You clean the mirrors and scrub the bathtub, but how often do you pay attention to your shower liner? This plastic barrier between the water and the fabric is probably one of the dirtiest parts of your bathroom, yet it hardly ever gets cleaned. Not only does the mildew that builds up on it produce a stench in your bathroom shower, it can also cause respiratory issues, so you don’t want to let it linger. The good news is, you don’t have to completely replace your shower liner if you notice mildew — and even more good news is that it’s easier to clean than you might think. From novice to experienced cleaners, follow these six steps to easily and effectively wash your plastic shower liner:
Step 1: Place the Shower Liner in the Washing Machine
Yes, it’s really that simple. You can wash a plastic shower liner right in your washing machine. Just make sure to remove the hooks first so they don’t damage the machine’s interior.
Step 2: Use Cold Water
Since the liner is plastic, you don’t want to take any chances of it melting. Always use the coldest water setting available.
Step 3: Choose a Detergent
While you can probably use regular laundry detergent with success, using either vinegar or baking soda (not both!) instead will usually produce better results. These cleaners are proven to tackle stubborn mildew with ease. NOTE: Do not use liquid fabric softener on the liner — it will do nothing but make your shower liner smell like chemicals.
Step 4: Add a Few Bath Towels
Before starting the load, add a couple of bath towels. The towels will help provide additional agitation during the cleaning process to help scrub the mildew off while it is being washed.
Step 5: Hang the Shower Liner to Dry
Once the liner has completed the wash cycle, take it out and hang it to dry. You never want to dry the liner in the dryer because it can melt and ruin both the liner and the dryer. However, getting a soaking-wet liner to your bathroom without dripping water everywhere can be slightly tricky. You can solve this problem two ways:
• Have a dry towel on standby to place under the liner as you take it to the bathroom
• Put the liner into the dryer on the no-heat option for a few minutes just to shake off some of the excess water
Step 6: Actively Prevent Future Mildew Growth
Now that you have a freshly cleaned shower liner, be proactive in keeping it clean. By taking a few extra steps when you shower, you can help prevent mildew growth. Mildew grows because of excess water buildup, so the best way to prevent it is to minimize how long the water sits on the liner. You can do this in several ways:
• Open the bathroom door when your shower is over to help the moisture dissipate.
• Open a window while you are showering to help the steam escape.
• Turn on the exhaust fan both during and after the shower.
• Spread the shower liner completely when you’re done showering, so the entire surface area has a chance to dry.
Now that you know how simple it is to clean your shower liner, there is no reason not to do it regularly (it is recommended every three months). With a clean liner, you can keep your bathroom shower smelling great without having to worry about inhaling dangerous toxins — that’s a win-win and definitely worth the effort.