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Shower Curtain Turning Orange? Top 4 Causes (+ How to Fix)

Shower curtains are made of various materials, all of which can discolor. If your shower curtain looks orange, you’re in the right place. Orange curtains can look unsightly and cause deterioration and a handful of health hazards. This common bathroom issue should be dealt with as quickly as possible.

A shower curtain turns orange because of these explanations:

  • Heavy iron leads to orange discoloration
  • Dyed shampoos and body washes
  • Pink mold on and around the shower curtain
  • Chemical fresheners and sprays used in the bathroom

Throughout this article, we’ll show you why your shower curtain is orange, whether or not it’s a severe problem, and what you can do about it. Nobody wants to deal with a discolored, gross-looking curtain, so let’s dive into the details below.

Heavy Iron in the Shower Water

Heavy iron and copper in your water supply is one of the most common reasons your shower curtain looks orange, pink, or brown. Loo Academy explains almost all water in your home has iron, copper, chlorine, and other substances. These additives are used to purify and treat the water, but they’re also a byproduct of running through old pipes.

If your shower curtain looks orange, there’s a good chance your water is packed with iron. This mineral oxidizes and leaves traces of rust, which looks brown or orange. You might notice it around the shower rings and near other metal surfaces in the shower.

How to Fix

Follow this step-by-step process:

  1. Remove the shower curtain and let it dry completely to prevent extra oxidation of the rusty orange color. It’s much harder to remove soaked rust stains than dry patches.
  2. Spray the shower curtain with Iron OUT Spray Stain Remover. Let the liquid sit on the orange stain for several seconds.
  3. Use a sponge or dry cloth to scrub the orange stain off of the shower curtain. It might take a few applications (repeat steps 2 and 3), depending on the stain.
  4. Let the shower curtain dry, then reattach it to the shower. If the curtain is wet when you install it, rust will grow again.
  5. Scrub the shower faucet to remove the mineral deposits. These deposits can leak onto the shower curtain and tub, staining them.

Colored Dyes Cause Discoloration

Do you use hair dye, artificial shampoo, body wash, and other cleaning products? If so, they could be the reason your shower curtain is discolored. According to Shower Drape, the dyes in your cleaning supplies stain plastic, nylon, cotton, and other materials found in your shower curtains. Prolonged exposure makes it harder to remove these stains.

Many shower care products contain harsh chemicals. While your hair might be able to handle them, they’re too intense and abrasive for the shower curtain. These chemicals tend to erode, dye, and discolor old shower curtains. This kind of orange discoloration is much more common on fabrics than plastics, but it can affect many materials.

How to Fix

The first thing you should do is ensure your products don’t have dyes in them. Whether you color your hair or wash it with a blue-dyed treatment, all of these colors can leach into the shower curtain’s fabric. It’s best to use all-natural products to clean yourself and the bathroom.

If you’re adamant about using dyed products in the shower, scrub the curtain or soak it after each use. Washing the shower curtain with a quick splash of water can make a big difference. Suds and globs of shampoo settle on the curtain and discolor it. Washing it with the faucet will prevent this common issue from occurring.

Lastly, we suggest closing the shower curtain completely and turning on a fan in the bathroom after you should. Moisture from a steamy shower can leave rust, cold, dyes, and other debris on the shower curtain. Turn on the fan to dry the curtain for the best results.

Mold Spreads on Shower Curtains

Out of This World Home Services claims pink mold is not only a common cause of orange shower curtain stains but a very dangerous one at that. Pink mold comes from bacteria, moisture, and a flat surface. All of these traits are found on shower curtains.

You might notice the mold wherever the curtain contacts shower floors, walls, and other curtains. Trapped moisture grows pink mold quickly.

Despite the fact that it’s called pink mold, it can be orange, brown, and a few other colors. These spores are dangerous to breathe and can break down the shower curtain’s fabric.

How to Fix

Mold is perhaps the most dangerous reason your shower curtain is orange. Let’s review some solutions below.

  • If you have a low-budget shower curtain with pink mold, consider replacing it with a mold-resistant curtain. The LiBa Bathroom Shower Curtain wicks away moisture, bacteria, and rust to prevent long-term stains and mold.
  • Try the RMR-86 Instant Mold Stain Remover. A few sprays of this anti-bacterial product will remove pink mold, mildew, and more. Scrub the curtain with a sponge after applying the spray for a quick cleaning process.
  • Practice preventative maintenance, including using a bathroom fan, running a dehumidifier after showers, and opening the shower curtain to dry after each use. These simple tips are quite effective and save time, money, and health concerns from mold spores.

Bathroom Fresheners Contain Harsh Chemicals

Plug-in fresheners, hairsprays, air freshener aerosol cans, and other chemicals can discolor your shower curtain. Much like the natural water supply, they often contain minerals. However, the added chemical ingredients tend to stain fabrics, plastics, and paint in the bathroom. If the stains follow the bathroom corners to the shower curtain, it’s likely caused by these sprays.

How to Fix

Unfortunately, the only solution to this common issue is to use fewer sprays and plug-in air fresheners. These chemicals aren’t too healthy, so you’ll solve two problems in one go. Instead, try essential oil diffusers for a safer and more effective way to freshen the air in your bathroom. Make sure you use high-quality oils to prevent stains and residue.


  • Steve Rajeckas

    Steve Rajeckas is an HVAC hobbyist with an avid interest in learning innovative ways to keep rooms, buildings, and everything else at the optimal temperature. When he's not working on new posts for Temperature Master, he can be found reading books or exploring the outdoors.

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