Do You Need a Shower Curtain Liner?


Taking a shower is a refreshing experience, except when it causes a mess. When your bathroom gets as wet as you do during your shower, you need a shower curtain liner. Always use a liner with a fabric shower curtain, but if your shower curtain is plastic, you don't have to use one.

Shower Curtain Basics

To keep the water inside the shower, use a plastic liner with your fabric shower curtain. The plastic liner should always stay inside the tub, while the fabric curtain can hang outside. However, should the plastic liner not stay put, try the following:

  • Use
    a liner with suction cups on the bottom and suction the liner to the
    tub or shower.
  • Use
    a liner with magnets, which are heavy enough to help keep the liner in place.

About Plastic Liners

Reconsider using shower curtains made of vinyl, which has a bad odor, as well as polyvinyl chloride. The latter, according to the Center for Health, Environment & Justice, emits volatile organic compounds. Alternatives include:

  • Nylon:
    Shower liners made completely of nylon help keep out water and can be
  • Polyethylene
    Vinyl Acetate: Also known as PEVA, this
    plastic is PVC-free.
  • Hemp:
    An eco-friendly hemp shower liner,  it's naturally resistant to mildew.


  • A hemp shower curtain liner should stand the test of time, but they can be expensive.

Cleaning Liners

Since you need a shower curtain liner, you should be aware of basic liner maintenance.

For nylon and PEVA liners:

  • Toss them
    in the washing machine with two towels.
  • Combine 1 cup of distilled white vinegar with 1/4 cup of your regular
    amount of detergent.
  • Wash
    using the regular cycle.


  • Vinegar helps remove mildew, mold and the buildup of soap scum. Pus, vinegar can be used in high-efficiency washing machines.

Plastic Liners:

  • Toss
    in the washing machine with your shower mat and two towels.
  • Add a cup of baking soda to your regular amount of laundry detergent.
  • Wash
    using the gentle cycle.
  • Allow
    the liner and mat to air dry, but the towels can go in your dryer.
  • Your
    liner and mat may be machine washed four times throughout the year.


  • It's safe to use baking soda in a high-efficiency washing machine.

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