I’m going to confess something. Before I was frugal, I used to toss my vinyl shower curtain liners when they got yucky with soap scum and mildew.
Even if I spent top dollar on a mildew-resistant, PEVA, non-toxic shower curtain, I still tossed it when it got gross.
I’m happy to say I’ve changed my ways and saved some cash!
It turns out it’s really easy to clean a vinyl shower curtain liner.
- Simply remove the shower curtain liner from the shower rod and take off the shower curtain rings.
- Toss the vinyl shower curtain in the washing machine with an old towel.
- Fill the fabric softener dispenser with a cup of white vinegar.
- Add a tiny amount of laundry detergent to the soap dispenser.
- Wash on gentle cycle. (This is exteremly important if you don’t want your shower curtain liner to get shredded!)
- Hang the clean shower curtain liner to dry.
Voila! Clean shower curtain liner! I’ve found you can get numerous washings out of a single vinyl shower curtain. When it’s time to retire the shower curtain liner, save it to use as a drop cloth for painting and craft projects.
Got a cheap trick of your own? Send us an e-mail with your tip and we may use it in a future Cheap Trick post!
When I was a college student I cleaned hotel rooms. The hotel I worked at never used vinyl liners. Each tub had a single polyester shower curtain instead; just tuck the curtain inside the tub before turning on the shower. The curtains are machine washable and I know the white curtains can be bleached. After a while (years), when the hem starts to look unsightly, I have it shortened a bit. I have my own home now and use a poly curtain as a liner and keep a decorative curtain outside of the tub. I prefer the polyester curtains not only because they last for many years, but they aren’t stiff and they don’t have that strong vinyl smell.
Christina @ Northern Cheapskate says
Another reader had e-mailed me the same thing… Had not thought to use a polyester shower curtain before – but it is a great idea and much more environmentally friendly than vinyl.
Drop cloths! That’s brilliant. Really wish I thought of that last week! =S
I do exactly the same except I throw it in the dryer on ‘air only’ with a couple of dry beach towels….works great. If the liner is sturdy enough it lasts for yrs. Also I hadn’t been using vinegar (bleach instead) makes sense though.
I prefer the vinyl because I absolutely hate when the fabric liners get so wet and make the decorative ones wet…bleh!
Christina Brown says
Never thought to put it on air dry in the dryer! Usually I just hang it back up in the shower or out on the clothesline in the summer.
I sent this via an email but then I saw I could add it here at the bottom. When my vinyl shower curtain is beyond saving (after many washings), I cut the magnets out at the bottom. They make great refrigerator magnets!!
Christina Brown says
That’s a great idea, Cate! You could also use the liner as a drop cloth for painting or other projects.
Equally good idea!
Alison at NOVA Frugal Family says
We use the fabric liner and wash it a few times a month. We have had it for ages and I feel like it should have saved money by now and it is still going :) I highly recommend it when your other one stops working.