How do I prevent rusting of a shower curtain rod?

Updated February 21, 2017

Newer shower curtain rods are made of plastics or coated with a no-rust finish, but there is no reason to discard an older model that does not have the protection against rust. Moisture counteracts with metal and causes the chemical reaction of rust. By using certain agents that lessen this unsightly result, your curtain rod can last for many more years. This procedure will also help avoid mould and mildew that can form on your curtain rod.

Standing on a secure ladder or stool, remove your shower curtain from the rod so that the entire surface of the rod is exposed. There is no need to remove the rod.

Wearing rubber gloves, saturate enough paper towels with white vinegar to cover the entire length of the rod. Standing on a sturdy ladder, place paper towels lengthwise on top of the rod with the sides hanging down.

Wrap aluminium foil around the damp paper towels hanging on the rod to hold the paper securely in place. Leave in place for at least two hours.

Remove the aluminium foil and paper towels from the rod. Rub your scratching pad over the entire surface to remove any loose rust particles. Dip your sponge in a soap and water mixture to thoroughly clean. Wipe dry with a clean cotton cloth.

Apply a thin coat of mineral oil to your clean curtain rod to protect from moisture and bacteria build-up. A routine cleaning and reapplication of white spirit will provide a rust-preventive coating to keep your curtain rod clean and well maintained.


Any type of mild oil will work such as baby oil if you do not have mineral oil.


Make sure that your rod is securely in place. Never stand on the edge of the bathtub. The slippery surface can cause a fall.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Aluminium foil
  • White vinegar
  • Soap and water
  • Mineral Oil
  • Scouring pad and sponge
  • Cotton cleaning cloth
  • Small ladder or step stool
  • Rubber gloves
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About the Author

Kate Eglan-Garton is a professional writer, literary agent and editor. Writing since 1985, she is a past business owner, interior decorator and magazine editor that has used her knowledge to write interesting pamphlets and magazine articles. Her education includes certification in writing, a degree in interior design and an associates degree in business.