How to Clean Shower Curtain with Bleach?

By The Shower Drapes | Shower Curtain Tips & Tricks

Clean Shower Curtain with Bleach

A perfectly designed shower curtain adds character to your space and makes it easier to relax and unwind in your bathroom - and oh yea, also helps prevent water and soap from getting on the floor during your bath and showers.

However, over time, whether we care to admit or not, your shower curtain can become riddled with unsightly stains, not to mention mold and mildew due to trapped moisture, which can render it unhealthy and not quite as enjoyable as the prized possession it once was. Therefore, it will need to be cleaned and disinfected periodically in order to keep it the picturesque backdrop to your sparkling oasis.

DeClutter Fast

DeClutter Fast: How to get your home in order almost immediately.

There are various ways to disinfect your shower curtain; however, bleach has been proven effective against germs, bacteria, mold, and mildew.

There are also chlorine bleach alternatives, such as powdered bleach, that provide a safe, nontoxic way to both sanitize and deodorize your shower curtain, which is just perfect for homes with small children or for those who just prefer a more natural way to disinfect their curtain. They are also safe for use on both white and colored shower curtains. You can also use it on your shower liner too!

How to Clean Shower Curtain with Bleach

First, Read the Care Label

Depending on your shower curtain's fabric, it may not be suitable for use with traditional chlorine bleach as well as certain detergents. Therefore, before cleaning your shower curtain with bleach, first, check the care label attached to the curtain to be sure it is suitable.

Test the Fabric

If you are in doubt as to whether or not your shower curtain can be cleaned with bleach, simply spot test the curtain with your chosen bleach product, first. Take a small portion of the product and test it on an inconspicuous part of the curtain to see if it causes discoloration or damage. If it does, simply go with a different cleaning product.

How to Clean Shower Curtain with Bleach Using the Washing Machine

Many shower curtains can be simply cleaned using the washing machine; however, some require washing by hand only. Therefore, again, check the care label on your shower curtain to see if it is washing machine compatible.

If so, simply use the following tips to clean your curtain with bleach using the washing machine. Otherwise, skip to the section on cleaning your shower curtain with bleach by hand.

List of Materials Needed:

  • Liquid or powdered bleach
  • Laundry detergent
  • Large bucket or bowl
  • Washing machine

How It's Done:

1. Remove the shower curtain from the rod by unsnapping the shower curtain hooks and removing the curtain from the hooks.

If your shower curtain is heavily stained or soiled, don't worry, most of ours are due to various reasons, first, get a sizable bucket or bowl that is big enough for the shower curtain to be fully submerged in.

2. Add one cup of liquid bleach, or one scoop of powdered bleach if using powered bleach, to one gallon of very hot water in a bucket or bowl. If the bucket or bowl holds more than one gallon of water, you may consider adding another cup or scoop of bleach to the bowl along with another gallon of hot water. Allow the bleach to fully disperse in the water.

3. Place the shower curtain, bottom first, which is usually the most gruesome, into the large bucket or bowl. Allow the curtain to soak anywhere from about an hour to 3 hours, or for seriously stained curtains you may need to allow it to soak overnight.

4. After the curtain has soaked for a while, move the curtain around in the water and then inspect it to see if the stains are removed. If they are, simply prepare the curtain to place in the washing machine. If not, which can happen if it has been a while in between cleanings - again, no judging here, simply drain the water and then replace it with fresh disinfected water. Submerge the curtain into the bleach water again and allow it to soak a while longer. Otherwise, set the washing machine on the warm cycle and then start the washer.

5. Allow the water to fill a bit and then place the shower curtain, along with a few clean white towels, into the washing machine. Adding a few towels to the washing machine along with the shower curtain helps keep the curtain from becoming crinkled or sticking to itself while the washing machine does its magic. If you are using a top loading machine, adding a few tiles to the washer along with the curtain is especially important because it will help prevent the curtain from becoming torn and shredded by the agitator, also known as the spinny thing for us common folks, during the wash cycle. The towels also provide a bit of scrubbing action as the machine operates.

6. Once you have added the curtain and the towels to the washer, pour about 1/2 cup of liquid bleach, or about one scoop of color-safe powdered bleach, over the shower curtain. Add 1/4 cup of laundry detergent to the washing machine and then allow the washer to complete its process.

Most liners can also be placed into the washing machine and cleaned along with the shower curtain. So whether the liner is dirty or not, you may consider adding it to the washer to help make your job a little easier. If your shower curtain is especially stained, you may even allow it to soak in the washing machine overnight to help remove stubborn stains.

How to Clean Shower Curtain with Bleach by Hand

While the washing machine may be great for cleaning fabric shower curtains with bleach, it may not be so great for cleaning vinyl or plastic shower curtains, which can become damaged by the washer. Therefore, they will need to be cleaned by hand.

List of Materials Needed:

  • Liquid or powdered bleach
  • Laundry detergent
  • Sponge or microfiber cloth
  • Large bucket or bowl
  • Bathtub

How It's Done:

Basic Cleaning the Curtain By Hand

If the curtain is only slightly soiled, then you may simply leave the curtain on the rod to clean it, lucky you!

1. To do so, add a bit of bleach to a dampened sponge or soft cloth and then wipe down the entire curtain. Begin with a light wash to help remove any surface dirt and then follow up with a more vigorous washing to remove more any built-up grime.

2. Take a fresh towel or sponge and dampen it with warm water. Wipe the dampened sponge or towel all over the curtain to help rinse it clean. Be sure to rinse the curtain until all traces of bleach and detergent are removed. You may need to repeat the rinsing process a few times to ensure this.

Deep Cleaning the Curtain By Hand

Sometimes, just simply wiping the curtain by hand isn't enough to thoroughly remove embedded dirt and stains from the curtain, in which case you need to break out the goggles and commit to more drastic measures.

1. Remove the shower curtain from the rod. If you'd like, you can also remove the shower curtain rings and give them a good soaking as well. Over time, the shower curtain rings, too, can become riddled with dust, dirt, and grime, which can also affect the look and sanitation of your bathroom, so it won't hurt to clean them along with the shower curtain.

2. Fill the tub with warm water. Add one cup of bleach, or about one scoop of powdered bleach, to the water along with about 2 tablespoons of your favorite laundry detergent. Allow the tub to continue to fill, thoroughly mixing the contents, until it is about halfway to three-fourths full.

3. Place the curtain into the tub and allow the curtain to soak a bit, about 20 minutes, which will help remove any stubborn stains. Make sure the entire curtain is submerged into the water.

4. After the curtain has soaked a bit, use a soft sponge to wipe away any remaining dirt left on the curtain after soaking it. You can also spot clean the curtain by adding just a bit of bleach or laundry detergent to the sponge and then rubbing the sponge over the specific spot.

5. Once you have cleaned off the curtain, drain the water from the tub. Refill the tub with cold water, and maneuver the curtain around to rinse away any bleach and detergent residue. Or, you can simply use the shower sprayer attachment to rinse off the curtain. Because you used bleach, you may need to give the curtain at least two rinses to ensure it is clean, so drain the tub and fill it again to help remove any remaining bleach.

Drying Your Shower Curtain

Drying your shower curtain is important; otherwise, you'll just be creating another breeding ground for more mildew and mold and another day spent doing what you love.

To dry the shower curtain, gently squeeze or press the shower curtain to remove any remaining water. Next, place the shower curtain back on the shower rings and then open the curtain as wide as it'll reach. This will eliminate any bunching in the curtain, which will allow it to completely dry. You should also be sure the bathroom is well ventilated to help the curtain dry faster. Lastly, be sure to place the lower part of the curtain on the inside of the tub to prevent water from dripping on the floor.

If you have a fabric shower curtain, you can place it, along with the towels, into the
dryer on the lowest setting for about 10 minutes. However, be sure to read the care label on the shower curtain, first, to be sure it is safe for dryer use.

Remove the curtain from the dryer and then hang it back on the rod to hang dry. However, do not place plastic shower curtains or liners in the dryer because the heat will cause them to melt.

You could also simply hang the curtain on a clothesline, either in your laundry room or out in the yard, for a bit of sun-kissed warmth that is sure to leave your shower curtain smelling like fresh, summer breezes.

Maintaining a Clean Shower Curtain

After cleaning your shower curtain, take the proper steps to help keep mold, mildew, dirt, and stains at bay.

For starters, keep your shower curtain fully expanded after each shower. Keeping your curtain fully open enables any excess water to drip off into the tub, so there is less chance of it gathering in the folds and creases of a closed curtain, which provides the perfect place for mold and mildew growth.

Also, each day, be sure to spray down the curtain with a concoction of 50 percent water and 50 percent vinegar. Then, once a week, clean the lower part of the curtain with vinegar to prevent soap scum from accumulating on the bottom. Lastly, you might also consider choosing a body wash over bar soap, which causes more soap scum build up.


In the end, if you are like most bathroom enthusiasts, you will find that using these steps on how to clean shower curtain with bleach to ensure a clean, sanitized shower curtain will provide you with a feeling of satiety as you take a step back and admire your bath space without the worry of what may be growing in your bathroom.

It will also leave you feeling good as your family members use the bathroom, knowing it is clean, sanitary, and comfortable. Furthermore, regularly cleaning your shower curtain and liner will help prevent them from becoming permanently stained with mold, mildew, and other bathroom stains, which will also help save you from having to purchase a new shower curtain or liner more often. But if you do decide to purchase a new shower curtain, be sure to read our Best Shower Curtains Reviews.

About the Author

Meet Our Sponsors

Knee Support for Running

Medical Supplies Wholesale Pharmacy Store

Lumultra: Brain Pills That Can Make You Smarter