Shower curtains and curtain liners are made of all kinds of materials. Mostly plastic, though. And, in general, polyvinyl chloride, or PVC-based, shower curtains are not recyclable. They are very difficult to break down, they emit toxins, and the quantity of recycled material you get at the end is not worth the expensive process. Plastic curtains may be plastic, but they are made of different polymers than the recyclable plastic bags. So, do not drop them off at a recycling center along with your plastic bags!
Are all plastic shower curtains non-recyclable? No – PEVA curtains can be recycled. Confusing? This is why it’s best to buy eco-friendly shower curtains and curtain liners! But what do you do in the meantime with your existing old shower curtains and liners?
- Are PEVA Shower Curtain Liners Recyclable
- Can You Recycle Polyester Shower Curtain
- Are Plastic Shower Curtains Washable
- Recyclable Shower Curtain Liner
- What Can I Do With Old Shower Curtains?
- Can Shower Curtains Be Donated to Charity?
- Can Shower Curtains Be Recycled?
- When Should You Throw Out a Shower Curtain?
Are PEVA Shower Curtain Liners Recyclable
Yes, they are. You can recycle PEVA shower curtains at your local recycling facility. PEVA shower curtains and liners are chlorine-free, so they can be recycled. Make sure you inform your recycling facility before sending the PEVA curtains to them.
Can You Recycle Polyester Shower Curtain
Polyester shower curtains can typically be recycled, but the ease of recycling may depend on your local recycling facilities and their specific guidelines. Polyester is a type of plastic, and many recycling centers accept various types of plastics for recycling. Here are some steps to consider when recycling a polyester shower curtain:
1 / Check your local recycling guidelines
Your first step should be to check with your local recycling program or facility to see if they accept polyester materials. Recycling guidelines can vary by location, so it’s important to confirm what is accepted in your area.
2 / Clean the curtain
Before recycling, make sure the curtain is clean and free of any soap scum, mold, or mildew. This will make it more suitable for recycling.
3 / Remove any non-recyclable components
If your shower curtain has non-recyclable components such as metal grommets or hooks, be sure to remove them before recycling the polyester curtain. These components may need to be disposed of separately.
4 / Follow recycling instructions
If your local recycling center accepts polyester, follow their specific instructions for preparing and disposing of the shower curtain. This may involve placing it in a designated recycling bin or dropping it off at a recycling facility.
5 / Consider repurposing or upcycling
If recycling is not an option in your area, consider repurposing the polyester shower curtain. You can use it for other DIY projects or crafts, which can extend its useful life.
It’s important to note that some shower curtains may be made of a blend of materials, including polyester and other plastics. In such cases, recycling options may be limited.
Are Plastic Shower Curtains Washable
Plastic shower curtains are typically washable. You can clean them to remove soap scum, mold, mildew, and other stains that may accumulate over time. Want to know how you can wash a plastic shower curtain? Remove the plastic shower curtain from the hooks or rings, and just follow these steps:
Pre-Treatment: If you have specific stains like mold or mildew, pre-treat them with a mixture of white vinegar and water or a mild bleach solution. Be sure to follow safety guidelines when using bleach.
Machine Wash: Most plastic shower curtains are safe for machine washing. Place the curtain in the washing machine along with a few towels or gentle fabric items to prevent it from getting tangled during the cycle. Use cold water and a gentle or delicate cycle to avoid damaging the plastic.
Use Mild Detergent: Add a mild laundry detergent to the wash. Avoid using harsh chemicals or detergents as they can damage the plastic.
Hang to Dry: After the machine wash, take out the curtain and hang it back in the bathroom to dry. The wrinkles will typically smooth out as it dries.
Regular Maintenance: To prevent the need for frequent washing, it’s a good practice to regularly rinse or wipe down your plastic shower curtain after showering. This can help prevent the buildup of soap scum and mildew.
Replace (only) if Necessary: Plastic shower curtains have a limited lifespan, and if they become heavily stained, discolored, or start to deteriorate, it might be time to replace them.
NOTE: Always check the care instructions on your specific shower curtain to ensure you’re following the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and maintenance. Keep in mind that some plastic shower curtains are not designed for machine washing, so always follow the care guidelines provided with the product.
Recyclable Shower Curtain Liner
Here are two awesome options for the next time you need to buy a shower curtain:
What Can I Do With Old Shower Curtains?
You could reuse them, or repurpose them into something new. You could donate them to charity if they’re in good condition. Or, if all else fails, you could recycle them. Let’s find out how.
How to Reuse Old Shower Curtains and Liners
There are numerous ways you can repurpose your old shower curtains and shower liners. They’re precious materials, after all! Just make sure they’ve been cleaned properly, and are free of mold.
1 / If you have fabric shower curtains and liners, you could cut them up and use them as cleaning rags.
2 / Use plastic curtains and liners in place of tarpaulin while painting – or doing other messy stuff.
3 / Use your plastic curtain as a table cloth when you’re out camping.
Can Shower Curtains Be Donated to Charity?
Yes. If the shower curtain is something you would use yourself, then it’s in good condition to donate. Try Goodwill or Salvation Army. Also contact your local charities and ask if they will accept shower curtains as donations.
Can Shower Curtains Be Recycled?
As we mentioned before, PVC and PE plastic shower curtains cannot be recycled at most recycling plants. PVC material can expose you to chlorine and phthalates, which can cause major health issues.
Fabric shower curtains can be recycled, depending on your situation. Try these textile recycling companies.
Can You Recycle a PEVA Shower Curtain?
Yes, you can recycle a PEVA shower curtain. PEVA shower curtains and liners are chlorine-free, so they can be recycled. Make sure you inform your recycling facility before sending the PEVA curtains to them.
When Should You Throw Out a Shower Curtain?
You need to change out your shower curtain and liner once every six months. That’s the ideal time, taking bathroom mold and grime buildup into consideration. Of course, this is an individual decision, based on the realities of your bathroom and usage. But remember to wash your curtains once every month, at least.
Ok, what do you do with old curtains you don’t need anymore? Suppose you cannot donate your shower curtain. You also cannot repurpose it, or recycle it because it’s made from PVC. What do you do?
Recycle with TerraCycle
TerraCycle to the rescue! TerraCycle accepts shower curtains and liners for recycling in the Bathroom Accessories Zero Waste Box. You buy the box from them, fill it with all the stuff you want to send, and then mail it back to them. They accept a lot of bathroom items that other places do not accept for recycling. So, try them out!
Do not toss the PVC shower curtains and liners into the garbage. They will end up in the landfill, and remain there for hundreds of years.
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