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estie | 05:16 Thu 18th Aug 2005 | Science
16 Answers

Why does my shower curtain fly inwards when I shower? And, more importantly, how can it be prevented?




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Not sure. Possibly due to the flow of water out of the shower making an area of low pressure within. I always wet the side of the bath and sick it to that....

i tied lead weights to the bottom, it didn't look as stupid as it sounds as i sort of tucked them into the hem bit down there.

You could just buy a better shower curtain, one of those heavy think ones

I moves towards you because all shower curtains are made from manmade plastic which just loves static electricity.

You can avoid it by:

  • wearing a rubber wetsuit whilst showering
  • smearing your body in goose grease
  • taking down the shower curtain
  • not showering
get a glass door, they look nicer too and not too expensive from b+q or argos!
Question Author

I've tried heavy curtains and various methods of sticking them down, with no luck so far. I like the idea of the wieghts... how did you do it?

I wish I could get a glass door, but I'm renting.

Any other ideas? I'd hate to have to smear myself with goose grease or give up showering!

Many years ago this was the subject of much correspondence in the Scientific American.  I recall that the most convincing explanation is that since there is a downflow of air within the enclosed space (the water drags the air with it) then the pressure will be less than that of the static air outside. It's all down to Bernoulli, see the link:

I suspect it's the same reason that teapot spouts dribble back against themselves  (unless it has a small hole through the material near the end); does anyone else have a thery on this??

Question Author

Just found this link. Seems to counter the Bernoulli argument.... thoughts?

How did you find that site???  Yes, it looks like it's a combination of effects, with the vortex dominating.  The only doubt which I have is that the shower shown is aimed down at quite a shallow angle - this would favour the formation of a vortex, but if (like me) you try to arrange the stream to be vertical from above your head, then I can't see how a vortex is likely to form.  Perhaps I won't have a bath tonight after all - I'll just have to arrange a smoke generator before bedtime!

Anyway, non of this solves your more importaant question - how to stop it.  Perhaps I will take bath, after all!.

Anyway, I am still convinced that the teapot effect is Bernoulli.  Has anyone else come across spouts with an equalisation hole through them?  I have to admit they are very rare.

Is still in shock that there has been professors wasting time on this subject!! lol aint there cures to diseases to be found.

I used those peg things with weights on u use for holding down table clothes on picnic tables on my shower curtain worked wonders.

A great site estie. It appears that he left himself standing in the shower out of the equation though, this would disrut the vortex....but with what result?
estie, you can buy a length of chain and sew it into the hem of the curtain.  My old shower curtains already had it in.
I used to get this before I fitted a shower cubicle.  To stop it I would first wet the sides of the bath with the shower and then open the shower curtain and "stick" it onto the bath.  It seemed to work better the tighter and smoother you could place it on the bath surface.
Your shower curtain sticks to you due to the pressure of the shower.  We bought a product called The Crescent Rod from and it works very well.
does anybody know where i can get a coloured shower curtain/or material to make one please? ideally silver grey or dark red coloured. thank you. [email protected]

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