Put an end to shower curtain mildew with all-natural products.

How to Prevent Vinyl Shower Curtain Mildew

by S.R. Becker

Showers are supposed to make you feel clean, but showering with a mildew-covered curtain can have the opposite effect. You don't have to constantly replace vinyl shower curtains or take them down to wash them. By prepping your vinyl shower curtain properly before the first use and keeping your bathroom as dry as possible, you'll extend the time between washes. You also don't need to purchase toxic or expensive bathroom cleansers to keep shower-curtain mildew under control.

Wash a mildewed shower curtain in the washing machine with a few old towels, 1/2 cup of baking soda and regular laundry detergent. Fill the machine all the way with cold or warm water so the curtain has plenty of room to move around. Add 1 cup of white vinegar to the final rinse. If your shower curtain is new, baking soda is unnecessary, but washing will help remove creases and the harsh plastic smell.

Fill a clean bathtub halfway with water and add 1 cup of salt. Immerse the shower curtain in the salt water for three hours before hanging. You do not need to rinse the curtain.

Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar. Keep the bottle in your shower and spray the curtain after every use.

Open your shower curtain all the way and pull it out of the bathtub to dry. Keeping the wet curtain bunched together encourages mildew to form.

Keep your bathroom dry. Open the door after showering and turn on the exhaust fan to reduce steam; excess moisture can lead to mildew.

Items you will need

  • Baking soda
  • Towels
  • Laundry detergent
  • Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Spray bottle


  • Do not wash vinyl shower curtains in hot water, because this may melt the plastic.

About the Author

S.R. Becker is a certified yoga teacher based in Queens, N.Y. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has worked as a writer and editor for more than 15 years. Becker often writes for "Yoga in Astoria," a newsletter about studios throughout New York City.

Photo Credits

  • BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images