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How To Keep Shower Curtains Mold Free–And Your Bathroom Healthy

When was the last time you gave thought to your shower curtain? Likely not lately, but we need to keep an eye on them because they can get moldy if we’re not careful, and mold at home can affect your health.

Check out my exclusive interview with Well + Good on this topic in their article Even If You Clean Your Shower Curtain, It Can Still Get Moldy Without This Simple Step. And read on for more of my thoughts on this topic. Here’s to home health!

Let It Dry–Stretch It Out

As I shared with Well+Good, maintaining your shower curtain is less about cleaning and more about letting it dry properly. I’m not going to lie, stretching out a shower curtain after you get out of the shower can feel like a nuisance.

But you have to think about this practically. If a wet curtain sits smushed up all day then there’s water sitting in there all day long, and mold can grow. Mold allergies can make you miserable, and can lead to hay fever or asthma symptoms throughout the year. So, your first line of defense is to let your shower curtain dry out after use.

It's The Moisture, Stupid

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to avoid moisture. Of course, your shower curtain is going to get wet—that’s it’s job, to prevent water from getting all over your bathroom. But the key is to make sure it can dry out on its own after that.

Think of the shower curtain as part of your morning experience, as well as part of you bathroom’s decor. They can actually be very pretty or whimsical, so when you’re done showering, restore your shower curtain’s design by opening it back up. I have a friend who has shower curtain with jokes on it. The jokes only land when you can read them, so for her that’s incentive enough to pull the curtain open when she’s done, as she loves entertaining her guests!

Plastic or Canvas, What's Should I Use?

Without a doubt, the simplest material to work with is plastic. It’s the easiest to clean, it’s durable, and it won’t wrinkle. And, you can easily wash it down with a shower head.

That said, if you want to go more eco-friendly go with canvas. It’s not completely waterproof, so you are going to want to use a shower liner to keep it as dry as possible. Regardless of which you choose, if you have a shower liner, keep that inside the tub and the outer curtain outside it, so that air can flow in between the two. This will also help to speed up the drying process.

It's Not Working, What Should I Do?

Allowing your curtain to air dry is key, but sometimes mold still forms at the bottom or in tiny nooks. In this case, spray it with a store-bought cleanser, or a homemade solution of baking soda, vinegar, and water (add a touch of lavender for a fresh, calming smell). If the stains or mold are tough, take the curtain down and machine wash it, if you can, or soak the dirty parts in a bucket or your sink in a cleaning solution of your choice.

And if keeping a mold free curtain is too much–consider replacing your shower curtain with a sliding or hinged glass door. You can DIY it, or bring in a professional for installation, it’s not a big job and shouldn’t cost much. I grew up in a home with curtains but in my own home I’ve always had sliding glass doors, and I love them. They’re less work, they look pretty and they are practical to boot. I use my glass doors to dry clothes and even to air clothes out before putting them back into the closet.

Do you have shower curtains, or do you prefer glass doors? Let us know in the comments below. 

Photo Credits: Christa Grover, Unsplash,, La Belle Galerie, Pixabay

Maeve Richmond is the founder and head coach of Maeve's Method, a home organization system based in New York City. She specializes in parents & kids, couples, small space solutions, space planning and decorative elements for the home. Contact her at [email protected] or @MaeveRichmond.

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