Can You Wash Shower Liners in the Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Shower Liners in the Washing Machine

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Yes, most shower liners can be washed in the washing machine. Follow these general steps: Remove the shower liner from the rings, check the care label for specific instructions, add detergent and a cup of white vinegar or bleach, choose a gentle cycle with warm water, add bath towels, and hang the shower liner to dry.

Shower liners serve as a protective barrier between your shower and the rest of your bathroom, helping to keep water where it belongs and preventing unsightly mold and mildew buildup. Over time, shower liners can accumulate soap scum, mildew, and grime. This leads to an important question: can you wash shower liners in the washing machine? The answer is yes, with a few simple steps and considerations.

In this article, we will explore the dos and don’ts of washing shower liners, provide step-by-step instructions, offer alternative cleaning methods, and address some common questions. Let’s get started!

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Shower Liners in the Washing Machine


  • Remove the shower liner from the rings: Before attempting to wash your shower liner, take it down from the shower curtain rings or hooks. This ensures that the entire liner gets cleaned evenly.
  • Check the care label: Always check the care label on your shower liner for specific washing instructions. Some liners may have specific recommendations, such as water temperature or detergent type.
  • Add detergent and a cleaning agent: To effectively clean your shower liner, add a small amount of mild detergent to the washing machine. For added cleaning power and to combat mildew, you can also add a cup of white vinegar or ½ cup of bleach (or color-safe bleach). Be sure not to mix bleach with vinegar, as this can produce harmful fumes.
  • Choose a gentle cycle: Select a gentle cycle on your washing machine. Use warm water, as this helps dissolve detergent and loosen grime. Opt for the highest water level to ensure adequate cleaning.
  • Add bath towels: To help balance the load and enhance the cleaning process, toss in a few bath towels. The towels will gently scrub the liner during the wash.
  • Hang the shower liner to dry: After the wash is complete, remove the shower liner from the washing machine and hang it to dry. Avoid using the dryer, as excessive heat can damage the liner’s material.


  • Don’t wash a shower liner that specifies “Do Not Machine Wash”: Some shower liners are not designed for machine washing. If the care label explicitly states not to machine wash, avoid doing so to prevent damage.
  • Don’t use abrasive cleaners or scrubbers: Avoid using harsh scrub brushes, abrasive cleaners, or scouring pads on your shower liner, as these can damage the material.
  • Don’t use excessive bleach: While bleach can be effective at removing mildew, use it sparingly and follow the recommended dilution on the product label to prevent damage to the liner.
  • Don’t overload the washing machine: Ensure there is enough space for the shower liner and bath towels to move freely in the washing machine. Overloading can lead to inefficient cleaning.
  • Don’t forget to rinse thoroughly: If you’ve used bleach, vinegar, or any cleaning agent, make sure to rinse the shower liner thoroughly after the wash to remove any residue.

Steps To Wash Shower Liners In The Washing Machine:

Step 1

Preparation: Remove the shower liner from the rings or hooks.

Step 2

Check the care label: Review the care label on the shower liner for specific washing instructions. Follow any guidelines provided.

Step 3

Add detergent and cleaning agent: Place the shower liner, bath towels, a small amount of mild detergent, and either a cup of white vinegar or ½ cup of bleach (or color-safe bleach) into the washing machine.

Step 4

Select the cycle: Choose a gentle cycle with warm water and the highest water level available on your washing machine.

Step 5

Start the wash: Initiate the washing cycle and allow it to run its course.

Step 6

Hang to dry: After the wash is complete, remove the shower liner from the washing machine and hang it in a well-ventilated area to air dry. Avoid using a dryer.

Alternative Washing Methods For Shower Liners:

If you prefer not to use a washing machine or your shower liner’s care label advises against it, here are alternative methods to clean your liner:

  • Hand Washing: Fill a basin or bathtub with warm water and a mild detergent. Submerge the liner and gently scrub it with a soft brush or cloth. Rinse thoroughly and hang to dry.
  • Spot Cleaning: For small stains or localized mildew, use a damp cloth and mild soap to spot clean the affected areas. Rinse and dry afterward.
  • Vinegar Spray: Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spritz the solution on the liner and scrub with a soft brush or cloth. Rinse and hang to dry.
  • Shower Liner Cleaner: Consider using a commercial shower liner cleaner, following the product’s instructions carefully.


How often should I wash my shower liner?

Answer: The frequency of washing your shower liner depends on usage and the accumulation of soap scum and mildew. Typically, cleaning it every few months should suffice, but adjust based on your specific needs.

Can I use fabric softener when washing my shower liner?

Answer: It’s best to avoid using fabric softener when washing your shower liner, as it can leave a residue that may affect its appearance or water-repelling properties.

Can I machine wash a fabric shower liner with decorative patterns or prints?

Answer: If your fabric shower liner has intricate patterns or delicate prints, consider hand washing to preserve the design and prevent fading or damage.

What can I do to prevent mildew buildup on my shower liner?

Answer: Regularly cleaning and thoroughly drying your shower liner after use can help prevent mildew buildup. Also, ensure proper bathroom ventilation to minimize moisture.

Can I use a washing machine with an agitator to clean my shower liner?

Answer: It’s advisable to use a front-loading washing machine or a top-loader without a central agitator, as agitators can potentially damage the shower liner.

Final Words:

Washing your shower liner is a simple and effective way to maintain a clean and hygienic bathroom. Most shower liners can be safely cleaned in the washing machine by following the provided dos and don’ts. However, always check the care label for specific instructions and consider alternative cleaning methods if necessary. With proper care, your shower liner can continue to protect your bathroom and keep it looking fresh for years to come. Happy cleaning!

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