Shower curtains made of untreated cotton canvas, hemp or nylon do a great job at stopping water from spraying outside the shower. They work like a wick, channeling water downwards through the cloth into the tub. No liner needed.
A natural fiber or nylon shower curtain will last for years with proper care. Fabric is especially vulnerable to mold and mildew because it can easily retain moisture. When a curtain remains wet and never completely dries, mold/mildew sets in. However, it is possible to control mildew naturally. Here are a few tips for keeping your cloth shower curtain fresh and clean:
1. Allow curtain to dry completely between showers
Spread curtain open and hang it outside of the tub to dry after taking a shower.
Reducing humidity in your bathroom by opening a window or running the overhead fan can also help with drying.
2. Wash curtain on a regular basis
Machine wash your curtain once a month.
Use cold or warm water with a natural soap or laundry booster such as KD Gold, Biokleen Oxygen Bleachor Borax per the instructions on the product. These products are especially good for removing soap scum and mildew build-up.
After washing, dry curtain completely before next use: outside in direct sunlight or in the drier on a low temperature setting to avoid excessive shrinkage. Do not over dry. You can also hang it from the shower rod, open flat and draped to the outside of the tub. This method works well if bathroom conditions are dry and airy.
3. Remove mildew build-up and stains
Make a paste of borax and lemon juice. Rub into stains and let sit overnight. Machine wash and dry.
An easier solution: spray the stains while curtain is hanging with KD Gold. The stains will disappear when agitated with a brush and rinsed; and the mildew won't come back so long as the KD Gold is used regularly and the curtain is allowed to dry each day.
4. Rotate your curtain
The best plan in homes prone to mold issues is to have two curtains and alternate them. Take one down, wash it and hang dry in the sun while the other curtain is hanging in the shower. Rotate the curtains this way on a monthly basis.
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