The Easiest Way to Clean Your Shower Curtain Liner

2 Materials
45 Minutes

The other day I heard someone say you can clean your plastic shower curtain liner by putting it in the washing machine and I thought she was crazy. But now that I've tried it maybe I was crazy for not knowing this sooner!
In the past I've fought the uphill battle of scrubbing and wiping down the curtain periodically and then replacing it when I let it get ahead of me. Buying a new liner always hurts because we only buy the eco-friendly, PVC-free ones (linked on the blog) and they're a little more expensive. So after I heard it can be cleaned in the washing machine I decided to try this for myself as soon as I got home and save the expense of buying a new shower curtain liner.
I had planned to take before and after photos of our frosted shower curtain but it just didn't photograph well and maybe that's for the best, I don't think you all wanted to see our soap-scum anyways. It also didn't help that our pup Harley kept trying to "help."
How to: Now to clean the liner, it's pretty darn simple - just stick it in the washing machine with one or two bath towels, 1 cup of white vinegar (affiliate link) and your regular detergent (we use Seventh Generation Free & Clear - affiliate link), then wash on the delicate cycle. When it's done hang the curtain back up to dry -- DO NOT put in the dryer. The curtain will be a bit wrinkly at first but as clean as the day you bought it!
Ah, nice and clean - I wish I had known this sooner! { Follow me on Instagram @birchlandinghome }

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Sarah | Birch Landing Home

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Sbs12057754
    on Sep 22, 2016

    My shower curtain has magnetic circles a couple of places along the bottom edge (placed there to help keep the curtain closed in place). Do you think it's OK (for the washing machine) for the magnets to go in thru the wash cycle?

    • Sarah | Birch Landing Home
      on Sep 22, 2016

      Mine has that also but they're not magnetic ( just weights) and it's fine. Yours might be fine as well - if you have stainless steel inside your washing machine that's often not magnetic.

  • Jeanne Hodges
    on Oct 19, 2016

    I bought a sturdy shower curtain liner. I've always washed it in the washing machine. It's really stiff and horribly wrinkled when it comes out of the washer, so I put it in the dryer on the lowest heat setting for a couple minutes. It gets a lot of the water off, and no more wrinkles. Always looks brand new too.

    • Jewellmartin
      on Jun 14, 2017

      @JeanneHodges. I have put my liner in the dryer for just a little while, too, to get any water pockets out. I used to go to so much trouble to find a place to dry it before I finally had one of those DUH moments. Just hang it back on the shower rod. Best wishes 😇
  • Bernice H
    on Jan 29, 2017

    I have always had an agitator washer,my daughter got one of those big tub type that weigh the amount of clothes,then dispense the amount of water accordingly. I tried to wash her liner...FAIL, had to wash it twice, not enough water to swish with towels. It didn't get agitated nor did it even unfold. It was a little cleaner when it came out,but where it didn't agitate directly..still grimey. WHAT kind of washer do you have? I wonder if it was laid in a hot tub of water and vinegar and detergent ...if it would come clean by swishing it after soaking? I now have one of those washers,came with the house we bought , my clothes are not clean and have lint spots on them from not enough water to move around.

    • Goldrushgal
      on May 9, 2017

      Most of those washers have a setting where you can add extra water when needed. If you don't have the owner's manual you should be able to download these from the internet. Love my agitatorless washing machine. I always use vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser. No lint problems. Our clothes have never been as clean before . Also make sure your detergent is rated for high efficiency washers.

Join the conversation

2 of 108 comments
  • Julie
    on Mar 4, 2018

    My shower curtain liner was really bad ( we have hard water, and no water softner). I tried hot water, vinegar and detergent on delicate. It got off most of the gunk, but it was still pretty yellow looking. I then did baking soda, detergent and warm water on delicate.... the liner looks almost New!

  • Barby
    on Aug 15, 2018

    I do this all the time! But, dirty white vinyl liner, use hot water & bleach & a touch of detergent & 1 or 2 white towels.

    Do put the liner in the dryer with 1 towel, maybe just 5 min or less? Take out immediately & hang the shower curtain (it should be warm & very soft) it cools, no wrinkles!

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