How To Clean A Plastic Shower Curtain

Dirty shower curtains are a big eyesore. Are you cleaning your plastic shower curtains correctly?

Nothing is worse than stepping into a relaxing hot shower, only to be reminded of your disgusting plastic shower curtain.

If you have a plastic shower curtain, you understand how quickly a once shiny curtain can turn into a muddy nightmare. If so, this article is just for you.

Today, I’ll discuss how easy it is to clean your shower curtain once it begins to become grimy. With just a few materials that are commonly found lying around the home, you can turn your dirty plastic shower curtain into one that looks brand new!

Types Of Plastic Shower Curtains

Metal rods white plastic shower curtain

There are several different types of shower curtains:

  • Vinyl – Vinyl is the most popular type of material. It is durable, water-resistant, and easy to clean.
  • PVC – PVC is a type of vinyl that is more rigid and less flexible than other types of vinyl.
  • PEVA – PEVA is made from polyethylene vinyl acetate and is water-resistant and durable.
  • Nylon –  Nylon is a fabric that is water-resistant and durable but not as easy to clean as vinyl or PEVA.
  • Polyester –  Polyester is a fabric that is not as water-resistant or durable as nylon but is easier to clean than nylon.

Can You Put Your Shower Curtain In A Washing Machine?

Contrary to popular belief, you can clean it in the washer. These curtains are meant to be durable and wet-friendly, so there’s not much that can harm them in a washing machine.

If you use the washing machine to clean it, use the warm water cycle to extend its life. Cold water can cause the plastic to be brittle. Just avoid using a temperature that is any higher than what you would typically use for a shower.

Two washing machine in the small closet

What Is The Most Efficient Way To Clean It?

First, look for the label of the manufacturer. It is important to check the curtain’s material before cleaning it, as different fabrics may need to be washed with different detergents. If the manufacturer has specific cleaning instructions, then always follow it.

If your shower curtain isn’t labeled or there aren’t any specific instructions, you may clean it on the gently spin cycle in your washing machine with warm water and detergent.

Pro Tip:  If your shower curtain is really dirty or stained, you can pre-treat the fabric with a stain remover before putting it in the washer.

How To Wash Plastic Shower Curtains In A Front Load Washer

You can put them in your front load washer as well. Some people believe they can’t use front loaders since they utilize less water, but this isn’t the case. In reality, front loaders are kinder to the fabric than top loaders, so they are less likely to harm them.

Pro Tip: Don’t overload your front loader! This will decrease the washing machine’s effectiveness and may cause your shower curtain to not get clean.

Why It’s Important To Clean

It’s important to clean it regularly because it can quickly become stained and covered in buildup.

Also, high humidity in the bathroom causes a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. If the curtain is not regularly cleaned, it can be challenging to remove the buildup, and the curtain may start to look dirty and dingy. Cleaning your plastic shower curtain is a quick and easy way to keep it looking new and shiny.

You don’t have to clean your shower curtain every week, but try to do it at least once a month. While you’re at it, you probably also want to clean your toilet bowl as well as your drains.

A simple white bathroom with a plastic shower curtain

How Should You Dry It

Drying is just as important as cleaning it. Avoid drying it in direct sunlight, as this can cause the plastic to warp and become brittle.

You should also avoid using a dryer, which can cause the plastic to melt. A good way to dry your plastic shower curtain is to hang it over a shower rod or clothesline. Doing this will prevent it from becoming warped or brittle.

Pro Tip:  If you’re in a hurry, you can also use a blow dryer on a low setting to help speed up the drying process. Just don’t use direct heat on the material.

How Often Should You Be Cleaning It?

The frequency of cleaning will be determined by the material, usage, the number of people who use it, and how well you care for it. You should wash your shower curtain at least once a month in a typical home.

If you don’t clean your curtain as often as needed, it might result in dirt trapped in the material that isn’t visible. To extend your curtain’s life and cut down on the time between complete cleans, give it a spray down with a fast-acting cleaning solution like vinegar.

Pro tip:  Don’t forget to clean the shower curtain liner too! The liner can be machine-washed and dried on a low setting.


Cleaning a plastic shower curtain isn’t difficult, but it’s important to do it regularly to prevent bacteria and mold from growing. You can clean your plastic shower curtain in the washing machine using a mild detergent and warm water on a gentle spin cycle. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific curtain you have.

Caitlyn Koch
Caitlyn Koch has been working in interior design for over 5 years. Caitlyn believes that interior design is more than just making a space look pretty - it's about creating an environment that people will enjoy living in.
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