How do I keep my shower curtain from getting red water stains?

Anne Materna
by Anne Materna
  14 answers
  • HI Anne, you could use a daily shower spray, or just take your shower curtain down and wash it every week or two with towels. Hope this helps!

  • It's actually pink mold, Anne. You should put the shower curtain in the washing machine. I use a shower curtain liner and spray it with my vinegar/Dawn dish soap mixture once a week.

  • Try cutting the bottom off or so it doesn’t sit in the water

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jan 02, 2020

    Hello Anne,

    Sounds as if you have Red Soil in your area? Maybe call your water supplier and ask them what you can do to avoid the problem, otherwise try not to let the curtain hang in the water and make sure you have enough ventilation to dry it fast! Hope that helps a bit.

  • Gk Gk on Jan 02, 2020

    I wash my vinyl shower curtain liner with a load of towels every few weeks. It usually takes it right off. I replace the liner about twice a year. They are inexpensive at Walmart and come in three thicknesses. I usually choose the heavier thickness so it lasts longer.

  • Em Em on Jan 02, 2020

    If you’ve noticed a pink or red slimy substance forming in your toilet bowl, you’re not alone.

    It is bacteria known as Serratia marcescens, according to Roxanne Johnson, North Dakota State University Extension Service water quality associate.

    You may find this bacterium in moist areas such as toilet bowls, sinks, tiles, shower stalls, bathtub enclosures and even your pet’s water dish. The bacteria will grow in places with materials containing phosphorus or fatty substances such as feces residues in your toilet or soap residue in a pet’s dish or the bathtub, shower and sink.

    Occasionally the pinkish film appears during and after new construction or remodeling activities. You see it more commonly when you have your windows open during the summer months.

    “I have observed this phenomenon form in the toilet bowl along the water line and at the openings where the water enters the toilet bowl, usually when I’m gone for a few days, or in my guest bathroom that isn’t used often,” Johnson says.

    “The bacteria survive there because the water sits for a period of time, with the chlorine dissipating as it stands,” she adds. “If you have an activated carbon filter on your water line, you are removing the chlorine and may be supporting the growth of the bacteria.”

    While the genus Serratia is not known to be a water-borne disease, it has been known to be pathogenic to some people, causing pneumonia, wound infections and urinary tract infections in some hospital settings.

    The bacteria are difficult to remove completely from your home, although the stains are removed easily with a general-purpose cleanser containing chlorine bleach. You also may add ¼ cup of bleach to the toilet tank, let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes and then flush the tank a few times to remove all of the bleach. Do not leave bleach sitting in your tank because it will damage rubber valves and seals.

    Johnson recommends you scrub with a brush and household cleaner to clean pet bowls, kitchen surfaces and bathroom sinks, bathtubs and showers. Follow this up with a strong chlorine bleach solution, leaving the bleach in contact with the surfaces for 10 to 20 minutes to disinfect the area. Then rinse well with water.

    To prevent the bacteria from developing, wipe down and dry all sinks and bathtubs after using them, and use a cleaning solution that contains bleach.

  • Chas' Crazy Creations Chas' Crazy Creations on Jan 02, 2020

    Sometimes that red stain is mildew - we take our shower curtain down and wash it regularly. We also pull the curtain closed after showering so it dries better and doesn't trap the moisture in. I have also put a spray bottle of dish soap water in the shower, and we spray the shower curtain with it to prevent it from forming as well.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jan 02, 2020

    Spray 3x a week with Wet & Forget Shower. It is designed for once a week but if you have iron water (sounds like it) you will need to accelerate the schedule.

  • It’s bacteria. You need to wash them with a little bleach from time to time. Throw them in the washing machine

  • That could be mold. Wash it with vinegar.

  • Mogie Mogie on Apr 03, 2023

    I take my shower curtain liner down every month and run it thru the washer with a load of towels on gentle in cold water and then rehang and let it dry in place.

  • That's mold forming on it. You will need to wash it.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jul 16, 2023

    Probably growing mold/fungus spores from dampness, what we do is clip the shower curtain after each use to a suction cup with a clothespin attachment-dollar store item. It holds up the shower curtain so it dries quickly. Problem solved. If still a problem, put it in the washer with towels, hang to dry.

  • That's mold. I buy fabric shower curtain liners and wash them regularly. They last forever and they're cleaner in my opinion since I can clean that ick away.