Grunge was cool in the 90s, not in your shower. Just sayin’. If you have a shower, there’s a really good chance you have a shower mat and shower curtain liner. And, there’s a super good chance that you haven’t washed them lately (or ever)!
Why They Get So Grungy
These plastic shower curtains and bath mats get quite dirty over time, let’s explore why:
- They live in your shower, and your shower is a damp, warm place (mold and mildew <3 this).
- They are situated among bacteria, hard water, soap scum and body oils
I could go on, but these are the two key reasons.
Showers are damp and warm and as such are a perfect environment for mold and mildew to cultivate. Mold and mildew come in a variety of colors, but the most common ones you’ll see in the bathroom are pinky/orange and greyish/brown. Mold and mildew are not indicative of a ‘dirty’ shower per se, but they don’t help in creating a clean looking shower. And, your shower will become dirtier as the mold and mildew builds up (because you’re not cleaning it away), but the initial onset of the stuff doesn’t mean you’re showering in some sort of pigsty. To be clear, soap scum is the true indicator of a dirty shower – oh, have you seen that video yet?
How To Clean a Shower Curtain and Liner
So here’s the lowdown friends, the simple and easy way to clean your plastic shower curtain (and shower curtain liners) as well as plastic shower mats so that they stay clean and mildew-free.
What you’ll need:
- Laundry detergent
- 1 cup of baking soda
- Washing machine
- 2-3 towels (ideally light coloured or white).
- Optional: 10 drops of tea tree oil (which can kill mold and mildew).
Here’s What to do:
- Carefully remove the plastic shower curtains from hooks and peel up shower mat, take them to your washing machine (pretty easy so far).
- Place them in your washing machine, along with the 2 towels. Add regular detergent and a cup of baking soda (and tea tree oil).
- Wash on the gentle cycle
- Re-hang the plastic shower curtain to air dry, and hang the shower mat to allow all the water to dry off. The towels can go in the dryer.
So what just happened here?
Let’s recap: The towels act as a buffer between the washing machine and the delicate plastic curtain. They also assist in scrubbing away dirt and mildew during the washing process. The baking soda is a mild abrasive that will further scrub away the moldy gunk and will also help deodorize any funk that’s been growing in the plastic. Your total time involved here is under 10 minutes. You will feel great in your much cleaner shower!
This can be done 4 times a year. So often we think it’s easier to buy a new item, but hopefully, this changes your mind. All they need is a little TLC!
A couple of other tips to keep your plastic shower items clean and mold/mildew free:
- Drying the shower zone stat: Once you are done your shower, remember to spray the tub, tiles and curtain with a daily shower spray (to inhibit mold growth) LINK HERE TO THE VIDEO, and to ventilate the space well to promote quick drying and moisture removal.
- Optimal positioning: My mother always requested that we peel up the shower mat after a shower and that we left the shower curtains closed so that they could properly dry. This helped in reducing mold and mildew as well. My mother is totally reading this and saying something like “See, I told you so!”. Yes, Mom, you did. You were right.
- Cleaning your sponges and bath/shower accessories: this is just extra info because I am sure some of you are curious! Once you are done your shower, remember to spray the tub, tiles, and curtain with a daily shower spray (to inhibit mold growth), and to ventilate the space well to promote quick drying and moisture removal.
Run along now and clean your plastic shower parts and report back!