Home & Living

How Often Should You Replace... Shower Curtain + Liner?

09/17/2014 08:21am ET | Updated September 17, 2014

Some of our best ideas are born in the shower. And, some of our best questions, too. Like: How often should you replace your shower curtain liner? The short answer: Rarely. But it all depends on how you maintain it and, well, that's the tricky part. So we turned to cleaning expert Jolie Kerr for some advice.

There's no absolute time frame for how often to wash a shower curtain. Instead, the (more frustrating) answer is 'as needed.'

Humph. I know, it's annoying! But here's the thing: Shower curtains need to be washed when they've developed scum, mold or mildew build-up, but the rate at which that happens depends on so many different factors that it's impossible to say 'Clean your shower curtain every [#] weeks.' Factors that come into play in terms of how quickly they develop build-up are the relative humidity in your home, how well-ventilated your bathroom is and the use of certain products that cause more soap scum build-up than others, like a thicker shampoo, conditioner or body wash.

In terms of replacing a liner, you don't need to replace it as long as it's not torn and laundering it gets it clean and free of build-up. Try a cold water wash using a small amount of detergent and a 1/2-cup of either (but not both!) white vinegar or bleach. Wash with a few towels, to help prevent the liner from being shredded, and hang to dry.

-- Jolie Kerr, Clean Person

So basically, whether you've been throwing money down the drain replacing that fancy (and probably pricey) hotel-grade liner or stockpiling the cheapie plastic ones, you've been going about this whole shower-curtain-cleaning thing all wrong. "Some liners are billed as 'mold-resistant' [but] they never really are," Kerr says. Instead, focus on the things that are making your bathroom dirty to begin with: Improper ventilation, hard water and the copious amounts of build-up-causing beauty products you're using day in and day out. Yes, you may have to choose between great hair today and a weekend free of bathroom cleaning down the road -- welcome to adulthood, folks.

Have something to say? Check out HuffPost Home on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

**

Are you an architect, designer or blogger and would like to get your work seen on HuffPost Home? Reach out to us at homesubmissions@huffingtonpost.com with the subject line "Project submission." (All PR pitches sent to this address will be ignored.)

The Best Cleaning & Organizing Tips