Shower curtains are a breeding ground for harmful mold and mildew that can irritate eyes, noses, and throats. Follow these few simple steps to remove shower curtain mold and mildew, and make showering a cleaner experience for your body, both outside and inside.
Why Do Mold and Mildew Grow on Shower Curtains?
Mold and mildew grow on vinyl and plastic shower curtains because they form an airtight seal with the side of the tub, and cannot dry quickly. Once the shower curtains have mold on them, it is nearly impossible to remove it in the shower environment. The best option is to wash them in the washing machine. Wash the shower curtain in the bathtub only if you have an openable window in the bathroom. Leave it open while the curtain dries, to curtail new mold growth.
How to Remove Mold and Mildew From Shower Curtains
Step 1 - Remove and Prepare the Shower Curtain
Remove the shower curtains and the hanger hooks from the curtain holes. Take the curtain outside and brush off the dried mold. Keep your face turned away while brushing to avoid inhaling the mold.
Step 2 - Wash the Shower Curtain in the Washer
Put the shower curtain in the washer with cool water plus any of the following stain removers and antibacterial agents: .5-cups of chlorine bleach .5-cups detergent with borax .5-cups of vinegar .5-cups of baking soda
CAUTION: Do not mix chlorine bleach or vinegar with any of the other cleaners. Launder any mildewed towels in the same load. Avoid using very hot water, as it will set in any existing mold and mildew stains. To get cool water in the washer, start with it set on warm, then turn it to cold once the washer is half-full. Set the washer for a cold water rinse. The shower curtain will be nearly dry after the final spin.
Step 3 - Dry the Shower Curtain Briefly in the Dryer
A plastic or vinyl curtain can go in the dryer with some towels on low heat for 15 minutes. Watch it carefully and remove it right away at the end of the drying cycle. Hang it on the shower rail to dry and finish any damp spots with the blow dryer. Hold the dryer nozzle 6-inches from the curtain to prevent melting.
Now that your shower curtain is clean, you will want to prevent new mold from building up on your shower curtain again. When each person finishes their shower, ensure that they shake the curtain off vigorously over the tub. The shower curtain must then be extended fully over the side of the tub along the full length of the rail to get as much air as possible for drying. If you have a window in the bathroom that can open, open it during and after each shower to reduce moisture in the room.