After I shower, I like to squeegee water off the shower tiles so mold doesn't grow on the grout. I'd like to get most of the water off my plastic shower curtain too, but I need a life hack to accomplish that.

My shower has an exterior curtain that stays dry, and an interior curtain that gets wet, similar to this picture:

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Also like the picture, we have a combination shower / tub, so the curtains hang over the side of the tub. The ends of the curtain rod are not in fixtures; they just press against the walls at the ends of the tub, so if I pull down on it, it will fall.

I've tried a few things to remove water:

  • Squeegee the curtain from the top down. This doesn't work well because the curtain is "wavy" and flimsy, and there is nothing behind it, so the squeegee doesn't press flatly against it. I can't hold the top and bottom of the curtain at the same time to make it taut.

  • Squeegee the curtain in horizontal strokes, while holding one edge to keep it somewhat taut. This kind of works, but not very well. It's awkward, too.

  • Grab the left and right edges of the curtain at about shoulder height, pull them in opposite directions to make the curtain somewhat taut, and shake it vertically. This removes some water, but not much.

  • Bring the left and right edges of the curtain to each other, press them together, and "wring" it from the top down. This does not remove much water either.

  • Try a Can of compressed air and blow the water down off the curtain? – TiO Sep 26 at 11:23
  • @TiO Thanks! I tried a blow dryer, and it only worked about 20% as well as I expected it would. A can of compressed air might have blast with more pressure, but it has limited capacity, and the air gets icy cold within 5-10 seconds of use. I'm not sure what the icy air would do to the water and the curtain. Plus it would be uncomfortable on my hand! – BrettFromLA Sep 26 at 13:37

You might not need to go to such labour intensive lengths to remove water vapour in your bath.

After your shower, rather than gather the curtain and curtain-liner at one side of the rod, slide them toward the centre — arranged so that they are hanging both away from the tiles… and so that air can freely circulate around the area.

  • Allow more space between the pleats of the curtain and liner for better evaporation. Avoid pushing the curtain hooks so tightly together that the wet pleats touch.
  • Use an electric fan to circulate the air around the shower area so that it flows in around and out the other side – taking moist air away from the tiles.
  • In dry weather, you might try leaving the window open a bit.
  • Leave the door open to the bath when possible to average the humidity throughout the household.
  • A dehumidifier may be an appropriate investment especially if it combines an air filter to help with the general air condition of your apartment
  • My question is about liquid the water drops clinging to my shower curtain, not water vapor in the air. – BrettFromLA Sep 11 at 15:04
  • @BrettFromLA A mere semantical difference. Condensation. Same thing. Let evaporation do the work. – Stan Sep 12 at 2:38
  • That's pretty much how I do it. I just make sure the shower curtain isn't directly touching the tub on the sides so air can circulate and just let an open door/window do the work. @BrettFromLA There will still be water on your shower curtain but as long as it can drip down into the tub or can evaporate into the air I wouldn't be too worried about mold. It's a good idea to keep the tiles and grouts free of water. But a shower curtain is easily replacable and pretty inexpensive (as long as you don't need fancy imagery on it). – Alex Sep 12 at 9:53
  • @Stan I respect you and the answers & questions you have posted in this community. But to me, condensation and shower splashes are different! ;-) The curtain is covered with big drops of water, not little condensation pinpoints. For the past few months, I've been letting them evaporate; as an intellectual exercise I want to find a way to remove them mechanically (squeegee, wind, etc.) instead of through evaporation. – BrettFromLA Sep 12 at 13:26
  • @BrettFromLA Your kind comment is appreciated. Clarification: I'm not suggesting you need a strong blast of air from a fan. I have a similar set-up as you but no window. I use the fan to blow toward the tile wall on one side of the curtains to circulate and allow the moist air to exit from the other side of the curtains. This dries a soaked tub 'n tiles and wet shower curtain plastic liner for me. We've had a hot and moist spring and summer (many straight days of the humidex in the high 30s and low 40s - °C) with no mould after using the shower stall every day and many times twice. – Stan Sep 20 at 22:50

I agree with @Stan that allowing it to dry naturally is the easiest way, but I've recently started using a window vacuum to dry the floor and walls of my shower and I've been extremely impressed with how well it removes the water.

I'll admit that using it on a shower curtain is slightly more of a challenge, but it might be worth a try, it's quite a handy gadget to have around the house anyway, for window cleaning and liquid spills.

They say that the big breakthrough in the vacuum cleaner was when someone said, "It should suck, not blow". Well it occurred to me the other day that for cleaning the shower, "it should blow, not suck". Like a Dyson airblade, it should produce a thin "blade" of air to push the water into the drain. This would certainly work better on your curtain than a vacuum I would think. So, if you have the wherewithal, perhaps you should try to "reverse the polarity" on a window vacuum and see if you can't make yourself your first million!

  • I had thought about using a hair dryer on the curtain, but haven't tried it yet. Also, my little Dirt Devil handheld vacuum has a pretty fierce exhaust port, so I may give that a shot. – BrettFromLA Sep 11 at 17:59
  • I reckon one of those "slide binder" plastic strips might be just the thing to focus the air into a "blade". – Lefty Sep 11 at 18:38
  • But that's way more effort than it's worth. Why bother, when the curtain and walls dry on their own in a few hours anyway? – Hobbes Sep 12 at 15:10
  • @Hobbes It comes down to your local climate. For example, here in the UK we recently had what amounts to a "heatwave" - i.e. temperatures in excess of 30 degrees c. We could open our windows and allow the shower to dry naturally very quickly. In the winter, there is no such luxury. We don't open windows at 0 degrees - and water will not evaporate if we do. Instead, the water just sits around and causes the room to smell and feel uncomfortable. – Lefty Sep 12 at 17:35
  • I live in the same climate. Ventilation (i.e. the bathroom fan) works wonders. – Hobbes Sep 12 at 17:38

The problem with using 1 squeegee is that you don't have anything on the other side of the floppy material.

Try using 2 squeegees, one in front and the other behind the curtain, pressing against each other.

First, bunch up the curtain hooks: keep the vertical fall the same, but push the sides together.

Then holding one squeegee on the inside of the bath and the other on the outside, squeegee a vertical length of the far end. Once you've done that section, pull it away from you to expose the next section. Rinse (metaphorically :P) and repeat.

Be careful with the wet, slippery and curved surfaces.

  • I could probably even slide a folded towel or some other larger surface down the outside of the curtain, to act as a back for the squeegee on the inside. – BrettFromLA Sep 12 at 13:28
  • 1
    @BrettFromLA If you're going to use a towel, why not skip the squeegee part altogether and just dry off the curtain with the towel? – John Locke Sep 25 at 11:42
  • @JohnLocke That's gone through my mind too! But then I'd have a soaking wet towel every day -- probably with much more water than on the bath towel I used to dry myself. And we don't have any spare space on our bathroom towel rack to let it dry. A squeegee (or blow dryer) seemed like the best solution. – BrettFromLA Sep 25 at 20:43
  • @BrettFromLA Is your towel too wet after you use it? Even if it's soaked, I would think it would be able to at least push the water downwards. I recommend you try to clean off the curtain with the towel after you finish using it and see if it works sort of like a squeegee (if you haven't already tried). – John Locke Sep 25 at 22:55
  • @JohnLocke I was picturing using a new, dry towel on it. It would end up very damp. I'd rather not use the towel I just dried myself with, since I'll be using it again tomorrow and I want it to be clean! The shower curtain has been hanging there for months; I'm not sure what's growing on it. (I'm not a germophobe, but I have sensitive skin and am prone to breakouts caused by bacteria on my skin.) – BrettFromLA Sep 26 at 13:35

Your comments suggest concerns that are not covered in your original question (mold/formed water droplets). Both (or either) parts of this answer addresses your specific objections to other answers in your expressed comments.

There are two possible means to accomplish your concern. Both have to do with preventing droplets from forming rather than removing them after they have formed.

The first method uses chemistry. The second uses physics.

Droplets form on smooth non-pourous surfaces due to a property of liquid surfaces referred to as surface tension. It describes the tendency of a fluid surface to have the least surface area possible in relation to volume. That's why droplets are round.

You have discovered that there's some energy needed to remove the droplets which has been quantified. You must expend more physical energy to remove the droplets than is within the molecular bonds of the water. It works out to 72.8 millinewtons per meter at 20 °C.

Chemical Solution - A weak detergent is sufficient to neutralize water molecules adhesion. By applying a thin film of the proper strength of this will prevent droplets from forming. A liquid called Photo-Flo™ when diluted 1/200 is used in photography to prevent any droplets from forming on photographic film after a thorough final water rinse before drying. A couple of drops of this in a small aerosol pump bottle can be sprayed on your shower curtain liner either before or after your shower. It can be re-applied after it rinses free. It should last for a couple of showers, at least. Apply it where and when you wish. Water droplet will "sheet" before forming droplets. Sheeting will allow the water to fall to the bottom of the liner and into the tub to drain free. It can be considered similar to soap but it has no additives to produce the soap scum normally associated with bath soap. It is transparent and colourless. You can rinse it completely free if you want to but you should conserve it for your desired effect.

Physical Solution - A second (my preferred) technique uses the concept of capillary effect (wicking) by using a shower curtain liner which is porous (such as fabric) rather than a non-pourous one of plastic. Water droplets will be absorbed by the fabric by capillary action before surface tension allows water to coalesce on the surface as it can with plastic shower curtain liners. Fabric liners still prevent splashes from getting through the tightly woven material and the water will be evaporated as the liner dries preventing mold or mildew from forming. (Multi-star hotels where I've stayed have had fabric shower curtains although I'm not certain if the reason is similar.)

Good luck. Everyone is entitled to their own foibles - I certainly have my fair share.

  • The chemical solution is something I'd had in mind! I was looking for a hydrophobic spray, but I thought they were all lab experiments that aren't available to the public (and are expensive!). Thanks for the tip about Photo-Flo! – BrettFromLA Sep 25 at 20:39

If the walls have tiles you can remove the shower curtain and place a towel on the bathroom floor to catch the spray. After the shower, step on the towel and dry yourself. Then put socks on to avoid transferring water from the bathroom to other rooms. Finally wring the towel and use it to dry the wet spots wherever they are. Get rid of the socks when you are outside the bathroom, they have no other purpose than keeping your feet dry.

Over time you will learn how to position your body during the shower to minimize spatter.

Benefits:

  • less work
  • less costs
  • more light
  • more beauty

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