When I started a few years ago reducing my plastic waste, a non plastic PVC, polyester or nylon shower curtain has been low key on my radar list for a while.
I usually opt for PVC shower curtains as they’re easier to keep clean against mould. Urgh. No matter how hard I try it forms. Anti Mould Tip! Not an environmentally friendly way to remove mould in bathrooms around the shower or bath seals. I use eco/bio, environmentally friendly, cruelty free bathroom cleaners however sometimes I need something a little more stronger. I read that soaking cotton wool in a bleach solution placed over night over the mouldy areas can remove it. I was skeptical at first, not thinking it would work well as the mould was in the silicone. Long story short, it worked. I couldn’t believe how well it worked! Almost pearly white grouting back!
Researching plastic free shower curtains, hemp and cotton were the 2 main fibres that came up. Hemp’s the best as repelling water and keeping mould away, however my budget isn’t hemp shower curtains. As the curtain didn’t need replacing per say, I kept an eye out every now and then shopping. Zara Home last year has gone almost to the consumer plastic free. To the consumer. I’m sure the packaging products arrive in store is plastic. The only plastic seems to be tags holding together napkins and tea towels, security tag stickers or elastic ribbons holding product info tags on say linen. They’ve even replaced plastic protective wrap post sale with the only way I can explain it stretchy paper cut similar to cotton string bags. They also do now 100% cotton shower curtains.
100% cotton shower curtain with something else on it. You can tell by touching, it has a protective water repellent layer on it. This is also apparent when it wet. Only the bottom part in the bath get wet both sides. The higher up bit doesn’t on the decorative side. The label and neither does zarahome online say what the coating is. I’ve read that some water repellent coating on waterproof clothing is actually harmful to the environment as it runs off. I could ask, but haven’t.
No flooding has occurred bar from the bathroom design. The previous PVC shower curtain which was easyish to remove mould by wiping with bathroom cleaner and sponge, I washed and left to dry in the sun then vac packed to be repurposed for say painting or replacing the cotton shower curtain you could easily shape around the bath taps and wall not to cause a flood. The cotton one doesn’t stick the wall as good, so I place say a shampoo bottle and bath duck like below so it doesn’t flood the bathroom floor.
Does it work? Yes, thanks to the coating. The shower pole hasn’t collapsed under the weight of wet cotton and I like the calmer colour in the bathroom. I did notice in the first week of use the shower wasn’t as warm inside as with the PVC one or as light let inside, but they’re minor. What I didn’t expect was how quickly mould latched onto the bottom part.
I got the curtain back in December and within 3 months mould set up. This is partly my fault as I have yet to machine wash the curtain. My excuse it’s been winter and therefore it won’t dry out completely before use. In the summer it will be dry in few hours in the sun. The sun being the crucial factor against mould. Bathroom mould likes damp environments. I make sure to ‘air’ the curtain after use by keeping it drawn until dry but the bottom bit is tricky to dry out. I’m also concerned that the coating might come off in the washing machine and the mould might be too stuck on. The curtain wasn’t cheap, €29.99, although I did like its repurpose-ful pillow case like case instead of a plastic sleeve.
For now I can’t say whether it’s worth buying. I don’t know what the coating is or the mould situation when I can wash it in a month to dry in the sun. If you live in a warm dry climate I think it would work well. For those like me in a humid climate be prepared for a mould battle. I’ll update after it’s been sun dried.