Can You Wash Plastic Shower Curtains?

Cleaning your bathroom is always a struggle, whether it comes down to descaling the showerhead, getting rid of the mold that gathers between the tiles or getting rid of the limescale from the faucets.

But another tricky task can be when you are looking to wash your plastic shower curtains. Is there a way of doing this without damaging the constitution of the shower curtain itself? If your shower curtain is dirty, it does not need to be completely replaced.

So how exactly can you clean a plastic shower curtain properly? Can you remove a build-up of dirt and grime that builds up on the surface? Can you put these plastic shower curtains in the washing machine?

Why Should You Clean Your Shower Curtain?

Often, if you are using a shower curtain (and even a shower door), mold and bacteria can build up on it. This is very true of most things in your bathroom, as you are dealing with a lot of water than is the perfect breeding ground for this stuff.

This stuff can also build up in the rings of the shower curtain, which could eventually damage the functioning of the rings themselves.

However, what methods can you use to clean your plastic shower curtains? Well, one thing that you absolutely cannot do is put them in the washing machine.

This is because the intense heat of the washing machine on a high setting will cause your plastic curtains to warp.

How Can You Clean A Regular Shower Curtain?

If you have a shower curtain that is made from cloth, then you could wash this in much the same manner as you would wash an item of clothing. Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to do that:

  1. Remove The Plastic Rings

Firstly, you should remove the plastic rings. This is because they will melt and warp when you put them on high heat in the washer.

  1. Fill The Washing Machine

Once you have filled the washing machine, then set your washing machine to the largest load setting. This way you can sure all the material from your shower curtain will get the largest soak.

  1. Add White Vinegar And Detergent

Once you have loaded your shower curtain, you should add some vinegar and detergent, as this will help you to clean your shower curtains thoroughly.

Both of these substances will help you completely remove the more stubborn mold stains that will eventually eradicate all the mold from your shower curtains. You should only put a cup of vinegar in your washing machine.

If you have taken your shower curtain from the wash and there is still mold on it, then you should put it through another cycle, applying the same process.

  1. Set The Washing Machine To A Mild Setting

Once you have done this, then you’ll need to place your shower curtain on a milder setting. This will ensure that the intense heat for a higher wash will not warp of damage some of the fibers of your curtain.

  1. Hang Out To Dry

Because of the abundance of material in your shower curtain, you can expect your shower curtain to be sodden wet. This is why you’ll need to hang it for a certain length of time, drip drying rather than putting it in the dryer.

How To Clean A Plastic Shower Curtain

You can put a plastic shower curtain in your washing machine, but you will have to apply different settings. Here’s how you can wash one of these curtains properly:

Can You Wash Plastic Shower Curtains?
  1. Put On A Lower Heat Setting

You should make sure that the temperature setting is relatively lower than the cloth curtain. This is because the plastic will warp when subjected to even mild temperatures.

If you have accidentally put your cloth shower on a higher setting, then we would recommend that you remove it as soon as you can and hang it out to dry.

  1. Add A Few Bath Towels

Adding bath towels will help disperse some of the detergents, soaking it up so that it is not completely absorbed by the detergent residue.

  1. Avoid The Dryer

Do not, under any circumstances, place your plastic curtain in the tumble dryer. This is because the intensive heat of the dryer will cause the plastic curtain to warp and distort.

At some high temperatures, your dryer might even cause the plastic curtains to burn or melt. It might also alter the size of your plastic curtain, which will make it harder to place it back on the rail when you’re finished.

  1. Drip Dry Your Plastic Shower Curtain

Make sure that you air dry this shower curtain so that it does not shrink when drying.

  1. Use Detergent, Baking Soda Or Bleach

You should make sure that you use only one of the items listed above, as they might often mix in the washing machine and cause damage to your shower curtain, as well as your washing machine as a whole.

Killing mildew and mold will be very important when you are washing your shower curtain. This is when bleach will be the best product to use.

Make sure that you put some bath towels in with your plastic shower curtain, as this will help absorb some of the harmful chemicals.

Cleaning Shower Curtain Rings

As well as the curtain itself, the rings that attach the curtain to the rail can get similarly dirty. There is a good method of cleaning these curtain rings using the same solutions as you would use to clean the shower curtain.

Fill your bathroom sink with hot water and white vinegar and leave them to soak. You can leave them to soak while your plastic shower curtain is in the washing machine.

Once you have soaked these, then use a sponge soaked in hot or warm water to get rid of some of the more stubborn stains. You can also use a toothbrush to get into the grooves.


We hope that our article on cleaning plastic shower curtains has given you the confidence to tackle this sometimes tricky piece of plastic.

Make sure that you do not use corrosive substances when you are putting your shower curtains in the wash.

About Darcy O

Loves good coffee, good design and a good nap on a good couch!

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