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What are the Different Types of Shower Curtains?

By S. Mithra
Updated May 16, 2024
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Different synthetic or natural materials determine the different types of shower curtains. Polyester and vinyl shower curtains are inexpensive and also waterproof, but may not match luxurious décor. Curtains made of cotton or linen look lush and elegant, but they mildew if too damp. Many people prefer to combine a vinyl liner with an outer fabric curtain to blend attractiveness with utility.

Synthetic Shower Curtains

Slick, vinyl shower curtains come in every imaginable pattern, color, and motif. This makes them adaptable to all kinds of styles, from a simple guest bathroom to a children's bathtub. Popular choices include water-themed designs like rubber ducks, fish, seashells, lighthouses, sailboats, and clouds. The background can be clear, so you can easily check on showering children, or an opaque shade.

One advantage of vinyl and polyester curtains and liners are their efficiency at keeping water inside the tub, instead of splashing onto the ground. They are also so inexpensive that they can be replaced when they become misty with soap scum or stained by mildew. Some kinds are even meant to be disposable; for the waste-conscious consumer, this isn't a good option. To restore luster and make the curtain last longer, spray it with bleach or wash it with laundry soap.

Natural Materials Shower Curtains

Fabric shower curtains are often made permanent additions to the function and décor of a bathroom. Some are designed to match bathroom decor such as towels and bathmats. Made of cotton, nylon, or terry cloth, these soft curtains hang more like window curtains. Some textiles have been treated with stain resistors and waterproof coatings. This may combat moisture, as they are more likely to absorb splashes.

In a high-use bathroom, fabric shower curtains may not have enough air circulation to dry out between showers. If mildew stains appear, they can usually be treated with detergent. For stubborn stains, soak the curtain in lemon juice or distilled vinegar until the spots lighten. Let them dry flat, but don't apply an iron.

Hemp shower curtains offer the best of both worlds. The heavy fabric is made from plant fiber, like linen or cotton. However, hemp is naturally antibacterial and antifungal, so it resists mildew and soap stains. For the environmentally conscious, hemp often grows organically and gets colored with natural dyes. These curtains remain durable after many cycles of wash and dry and don't require the use of a plastic liner.

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Discussion Comments
By naturesgurl3 — On Aug 05, 2010

I am so glad that this article mentioned hemp shower curtains. They really are such a good, environmentally friendly choice but they get such a bad rap because of the word associations.

Just a tip for buying hemp shower curtains -- check the source of the material, to make sure that it comes from an environmentally friendly source, and isn't just a "hemp-type" curtain.

This will help you get one that is both high quality and good for the environment.

By googlefanz — On Aug 05, 2010

Now I may be a little weird on this, but I have never liked the idea of a clear shower curtain.

What's the point? Isn't it supposed to give you privacy while you shower, besides keeping the water in?

I suppose I could understand one for kids, but still, with so many fun shower curtains out there, why would you go with just a plain see-through one?

By yournamehere — On Aug 05, 2010

I think that one of the best inventions regarding shower curtains is the curved shower curtain rod.

These curve outside of the shower area, but come in at the front and back, so the bather can maintain privacy.

The curve keeps the shower curtain from flying inward while the shower is going, which can be very annoying to the bather, particularly if the shower is small, since it can get in the way or even stick to the bather!

These work well with both shower/bath combinations and stand alone showers, and can also save space in a small bathroom due to their shape.

By anon6852 — On Jan 10, 2008

thank you so much for this article!

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