Who would have thought that shower curtains contain and emit toxins into our homes?! Keep reading to learn how to find a non-toxic shower curtain (and learn about the chemicals you should avoid).
Have you ever purchased a new shower curtain or liner and when you unfold it you get a whiff of plastic? What about when you are already in the shower and you smell something odd? It’s probably from your toxic shower curtain!
As crazy as that sounds, many shower curtains that are available in stores and online are filled with toxic chemicals and also continuously release volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I could be compensated if you decide to make a purchase. You can read my full disclosure here.
Toxic Materials to Avoid When Buying a Shower Curtain
PVC. PVC stands for Polyvinyl chloride and is widely known as the worst plastic on the market. In fact, it’s earned the name “The Poison Plastic.” The WHO’s cancer research center even says it’s a carcinogen.
As a result of the heat and moisture in the bathroom, the plastic liner starts breaking down. This breakdown ultimately emits more toxins into your home.
Let’s not forget about the heavy metals and dioxins that are found in PVC as well!
Phthalates. This is a plasticizer that makes harder plastic more flexible and softer. This chemical, just like PVC, is very toxic and can lead to serious health issues, including fertility problems.
Beware! Phthalates are also hidden in lots of other products like cosmetics and lotions.
Safer Materials Used in Non-Toxic Shower Curtains
These are shower curtains that are made from polyethylene vinyl acetate (PEVA) and ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). While they are a better option when comparing to PVC, they still release some volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
That being said, they are chlorine-free (chlorine is the reason for the smell from PVC liners), and they also have antimicrobial properties, which means more added materials.
PEVA curtains are a little more expensive, but definitely healthier for your home, so it’s still a great trade-off and alternative to the PVC.
We found a great PEVA shower curtain for you to try out, and it’s available on Amazon. You can check it out here.
This non-toxic shower curtain contains magnets on the bottom to keep it in place, and it comes with 12 rust-proof metal grommets that fit any other decorative hooks. Plus, you won’t have to worry about the smell because this curtain is odorless and eco-friendly!
Hemp shower curtains are great when you want something that’s more natural. They’re initially more expensive, but they last forever!
Hemp curtains are naturally resistant to mold and mildew, and the fibers are extremely durable.
To keep your curtain fresh, toss it in the wash once a month and allow it to dry outside or dry on low heat.
Our favorite hemp shower curtain is manufactured in the US by Bean Products, which has been around since the 80s! They are crazy passionate about eco-friendly products and saving the planet. They also offer other varieties of natural shower curtains including cotton blends, so be careful when you are checking out that you are choosing the hemp curtain versus the other materials.
When you purchase the curtain you will also receive 12 nickel-plated grommets that are rustproof, or you can use your own if you want something more decorative!
This is another toxic-free option that is made from natural fibers, and you can get it in just about any color your heart desires!
The major downside to using cotton or linen shower curtains is the fact that they do not repel water well so you are at an increased risk for mold and mildew. If you have good bathroom ventilation though, it will help offset some of this.
We picked this cotton-linen blend curtain because the styles are really trendy and match with almost any decor!
They also come in a variety of other colors that are machine washable and safe to dry. Note that these are heavyweight curtains which are great for durability, just be sure you have a tight grip rod that sustains the weight.
Nylon is considered the in-between option when shopping for non-toxic shower curtains. It doesn’t absorb water like cotton and linen does, but it isn’t entirely waterproof either. This option does contain some of the same chemicals as the PEVA option, but it’s much safer!
Check out this fast-drying nylon curtain on Amazon. It will remind you of a fine hotel, which we all love. It’s machine washable and comes in a standard size that fits most showers and tubs! The top portion is reinforced so the grommets don’t rip out over time. Feel free to jazz up the decorations or use the grommets that come with it!
While polyester shower curtains are man-made from synthetic materials, they do not release toxins and are generally waterproof. On the designer side of things, they come in tons of colors and patterns and are not flammable compared to the cotton and linen options.
With plenty of colors to choose from and tons of sizes, finding a polyester shower curtain is easy and painless! The one that we’ve chosen here has 9 different colors, and it’s also hotel grade. Plus it’s odorless and has added weights sewn in so it stays in place well. Grommets are included and this baby has over 10,000 reviews with a 4.6 rating!
How to Clean Your Shower Curtain
Cleaning your shower curtain can be super easy if you stay on top of it! Simply remove the curtain rings, spot treat any mildew or visible stains, then toss it in the wash! You can dry on low heat or hang to dry.
Be careful when drying cotton and linen curtains though because they have the tendency to shrink!
Speaking of cleaning, here’s my review of Norwex (& 5 other options)!
Just a tip, soaps and body wash containing toxins often leave more scum behind. If you want to get ahead of the mildew, check out our favorite organic body washes to try this year.
We hope this non-toxic shower curtain guide makes your purchase much easier! Let us know in the comments which curtain you chose and why!