Can You Recycle A Shower Curtain? (Find Out Now!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

We live in a world that is completely and utterly wracked by environmental destruction, and that means recycling is more important than ever. Everything we can recycle should be recycled, from the plastic chairs we sit on to the plastic cups we drink from. But what about shower curtains? Are they recyclable?

Unfortunately, shower curtains are not recyclable. Shower curtain liners are also not recyclable. The best you can do for the environment is to reuse your curtain in an art project or to invest in a washable shower curtain.

Our world is all about reducing, reusing, and recycling our way to sustainability. We have to make it that way, otherwise bad things will happen to the future. It’s time to talk about how to make your shower curtain usage as eco-friendly as possible.

Is It Possible To Recycle Your Shower Curtain?

The vast majority of shower curtains are made from PVC, also known as polyvinyl chloride. This is a highly toxic chemical that cannot be recycled out of concern that melting it down may harm the environment further. As a result, most recycling centers will not accept shower curtains.

With that said, there are some areas that feature special recycling programs for items made from PVC. You will have to do a local search to determine if there are any programs available to you in your area. If your recycling center allows number “3” plastics, then you might be able to give them your shower curtain.

How Can You Reuse An Old Shower Curtain?

Shower curtains are not green, per se, but you can make them greener. The easiest way to do it is to reuse your shower curtain before you throw it out. These quick methods can turn a shower curtain into a useful tool in your house:

  • Cut a hole in the middle and use it as a smock for painting and hair dye. I can’t name how many hair dye accidents have been prevented in my home as a result of a reused shower curtain.
  • Use it as a makeshift tablecloth. This is a good way to make sure kids don’t make a mess while they eat or paint. We strongly suggest using an old shower curtain as a picnic cloth, too. It’s easy to clean up and won’t stain from grass or mud!
  • Use it as a free tarp. If you have to carry firewood or just keep the back of your car clean, an old shower curtain can be the best tool you can get for free. It’ll prevent your car from getting dirty and can also be remarkably sturdy as a tarp.
  • Use it as a cabinet liner. If you have a cabinet that has tons of dirty dishes, this is a good choice.  You can also use it to cover patio furniture or as a makeshift tarp while you are camping.

Is It Possible To Wash Your Shower Curtain?

Believe it or not, the answer is a firm yes in most cases. This is especially true if you have a shower curtain that is marked as washable.

How Do You Wash Your Shower Curtains?

Non-washable shower curtains can be sanitized by spraying them with white vinegar, then wiping them down with a wet rag. If you have a washable shower curtain, put it in the washer with two towels, add a standard amount of detergent, and run a load of laundry.

Can You Put Shower Curtains In The Dryer?

Absolutely not! Even on lower settings, putting a shower curtain in the dryer is asking for trouble. This will run the risk of the curtain melting inside of your dryer. Shower curtains should never be put in the dryer. Rather, your best choice is to hang it up to dry—ideally on your shower rod.

How Do You Dispose Of A Shower Curtain?

Reusing is often the best way to get rid of a shower curtian, but sometimes, there’s just not much use left for it. If you are stuck in a situation where you can’t think of any way to reuse it, then you usually can throw it out.

How Often Should You Replace A Typical Shower Curtain?

According to some experts, you should replace it every six months. However, if you can wash it thoroughly or have a reusable one, you only need to throw it out when it finally tears or looks grody.

How Can You Tell If A Shower Curtain Is Too Old To Use?

If your shower curtain starts to smell, is permanently discolored, or has extreme levels of mold, you should probably toss it out.

Related Questions

Can you cut a shower curtain?

Yes, but it is going to take a little bit of patience and skill. Trace out the line that you want to cut before you cut it. You are going to have to use slow, deliberate cuts with a very sharp knife. Make sure to cut the liner before you start cutting the actual curtain. If you aren’t sure you want to cut it yourself, get a shorter curtain.

Are plastic shower curtains bad for you?

Several studies suggest that plastic curtains can actually release toxic ingredients into the air as they decompose. These chemicals can lead to cancer, respiratory problems, or even rashes in people who are sensitive to them. If you are worried about carcinogens, try to stick to rubber curtains or install a glass door.With that said, many companies are trying to avoid PVC plastics because of the risk. Target, for example, no longer sells PVC curtains because of the cancer risk associated with it.

Do cotton shower curtains work?

Believe it or not, cotton shower curtains are actually fairly reliable when it comes to keeping water out. Unlike regular cotton, it won’t bog down when it gets wet. It also is less likely to contain dangerous chemicals and generally is more environmentally friendly than other shower curtains. They might cost a bit more, but they’re totally worth it.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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