The Real Reason Your Shower Curtain Is So Gross, And What To Do About It

When you move into a new home, the prospect of a new shower curtain can make your space feel that much more refreshing. But, if you fast forward a few months, you'll likely have the same discolored shower curtain you had before. It's not exactly easy to clean, and after scrubbing the tub and other areas of your bathroom, rinsing your shower curtain probably isn't high up on your list. According to Real Simple, that's why your shower curtain holds "60 times more bacteria than your toilet seat."

To avoid creating a bacteria-breeding zone in your bathroom, you can toss your curtain in the laundry machine once a month for an easy clean. Just add a half cup of baking soda to break up the dirt, along with a towel, the outlet suggests. Jeneva Aaron, a home blogger, explains, "The baking soda will break down the grime, and the towels will wipe it off as it spins." If you have a plastic liner, the towels will also ensure that it doesn't get wrinkled beyond repair in the cycle. Aaron recommends adding a half cup of vinegar during the rinse cycle to finish off any lingering debris, the outlet explains. So, instead of throwing away your shower curtain every few months or living with a dirty liner, you can have a sparkling clean option without the heavy scrubbing. 

A little effort goes a long way on a shower curtain

If putting your shower curtain and liner back on the hooks over and over again makes you irritated just thinking about it, you can do a lighter clean instead. Using a home-made spray of equal parts water and white vinegar offers a quicker option for your shower liner, Today suggests. Add a few drops of pure essential oil to offset the intense smell, then spritz the mixture on your curtain and liner as often as possible — like once a day. Don't rinse, just let it sit. To remove any mildew towards the bottom, you can apply the concoction and then "scrub with a brush" once a week, the outlet explains.

Furthermore, to avoid making more of a mess to clean up, ditch your bar soap and switch to body wash. According to Today, bar soap can leave scum around your tub that clings to your curtain and liner. 

But, even with the strongest of cleaning supplies, some curtains may be unsalvageable. Aaron tells Real Simple that if you wash your liner or curtain and still see signs of mold, mildew or grime, toss it. Look for a PVC-free liner that's mildew resistant and then promise yourself to take care of it! You'll be grateful for it when you aren't staring at a discolored liner every time you shower.