The shower curtain is a familiar bathroom foe: it prevents water from splashing all over your floor, but, after it’s used, it becomes a perfect home for mildew. The damp conditions are an ideal place for the fungus to flourish. If you’re in a cycle of constantly tossing out moldy or mildewed liners every few months, there are solutions. First, it’s possible to buy a relatively inexpensive treated liner that can resist mildew. Antibacterial treatments on plastic curtains and liners won’t last forever, but can seriously deter the growth of mildew.
Another key is the conditions you keep your shower curtain in. If possible, you want the bathroom to be well-ventilated so it dries out faster. Prevention is often the first step: while a steamy bathroom is good for faking your own steam room, opening windows or doors can help prevent too much water from settling in the tub and curtain in the first place. Afterward, keeping doors cracked or running a fan can help. While it might seem counter-intuitive, cleaning experts also recommend leaving the shower curtain open (pulled shut) so water can better evaporate off. To kill any mildew before it gets out of hand, you can also just spray the curtain with a surface cleaner as part of your normal bathroom routine. It’s also possible to toss shower curtains, and many liners, in the wash to give it a deeper clean. But your biggest defense is a high-quality curtain. Here are five to start with.
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1. LiBa Mildew Resistant PEVA Shower Curtain Liner
This shower curtain liner does exactly what you need it to do: last and last with no mold or mildew. Made from antimicrobial, treated PEVA, it discourages the growth of mildew even in damp conditions. Metal, rust-resistant grommets also prevent tearing and provide stability, and magnets weight the base to keep it from billowing or gathering. Use it alone or pair with a stylish fabric liner that hangs outside of the bath or shower.
2. N&Y HOME Fabric Shower Curtain Liner
If you don’t like stiff plastic shower liners, treated fabric liners are a good alternative. This soft, polyester liner has a treated interior coating to waterproof it during the shower. Because it isn’t made from plastic, it also doesn’t have the strong smell of plastic liners that some people object to. It isn’t, however, as mildew-resistant as vinyl liners: you’ll want to make sure you spray it with cleaner on a regular basis. However, it’s also easy to toss into the washing machine as needed. The hooks attach via metal-free button hooks that will never rust.
3. AmazerBath Plastic Shower Curtain
Most shower curtains and liners come in a standard 72”x72” size. But life is a rich tapestry, and showers vary. These curtains come in 12 different sizes, meaning even your weird tub probably has a curtain that will fit it perfectly. There are also 14 colors to choose from if you don’t want to go with just plain clear. Match the color to your shower curtain, or pick a color that compliments your bathroom and skip the curtain altogether. Two weighted stones keep the shower curtain in place, and rust-resistant grommets attach it to hooks.
4. Extra Wide Fabric Shower Curtain
Old-fashioned claw-foot and extra-large tubs are charming but can present a problem: standard curtains can let water escape — or let drafts come in. If you have struggled to find a curtain that will cover your entire tub, look no further. This treated, extra-wide curtain can cover an extra-long tub and look stylish doing it, too. The heavyweight, waffle-weave fabric removes the need for a separate curtain and liner and can be left hanging out when drying and not in use. If you want to wash it less, pair it with a mildew-resistant liner and keep it outside the tub.
5. AmazonBasics Shower Curtain
This mildew-resistant duo will make your bathroom look finished in a flash. The PVC liner protects the rest of the bathroom from water, while the polyester, water-resistant curtain provides a designer touch that still serves a purpose: it is also mold- and mildew-resistant and won’t collect water from the damp air. Go with clean white or one of the minimalist patterns for more of a designer touch: grey stripe, natural herringbone or tiny blue squares.