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vinyl smell

Ralphetta | Posted in General Discussion on

Does anyone know how to get rid of the strong smell of new vinyl?  I have a new shower curtain liner and the smell, as usual, is terribly strong.  Last time I put it outdoors in the sun a few days and it didn’t seem to make any difference.  I’ve used an iron and a cloth to lighten some of the creases, but I know from experience that if I hang it, it will take literally months for the creases and smell to dissipate.  What do you do?  Do the expensive ones have less smell?


  1. Josefly | | #1

    I wash my vinyl shower curtain liners, putting a towel in also, and they do beautifully. You can even put them in the dryer for a minute or so on low heat, take them out, and they hang up without wrinkles. They may still be wet, but the wrinkles drop out with the heat. The liners may be more durable than the regular shower curtains, I don't know. Also, you can use a hairdryer to temporarily soften the wrinkled vinyl, while hanging on the shower rod, and allow the wrinkles to just fall out. Wish it worked on my face!

    1. Ralphetta | | #2

      Does putting them in the washer remove the vinyl odor?  They are in the shower and constantly subjected to soap and water and it doesn't seem to make a difference.  It's the odor that's my primary concern.

      Edited 11/7/2007 5:55 pm ET by Ralphetta

      1. Josefly | | #5

        My vinyl liners lose their odor after a few days. There is still some odor after washing and machine-drying (but only drying for a few minutes) but not as bad as when taken out of the package. Since these are liners, covered on one side by a decorative fabric shower curtain, that covering would not allow the odor to disappear as fast as if exposed on both sides to fresh air. I haven't tried the nylon liners, but that sounds like a good idea.

  2. User avater
    CostumerVal | | #3

    Your new vinyl shower curtain is coated with PVC (polyvinyl chloride)  This substance is a plasticizer that will off gas chemicals into your house for over 5 years.  Thus the smell.  There's lots of info on the web about it.

    I bought a nylon fabric shower curtain when I moved into this house in 1994.  I wash it in the washing machine regularly-with bleach, and hang it back up wet.  I still looks fine.  The water does not go through it at all.  A friend of mine has a cotton one and found that when she washes it she needs to hang it outside and spray it with silicon to make it waterproof.  I'm sure there's another alternative to what she's doing, but I love mine and wouldn't think twice about getting, or making, another one.


    1. Ralphetta | | #4

      Thanks for the info.  This is a liner for a fabric curtain.  I hadn't considered a nylon curtain as a liner, but I think that is what i will do.  I had forgotten about the smell until I pulled it out of the package. 

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