How To Get Rid Of Shower Mold And Mildew

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Knowing how to get rid of shower mold and mildew — and keep it from returning — can save you both time and money. Battling bathroom mold is an ongoing process if you’re not doing it properly; you spray and scrub only to see it return, eventually staining your tile and grout. Then there’s the expense of replacing moldy shower curtains, not to mention the respiratory problems both mold and mildew cause.

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Fewer places in the home are as mold and mildew-friendly as the bathroom. Combine a small, usually windowless, space with moisture and warmth and you’ve got the perfect breeding ground for that nasty stuff. If you’ve got allergy sufferers or people with compromised immune systems in your home, you already know the dangers of that slimy pink or orange (and in truly bad cases, black) goop that grows on shower curtains and grout.

But how do you get rid of shower mold and mildew, and how do you keep it away? It’s easier than you think!

How To Get Rid of Mold On Shower Curtains

1. Wash it in the machine: Put a bath towel in the bottom of your washing machine then add the dry shower curtain. Add a couple of washcloths to the load, too — these will act as “scrubbers” during the wash cycle. Use the normal amount of laundry detergent and add 1/2 cup of baking soda. Wash the curtain on the gentle or delicate cycle using hot water for both the wash and rinse. (Note: for fabric curtains follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding temperature!) Hang the curtain outside to fully dry if possible.

2. Wash it in the bathtub: Fill the tub with hot water, 1/2 cup laundry detergent, and 1/2 cup baking soda. Lower the shower curtain into the water and, using a wash cloth or sponge, scrub the curtain on both sides. Drain the tub, lifting the curtain as needed to allow all of the water out. Refill the tub with hot water and add 2 cups of white vinegar. Allow the curtain to soak for 5 minutes before draining and rehanging the curtain, no rinse required.

How To Get Rid Of Shower Mold And Mildew

Non-toxic mold removal is as simple as combining 1/2 cup of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide and 1 cup of warm water in a spray bottle. Now, spray it generously on every surface of the shower stall, including the floor. Allow it to sit one hour then scrub vigorously with a stiff-bristled brush and hot water. Don’t bother making up a batch of this stuff in advance; hydrogen peroxide can lose its potency over time, so you’ll need to make this fresh every time.

The bleach alternative is faster but some people find bleach fumes irritating. I’m one of them. If you’re fine using it, then simply mix equal parts of bleach and plain water and spray it on every surface of the shower stall, including the floor. Be sure you’re running the bathroom fan when you do this, and take precautions to avoid breathing the mist or allowing it to come in contact with your skin. And never, EVER mix bleach with any other household cleaner! Allow surfaces to remain wet for 10 minutes then rinse well.

How To Prevent Shower Mold And Mildew

Run your bathroom fans regularly. Yes, it’s nice to step out of a hot shower into a nice, steamy bathroom on a cold winter’s day. Unfortunately, that mix isn’t just cozy to humans: it’s the perfect environment for mold and mildew. Either run your bathroom fan while you shower, or make it a point to run it for at least 15 minutes afterward. (You can easily install a timer to run your bathroom fan.)

Shake the curtain. After your shower, give the curtain a good shake then close it most — but not all — of the way. This will allow the curtain to completely dry between uses, reducing the amount of mold that builds up.

Let the light shine. We had a skylight installed in our bathroom for this exact reason, but you don’t have to cut holes in your roof. Just leave the lights on when you’re using the bathroom, and consider installing a timer on them, too.

Spray every surface, every day. Either buy a commercial shower spray or use a homemade daily shower spray. Apply as part of your daily cleaning routine.

Hang the towels. Kids are notorious for tossing their damp bath towels on the floor. Not only is this an annoying habit, the towels can never dry so they just add to the moist environment that promotes mold growth. If your kids are too young to understand how to use a towel rack (or if, like mine, they broke your rack by using it to do chin-ups), consider installing simple wall hooks to make it easier for them to hang towels after each use.

Clean it regularly. Even with daily attention, you’ll still need to clean the bathroom regularly. Consider using the weekly bathroom cleaning routine or follow your own.

A few minutes of work getting it clean, followed by regular daily attention, is all it takes to get rid of shower mold and mildew and keep it away.

Equipment I Use:


  1. says

    I make an orange and clove-infused vinegar cleaning solution that we use for cleaning the shower. I just do it once per week, and even in our damp climate, that seems to keep mildew at bay for us. For the one bathroom with a curtain (the other two have glass doors), closing the curtain after use is definitely key. We wash the curtain about once every 3-4 months. Spraying with any vinegar cleaner will help prevent deposit of soap scum. Seems to work for us.

      • Katie B. says

        Did you not read the article? It says, plain and clear:
        “Non-toxic mold removal is as simple as combining 1/2 cup of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide and 1 cup of warm water in a spray bottle.”

  2. says

    Passed by your post and decided to share it on my blog so my followers can see it too. I used the same title, “How To Get Rid Of And Prevent Shower Mold And Mildew Housewife How To's Housewife How To's”

  3. Wesley says

    Hi Katie,

    I regularly use hydrogen peroxide and water for cleaning and preventing mold and mildew in my shower and have had great results.

    I have also used a 50/50 ratio of vinegar and water solution to mist the shower walls and grout to prevent build up of soap scum, bacteria and mildew. And, I have not had any issues with using vinegar in the grout areas. White distilled vinegar is the key here and like peroxide, its very affordable.

    My favorite for stubborn stains and especially the grout areas of the shower and tub is a solution of ½ cup vinegar, ¼ cup of borax and a quart of warm water. Shake and mix thoroughly. Apply – let sit for 10 minutes or so and scrub with a old toothbrush. Rinse and repeat if necessary.

    Reducing humidity levels in the bathroom by 30 to 50 percent will greatly reduce the chance of mold growth in the shower. And, I like your idea of installing a timer on the fan and lights to mitigate the conditions for mold growth.

    Great Read and Best,

  4. Sandra @ The Adored Home says

    Thanks so much for this post, I am going to try this. I cannot for the life of me get rid of the mold in my shower! I have tried EVERYTHING! So I will be trying this for sure!
    Have an awesome day!
    The Adored Home

    • Katie B. says

      Let me know if my tips work for you, Sandra! I’ll tell you, the thing that made the biggest difference in our shower was spraying with that vinegar-water solution and leaving the door open. It sure is nice not to have to scrub at mold every week now!

  5. Oreo Malone says

    Omg thank you sooooo much. I can’t begin to tell you how much your tips helped out my family. I’d looked around for hours on the Internet to help with my daughter’s cough and your blog was the first and only thing that made sense. :-) !

  6. michelle M. says

    I found drying off my shower and fixtures every time really cut down on the cleaning, and leave my chrome fixtures shiny. I don’t reuse towels for lots reason , mainly the cat seem to migrate to wet cloth, so after I dry me off I wipe down the shower and the fixture, and toss the towel in the clothes bin in the laundry room. I have a net clothes bin so they can dry.

  7. Delores Lyon says

    Thanks for sharing the advice! I have noticed that there is some mold on my vintage shower curtain. I don’t want to ruin the curtain, but the mold really needs to go! I’ll be sure to try this and see if I can get all the mold off. I should probably also get a professional to help me make sure the mold doesn’t come back any time soon!

    • Katie Berry says

      The washing machine works for both fabric and plastic. Be sure to use the gentle cycle. With fabric, some people have reported their shower curtains shrinking in hot water, so check your label. Mine handled hot water just fine, as do my plastic curtains.

  8. Andrea says

    I’ve been dealing with this… Yeah I’d never had a glass shower door before and just now- after a year in my new house- discovered that nasty yucky rubber lip-gaskety-thing under the door. Gag me with a freaking spoon! I know it’s probably common sense-BIG DUH!!! but I thought I was doing well by keeping the tile and grout and doors clean… that hidden little gem was the source of that orange crap and mildew seeping back onto my shower pan. I think I got it all now. My grout is colored grout so not sure how this stuff would work. 😀 But I don’t think I care anymore. I’d rather have discolored grout from vinegar or peroxide than orange stained grout. Ugh!

    • Katie Berry says

      That thing at the bottom of glass shower doors is nasty, isn’t it? Which reminds me: I need to recaulk mine.

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