Sustainable Swaps: Check Out These Eco-Friendly, Nontoxic Shower Curtains and Liners (2024)

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Sustainable Swaps: Check Out These Eco-Friendly, Nontoxic Shower Curtains and Liners (1)

By Rayna Skiver

PUBLISHED Sep. 3 2023, 6:00 a.m. ET

Sustainable Swaps: Check Out These Eco-Friendly, Nontoxic Shower Curtains and Liners (2)

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Living sustainably is all about making small yet meaningful changes as you go. These actions can be as simple as switching out your old, plastic shower liner or curtain for something made with better, more eco-friendly materials.

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Whether you’re making the swap today or a few months down the road, it doesn’t hurt to see what’s out there.

Most shower curtain liners are made from PVC, and are essentially designed to be thrown away and replaced each year.

For that reason, it can be hard to find a washable shower curtain liner made from natural materials.

So, we've compiled a list of some of the best washable nontoxic shower curtains and liners on the market. We've included a mix of curtains made from natural materials that can also be used as liners, and washable liners made from polyester but with other sustainable certifications.

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Quince’s European Linen Shower Curtain

Sustainable Swaps: Check Out These Eco-Friendly, Nontoxic Shower Curtains and Liners (3)

If you’re looking for something high-quality, sustainable, and reasonably priced, this linen shower curtain from Quince is a great option. It’s made from 100 percent European flax, and it comes in light grey, white, and sand. To clean the shower curtain, all you have to do is throw it in the washer.

Quince meets many environmental standards and has numerous certifications, such as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), the Global Recycled Standard (GRS), OEKO-TEX, and more.

Shop Now - $49.90

Organic Cotton Shower Curtain from Bean Products

This GOTS-certified organic cotton shower curtain from Bean Products makes the need for toxic plastic liners completely nonexistent. You won’t have to worry about switching it out every now and then either — these curtains are made to last. The material dries quickly and is easy to wash right at home.

Shoppers have three colors to choose from: organic natural, organic grey, and organic white. If you’re ready to ditch your plastic liner and happen to be looking for an affordable, neutral shower curtain, this is an excellent alternative.

Shop Now - $89.95

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Rejuvenation’s Organic Waffle Shower Curtain

Rejuvenation’s organic shower curtain is a nice, middle-of-the-road option for those wanting to make a change. It comes in a few basic colors — dark brown, tan, and white — and it has a waffle design that makes it look more unique and adds extra texture to the room.

This curtain is made out of sustainably sourced cotton and is OEKO-TEX certified, so you don’t have to worry about any harmful chemicals. To avoid using a plastic liner, you should wash the curtain weekly — this will help prevent the growth of mold and mildew. It usually goes for $89, but as of publication, it's on sale for $19.97.

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Rawganique’s Hemp Shower Curtain

A shower curtain made of hemp might sound a little odd, but it’s surprisingly effective. Not only is hemp natural and biodegradable, but it also has a natural resistance to bacteria, according to North Carolina State University. What more could you ask for?

This hemp shower curtain from Rawganique is easily one of the top sustainable options on the market — it’s PFAS-free, plastic-free, PVC-free, ethically made, and vegan. It also comes in a variety of fun colors like lime, indigo, pomegranate, sage, alpine blue, burgundy, and more. When it comes to cleaning, Rawganique recommends using a coreless washer and gentle detergent and then hanging it to dry.

Shop Now - $79

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Parachute’s Shower Curtain Liner

Natural materials must be washed often to keep mold and mildew away, so it’s totally understandable if you prefer using a more traditional liner. In that case, Parachute offers a 100 percent polyester alternative.

This affordable liner is machine washable and free of harsh chemical smells. While a polyester liner isn’t exactly our first choice in terms of sustainability, it’s still better than those made with PVC vinyl. Plus, it's machine washable and can last for far longer than a PVC curtain.

Shop Now - $24

Pottery Barn’s Retreat Fabric Shower Curtain Liner

Pottery Barn’s fabric shower curtain liner is another affordable polyester option. This product is OEKO-TEX certified and made in a Fair Trade Certified factory. To clean this liner, you can machine wash it — it’s best to choose the gentle cycle and cold water — and dry it on low heat.

Shop Now - $19.50
Sustainable Swaps: Check Out These Eco-Friendly, Nontoxic Shower Curtains and Liners (2024)


What is the best non toxic material for shower curtain? ›

Hemp Shower Curtain

Hemp dries more quickly than cotton or linen so doesn't require waxing, if your bathroom is well ventilated. No certifications, but hemp doesn't require pesticides or fertilizers.

What is a sustainable shower curtain? ›


Their Montebello organic hemp shower curtain is a biodegradable liner with natural water-repellent properties. Using 100% organic European hemp, cotton, or linen, Rawganique's curtains are PVC and chemical-free. The Waterproofing Wax Bar transforms them into a non-plastic liner combo.

What is the alternative to shower curtain liners? ›

Polyester Fabric While polyester is not perfect (it is a plastic itself), polyester fabric liners are are great alternative to vinyl: they contain no PVCs, perform well, are easily washable, and are inexpensive. My favorite is easy to find at Bed Bath & Beyond.

How do you clean a shower curtain eco friendly? ›

Some everyday household products can be used to clean the curtain without putting it in the washing machine. Use a sponge to apply a paste of natron and water, vinegar or citric acid, leave the mixture to work for around an hour and then rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Are shower curtains bad for the environment? ›

Most shower curtains are made of vinyl, polyester, or other manmade materials. The upside to these materials is that they're cheap and quick-drying. The downside, however, is that these materials are bad for the environment. Depending on the material, plastic waste can take anywhere from 20 to 500 years to decompose.

Why is cotton not good for shower curtains? ›

Cotton absorbs moisture easily, so, if you do buy a cotton curtain, remember to get a quality liner to go with it. When buying a shower curtain, consider looking for products that have an anti-bacterial and anti-mildew coating.

What is the difference between a shower curtain and a shower liner? ›

Shower curtains typically hang outside of the bathtub and are used for privacy and style. They're often made of fabric that absorbs (rather than repels) water, meaning they're not waterproof and take longer to dry. Shower liners protect your bathroom and stop water in its tracks.

Is Peva really biodegradable? ›

PEVA (polyethylene vinyl acetate), is a PVC-free, non-chlorinated material that is odorless and biodegradable.

Is there something better than a shower curtain? ›

Shower enclosures

Not only will a glass or plastic shower enclosure protect your bathroom from water splashes, but they are also more durable than shower curtains and will let light into the space.

What's the best color of a shower curtain for a small bathroom? ›

After clear, white and light colored shower curtains are the best way to expand the size of a bathroom. Opt for a white shower curtain liner, plus a white fabric or outer curtain mounted near the ceiling and hanging all the way to the floor.

Can you use a shower curtain without a plastic liner? ›

If you want to avoid buying unnecessary plastics altogether, we recommend that you buy a shower curtain made of thick or tightly woven cotton or another natural fiber and forgo the liner.

How often should you wash your shower curtain? ›

You should clean your shower curtain and liner about once a month. If you have a fabric shower curtain that doesn't come into contact with moisture often due to the liner, you may be able to wash it every three months.

Is it OK to put a plastic shower curtain in the washing machine? ›

Plastic shower curtains may be washed by hand or in a washing machine. If washing by hand, soak the curtain in your bathtub and scrub with a soft brush and soap until clean. Or, toss your curtain in the washer on a gentle cycle with mild detergent and a few towels.

What is the best solution to clean shower curtains? ›

Scrub the affected areas with a mixture of warm water and mild detergent. For tough stains or mold, use a paste of baking soda and water or a mix of equal parts vinegar and water. Let the solution sit for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly and air dry the curtain.

Are polyester shower curtains non toxic? ›

Most Practical Non-Toxic Shower Curtains

Polyester | Much like cotton, polyester curtains do absorb water but are fast-drying. Unlike cotton curtains, they are more likely to retain their shape after being washed. A lot of hotels use polyester shower curtains, so chances are you already have experience with them!

What is the difference between PEVA and EVA? ›

EVA and PEVA are both acronyms for Ethylene Vinyl Acetate. Somehow the P for polyethylene was added to create the acronym “PEVA.” To make EVA copolymer, Vinyl Acetate Monomer or “VAM” is copolymerized, or conjoined with Ethylene monomer to make Ethylene Vinyl Acetate.

Do shower curtains have chemicals? ›

Many shower curtains and shower curtain liners are made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, which contains a number of toxic chemicals. If your shower curtain emits the characteristic “new shower curtain smell,” you can be pretty sure that it was made with PVC.

What are the healthy material for curtains? ›

Curtains made from natural materials are healthier since they contain fewer chemicals. Healthier textiles are made from natural sources, like plants and even animals. Examples include cotton, hemp, wool, bamboo, and silk.

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