Which Is Better, Cloth Or Plastic Shower Curtain Liner?

If your trusty shower curtain liner is beginning to show signs of age, you might be pondering whether your next liner should be cloth or plastic. While there are certainly advocates to be found for both types of shower curtain liners, it's safe to say that many people have moved on from plastic shower curtain liners to more environmentally-conscious fabric liners.

In 2008, a CHEJ study that was published and subsequently reported by several mainstream outlets caused quite a stir by publicizing the toxic building blocks of PVC shower curtain liners. While this largely proved to be the death knell of PVC liners, it remains unclear to some whether their plastic shower curtain liner is still quietly wreaking havoc on their health and the environment. According to Bob Vila, fabric shower curtain liners should probably be the first choice for people who are seeking a shower curtain liner that isn't likely to harm the environment or give off toxic fumes.

Benefits of cloth shower curtain liners

While some plastic shower curtain liners can be downright hazardous to your health, fabric shower curtain liners are far from perfect. According to Family Handyman, they may even be quicker to fall victim to mildew and mold due to their high rate of absorption compared to plastic liners. However, fabric liners are also incredibly easy to clean, since unlike most plastic liners they can be thrown into the washing machine for a quick wash. Of course, plastic liners can be cleaned as well, but scrubbing vigorously with a baking soda mixture is far more involved than pressing a few buttons and letting your washing machine do the hard work.

When it comes to the feel of a shower curtain liner, the plastic versus fabric debate will ultimately come down to one's unique preference. It's hard to imagine many people preferring a synthetic, semi-rigid plastic liner to a soft, flowing fabric liner, but to each their own. Fabric liners also make less noise than plastic ones, points out Bob Vila, so a plastic shower curtain liner probably shouldn't be your first choice if you're sensitive to sound or synthetic textures.