It's been almost a year since we gave up our vinyl shower curtain. We always had a fabric curtain on the outside with the vinyl on inside because that's just the way it's done, right? Wrong. I mean, it's still done that way, but there's a much easier way. A far less expensive, less wasteful way. Just toss the vinyl curtain. So easy! It's made of non-renewable products, can't be recycled, stinks like crazy, and always, always, always turns a lovely shade of pink mildew, even though they say they won't. You can try to wash it, but it never comes clean. Little bugger.
It took one shower to sway me to the vinyl-free side. I was terrified I was going to step out of the shower and into an ankle-deep puddle on the bathroom floor, but the fabric shower curtain performed like a champ. Now both of our bathrooms sport only fabric shower curtains (one cotton, one polyester) and it's like the vinyl never existed...except for the part where it's sealed in a landfill twenty miles from here and will probably never biodegrade. Major bummer, but now we know better.
Taking care of a fabric shower curtain is simple. After you shower, give it a quick wring to help get rid of some of the water it so valiantly absorbed. Don't leave it bunched up at one end of the shower--spread it the length of the tub so it can drip off the excess water. Half an hour later (or whenever you remember), move it so it's hanging on the outside of the tub--this will allow it to finish drying. Just toss it in the washer every now and then for a quick wash to prevent mildew and hang it to dry. I wash ours once a month with a load of towels. It's that easy.
Added bonus: I've noticed I don't have to clean the tub as often since we gave up the vinyl. That's a victory in itself.