How to Find a Shower Curtain That Isn't Toxic (VIDEO)

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You know that strong, headache-inducing smell when you hang a new vinyl shower curtain? It's not just unpleasant. Some believe it may actually be toxic.

That smell is chemicals from the shower curtain that are being released into the air you breathe. Combine that with hot, steamy water and harsh cleaners and it could be emitting chemicals that are potentially harmful for a long time to come.

While no studies point to actual risks from off-gassing vinyl, there are safer choices if you're bothered by or worried about the smell. Check out this bonus episode of MomEd: Green Living for tips.


The best idea is just to skip the vinyl (also marked PVC). You can buy curtains made from a safer plastic called EVA, or use water-resistant hemp or a natural fiber. I've had good luck with an inexpensive polyester shower curtain from Ikea used as a liner, plus it's much easier to keep clean than a plastic shower curtain.

Check out more in the video below.

For more on living a greener life, subscribe to the CafeMom Studios YouTube Channel.

Have you replaced your vinyl shower curtain ... and if so, with what?

Image via timsepulveda/Flickr

cafemom studios, bathroom, going green


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EvaSa... EvaSamuel

Ours is EVA from CB2. It's robot toile and my son loves it!

lalab... lalaboosh

I have a glass door, but if I move I'll probably just get canvas and grommets and rings and paint it up with acrylics.

nonmember avatar Tori

Yikes. I love that smell.

nonmember avatar So yeah...

Tori, I was just gonna say the same thing!

Soulm... Soulmate-2-R

my husband and i both love that smell...and if you take the curtain out and hang it up outside for a few hours in the hardly smells at all when you bring it in...but then again i am not one of those green i dont worry about all this crap...i am busy having a life.

linzemae linzemae

I love that smell!

RoughGem RoughGem

I refuse to worry about something that "some believe" may be "potentially harmful" but that has no studies linking it to ill health. Stop trying to scaremonger!

nonmember avatar kari

here's a thought. we have all been fine with vinyl shower curtains, until now, because EVERYTHING IS TOXIC. sooooo tired of hearing about "toxic products". so in other words, in order to live 'safely', we might as well eliminate everything from our homes and lives. let's all just strip down to our birthday suit, and never buy another item again. let's remove everything from our homes, get rid of our cars, and see where that gets us. maybe then, we will be safe. toxic shower curtains? give me a flippin break. GET OVER IT! this whole obsession with 'toxic chemicals', and 'green living' has gotten way out of hand. not to mention, most kids were smarter back in the 50's and 60's. maybe it was all those dangerous chemicals! now, you can line up 10 kids, and i'll bet that 9 of them have food allergies, autism, asperger's, adhd, or a learning disability.

Zamaria Zamaria

I always throw a new vinyl liner in the washer before I hang it. Makes it softer, and if you lay it out in the sun to dry it isn't all wrinkly. Never noticed a smell from it.

H.I.S. H.I.S.

I only use fabric shower curtain liners.

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