Orange Stains on Shower Curtain

By The Shower Drapes | Shower Curtain Tips & Tricks

Orange Stains on Shower Curtain

A Comprehensive Guide On How To Clean Orange Stains On Shower Curtains

Gleaming surfaces and mirrors, unstained toilet bowl and crystal-clear porcelain. How could you not love spotless clean bathroom?

I just recently cleaned my bathroom all the way, from floor to the ceiling, and got to deal with an issue I haven’t really dealt before. When I was almost done with the cleaning, I saw these dirty, junky orange stains on shower curtain. I hadn’t really noticed that before, but now. You can’t really call it spotless clean bathroom, when there are these ugly orange stains on my curtain.

The first thought was: “I got to buy a new one!” But, really, do I have to buy a new one? Can’t I just clean it? So, I went on research to find out what creates them in the first place. I wouldn’t want to clean it, only to clean it again after a short while. I wanted to know what creates the stains and make sure they stay clean for a good while.

Who to blame for stains?

The orange stains on shower curtain are there for two reasons:

1. Blame the shampoo

Most of the stains, whether your curtain is fabric or plastic, can be blamed on mildew or soap scum. Your curtain does essential task in keeping your bathroom clean, it keeps shampoo, conditioner and water from splashing all around your bathroom. Imagine bathroom without a curtain, that would be a mess!

Luckily, curtain exists and does its job very well. But, instead of water splashing over your floor, it splashes right on the curtain, and it’s just a matter of time until your shampoo, conditioner, and dirty water will get absorbed and create the stains. Luckily, these are fairly easy to clean, and I will tell you how I did it further in the article. But not all stains are equal!

Orange Stains on Shower Curtain Bathtub

2. Blame the minerals

The orange stains on curtains are not always there only because of bath supplies. It could also be high mineral content in your water supply, especially if your water is coming from a well. High mineral content, especially iron, is a bit harder to deal with. Minerals tend to stick to the material, whether it’s plastic or fabric curtain, and regular cleaning with soap will not work here. Still, you don’t need to get a new one. Mineral stains can be cleaned, and the process is just a little bit more complicated. Honestly, it’s not even complicated, it just takes a little bit more time. And trust me, whenever I walk in my bathroom and see my clean-white curtain, I tell myself: “That curtain looks fantastic, well done!” But let’s get to the point now: “How to make your shower curtain spotless clean?”

Let’s start cleaning

As I mentioned earlier, curtain cleaning is fairly simple and almost always guarantees great result. Just take an honest look at your curtain and choose one of the methods that I will now mention. These methods work for both: light, soapy stains or even the most dirty, rusty stains.

NOTE: The first two methods are for fabric curtains. For the plastic one – follow method 3.

Method 1 | Baking Soda

As simple as it gets, the commonly used household cleaning hack – baking soda works here too. Simply take a microfiber cloth, make it wet and pour baking soda over it. Then – brush the stains off. With mild orange stains this works surprisingly well.

If you’re not a big fan of scrubbing (like me), then you can also put the curtain in washing machine and just add baking soda to your laundry detergent, half a cup of baking soda should be enough. But, don’t turn it on yet! Along with curtain, place few bath towels with it, otherwise the curtain might get damaged. I also suggest choosing low temperature and gentle setting, to ensure your curtain won’t get damaged. After the washing is done – don’t put it in the dryer machine! That’s a sure way to damage it, instead let it drip-dry, either outside if the weather is nice or hang it back in your bathroom.

Method 2 | Bleach

Sometimes, baking soda won’t be enough. If the orange stains on shower curtain are there for a longer time, you need something more effective – bleach. While bleach is used for extra dirty cases, it doesn’t mean that the cleaning process is more complicated. All you need to do is – bleach it!

First, find a bucket, big enough to fit the curtain. Hint: we’re going to soak it. Then get some bleach. If you don’t have it at home, buy it. It’s not expensive and will last forever. There are popular brands out there, but honestly – bleach is a bleach no matter what name is on the bottle. So, get any of those. Now, when you have the bucket and the bleach, pour cup of bleach in the bucket, along with hot water. Place the curtain in the bucket with the bottom (it’s more dirty) first and let it soak for several hours, even overnight is fine.

While this is very effective and simple solution, you can make it even easier. Follow the same steps as in method 1, just replace baking soda with bleach.

Method 3

If you’re curtain is plastic – you don’t want to put it in washing machine. It will destroy it. This makes the process more handwork, but it’s no less effective. For mild stains:

1. Lay the curtain in bathtub and rinse of as much stains as possible.

2. Sprinkle baking soda over the stains and scrub the entire surface, rinsing while you scrub.

Now, it’s either clean, or we move to the next step.

3. Add 2 tablespoons of bleach to 1 cup of water, pour over the stains and scrub them. Repeat until the stains are gone.

4. Afterwards rinse the curtain thoroughly, to make sure no bleach is left (or soda) and hang it back on.

We can probably both agree that dirty, stained curtain gives your bathroom – careless and repealing look. Luckily, you can make them look just like new, without much of an effort or expenses. Make sure to check out our articles about the best shower curtains.

Thank you for reading and enjoy your spotless clean curtains!

Battling unsightly orange stains on shower curtains and liners can be a nuisance, but armed with the right knowledge and techniques, restoring their pristine appearance becomes a breeze. No matter the material of your shower curtain—plastic or fabric—knowing how to tackle stains stemming from iron in your water, soap scum, or other impurities is essential. We will walk you through the steps to effectively remove those persistent stains from your shower curtain, ensuring it remains clean and devoid of discoloration. Embrace a cleaner, fresher bathroom environment as you successfully address the orange hue on your shower liner caused by shower water.

Identifying The Cause Of Orange Stains On Your Shower Curtain

Orange stains on shower curtains are often caused by hard water, rust, or pink mold. Minerals in your water supply, such as iron, can lead to rusty orange residue on your curtain. Soap scum and shampoo residue may also contribute to the orange color. If you notice your curtain turning orange, it's essential to address the underlying issues to keep your bathroom clean and prevent further stains.

Picking The Right Cleaning Method For Your Shower Curtain

Whether your shower curtain is fabric or plastic, it's crucial to choose the appropriate cleaning method to remove orange stains effectively. Assess the severity of the stains and consider the type of curtain you have (fabric shower curtain liner or plastic curtain liner) before deciding on the best way to clean it. Regular cleaning can help prevent stains and keep mold at bay.

Effective Techniques To Remove Orange Stains From Fabric Shower Curtains

When cleaning fabric shower curtains, a washing machine can work wonders. Place the curtain in the washing machine with laundry detergent and half a cup of baking soda. Add vinegar in the rinse cycle to remove any remaining stains. For stubborn stains, use a stain remover or scrub the curtain with a baking soda paste. If your fabric curtain is turning rusty orange, use a rust remover product to eliminate the iron stains.

Efficient Ways To Eliminate Orange Stains From Plastic Liners

If your shower curtain is plastic, you can still use the washing machine with laundry detergent and half a cup of baking soda. For extra care, remove the shower curtain and handwash it with soapy water and a scrub brush. Rinse the curtain thoroughly and let it soak in a water solution with chlorine bleach to remove any remaining mold, rust, or soap scum. Always wear rubber gloves when using bleach and remember to rinse the curtain well after cleaning.

Preventing Orange Stains On Shower Curtains In The Future

To keep your shower curtain looking like new, establish a regular cleaning routine. This can help prevent orange stains caused by hard water, mildew, or rust. Make sure to address any issues with your water supply that may contribute to staining. Consider using a shower curtain liner to protect your curtain and extend its life. Ensure proper ventilation in your bathroom to reduce mold growth and keep your shower space fresh and clean.


Getting rid of orange stains on your shower curtain is simple and easy to do. By using natural cleaning solutions such as baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice, or by using commercial cleaners designed to remove hard water stains, you can clean your shower curtain and remove unsightly stains. To keep your shower curtain clean and looking its best, it's important to regularly clean it with a mild soap and water solution, and to prevent future stains by investing in a water softener. If your shower curtain has become too stained or damaged to clean, it's better to remove the curtain and let it dry completely before discarding it. With these simple tips, you can keep your shower curtain free of ugly orange stains and soapy residue, and enjoy a clean and fresh shower every time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you’ve still got questions about how to clean orange stains on shower curtain then these may help:

Why Is My Shower Curtain Turning Orange?

Your shower curtain may be turning orange due to the presence of iron and other minerals in your water supply, resulting in rust stains. Soap scum, shampoo residue, and pink mold can also contribute to the orange discoloration. Addressing these issues will help prevent further staining.

How Do I Remove Orange Stains From My Shower Curtain?

You can try washing the shower curtain in the washing machine with a cup of vinegar and half a cup of baking soda. Let it sit for about an hour before starting the wash cycle. You can also try washing the shower curtain by hand using a solution of warm water and bleach.

How Do I Remove Rust Stains From My Shower Curtain?

You can try using a solution of lemon juice and salt or a mixture of cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide. Apply the solution to the stains and let it sit for about 30 minutes before rinsing it off with water.

Can I Use Chlorine Bleach To Clean My Shower Curtain?

Yes, you can use chlorine bleach to clean your shower curtain, especially if it's a plastic or vinyl liner. However, make sure to dilute the bleach in water and wear rubber gloves for safety. For fabric shower curtains, check the care label to ensure bleach is safe to use before proceeding.

How Often Should I Clean My Shower Curtain?

To keep your shower curtain clean and free from stains, it's recommended to clean it once a month. Regular cleaning prevents mineral buildup from tap water, soap scum, and potential mold growth. By maintaining a clean shower curtain, you can prolong its life and avoid buying a new one frequently.

Should I Iron My Shower Curtain?

Ironing your shower curtain is typically unnecessary and not recommended, as it may damage the material, especially for plastic or vinyl liners. If you have a fabric curtain with wrinkles, follow the care instructions, which may suggest using a steamer instead. Keeping your shower curtain clean and free from stains caused by minerals, soap, and hard water will help it stay looking fresh without the need for ironing.

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