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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Shower Liners

By Dr. Laundry December 23, 2010

Q. Can I use this in the washer with a plastic shower liner? It has a lot of mildew on it. I am not using it on clothes, just this plastic shower liner.

A. Thanks for the question. How old is your plastic shower liner? If it is still fairly new and in good condition (except for the mildew), then yes, Clorox® Regular-Bleach can be used to clean your liner, but an older, worn plastic liner may discolor with prolonged contact. I’m not sure what type of washer you have, so here are suggestions for cleaning the liner in both front loading and top loading clothes washers.

Top loading clothes washers with center agitators may be rough on the shower liner, so choose the gentlest cycle possible. Before adding the liner to the washer, fill the clothes washer with warm water. When the washer is full, add 1 cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach then add the shower liner, and then start the cycle. If possible, select a second rinse option to be sure the liner is thoroughly rinsed. Remove the liner and hang it up in the shower, wiping it down with a towel to help it dry thoroughly.

Front loading clothes washers generally have more gentle agitation, but the higher spin speeds could crease the shower liner, so again select a more gentle cycle to avoid this. Also, select a shorter wash cycle length of 5 minutes, if possible. Place the liner in the clothes washer, add 1 cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach to the detergent dispenser, and start the cycle. Remove the liner and hang it up in the shower, wiping it down with a towel to help it dry thoroughly.

If the mildew is stubborn and remains, then repeat the procedure with Clorox® Regular-Bleach.