How to clean your shower curtain

With these simpl tips, you'll have a clean shower curtain in no time.

Housecleaning is one of the necessary evils of life, something everyone ultimately has to do, but something most of us don't relish. A wise person once said that if it isn't dirty, it shouldn't be cleaned. This is a helpful tip for regular weekly housecleaning, but there are some areas of our homes that only require occasional washing, so they are easily missed, forgotten, or ignored until the need for cleaning becomes painfully obvious. One of these once-in-a-while cleaning necessities is the shower curtain.

There are a couple of different types of shower curtains. The most common is to buy an all-in-one shower curtain, where either the curtain itself is made of decorative plastic or vinyl, or a cloth curtain has an attached vinyl backing. Nearly as common is a decorative cloth shower curtain with an unattached vinyl or plastic liner that is bought separately. Still others, who use only the bathtub and not the shower, might have only a cloth curtain with no liner. Regardless of your shower curtain, it will inevitably need to be cleaned, and following are a few tried and true cleaning tips to brighten things up with the least amount of effort.

First, and most obvious, if you simply have a cloth curtain with no liner, it can be washed in the washing machine and then dried in the dryer or hung on a clothes line, depending on the fabric. Often the best route to take is to hang it on a clothes line to dry and then pop it in the dryer for a few minutes to soften it up.

There are several ways to wash a plastic curtain or a vinyl liner, as well as the cloth curtain with the liner attached. Many people simply put the curtain, vinyl and all, into the washing machine, the same as the cloth curtain. If it won't hurt any cloth that might be attached, you can add some bleach to your laundry soap. Fabric softener added to the rinse cycle will help remove soap bubbles from the vinyl. Usually it helps to add a few towels to the washer with the shower curtain, because the heavier items will assist in agitation. If you're concerned the curtain might be damaged or if it is made of delicate cloth material attached to the vinyl, allow it to soak for two hours in a full bathtub with a cup of bleach added. If you don't like the bleach odor, vinegar works well, too. After a good soaking, rinse it clean or scrub gently with a soft sponge if more cleaning is needed.

After your shower curtain is clean, it's easy to maintain it daily and avoid washing it as often. Keep a spray bottle in the shower with 1 part bleach and 10 parts water, or a commercial shower spray if you prefer. Spray the shower curtain each day after using the shower. Another helpful tip, if you want a break from the spray bottle, is to dry your shower curtain each day with a towel. Mold, mildew and soap scum are allowed to build up because of water sitting for hours on the curtain.

With these simply tips, you'll enjoy having a clean shower curtain. And with the eliminated hassle and cost of buying a new one, think of the money you'll save!

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