Shower curtains are not the type of furnishing items that would get changed every now and then. In fact, your shower curtain should last at least a year, and can easily last a lot more than that, providing that you are keeping it clean and in a good condition. The best and most basic way of doing so is to make sure your shower curtain does not absorb moisture in order for it not to develop mold or any other fungi. If the material of your shower curtain is water repellant, then your curtain is safe as it is. Otherwise, you have to have a shower curtain liner to get the most out of your curtain’s life.
Just like shower curtains, shower curtain liners also vary in material, and each of these materials has a different way of being kept clean and in a good condition for as long as possible. The liners are meant to live a lot longer than the shower curtains and are made out of more enduring materials to be able to outlive whatever it protects, the shower curtain as well as the bathroom itself from moisture.
Knowing the right method for cleaning a shower curtain liner and maintaining it is vital.There are popular and basic ways of cleaning shower curtain liners like using cold water with a mixture of detergent and a half a cup of vinegar or bleach (only one of them, be careful not to use both). Still, the variations of shower curtain liner materials require different cleaning methods and ratios depending on what’s best for each material.
Some of the most common materials of shower curtain liners, which yours would probably be one of, are: vinyl, polyester fabric, hemp, linen, cotton, beeswax, and nylon.
Vinyl is the most famous of shower curtain liner materials and the most common one. Although most people think that a vinyl liner for shower curtains looks cheap compared to the ones made of fabrics, vinyl shower curtain liners are actually better at keeping shower water from spilling and reaching the floor of your bathroom as the vinyl liner sticks to the sides of the bath tub.
How to clean vinyl shower curtain liner
In terms of cleaning, vinyl or plastic liners are the easiest to clean of all shower curtain liner materials, if all you need to get off of you liner is soap scum and superficial mineral stains from hard water, and that is the worst it can get with a vinyl liner, then all you need is to swipe the scum and stains with a sponge or a cloth soaked in some white vinegar.
Given that the vinyl or plastic is of good quality, you’ll be able to wash the liner and it will be durable and won’t fade.
How to clean shower curtain liner fabrics
Fabric liners like cotton, polyester, nylon, hemp, or linen look so much more elegant than the cheap-looking plastic ones as they look much softer, warmer, and more natural.But these materials are a bit harder to clean as they usually have to be machine washed then hanged to drip-dry and ironed afterwards.
To clean a fabric shower curtain liner: mix a half a cup of baking soda with another half a cup of your regular laundry detergent, powdered preferably, then put your shower curtain liner in the washing machine. You can add some towels to the machine to meet its capacity if it’s too large. Choose the gentle cycle and warm water in the settings. Start the washing machine and while the warm water is filling in sprinkle the baking soda/detergent mixture into the washing tub. You can add bleach in the mixture only is the shower curtain is white.
Once your machine reaches the rinse cycle add one cup of white vinegar to your load, you just have to make sure to add the vinegar to the tub when it’s filled with the rinsing water to avoid having any odor in the your shower curtain.
Once the cycle is done take your curtain out and hang it to dry. Be careful not to dry the shower curtain in an automatic dryer or it will cause the curtain to shrink. When it dries, iron the liner along with the shower curtain on a low heat setting.
However, polyester shower curtain liners can be dried in the dryer and endure it without shrinking.
A step that you may need before the washing machine step;
Includes soaking the shower curtain in a container large enough for your shower curtain to fit in (or in your washing machine tub if very hot water won’t cause any damage to it). Add mixture of one gallon of hot water and a scoop of powdered oxygen bleach. If the container is big enough and it can take another gallon of water, add it with another scoop of the bleach. The important thing to keep in mind is to keep the ration 1 (gallon of water) to 1 (scoop of bleach). Let the shower curtain soak for at least 3 hours but no longer than overnight.
After the soaking take off most of the hard stains, it is guaranteed that your fabric shower curtain liner will be as bright and clean as new once it gets out of that washing machine.