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Here's how often to clean and replace your shower curtain, according to allergists

A shower curtain has the all-important job of keeping water from splashing into your bathroom while also looking good. But it can get pretty gross fast. That raises a big question: How often should you clean and replace your shower curtain? Experts say it's way more often than people think. Choosing one is a big deal: It sets a general vibe for your space. Once you make a decision, then, it makes sense to want to stick with it for a while. But you should actually replace your shower curtain every six to 12 months, Dr. Shaan Waqar, an allergist and immunologist at ENT and Allergy Associates, tells Yahoo Life. The reason? Mold growth.

Swap in one of these beauties to brighten up your bathroom. (Photo: Amazon)
Swap in one of these beauties to brighten up your bathroom. (Photo: Amazon)

"Molds are primarily found in warm, damp locations," he explains. "Basements or poorly ventilated bathrooms can have high humidity and become problematic areas for mold growth in the home. Mold can build up on your shower curtain over time."

That's why cleaning your shower curtain regularly is crucial, Dr. Evan Li, an assistant professor of medicine in Immunology, Allergy & Rheumatology at Baylor College of Medicine, tells Yahoo Life. Every curtain is a little different and it's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions — some can be thrown in the wash, while others need to be hand washed.

Either way, it's a good idea to wash your shower curtain every two to four weeks, Wagar says. If your shower curtain is white and you notice mold, Li suggests spraying your curtain with a 5% bleach solution "at the first sign of mold" to help control growth.

Why is washing and bleaching so important? "If you allow mold to grow uncontrolled, it can become embedded in the curtain, which makes it impossible to eradicate," Li says.

Mold spores are tiny, and not all mold is visible — that's why it's important to wash your shower curtain regularly to try to stay on top of growth.

Another thing that can help? Investing in a shower curtain liner. This helps keep water from splashing directly onto your shower curtain, where it can foster mold growth. This shower curtain liner option from LiBa is a huge hit at Amazon:

This shower curtain liner is clear, so it goes with every decor. It comes in a range of sizes, including 72 by 72 inches. The waterproof liner effortlessly blocks splash and spray from your shower from getting all over your bathroom floor.
$12 at Amazon

Been a minute — or ever — since you replaced your shower curtain? Consider investing in one of these to help lower your risk of mold exposure. (While you're at it, read up on how often to clean your pillows.)

This bestselling shower curtain checks all the boxes. It's made with a textured waffle weave for a luxurious feel and comes in a range of pretty colors, so you can find a curtain that goes with just about any decor. It also has a weighted hem to keep it in place and features fabric that repels water, oil and stains.
$17 at Amazon

"The material is a 'waffle' texture. It’s not see-through and [is] pretty thick," shared a five-star fan. "The hems are narrow and done neatly."

Black and white stripes create a chic look and feel with this shower curtain. It's also water repellant and quick drying to minimize mold build-up. When it's time to clean it, just toss it in the wash. Choose from an impressive 24 color and pattern options.
$12 at Amazon

"I was expecting a cheaper quality for the price I paid, but honestly it is very thick," shared a happy customer. "It fit perfectly in my tiny bathroom, and it comes with the hooks, which I highly recommend using only because they are "closed" and this will avoid the curtain to come off if you ever open it or close it a little too violently."

Made of a polyester blend, this is technically a shower curtain liner that looks like a shower curtain. It features a waterproof coating, giving it a soft feel while also repelling water. Magnets at the bottom help add extra weight and keeps your curtain from billowing while you suds up. Select from one of 17 color options.
$12 at Amazon

"I love the fabric and that you can wash it," shared a fan. "I like that it is the complete shower curtain that you don’t need a liner."

This floral shower curtain is a total mood booster thanks to its pretty theme. It features a minimalist flower print on waterproof fabric to slow mold growth. Choose from a range of sizes to fit your bathroom. And, if flowers aren't your thing, consider the brand's other patterns, including ivy, a nightscape and more.
$17 at Amazon

Shared one happy customer: "This is the perfect shower curtain to liven up my rather plain bathroom! The fabric is nice and silky and feels soft."

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.