It’s time to take a shower, so you hop in! You’re under that warm water, enjoying your short time alone in your nice clean bathtub (which yes, you should clean every week, here’s why), and all of a sudden you feel something cling to your leg. You look down, only to realize that it’s the shower curtain—again.
Is this a reoccurring problem for you? If so, maybe it’s time to find a solution! In order to find one, we got to the bottom of this shower curtain mystery.
Why does this happen in the first place?
Now there are many theories to why this happens. Some say that it’s the Stack effect, which makes the shower curtain rise when the cooler air from the floor rises with the heat and causes the curtain to fly up. However, since this also happens with colder showers, the theory doesn’t exactly work.
Others say that the issue is due to the Bernoulli’s principle, which increases in velocity results in a decreased pressure—i.e. when the water flows in one direction, the air will flow in the same direction with it. However, this theory hasn’t officially panned out.
However, only one scientist really did put these theories to the test, and instead found that the shower-head actually drives a horizontal vortex, causing a low-pressure zone in the center, which sucks the curtain in. This study was done by David Schmidt of the University of Massachusetts (who actually won an Ig Nobel Prize in 2001 for this study), who said that the vortex in the middle will cause tension for the curtain, making the bottom move in and stick to you.
So how do you fix this?
It’s a pretty simple solution, but now knowing the science, it makes sense. The best thing you can do is buy a heavier inner shower curtain liner. Naturally, a heavier weight will decrease the amount of movement from this vortex. You can easily find heavier liners that have weights built in on the bottom to keep it firmly stuck to the side of your shower. It may be helpful to also buy a weighted shower curtain in general, for the outside, to avoid both curtains caving in on you.
You could also try clipping the shower curtain to the wall! Using a command strip hook and a simple clip can easily solve the problem. Suction cups can also help with lighter liners.
Voila! Problem solved. Adding that extra weight, or keeping that curtain in place, will certainly help with the tension that the hot air causes in your shower.
Now that we have that settled, did you know there are 25 different things you can do with a tension rod other than hang a shower curtain?