When washing a plastic shower curtain, retard the formation of mildew by adding half a cup of table salt to the rinse water and allowing the curtain to soak for fifteen minutes. Drain washer and remove the curtain. There's no need to spin.
To prevent mildew be sure to spread the shower curtain open after taking a shower. If the shower curtain mildews at the bottom it's probably because it is allowed to rest against the bottom or side of the tub. Try to reposition the bar so that the curtain can hang loose and dry between uses.
By fossil1955 from Cortez, CO
If you buy one of the new cloth curtains, they can be thrown in the washer and hung back up. I wash mine at least every two weeks and leave the rings on it. They cost a little more but you will never have to mess with a plastic curtain again and these cloth ones last for years. I have two. One on the outside of the tub and one on the inside. They do not leak through.
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Bathroom shower curtains/liners are usually a source of mold and mildew. To help eliminate this problem, keep the wet curtains/liners away from the bathtub so it thoroughly dries. I bought self-stick plastic clips and attached them sideways, towards the middle and near the edge of the facing shower wall. When done showering, clip each side of the curtain high enough that the curtains do not touch any wet part of the tub. I recommend 3M self-stick removable clips. They are a bit more money but easily removable if the need ever occurs.
Another way to help eliminate the mold/mildew problem is to trim the hem off the bottom of the curtain/liner. The hem usually holds excessive water and will take longer to dry and that is usually where the mold and mildew starts to grow. I have trimmed a polyester shower liner; while it did fray a bit, it did not create a problem.
By mkymlp from NE, PA
If you buy one of the new lightweight fabric shower curtains you can slip it off and wash it every week. I wash mine with the rings on and slip it back on the rod. They last forever and are not cold and brittle like the plastic ones. I have two. One for the outside of the tub and one on the inside. (08/12/2010)
By Ann Parker
Why go to all that trouble. I just wash mine in bleach and detergent every so often and hang it right back up. Dries in the tub. No mold or mildew for me! (08/13/2010)
Thanks. This will help me. Our area is very humid. Mold and mildew tend to grow fast. There is five in the house, sometimes some of them shower twice a day. I usually wash my shower liner once a month but this will keep the yuckies off for the time being. We only have window air conditioners so the bathroom doesn't get dried out fast. We hope to get central air in the future. Thanks for the tip. (08/14/2010)
I have a claw foot bathtub. We have to use shower curtain liners all the way around for showering. That's a lot of vinyl. Does anyone have a trick for keeping them scum-free? It doesn't matter what color curtain I buy, they all get scummy. I've even bought the ones that say mildew-proof. I don't want to waste my money on shower sprays and cleaners anymore and I'm tired of replacing the curtains every few months. I'm thinking vinegar might do the trick, but the smell is too strong. Any other ideas? Thanks.
Gloria from Western NY
Great ideas everyone. Part of our problem is that the bathroom is so small, like they say, you have to step out in the hall to change your mind. So it steams up fast. The curtain, not my mind, though on some days that's a problem, too. Again, great ideas. I'll probably try them all.
Mrs. Fixit website (mrsfixit.com) says:
To prevent mildew from growing on your shower curtain, soak it in a strong saltwater solution in the bathtub for about a half an hour, and then hang it up. The salt will help to hinder mildew growth. Spray it every couple of weeks with salt water to keep it up!
I also read another trick somewhere else a long time ago...
Shower curtains have a little "hem" at the bottom. Cut off the hem and water will run right off it and water won't stay in the crease and cause mildew.
This is the first thing I do with every new shower curtain.
I think I would go with the salt water soak to start, for the mildew, and the vinegar spray in between for the scum.
By Mary T
I wash mine regularly in hot water and bleach (when I do white towels). Just hang it to dry. DO NOT put it in the dryer. I bought a heavy duty liner with metal rings at the top at the Dollar store for like $5. I've had it for about three years now. (01/18/2009)
We sold our 3-bedroom house and are now living in a 2-bedroom apartment. While we lived in the house I had to regularly wash the white polyester shower curtain liner to keep it clean and white. Before the fabric curtain liner I went with the heavy duty plastic. After trying to keep it scum free it finally cracked and I had to throw it out.
Since we moved into the apartment I made a beautiful fabric shower curtain from a full flat bed sheet for our bathroom. Now I just purchase my shower curtain liners at Dollar Tree for $1.00. I've noticed that I have very little upkeep with the cheap liner. When it wears out, I replace it with another one for $1.00 that I keep in my linen closet. It's cheaper to throw it out then to wash it.
Sorry, I see what your dilemma now, you have to buy several shower curtains because of your claw foot bathtub. Someone from the Thrifty Fun Community might be able to give you an answer. (01/18/2009)
Hey, more great ideas. I'm going to solve this problem one way or the other. Here's a couple more monkey wrenches thrown in to complicate things a bit. No. 1, I'm trying very hard to NOT be a buy it, use it, throw it away kind of person. Some say I'm "green", but it goes farther than that, I'm cheap. So even at 1.00, I don't like to toss something that I could possibly make last a little longer or indefinitely.
No. 2, Taking down the curtains and putting them back up is a Royal Pain in my bum shoulder. Even my healthy husband doesn't like this job (but does it, because he loves me). So I really want a solution that can help my existing vinyl curtains. I like the salt water idea, no vinegar smell. And I do cut the bottoms off first thing. But more for the reason that I HATE an overly long curtain that can attack my legs and glom onto me. This has been a long-standing pet peeve of mine.
Thanks again Thrifty Funners, you're the best.
Listerine! kills and Prevents mildew. you can even use the cheep generic kinds but it has to be the original kind not the mint one. It will not remove stains left if the mildew gets to bad but it will kill it this works on tile in basements and on clothes. I keep several bottles in the house. I learned this from a chemical engineer who specializes in clothes. And unlike bleach it will not make the plastic brittle. (01/18/2009)
Listerine, who knew? That's certainly worth a try. Thanks, much appreciated. (01/19/2009)
The best way I have found is
1. When you first start, after you take a shower, take a squirt bottol filled with half bleach and half water and spray down the whole shower, including the shower curtain.
2. Using an old rag or old towl, wipe the shower all down and do not rinse. I alway exten the shower curtain so it can dry on it's own.
3. After every shower, I just spray down the shower all over including the shower curtain and I never have scum build up or mildew and I like the clean smell.
4. Be sure you keep this bottol labled "Bleach" and keep it up and away from children.
I always have a clean tub and shower.
Buy the fabric liners (the ones meant to get wet) and you can just wash them in the washing machine as often as you like. (01/21/2009)
If the shower curtain is made of plastic, use a bleach solution. Equal parts water and bleach and spray on the curtain. No more mildew. ~janette~ (01/21/2009)
Thanks Kreaty, Lynn Beth and Ashley, I'm beginning to think, for me, the cloth liner may be the best solution. I like the NON disposable aspect and I know they won't be that slimey vinyl that will stick to my legs, eeww. (01/22/2009)