Can You Wash Plastic Shower Curtains In The Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Plastic Shower Curtains In The Washing Machine

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Yes, plastic shower curtains can be washed in the washing machine.

Plastic shower curtains serve as practical barriers in our bathrooms, preventing water from splashing onto the floor. Over time, however, these curtains can accumulate soap scum, mildew, and other unsightly residues that may make you wonder, can you wash plastic shower curtains in the washing machine? The good news is that the answer is a resounding yes. Washing plastic shower curtains in the washing machine is an efficient and effective way to refresh them.

In this article, we’ll delve into the dos and don’ts of washing plastic shower curtains in the washing machine, providing you with a step-by-step guide to ensure your shower curtains come out clean and rejuvenated.

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Plastic Shower Curtains In The Washing Machine


When it comes to washing plastic shower curtains in the washing machine, there are essential dos to consider to ensure a successful cleaning process:

  • Remove the Curtain and Rings: Before anything else, take down the plastic shower curtain from the rod and detach any rings or hooks. This step ensures that the curtain is ready for a thorough cleaning.
  • Use Mild Detergent: Opt for a small amount of mild laundry detergent. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach, as these can damage the plastic material.
  • Choose a Gentle Cycle with Warm Water: Set your washing machine to a gentle or delicate cycle, preferably with warm water. A gentle cycle ensures that the plastic curtain is treated delicately, and warm water helps dissolve soap scum and mildew effectively.
  • Select the Highest Water Level: To provide ample space for the curtain to move around during the wash, choose the highest water level available on your washing machine.
  • Add Bath Towels: Including a couple of bath towels in the wash load is a smart move. The towels will help wipe off dirt and residue from the curtain while also assisting in balancing the load.
  • Hang to Air Dry: Once the washing cycle is complete, promptly remove the plastic shower curtain and hang it to air dry. Avoid using a dryer, as heat can deform or damage the plastic material.


While washing plastic shower curtains in the washing machine is generally a straightforward process, there are some essential don’ts to keep in mind to prevent any mishaps:

  • Don’t Use Harsh Chemicals: Refrain from using strong chemicals, bleach, or abrasive cleaning agents. These substances can harm the plastic material and may even weaken it over time.
  • Avoid Hot Water: While warm water is suitable for cleaning plastic shower curtains, avoid using hot water as it can cause the plastic to warp or deform.
  • Don’t Overload the Machine: Ensure that you have enough space in the washing machine for the curtain to move freely. Overloading the machine can result in an uneven wash and potential damage to the curtain.
  • Skip the Dryer: Never attempt to use a dryer or any direct heat source to dry your plastic shower curtain. High heat can lead to melting or deformation of the plastic.
  • Don’t Forget to Detach Rings or Hooks: Before washing, make sure to remove all rings or hooks from the curtain. Leaving them attached can cause tangling and potential damage during the wash.

Steps To Washing Plastic Shower Curtains In The Washing Machine:

Now that you know the dos and don’ts, let’s outline the step-by-step process for washing your plastic shower curtain in the washing machine:

Step 1

Prepare the Curtain: Start by removing the plastic shower curtain from the rod. Take off any rings, hooks, or attachments.

Step 2

Add Detergent: In your washing machine, add a small amount of mild laundry detergent. This will help break down soap scum, mildew, and other residues on the curtain.

Step 3

Set the Machine: Select a gentle or delicate cycle with warm water and the highest water level. This combination is ideal for cleaning plastic shower curtains effectively.

Step 4

Include Bath Towels: Place a couple of bath towels into the washing machine along with the plastic curtain. The towels will aid in wiping off dirt and balancing the load.

Step 5

Start the Cycle: Initiate the washing machine cycle and allow it to complete its run.

Step 6

Air Dry: After the washing cycle finishes, remove the plastic shower curtain from the machine. Hang it up to air dry, ensuring that it is stretched out evenly to prevent wrinkles or folds.

Alternative Washing Methods For Plastic Shower Curtains:

While machine washing is a convenient and efficient way to clean plastic shower curtains, there are alternative methods to consider if you prefer not to use a washing machine:

  • Hand Washing: Fill a bathtub or large basin with warm, soapy water using a mild detergent. Immerse the plastic curtain and gently scrub it with a soft cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and hang to air dry.
  • Spot Cleaning: For minor stains or localized grime, spot cleaning is effective. Mix warm water with a mild detergent, dampen a cloth or sponge, and gently clean the affected areas. Rinse and air dry.
  • Vinegar Solution: Create a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. Apply it to the curtain with a cloth or sponge to remove soap scum and mildew. Rinse thoroughly and air dry.
  • Shower Curtain Liner: Consider using a removable shower curtain liner along with your decorative curtain. Liners are often made of a more durable material and are easier to clean.
  • Replace When Necessary: If your plastic shower curtain is severely damaged, discolored, or showing signs of mold or mildew that can’t be removed, it may be time to replace it with a new one.


Can I use bleach to clean my plastic shower curtain?

Answer: It’s not recommended to use bleach on plastic shower curtains, as it can damage the material. Stick to mild detergent for a gentler clean.

Is it okay to wash plastic shower curtains with fabric curtains?

Answer: While you can wash plastic and fabric shower curtains together, it’s essential to ensure that the fabric curtain can withstand the washing machine’s gentle cycle and warm water.

How often should I wash my plastic shower curtain?

Answer: The frequency of washing your plastic shower curtain depends on its usage and how quickly it accumulates dirt and residue. Generally, aim to clean it every few months or as needed.

Can I use a dryer to speed up the drying process?

Answer: It’s not advisable to use a dryer or direct heat source to dry plastic shower curtains, as it can cause deformation or damage. Air drying is the safest method.

What should I do if my plastic shower curtain has wrinkles after air drying?

Answer: If your plastic curtain has wrinkles, try gently stretching it out while it’s hanging. If wrinkles persist, a hairdryer on a low, cool setting may help relax them.

Final Words:

In conclusion, washing plastic shower curtains in the washing machine is a simple and effective way to maintain their cleanliness and extend their lifespan. By adhering to the dos and don’ts, you can ensure a successful cleaning process without risking damage to your plastic curtain.

Additionally, alternative cleaning methods such as hand washing, spot cleaning, or using a vinegar solution can also be effective for tackling specific issues. Remember to maintain a regular cleaning schedule for your plastic

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