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How to Clean a Shower Curtain and Plastic Liner by Hand

modern black inspired bathroom with a large white shower curtain obscuring a large white bathtub

Surely there are many individuals who can relate to unleashing some ninja moves to get in and out of the shower without touching any part of the shower curtain; but why? Well, dirt, grime, and mould have a lot to do with that! 

When you allow your shower curtain to accumulate soap scum and bacteria over time, it quickly becomes icky to the touch, and may give off an unpleasant odour, too. While lack of cleaning is typically to blame for a shower curtain’s unsanitary condition, there are other factors that play a role in the growth of microbes. Climate/humidity, prolonged exposure to moisture and dampness, and lack of ventilation can all excel mould growth, and contribute to the formation of microbes. For these reasons, it is important to maintain a clean, dry, and well-ventilated bathroom to keep the entire space sanitary, and slow down the growth of mould and mildew.

If you haven’t cleaned your shower curtain and plastic liner in a while, they are going to need a good scrubbing to remove stubborn grime and mould spores (if any). Read on to learn Maid For You’s favourite cleaning methods to hand wash a fabric shower curtain, and plastic liner.

Steps to Clean Your Shower Curtain

modern black inspired bathroom with a large white shower curtain hanging on the side of a large marble bathtub

Most fabric curtains are waterproof and do not require any special treatment to clean. The most common types of fabric shower curtains are made from vinyl, polyester, and microfibre linen. While these materials repel water, they are prone to grime and stains which require a thorough deep clean to remove. 

When washing a waterproof fabric shower curtain by hand, you will need the following items:

  • Baking soda
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Household bleach
  • Spray bottle
  • Scrub brush
  • Bucket/tub (large enough to soak and submerge the curtain)
  • Long rubber gloves
  • Protective goggles

Grab a hold of the things above and follow the steps below.

Step One

In a plastic spray bottle, mix equal parts liquid bleach and water. Put on your rubber gloves and protective eyewear before using the bleach solution as the tiny droplets that are dispersed into the air while spraying can cause skin and eye irritation. 

Shake the bottle well, and saturate the shower curtain by spraying it from top to bottom while it is hanging up. Do this on both sides and allow it to sit for a good 15 minutes.

Step Two

Fill up the tub or bucket with enough water to submerge the shower curtain completely. The use of warm water over room temperature water is advised as the former helps to break down tough grime while also loosening the grip of mould spores on the fabric. Add 1-2 tablespoons of liquid laundry detergent to the water and swirl it around for the soap to mix in well. Place the shower curtain inside and gently massage the fabric with your gloved hands. Repeat this process every few minutes until the curtain has been soaked in the solution for at least 15 minutes.

Step Three

Take the curtain out of the soapy solution, place it flat down on your bathroom floor, and scrub down both sides thoroughly using the scrub brush. Pay attention to seams and edges as this is where mould and dirt tend to hide. If there are visible stains that require some amount of abrasion to remove, sprinkle some baking soda over the area and proceed to scrub away the stain by cleaning in a circular motion.

Step Four

Rinse out the tub/bucket and refill it with plain water. Dip the whole shower curtain in the water a few times to remove soap and other residue from the material. For a thorough rinse, drain the water and repeat the step 2-3 times or until all the soap and dirt has been removed.

To dry your fabric shower curtain, simply shake off excess water, and hang it back up to air-dry.

Steps to Clean Plastic Shower Liners

white hanging shower curtain on a steel rod

Much like your fabric shower curtain, the plastic liner that generally bears the brunt of the splashback when showering can be deep cleaned in a very similar manner. Since it is 100% plastic and waterproof, liners are generally easier and faster to clean because they don’t require any soaking time.

Here is Maid For You’s quick guide to cleaning your plastic shower liner by hand:

  • In a spray bottle, mix 1 part white distilled vinegar to 4 parts water. If there is visible mould present, substitute the vinegar for household bleach, and mix equal parts of the cleaning ingredient and water.
  • Douse the plastic liner with the cleaning solution from top to bottom (on both sides). Give it 15 minutes to break down mould, soap scum, and other dirt or stains.
  • For a deep clean, take the curtain down and place it flat on the bathroom floor; on the other hand, if this is a routine clean, or you are simply spot cleaning the liner, there is no need to take it off the rod.
  • Dip a wet scrubber in baking soda, pour a small amount of liquid laundry detergent over it, and scrub the plastic liner from top to bottom; do the same on the other side. Be sure to clean around the loops or rings, as well as the seams/stitching.
  • Finally, rinse the plastic liner under running water or dip it in a bucket of clean water to remove the detergent.
  • Dry the liner by hanging it back up with the bathroom window and door open for added ventilation (this will speed up the drying process). 

The next time you are giving your bathroom a routine clean, inspect the shower curtain and liner for mould, grime, or dirt, and do the needful using the simple, straightforward cleaning methods we have shared above!

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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