A mildew resistant shower curtain liner is a must-have item for every homeowner or renter. Nothing spoils the looks of a shower curtain liner more than mildew spots. Mildew is among the many molds that will find a home on any damp surface. Nothing smells as bad as one either.
It is important to note that the words "mildew resistant" do not indicate that a curtain liner or any other product is "mildew proof." Any material that remains damp for a significant amount of time is subject to the growth of mildew. Mildew spores are in the air all the time, so it is inevitable that they will make contact and settle on a mildew resistant curtain.
Hotel Style Shower Curtains
Hotel-style shower curtains are often recommended for the home. These curtains are generally much heavier than domestic shower curtains, but such curtains are not necessarily more mildew resistant. Hotels have strict housekeeping rules, which means that their curtains are cleaned and bleached on a regular basis.
PVC and Plastics
Vinyl curtains and plastic curtains are said to be mildew resistant, however, that resistance is created initially by the lack of nutritional value in and on the material. This makes it a hostile environment for mold spores. As the curtain is used, it will gradually accumulate surface film, and this film does provide a friendly environment for mold spoors, and bacteria.
There are 2 materials that can claim to be mildew proof, but only to a certain degree. They are hemp and bamboo. Both of these materials can be used to produce a fine fiber that can be tightly woven to be used as a shower curtain. Or you can choose to simply use it as a liner instead. The natural resistance to mildew in the fibers does last a long time, but, after the curtains have been washed a few times it becomes less effective.
Mildew resistance can be enhanced if a few simple precautions are taken so as to prevent the creation of damp areas on the shower curtain liner. When choosing a curtain liner, you want to find a curtain with a smooth finish. Hanging the smooth side of the curtain inside the shower will reduce the chances of the water staying on the surface.
After using the shower, leave the curtain partially open to allow air to circulate and remove the damp atmosphere faster. By being partially open you will also leave the curtain with no two sides of a fold being in contact with each other. Where 2 sides of a fold are in contact, the water is held in place rather than draining.
Wiping the shower curtain liner with a damp towel will reduce the amount of moisture still clinging to the curtain, and it will evaporate more quickly. It will also remove any film that might be building up from the use of shampoo, soap, hair conditioner, or any other bath and beauty products.
At least once a week you will need to sponge clean the shower curtain with a mild bleach and water, or disinfectant solution so as to kill any spores that might have settled upon the surface. Starting with a mildew-resistant shower curtain lining is a good first step for preventing mildew. Any shower curtain that is dry soon after the shower has been used will probably not suffer from mildew over the course of its serviceable lifetime.