Have you ever sensed that stench from a new shower curtain liner that invades your bathroom? This smell is PVC plastic (#3 plastic) that out gases toxic odors that you really want to avoid if all possible. Studies have shown that these vinyl curtains contain high concentrations of chemicals that are linked to liver damage as well as damage to the central nervous, respiratory and reproductive systems, some of which can remain around for up to a month after installing.
I used plastic vinyl shower curtain liners for several years and just knew inwardly that those smells were probably not good for our family, especially because it regularly caused headaches. This last year, I made the effort to find an alternative when the time came to replace it. I wanted something that would not contain this toxin, but also wouldn’t be wasteful. Plastic shower curtains liners get quite disgusting in a short time and then disposed of and replaced.
There are several alternatives on the market. Choose fabric! Hemp, bamboo, organic cotton, or recycled materials are all available. They are excellent options but rather expensive (ranging in price from $85-195 dollars).
The best option I have found is the simple 100% polyester fabric shower curtain liners. They are available online or at your local Bed, Bath, and Beyond for $10 in an array of solid colors. The polyester repels the water and dries quickly. They last forever and can hide any water stains very nicely, especially if you get a chocolate colored one (like us!). When it comes time, you can throw it in the wash on a gentle cold cycle and then hang to dry back in its home. Mine just received its first washing after 9 months of use and it looks practically brand new again. These liners can actually be used completely on their own in replacement of any shower curtain. They function perfectly well in keeping all the droplets in the shower.
There are also other PVC free plastic curtains made from EVA vinyl, which is a non-chlorinated, odor free, environmentally friendly vinyl, on the market. They are safer but just as disposable and thus a fabric choice would be more sustainable due to its washability.
I think $10 is a worthwhile frugal investment to keeping those toxic smells out of your home, what say you?