Not only is a mold free shower curtain possible, it's easy!
Step 1: What You Will Need
1 - A small hook to attach to the wall above the tub. This can be a little plastic 'sticky' hook if you have smooth tile walls, or a suction cup hook if you have smooth walls but don't want to use any adhesive on them, or a large cup hook if you have rustic sauna style walls.
2 - Needle and thread
3 - A wire shower curtain 'ring' or similar non-rusting attachment
4- A freshly cleaned tub and walls
5- A shower curtain free of mold and spores. Making or buying a new woven curtain is probably easier than trying to sterilize an old slimy one. Having two curtains makes laundry timing easier.
Frequently asked shower curtain questions
Shower curtains can be washed?? Yes! And they need it... just like your towels need washing regularly.
What kind of shower curtain is best? I recommend woven synthetic shower curtains because the fibers don't hold water, and they wash well. I've used cotton sheets, but totally synthetic or polyester/cotton blends dry faster. Actually, almost any fabric will work to keep water in the tub... anything from canvas (in dry climates) to sheets to to parachute fabric.
Don't I need a coated or solid plastic curtain to keep the water from getting out? No. Think about umbrellas, they are usually one thin layer of woven fabric. Although solid vinyl shower curtains CAN go through the washer, most of us don't do regular loads with hot water washes and hot rinses... and balancing the washer load can be tricky. If you choose to go with the solid vinyl, look at the hem. If it has a sewn bottom hem, cut it off so water isn't trapped inside.
Do I need an inner and an outer curtain? No. The point of having an inner and outer curtain is to keep drafts from wrapping the inner curtain around your legs. If you live in a climate where this is a problem, simply leave the back 18 inches of the curtain open, rather than pulling it shut wall to wall. . Air will move through that opening rather than pushing the curtain against you. Using two curtains also reduces air flow and increases drying time..the opposite of the goal here. If you like the look of an outer curtain, at least leave it open while the inner curtain is on the hook drying.
Step 2: Attach the Hook to Wall
Attach the hook about 3/4 of the tub length back from the drain and at about 5 feet up from the bottom of the tub.
Step 3: Make a Place to Attach the Shower Ring to the Curtain
On bottom edge of your curtain (at the end away from the drain), fold over and sew down the tip of the corner. You are making a tunnel for a removable shower ring.
If you use a solid vinyl curtain, fold over that corner and use a paper punch to make a round hole through both layers - about an inch in from all the edges. The point of making a round hole is to prevent making a weak point where the ring could rip out.
Step 4: Put a Shower Ring Through the Space You've Made
Attach the removable shower ring .
Step 5: After Every Shower, Hang the Corner of the Curtain on the Hook on the Wall
The curtain will drain into the tub. The side of the tub will dry... the curtain will dry (you can put it down when it is dry). ...and you won't have mold.
HOWEVER shower curtains, like tubs and walls, get splashed with whatever you are washing off you...and soap...and shampoo... etc etc. So, like tubs, they DO NEED regular cleaning - especially the bottom edge on the drain end because everything drips off that corner.
Cleaning isn't hard... just remove the ring from the corner, take down the curtain, and toss it into the load when you wash sheets.*
If you have hard water, wash the curtain more frequently, and from time to time soak the curtain in a bucket of water with a cup of white vinegar before running it through the wash. Don't worry, the vinegar smell will wash out.
*If you use solid vinyl curtains, remove the ring from the corner holes, take it down, and wash it on hot wash and hot or warm rinse with detergent and old towels (towels do the scrubbing). Don't leave it alone during the draining cycles because if the curtain traps water, the washer may get off balance. DO NOT use cold water at any point... the curtain will shatter. If it has cooled and gotten stiff when you remove it from the washer, put it in your bathtub and run hot/warm water over it until it is soft enough to rehang.