15 Home Remedies for Shower Curtains

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Shower curtains do not last forever. When they start to show the signs of mildew and mold, they usually take a one-way trip to the garbage can, but there are things you can do to prolong the life of the material. Consider home remedies for shower curtains when you need to clean or repair before resorting to finding a replacement.


Shower Curtain Home Remedies

The shower curtain is a common decorating item in the bathroom that shields your floors from the splashes and spills from water. The curtain is used for people that do not have sliding doors for their shower. If you don’t use one, repeated showering allows water to saturate your flooring and causes the need for bathroom repairs. Home remedies for shower curtains can help keep this device in good working order. A handful of suggestions include:

a) Baking Soda and Vinegar:

To treat mildewed shower curtains, clean in your washing machine with two bath towels on the gentle setting. Add ½ cup of baking soda to your detergent during the wash cycle. During the rinse cycle, add ½ cup of vinegar. Allow the curtain to drip-dry – never place it in the dryer.

b) Bleach:

Remove mold and mildew from your shower curtain by washing them with a couple of bath towels to prevent crinkling of the plastic. Use a warm water setting and add ½ cup of chlorine bleach to the mix with ¼ cup of laundry detergent. Let the washer run for a couple of minute before loading the curtain and towels. Immediately hang-dry the curtain after placing in the dryer on the lowest temperature setting for 10 minutes.

c) Hair Conditioner:

To make it easier to pull your shower curtain open and closed, rub the rod with hair conditioner, and the curtain will glide much easier.

d) Petroleum Jelly:

To prevent water from passing through cracks left behind by a shower curtain, lubricate the curtain rod with petroleum jelly to make it easier to open and close [1].

e) Duct Tape:

When you’ve been a little too rough on the plastic shower curtain, repair a ripped grommet by applying a piece of duct tape. Once the curtain is dry, cut a rectangular piece of duct tape and fold it from the front to back over the torn hole. Use something sharp (like a mat knife or pair of scissors) to slit the tape so you can push the shower curtain ring back into place.

f) Salt Water:

To keep mildew off of your shower curtain liner, soak it in salt water for one to two hours before hanging. The salt will help repel the mildew and your shower curtain will last much longer.

g) Detergent and Lemon Juice:

To treat a mildewed shower curtain that has been bunched up after using, wash large patches in hot detergent and then rub with lemon juice. Dry the curtain in the sun, if possible.

h) Vinegar [2]:

To clean a cloth shower curtain that is heavily soiled, wash it following the care label, but also add one cup of vinegar to the water. This will make the curtain look as good as new. As soon as the cycle is complete, remove the curtain from the washing machine. Hang back in place so that it can drip-dry without any wrinkles or creases.

i) Ribbon:

If you’d like to add a little pizazz to your shower curtains, add an attractive ribbon that matches your curtain by running it through the grommets and tie a bow at the top of the rod.

j) Old Toothbrush:

To treat small mildew spots on a plastic shower curtain, use an old toothbrush to scrub in a mixture of baking soda and vinegar.

k) Spray Bottle:

A spray bottle filled with Clorox bleach (or its equivalent) makes a quick cleaning tool for plastic shower curtains. Simply spray mildewed spots and watch the blackness disappear. Go over the curtain with a dampened sponge to fully remove the residue.

l) Vinyl Patch Kit:

If you have an extra patch kit (the kind that comes with air mattresses, pool liners and other vinyl products) lying around the house, you can use this to fix a torn vinyl shower curtain. First, clean off the surface of the curtain that needs repair. Simply, peel and stick the vinyl patch.

m) Hot Glue:

Crafters can put their hot glue to work when a vinyl shower curtain is in need of repair. Simply clean the surface of the torn curtain, and put a piece of vinyl tape on the back of the rip. Apply hot glue to the material. After applying, give it a bit of time to set and then remove the tape before rehanging the curtain.

n) Hydrogen Peroxide:

To spot clean a vinyl shower curtain, apply a cotton ball soaked in hydrogen peroxide over the spot. Rub across the stain to clean.

o) Tie Back Curtains:

To prevent the dirtying of shower curtains, it is suggested to tie back your vinyl shower curtains when they are not in use. This will help keep your curtains clean.


[1] Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest; pg. 255.

[2] who knew? almanac by Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin; pg. 98.