How to Remove Iron Stains from a Shower Curtain

Updated February 21, 2017

A high mineral content in water can easily lead to iron stains on shower curtains. These red-coloured rust-like stains are more of an aesthetic nuisance than a danger to the user. Though these unsightly stains may look like an intimidating and overwhelming task, you may be surprised at how simple it really is to remove them. With a small time investment, iron stains can effectively be eliminated from shower curtains leaving them looking like new once again.

Fill a large plastic tub or the bathtub with 2 to 3 gallons of hot water, 1 gallon of white vinegar and 2 cups of salt.

Remove the shower curtain from the rod.

Submerge the shower curtain in the solution.

Allow the shower curtain to soak overnight. If you are using the bathtub to soak the shower curtain, open windows and turn on the fan to prevent the vinegar smell from becoming too overwhelming. If you used a plastic tub, soak the curtain outside or in the garage.

Remove the curtain from the solution in the morning.

Rub over stains with clean cloth or sponge to remove them.

Launder the shower curtain in the washing machine with two to three towels in cool water.

Hang the shower curtain on the shower curtain rod to air dry. Plastic and vinyl shower curtains cannot go into the dryer. For cloth, read and follow the manufacturer's instructions to see if it is safe to machine dry it.


This method is safe for plastic or vinyl and cloth shower curtains.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic tub
  • White vinegar
  • Table salt
  • Clean cloth or sponge
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