Shower curtain grunginess - how to avoid?

Every couple of months I have to buy a new shower curtain liner - because ours grows some weird pinky/orangey moldy mildewy grunge along the bottom of it.

How can this be avoided? I don’t mind buying new liners - they’re quite cheap - but I feel bad throwing away large pieces of vinyl 5-6 times a year - it’s not very environmentally friendly. I’ve tried buying the ones that advertise being “mildew-resistant” but with the same results. I’ve tried washing them, but no real change occurs (at least not a big enough change to justify the hassle).


Bleach. Pure bleach in a spray bottle sprayed on the shower curtain will nuke even the most stubborn mold and mildow.

I use a product which you are supposed to spray daily after taking a shower. It seems to work, but that might just be wishful thinking. Also, you should try to lift the curtain away from the floor so that it has room to air out.

Bleach will certainly kill mildew (and there are now scented bleaches that don’t stink up the bathroom in the process). But, be sure to rinse the bleach away before getting in the shower. Bleach + bare feet = extreme slipperiness.

Better ventilation in general will help air movement in the bathroom, which should increase evaporation of moisture and reduce mold growth, all other things being equal. Run the fan or open the window during and after showers, as much as is practical.

You say you’ve tried washing them, did you mean by hand? You can toss them in the washing machine. It’s no hassle, really.

I quit cleaning them and now buy them by the six pack at the dollar store. Works for me!

I buy the heavyweight clear vinyl liners with metal grommets and machine wash them when they get all grungy. As ** XJETGIRlX** said, it’s not a hassle. They last several years and cost about $6 ot $7.

You also might try switching from bar soap to a body wash, thus leaving less soap scum (which seems to be what the mold and mildew is living on in my shower.)

It helps a lot if the curtain can dry quickly. Make sure you’re “closing” it (i.e. spreading it out) after you finish your shower.

Well maybe yes maybe no. what ever you are doing do the opposite, sometimes spreadign the curtain out is traping humid air inside the shower.

But I agree with the point made above, you have to increase the ventalation inside the bathroom.

I have had the same shower curtain w/ out any such problem for 2 years.

Assuming your shower is in a tub enclosure, you probably could trim several inches’ worth of material from the bottom, leaving less excess material to cling to the side of the tub.

Use them to make lots of DIY hovercrafts?

I mentioned this in another thread long ago, but I keep a 10" squeegee with a cutoff handle in the shower. Wiping down the walls and even the curtain goes a long way to reducing drying time and slowing down growth. Eventually, you have to either wash or replace the curtain liner, but as has already been noted, bleach does the trick.

This is what I do. Whenever I start seeing the little dark specks or any other kind of grunginess, I just spray it with bleach water. It’s kinda neat because you can watch it dissapear before your very eyes. (And, if the mood takes you, you can make little squeaky cries of “I’m melting! Melting!” while you watch it for added entertainment value.)

Look on the bright side-- the vinyl may act as a barrier to keep chemicals from soaking into the soil, so you may be doing Mother Earth a favor.
[complete aside]

As a historian, I love landfills. Nothing decays in them. Nothing. I’ve seen newspapers from the 1940s brought up from landfills in near-pristine condition. They’re time capsules for future historians, since we throw everything away.

[/end aside]

I just revisited for the first time in years the town I grew up in.
We drove past the old landfill that was closed decades ago. It was a weird feeling to realize that somewhere in that big mound of dirt were some of my fourth grade homework assignments, probably still in essentially the same condition they went in in 1974.

Interesting, I have been to ones that were about 100+ yrs old and the only things that are left are glass bottles and jars, everything else is long gone. These were more like surface dumping areas where the trash wash just piled up and left there, not burried.

Try not using a liner. Make sure you spread out the curtain after using the shower.

Well, yeah-- 100 years ago, they didn’t throw away much that was “perishable”. Secondly, they didn’t have the masses of garbage that we do. (The weight of all of it creates an alost anaerobic environment.)

If you want to read a book on garbage archaeology, (and believe it or not, there actually is such a thing) I suggest *Rubbish!: The Archaeology of Garbage *
by William L. Rathje. It explains the environment of landfills. It also has a lot of fascinating information on demographics and waste.

We have a local guy who’s sort of an ameteur archaeologist. He does outhouse and landfill digs and brings my museum his more interesting finds.

I agree with the bleach spray solution. Just 50/50 bleach/water in a spray bottle, and spritz it lightly once a week and you’ll never have the problem again.

Scrub Free Soap Scum Remover or Scrub Free Mold and Mildew Remover - I spray one or the other on (depending on which I have in the cabinet) and leave it - don’t even rinse - it will rinse off in the next shower. It works every single time for me, and I haven’t had to buy a new liner in over 2 1/2 years. It’s cheap, too.