When you have showered, draw the curtain liner across the bathtub, and open a window to air. This will help to dry the curtain liner and prevent the conditions in which mold thrives.

Shower curtains are designed to keep water in the bathtub, preventing water damage to bathroom floors. But if you don’t take care with shower curtains and liners, you could end up with unsightly and unhealthy mold growth. Bad for the family, and not a great advert for your hygiene and cleanliness when you have overnight guests.

Cleaning shower curtains regularly (we’d recommend once a month) will help keep them fresh and looking like new.

For more tips and advice, contact Porter's Cleaning, or surf our blog for time and money-saving cleaning strategies.

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