How often should you?

How often you should clean your shower curtain — and the right way to do it

Is your shower curtain — or the liner — so nasty you avoid touching it? Do guests mistake the mildew for polka dots? Then it’s time to give that bathroom staple a good bath.

Follow along as America’s handyman Bob Vila shares tips for cleaning the shower curtain and liner. It’s so easy, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

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How to clean your shower curtain and liner

  1. Remove the rings, then toss the curtain and the liner in the washer along with a couple of white towels. The towels will provide extra scrubbing for better cleaning.
  2. Add the regular amount of detergent and ½-1 cup of baking soda.
  3. Wash in warm or hot water at the highest level.
  4. At the rinse cycle, add ½-1 cup of distilled white vinegar.
  5. Allow fabric curtains to run through the spin cycle, then hang. No need to go in the dryer.

Note: If the curtain is plastic, there’s no need to run it through the spin cycle. It’s ready to hang in the bathroom right after it rinses.

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To remove extra heavy mildew from a white or clear shower curtain/liner, add a cup of bleach to the wash water. For colored curtains/liners, try OxiClean, Clorox 2 or another bleach alternative instead.

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Basically, every shower curtain is washable, but to be on the safe side, check the instructions on the care tag first.

Proactive tips

  1. Most bar soaps cause soap scum. Use body wash or a non-soap cleansing bar instead of bar soap.
  2. Make it part of your daily routine to spray the shower curtain and liner with a mixture of half water, half white distilled vinegar. To tame the vinegar smell, add a few drops of lemon oil to the mix. No need to rinse. It will wash off the next time you shower.
  3. Once a week, spray the bottom of the curtain and liner with the vinegar/water mixture then scrub with a brush. This will remove any build-up you might have missed with daily spraying.

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