Do Shower Curtains Need Liners?

You have just purchased a new shower curtain for your bathroom, you may be wondering if you need a liner for it. A shower curtain liner may seem like a frivolous accessory for your bathroom, but you might want to reconsider. We have looked into this, and have found out everything that you need to know about whether a liner is necessary.

Installing a quality shower curtain liner helps preserve the quality and life of your shower curtain, and it is more hygienic.

If you are feeling stumped about how to choose a shower curtain liner, read on. We researched the pros and cons of different types of liners, and how often to clean or change your liner, too.

Shower Curtain Liners Provide Flexibility

Including a liner with your shower curtain is a great idea for many reasons.

  • They are available in materials that are washable or they are inexpensive and disposable
  • Having a curtain liner elongates the shelf life of a shower curtain and reduces water landing outside of your shower
  • A shower set isn’t complete without a shower curtain liner for extra protection and is aesthetically pleasing

Blank beige closed shower curtain mockup, front view, 3d rendering. Do Shower Curtains Need Liners?

Give Your Shower A Fresh Look With A Liner

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Blank beige closed shower curtain mockup, front view, 3d rendering.

Let’s face it, a shower isn’t fully dressed without a curtain liner. Even if you select a shower curtain that is made from waterproof materials, a liner is still helpful for reducing the buildup of mold, mildew, and water runoff. Shower liners range in price and the type of construction materials. Depending on your taste in interior decor and budget, there is a shower curtain liner that will transform your bathroom shower from drab to fab.

How Do I Choose a Shower Curtain Liner?

a white shower curtain in an empty shower with water OFF medium shot

Inexpensive shower curtain liners are more susceptible to wear, tearing,  and may need to be replaced more frequently. A shower curtain made from durable vinyl, canvas, or another sturdy material may six months or more with proper maintenance. Shower curtain liners may be thrown in the wash, but are often made from a wipeable material that degrades over time.

Ask yourself how often you take a shower, how much maintenance you are willing to live with, and how much you want to spend. Don’t stress. Consider the cost, overall visual appeal, and material type impact your choice of shower curtain liner to make an easy decision. If one shower curtain liner doesn’t come in a specific color or style, you may find an alternative that is pleasing.

What's the Difference Between a Shower Liner and Curtain?

A shower curtain is designed to keep water from spilling outside of the shower area, but depending on the curtain material, it could use a boost. Shower curtains may be tucked inside a tub to reduce water from splashing and creating a pool on the floor, and they come in a host of colors and styles. Installing a shower curtain offers privacy, and allows one to show off their personality. Ideally, a quality shower curtain should resist the buildup of mildew and mold but still requires routine maintenance.

It is possible to use a shower curtain liner by itself, without the use of a shower curtain, but the reverse is not usually true. Shower curtain liners may be clear, and are typically vinyl, plastic, or made from a treated fabric to increase water resistance. Unlike a quality shower curtain liner, shower curtains are more likely to become soaked with water after each use.  Many shower curtains are machine washable, but shower liners typically are not.

What Types of Shower Curtain Liners Are Available?

Depending on your budget and preferences, you can find a shower curtain liner that is made from inexpensive plastic or vinyl. Shower curtain liners that are made from thick vinyl or fabric like canvas are a bit more pricey. In an effort to improve health and hygiene, many shower curtain liners offer features like rustproof grommets, are antibacterial, and mildew-resistance, or use non-toxic materials. Some liners for the shower are quick-drying, machine washable, and do not give off a strong odor. Check out this shower curtain liner, which boasts many desirable features.

Do You Need a Shower Liner With a Polyester Shower Curtain?

Typically, you do not need to purchase a shower liner if you are using a polyester shower curtain. Depending on whether the polyester shower curtain is a combination of different fabrics, and its thickness, you may want to use a liner to improve the effectiveness of the shower curtain. A shower curtain that is 100% polyester usually offers a high enough performance that you won’t miss having a shower liner. If your polyester shower curtain is not drying quickly enough, or you feel that there is too much water coming outside of the curtain, include a liner.

Which Side of the Shower Curtain Liner Faces Out?

When you take a look at your shower curtain liner you should notice that one side has a more finished look than the other. A liner often has one side that is more textured, which runs the risk of letting soap scum adhere, but repels water. The smoother side of a fabric curtain liner helps reduce the amount of water that stays behind after every shower. Remember, a damp environment encourages the growth of mildew and mold via spores.

How Often Should You Change Your Shower Curtain Liner?

Close - up of women's hands hanging a gray curtain in the bathroom.

As long as your shower curtain liner is in good repair, and there are no glaring tears, or mildew and mold visible you don’t have to change or replace it until absolutely necessary. The shelf-life of a liner depends on the material’s durability and performance. Cheap, flimsy shower curtain liners can be tossed readily. More expensive shower curtain liners can last up to a year with regular cleanings.

If you make the effort to clean your shower curtain liner on a weekly basis, you can reduce the appearance of dots, grime, and buildup of bacteria, mildew, and mold. Don’t be foolhardy and hold onto a poorly performing shower curtain liner that is teeming with debris, tears, and pathogens which poses a risk to your health. A dirty shower curtain liner can increase the risk of health problems with the skin, eyes, and throat.

How Do I Keep My Shower Curtain Liner From Mildewing?

Even if you invest in a liner for your shower that is antibacterial, waterproof, and mildew-resistant, you should still routinely give it a good scrub. Choose a sponge and wipe down your liner with a bleach solution, or an appropriate cleaner once a week. After a shower, increase the ventilation in your bathroom to help speed the drying process for your liner. Choose a shower curtain liner that is made from a quick-drying material, or doesn’t hold onto water easily.

How Often Should I Clean My Shower Curtain Liner?

Keep your skin healthy and your shower looking its best by cleaning your curtain liner at least once a week. If you see streaks, dots, marks, or scum buildup on your shower curtain liner, it needs a wash. Shower curtain liners that can be thrown in the washing machine pair well with towels, which helps scrub of grime. If you are pressed for time, it is helpful to spritz down your shower curtain liner with a cleaner that reduces and repels mildew, mold, bacteria, and water buildup.

You can help reduce the growth of unwanted bacteria in your bathroom and on your shower curtain liner by mopping up any water hanging around after you shower. Open up your liner and give it plenty of air ventilation to help dry up any water, by opening a window or turning on an exhaust fan. Remember to remove any shower curtain hooks or rings before you throw a liner into the wash.

What Should I Use to Clean My Shower Curtain Liner?

Interior of bathroom with vanity cabinet, toilet and shower with colorful curtain.

Cleaning your shower curtain liner shouldn’t add to your stress at home. If you are concerned about the type of cleaners you can use on your shower curtain liner or wish to avoid exposing your home to harmful chemicals, you have options. You can use a solution of bleach diluted with water, baking soda and white vinegar, or non-toxic dish soap. Mildew and mold can be scrubbed away with a sturdy brush after allowing a cleaning solution to settle on your line for an hour or two.

Spoil Your Shower With A Shower Curtain Liner

When in doubt, you are better off having a shower curtain liner to enhance the performance of your shower and improve the look and feel of your bathroom. Although there are shower curtains that are attractive, water-resistant, and perform well without a liner, having a liner is an added improvement. Shower curtain liners are relatively inexpensive, help reduce excess moisture in the bathroom, and prevent unwanted bacteria, mold, and mildew growth. Shower curtains may require maintenance at least every three months, but a shower curtain liner needs to be wiped down at least once a week. Choosing a quality shower curtain liner gives a boost to your bathroom decor, improves your health, and increases the performance of your shower curtain.

Interior of a modern bathroom with bathtub and shower curtains, Do Shower Curtains Need Liners?

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