When the weekly or bi-weekly cleaning battle with the bathroom arises, most people have the same plan of attack for washing their shower curtain. They break out the plastic gloves, heavy-duty cleaning solutions, and wage war on the major problem areas such as the toilet, sink, countertops, and shower.
However, most people overlook the dirtiest and most germ-ridden part of the bathroom: the shower curtain.
According to a study done by Safe Home, shower curtains have a higher bacteria level than any other area in the bathroom — by far. To better put that in perspective, shower curtains have nearly sixty times the bacteria level of the toilet.
Keeping a sanitary shower curtain goes a long way towards your bathroom’s overall cleanliness.
But what is the best way of doing that?
When shower curtains get visibly dirty, most people opt for getting a new one. Luckily for you, however, we have scoured a number of industry resources to help you wash your existing plastic shower curtain, thereby saving both the cleanliness of your bathroom and the burden on your wallet.
How to Wash a Plastic Shower Curtain
The best way to wash a shower curtain all depends on the material of the curtain and how soiled it is.
If the shower curtain has some rips, tears, or large stains on it, the preferred method would be to wash it by hand. Simply take it off the shower rack and treat it with baking soda, dish soap, or laundry detergent.
If the shower curtain is newer, the easiest method would be to put it in a washing machine. Running the machine on delicate, as well as adding a few additional towels for protection and to help with cleaning, would be the easiest way to fix up and rid your shower curtain of germs.
Here are the steps to clean your plastic shower curtain:
1. Remove curtain and shower rings
Take the curtain off the shower and set aside the shower rings. If the rings themselves look like they need cleaning, you can use traditional cleaning products on them.
2. Put in washing machine OR spot treat
If you want to use a washing machine, put the shower curtain in the machine and use a gentle warm or cold setting with as much water as possible. Additionally, adding a few towels to the load will help with cleaning the curtain as well as keeping it safe from ripping.
If you would prefer to clean by hand, use the bathtub or turn on the shower. If you notice any stains, dampen the curtain and spot treat with either baking soda, dish soap, or laundry detergent. Scrub with a sponge and repeat as needed. Once stains have been removed, scrub the entire curtain and fully rinse.
3. Hang dry
Once cleaning is complete, you may hang the shower curtain back up on the shower rod to air dry. If you own a fabric curtain, it may be possible to use your dryer, but in general plastic and vinyl shower curtains should be air-dried.
How Often Should You Clean A Shower Curtain?
There are slightly different opinions on exactly when you should wash your shower curtain, and it all boils down to how many showers the curtain itself encounters.
Cleaning expert Jolie Kerr told Huff Post,
“Shower curtains need to be washed when they’ve developed scum, mold or mildew build-up, but the rate at which that happens depends on so many different factors (…) like the relative humidity in your home, how well-ventilated your bathroom is, and the use of certain products that cause more soap scum and build-up than others, like a thicker shampoo, conditioner, or body wash.”Jolie Kerr, Huff Post
In other words: clean the curtain when it makes sense. If you’re looking for a more numerical time frame, the consensus seems to be as soon as every month, and no later than every six months.
Can A Plastic Shower Curtain Be Washed?
Yes, plastic shower curtains can be washed. All shower curtains can be washed, and the preferred method all depends on how fragile the material is.
Can Plastic Shower Curtains Go In The Washing Machine?
Generally speaking, all plastic, cloth, and vinyl shower curtains are safe to go in the washing machine. However, if your plastic curtain has any rips or tears in it, it would be safer to wash it by hand, or at the very least add towels to the washing machine for a bit of extra protection.
Can Plastic Shower Curtains Go In The Dryer?
In almost all circumstances, it is not safe to put plastic shower curtains in the dryer after cleaning.
The dryer can warp and distort the fabrics and plastics associated with shower curtains, so the best method of drying them would be to air dry. Hanging the curtain back up in the shower will do the trick.
Cleaning Your Plastic Shower Curtain is a Breeze
We hope this didn’t take too long. Your shower curtain should be clean, and ready to last another 6 months without another cleaning. By cleaning your curtain you have saved the environment from another piece of plastic waste and saved yourself some money.