How do mold/mildew resistant shower curtains work?

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tldr; how are some plastics (like the ones in mildew resistant shower curtains) resistant to mild &mildew but others are not??

I’m a college student who lives with 2 other girls in an old one bed/bath apartment. Everything in our bathroom is always damp after one of us showers because our bathroom doesn’t have a fan and we don’t like to open the window too wide because theres a room on the second story of the apartment building next to us that can look directly in. Anyways, we had a normal shower curtain for the first couple months we lived here and it became disgustingly moldy/mildewy super quickly. Then we got a “mildew resistant” shower curtain from target and it still looks fairly clean even now, like half a year later. What makes this shower curtain special so that it doesn’t grow mold at all even though it looks just like a normal plastic curtain??

In: Chemistry

3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s all down to the material the curtain is made from and waterproofing chemicals. Synthetic fiber, Nylon, and Polyester curtains with high thread/fiber count have natural water resistance because of the properties of the fibers and how tightly woven they are together that sheds off water rather than absorbing it. Lower thread count and natural fibers don’t have as strong properties and are more likely to develop mildew. They can also can be treated with water sealing and water repellent chemicals to further increase their water resistance.

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