The One Item in Your Bathroom That's Dirtier Than Your Toilet Seat

Here are what one study found has the highest germ count in your bathroom.

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While you may be cleaning yourself in the shower every day, how often are you actually cleaning your shower? That doesn't mean just wiping down the walls and unclogging the drain. You should also be washing your shower curtain—especially since a recent Safe Home study found that in terms of germ counts in the bathroom, your shower curtain has the highest. Yes, even higher than the toilet seat. That's why experts say you should wash your shower curtain once every month. Read on to find out what happens when you don't clean it often enough, and for more shower tips, find out which One Body Part You Shouldn't Wash in the Shower.

"I'd recommend washing your shower curtain at least once a month. If not that, then after every three months," says David Shell, a home improvement expert and founder of Tradesmen Costs. "This on average makes around four to twelve washes a year, which isn't a lot and shouldn't take much time either."

And while soap buildup may be unsightly, that is not the only reason you need to regularly wash your shower curtain. According to David Cusick, a home expert and chief strategy officer at House Method, neglecting this bathroom essential can cause mold and mildew.

"Germs, mold, and mildew can easily thrive if you don't wash your shower curtain regularly," Cusick explains. "That's because of the humidity and moisture in the bathroom."

Cleaning your curtain is as easy as throwing it in the washing machine. Whirpool's Laundry Brand Manager Daniel Rozek says you should "choose a gentle cycle with warm water and the highest water level," while washing your shower curtain with a small amount of detergent. And when it comes to drying, fabric curtains can be done in the dryer on low heat, while plastic or vinyl curtains should be hung and air dried.

Buildup can also destroy your curtain's material, so if you want to go longer without having to purchase a new shower curtain, make sure you're maintaining its cleanliness. However, Cusick says if you see any kind of stains or visible mold after washing your curtain, you need to throw it out either way. According to Shell, most shower curtains should be replaced every six months.

Experts also say that one to three months is just the average for most shower curtains, because the exact amount you should clean your shower curtain may change according to what type of material your shower curtain is. Keep reading to find out about wash times for different shower curtain materials, and for more things you may not be cleaning often enough, discover The Filthiest Spot in Your Home Is 12 Times Dirtier Than a Toilet Seat.

Read the original article on Best Life.

1
Cotton

bathroom with patterned shower curtain
Shutterstock

According to Jill Sandy, home renovator and founder of Constant Delights, you should wash a cotton shower curtain more often than something like a plastic or vinyl curtain. She says this is because cotton shower curtains are not only the "easiest material to wash," but they are also the most prone to mold, mildew, and soap scum buildup. And for more things you should be washing frequently, learn How Often You Should Really Be Washing Your Pillow.

2
Plastic

plastic shower curtain, easy home tips
Shutterstock

Plastic shower curtains should be washed at least once a month or even twice a month, Shell says. The reason you can wait to wash these longer than cotton curtains is because they don't attract or absorb odors, according to Sandy. And for more cleaning tips, This Cleaning Mistake Could Be Ruining Your Home, Experts Say.

3
Silk

Bathroom shower curtains
Shutterstock

Shell says a silk shower curtain should be washed on a less regular basis, as washing one too often may damage the material. He suggests you wash your silk shower curtain every three months. And for more useful content delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

4
Vinyl

Shower curtain
iStock

You can also take your time washing your vinyl shower curtain, according to Sandy. This is because a vinyl shower curtain is waterproof, which means it has "fewer chances of absorbing moisture and any mold tracks." So as long as you wash it every three to four months, you should be fine, she says. And for more things you may be washing too often, this is The One Thing in Your House You're Cleaning Too Much.

Kali Coleman
Kali is an assistant editor at Best Life. Read more
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