This one simple cleaning product totally transformed the look of my bathroom

White shower curtain hanging on silver curtain rings on a silver pole.
(Image credit: Getty)

In the name of being both environmentally conscious and saving money, I'm really trying to breathe new life into my household items instead of simply buying brand new. Past-me would have simply bought a new shower curtain once I realized it had turned a dubiously yellowy shade. However, this time I decided to learn exactly how to clean a shower curtain instead. 

The downside of owning a white shower curtain is that it starts to become discolored pretty quickly. Purple hair masks, fake tan, and body scrubs all make their mark eventually, and the whole bathroom started to look a little bit worse for wear as a result. So, I decided to give cleaning it a go at home, using just bleach to keep it super simple. Here's what I learned along the way, including some step-by-step advice so you can try it yourself.  

What do you need to clean a shower curtain?

There are a few different methods for cleaning a shower curtain, but my favorite is keeping it simple and sanitary by using a distilled bleach solution. This also means you don't need many tools, so it's great for when you just want to use what's already in your cupboard. 

Here's what you need:

Shower curtain


Rubber gloves

A bucket

How to use bleach safely

If you're working with bleach, you always need to consider your safety. When used correctly, bleach is extremely effective at disinfecting, which is essential when sanitizing your bathroom. The general rule is to never mix chemicals, as this can cause a dangerous reaction, so make sure to stick to only bleach if that is your preferred method. 

You should also keep windows open so that the room is well-ventilated, and wear rubber gloves to protect your skin. 

How to clean a shower curtain, in steps

It's easy to put off boring household tasks like cleaning your shower curtain, but luckily it's actually a quick job that will leave your bathroom looking fresher than ever. 

1. Remove your shower curtain

First, begin by removing your shower curtains from the rings. You may have a shower curtain and a lining, in which case separate the two at this point. It's best to do this when it's dry, so leave it until well after your morning shower. If your curtain rings are looking grubby too, you can remove these from the pole to clean later. 

Mallory Micetich, Cleaning Expert at Angi, also notes, "Before you begin cleaning, always check to see if your shower curtain has care instructions and follow them if so."

2. Fill your bucket

Grab a plastic bucket or washing-up bowl and fill it with a solution of 1/3 bleach to 2/3 warm water. This will dilute the bleach so that's safer to use, but still effectively disinfect the curtain. 

3. Soak the curtain

Immerse the shower curtain into the bucket and solution and leave to soak for around 24 hours. Make sure all parts of it are covered.

What the expert says...

Mallory Micetich, Cleaning Expert at Angi, says, "Many shower curtains can easily be cleaned in your washing machine. If you have a fabric curtain, add your usual laundry detergent and ½ cup of baking soda to your washing machine on the gentle cycle using warm water. During the rinse cycle, add one cup of vinegar and allow to air dry completely. You should aim to clean your fabric shower curtains every three months. "

4. Rinse 

When the shower curtain has been soaking for enough time, rinse off in the bath or another bucket with clean, cold water. If your curtain is machine washable, you can choose to put in the washer at this point, however, a quick rinse will also do the job. 

5. Hang up and enjoy! 

The beauty of cleaning a shower curtain is that it takes no time to dry, and already has the ideal place to hang! Simply reattach the curtain to the curtain rings and leave it to dry out. 

Mallory also recommended an alternative method that is great for cleaning a plastic shower curtain. She said, "Spray an equal parts mixture of bleach and water on the curtain and allow it to sit for 10 minutes to get rid of extra build-up. From there, you can wash in your washing machine with cold water and allow it to air dry. 

You should aim to clean your plastic shower curtain every three to four weeks. I recommend keeping a spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and water in your shower – you can give the curtain a quick spray every time you shower to keep it extra clean."

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Holly Cockburn
Former Features Editor

Holly is the former Features Editor at Top Ten Reviews where she focused on creating informative, how-to advice. She has a degree in English Literature and previously worked as a copywriter at Howdens, specializing in kitchens and trend-led interiors. When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her exploring the best London bars and brunch spots, or planning the next budget-friendly city break. 

With contributions from