If you moved in a rush, you probably just tossed everything in a box. But while you're setting up the bathroom in a shiny new apartment, one look at your shower curtain liner sends you into a panic: You suddenly notice the bottom of the liner is brown or gray or cloudy. When was the last time you cleaned this curtain?
If you have to ask, then it's time to treat yourself and your new space to a fresh curtain liner. It's cheap, it's necessary, and it reminds you how clean your bathroom could feel if you became a person who washes your shower curtain and liner on the regular. (I look at moving like going back to school: It's a perfect time to establish new habits and aim to "be better" in your new space).
There are plenty of options out there, but I'd recommend spending a couple of dollars more for a machine washable curtain liner over a plastic one (which you will end up having to throw out). A friend recommended this snap-on version (it's $30 for the curtain and the liner, but the liners start at $10), since it easy to remove and clean on a regular basis—no more balancing on the tub's ledge or dragging a step stool into your tiny bathroom to unhook.
When it comes time to clean your curtain, the process is extremely easy. According to Melissa Maker, cleaning expert and owner of Clean My Space, a Toronto-based cleaning service says it's just as easy as throwing the everything in the bathroom together in the wash. "A good indicator for your lining needing to be cleaned is the visual buildup." When you notice discoloration, it's laundry day. Throw everything including the liner, shower curtain itself, bath mats, and any towels in the bathroom in a load together.
The good news is you can wash almost everything in your bathroom with the liner—including the shower curtain itself, bath mats, or any towels in the bathroom.
"It's important to mix in different fabrics with that shower curtain liner," Melissa explains, which is why it's great to include a towel in the machine. "The terry material will provide extra abrasion. When the liner is tumbling around in the wash, the towel will help scrub it clean."
To clean your bathroom items, Melissa recommends a mixture of regular detergent and five to 10 drops lavender or tea tree oil. "Those both have anti-mold, anti-microbial properties," she says. "They're quite powerful in helping to remove that build-up." Wash using cold water.
To keep the liner and curtain cleaner for longer, make sure to completely open them up after your shower so they can dry. "If it's bunched up, that's where you're going to get the folds that lead to mold and mildew and buildup that nobody likes." If you keep up this simple cleaning routine, your liner will stay gunk-free through every shower—and every move.