green tip: wash your shower curtain liner!

shower liner

I made a deal with myself for January 2011 that I would be more eco-conscious this year –always take my own shopping bags to the store, re-gift magazines that I’ve already read, keep winter composting, etc. I’m attempting to make one eco-effort every day for as long as I can! This weekend I discovered a green tip that made me happy – you can wash a plastic shower curtain liner! It was time to change mine, and was feeling really guilty about throwing it out because it can’t be recycled. After a little reseplace, I decided to try and wash it instead. I tossed it in the washer with some bathmats and cleaning rags, and set the temperature on warm. I added a little laundry soap and about a cup of white vinegar and set the wash to regular. PRESTO – a soap scum-free shower curtain liner that was ready to be re-hung. I would imagine after a few washes the curtain might be a little worse for wear, in which case I could use it as a project drop-cloth before disposing. NOTE: don’t put liners in the dryer, and be sure to wash in warm, not hot, water. – Rebecca F.

photo credit: Apartment Therapy

From our partners

I have been washing my shower curtains for years and find that they last and last. When they do finally wear out, I use them for drop cloths for painting projects. I never throw them away.

Here in western Washington state there is a big problem with mildew on shower curtains. When that shows up, some chlorine bleach added to the wash water becomes necessary. To avoid that, I wipe all the water off the shower curtain every time it gets wet.

Thank you for a great blog. I love stopping by here.


Just a tip: check that your liners don’t have magnets at the bottom, or else they will rip to shreds in your washer.

It might last through more washes than you think! I wash the shower curtain liners in my house every few months using the same method. We’ve had the same liners for at least four years now and they’re still practically as good as new.

Good luck with your eco-efforts!

i’m doing this TODAY!


You actually can put the liner in the dryer for a few minutes to get the excess water off before you hang it back up as long as the dryer is not set at ‘nuclear’. I hate that shower of cold, cold water while I battle with the rings to rehang it if I don’t dry it for a few minutes first. Plus, it makes it a lot more pliable.

Mary T

I wash mine regularly, and I just use regular laundry soap, no extras. Yep, works like a charm (sometimes the plastic is a little wrinkly, but who cares?)

I’ve been washing mine in hot water with bleach water and cleaning rags for years :) I also put it in the dryer on medium for about 7 to 10min. too. I use and reuse and reuse them. When they’re beyond using for the shower we also use them for drop clothes and to slide/move furniture all the time. The hubs and I also like to go to estate sales on the weekends and we always carry old shower curtains and moving blankets. Also my favorite shower liners are from Ikea and $2.99!


I always fill up my tub with laundry soap & water and hand wash it in there–gets the liner nice and clean, and keeps it lasting!

Ahah! Thanks for sharing the mildew-removal trick!

I have a nylon shower curtain that has lasted through lots of washes for about five years and its still going strong. I live in the deep south where humidity causes big mildew problems so a washable nylon curtain is the way to go. It never had that icky smell of the plastic ones either.