Shower curtains | My Plastic-free Life

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Shower curtains
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January 1, 2012
4:30 pm
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January 1, 2012
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I seem to be having ongoing shower curtain issues.  We have a clawfoot tub so need 2 shower curtains, which cannot be very heavy due to the support being suspended from the ceiling (so it is not as strong as a regular shower curtain rod).  I have one clear plastic (non-PVC) liner, which is still in good condition for now.  I have one fabric, but polyester, liner.  This one is white and easily gets moldy.  When I replaced it last I decided to be super careful and wiped it off after every shower, but this seems to have caused it to start leaking (perhaps destroying some coating on it?).  The water is going right through it now.  I have been researching "eco-friendly" shower curtains and nobody seems to have a good solution.  It gets really humid in our tiny bathroom and summers are also humid so mold is a big concern.  Any ideas?

January 2, 2012
7:49 am
Amy
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http://www.planetnatural.com/s.....rtain.html

This is the shower curtain I've been using for years now.  It does get wet, that's just the nature of it!  I have it in the tub when I'm showering, and sometime after I've showered and it has had a chance to drip some of the water off into the tub, I then pull it outside the tub to dry.  The thing about it is that you can just throw it in the wash periodically to prevent mildewing (when I wash mine I do so in hot water with vinegar).  Granted, I live in a dry climate, you might have more trouble with it.  But I have used mine successfully for years and love not having a plastic shower curtain!

January 3, 2012
10:22 pm
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January 3, 2012
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I use a sheet from a thrift store and run a portable fan on it after every shower. Not the best solution, but it works for now.
Yes, it gets wet, but water does not go through.

January 4, 2012
8:02 am
julsie
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I have one similar to Amy's, and it's HEAVY.  For a shower curtain, anyway.  I like the used sheet idea, or finding some other way to make your own shower curtain.  I love the look of clawfoot tubs, but they do make showering tricky!

January 4, 2012
5:19 pm
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January 1, 2012
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Thanks so much for the responses.  The cotton one Amy linked to looks pretty light weight compared to some I've seen so I might try it.  The responses got me thinking outside the box (and eyeing the trash todayWink).  For now I'm just spraying the water away from the cloth curtain, and it's working pretty well so maybe I can get a little more time out of it. 

January 13, 2012
8:54 am
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We have been carrying a hemp shower curtain for the past few months. It is made in Canada from hemp grown in Canada. Hemp is known for being more mildew resistant than cotton and it uses much less pesticides than cotton (see http://www.binhaitimes.com/hemp.html.) It is more expensive than cotton shower curtains but probably just as heavy. It can be washed in the washer very easily.

Something else to consider...

Chantal (Full disclosure: I am co-owner of LifeWithoutPlastic.com)

January 14, 2012
6:15 pm
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Chantal, have you guys used the shower curtain?  Have you noticed whether it gets mildew?  I guess it depends on the humidity where you live and whether there is adequate ventilation in your bathroom.

February 17, 2012
3:36 am
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Beth, so sorry for the delay in replying to this... I missed your question. We have installed the hemp shower curtain in the bathroom downstairs where we have our office because the bathroom in the part of our house where we live has a stall shower with a glass door, so no need for a curtain there. So the hemp shower curtain does not get used very often, only when we have guests.  We haven't had to clean it in the washer yet as it is nicely dry and doesn't smell at all. When it gets wet, it always has enough time to dry out completely between showers. So we have been quite happy with it so far, but we are not using it very often. The friends we know who have bought a hemp shower curtain told us they love it and we haven't heard any complaints from customers. So far so good.

- Chantal

November 18, 2012
6:33 pm
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January 3, 2012
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There is an Austin based company that apparently makes "100% recyclable, chlorine and PVC-free." Shower curtains. I'm not sure how that is, but I need a new shower curtain (new apartment so I can't blow a fan on my sheet and its getting stinky and moldy). So, I think I'll get one in the hopes it is better than regular plastic/nylon/polyester and will hopefully last a long time. http://rockcandylife.com/about_us
I had even been spraying the sheet/curtain with vinegar water and looping it over the nozzle to dry AND running the room fan.

December 1, 2012
5:11 am
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I'm interested in the support you have from the ceiling. Could you modify it to be stronger? Also. Has anyone considered the hooks and clasps shower curtains usually use to be attached? They are often plastic. They can be replaced with aluminium rings. Or be inventive.

Sadly bad design has the biggest part to play in many peoples homes. Baths were made to bath in, not shower. I've never liked most designs combining the two.

Mildew is the bane of a closed wet bathroom. Depending on how closed yours is will suggest how often the curtain should be put through the washing machine. Then rinse it with a solution of DILUTED vinegar. Sink it in, not just spray it. You might get some people comment on the smell of vinegar when you hang it straight back up in the bathroom but it does clear up quickly enough and it's healthier than mold spores.

The curtain is there to stop splashes from spreading. Any tight weave fabric should do this. Natural fiber will degrade quickly if left wet and therefore need more care, but this could be as simple as washing regularly every couple of days as you would your clothes. Also, this is a sign your product has a life cycle and will go back to the earth without issue. Something to be glad about.

February 20, 2013
6:43 am
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May 20, 2012
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I have a hemp shower curtain, which I made myself since they are fairly expensive. I saved a little money but it was still pretty pricey. Unfortunately, my bathroom has no window and no ventilation fan.  So, mildew has started and I've got a beautiful hemp shower curtain that I spent about $80 and a bunch of time sewing up, with mildew creeping up from the bottom.Cry  It's about a third of the way up now getting spotted.

Now I've made a big mistake when I went out and purchased a plastic bottle of stuff to try to fix the problem, which did NOT fix the problem.    I feel bad about the plastic bottle now.  Frown! (it was "Natural Enzyme-Based Earthworm brand Mold Stain & Mildew Stain Treatment")  I have read about using lemon juice and salt and leaving it in the sun, and now I see here about vinegar and hot water in the washing machine. Does anyone have any actually tried and true fix for mildew? It is going to be a big job so I want to do what will really work.

After I get rid of the existing mildew, any ideas on how to prevent it in the future, short of putting in ventilation, which we aren't going to do?  I have an idea that maybe I should get some type of oil, and try to turn it into a kind of oilcloth, like they used to have raincoats made of? If there were curtain hooks that were more easily put on and off, maybe drying it outside every day might be an idea.

February 21, 2013
4:53 am
Donna
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Oil of cloves is the thing to use for mould and mildew. I think the solution is about 1 tsp in 1 litre of water. Do not use a higher concentration as too much OOC can damage what you are trying to treat. To get the right recipe, Google “Shannon Lush. I swear that woman can clean anything without buying ridiculous numbers of cleaning products.

February 21, 2013
10:58 am
electrofriend
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I have used vinegar in a spray bottle and a rag to scrub mildew off of a wall in a closet. I have successfully used vinegar in the washing machine to remove mildew from my shower curtain, but it is a curtain purchased used that I think is a poly/cotton blend. I do not know if it will work on the hemp or not!

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