Magnets keep the shower curtain from groping you


We guess we’re glad to hear that other also suffer from the phantom shower curtain liner. On occasion the shower curtain will start closing in on us around the bottom of the shower. We’re not certain of the phenomenon that causes it. Perhaps it’s static electricity like when a comb repels a stream of water. It could be an issue with rising air though… who know. But [Sk84life0129] has had enough of it. He figured out a magnet-based solution to stop the shower curtain from groping him.

You can buy curtain liners that have magnets in the bottom of them to help prevent this. But this is an acrylic tub — not one that’s porcelain-coated cast iron like they used to be — so that’s not going to do any good. Instead, a pair of magnets from an old hard drive were glued to the shower surround. A couple of galvanized bolts had their heads sawn off, and were sewn into pockets in the shower curtain. These hold it taught while you scrub your body, preventing it from reaching out for a close encounter.

[via Reddit]


  1. mrbubl3s says:

    Truly genius, I can tell now that this generation of people will make the world a better place.

    • sagacious_madspark says:

      I am fairly certain that the phantom curtain is caused by the venturi effect, with a vacuum generated in the shower from the water flowing down the drain.

      • Matt says:

        Actually no-one is truely sure what creates the effect. The venturi is one possibility, but so are the coanda effect (boundary layer attachment caused by the downward movement of water/air, the buoyancy theory (in that as hot air rises up out of the top of the shower cooler air comes in the bottom to replace it [this is my favoured theory), or a complex theory involving a horizontal vortex created by the shower head.

        • Willy Doyle says:

          I’m pretty sure it’s the buoyancy theory; I can feel the cooler air moving in and of course see the warm foggy air leaving at the top. But it should be easy to test which of those ideas it is; simply run the shower with cold water, with the drain shut, and with hot water and see which one does it.

        • MakerDino says:

          I think it’s convection currents from the warm air in the shower rising up pulling the cool air in from the outside.

          • defaultex says:

            I suspect it’s a combination of effects.
            – Static charge generated by steadily flowing water.
            – Convection from the temperature differential inside and outside of the shower area.
            – Air being dragged along by the water pulling the curtain towards it.

          • Whatnot says:

            “Static charge generated by steadily flowing water.”

            I think you just disqualified yourself as theoretician..

          • Nick Short says:


            I think he may be more of a theoretician than you:


          • kevin says:

            This. And fixing it is as simple as installing a second shower curtain that hangs outside the tub.

          • sploittastic says:

            I agree with MakerDino. It’s the same effect as a radiator heater where the hot air rises and pulls cool air from below it through the radiator which heats and repeats the cycle. The air in the shower heated by the hot water passing through it rises and creates a low pressure effect in the bottom which pulls cold air from between the curtain and tub basin.

        • Justin says:

          what enters the shower space is water. what leaves is water mixed with air – if you would be able to look at a transparent drain you’d see large pockets of air being pushed out with the flow of water. So air is drawn in.

          • captcouillon says:

            @Whatnot… While Occam’s Razor would favour simple convection, “static charge generated by flowing water” could still be a theory. ( Kelvin Generator)

        • Cold_Turkey says:

          I don’t know what crazy behavior patterns that your shower curtains show but with mine it is quite simply the fact that hot air rises out the top so cold air tries to come in from the bottom and replace it. This is made painfully obvious by the curtain sweeping in from the bottom up and a nasty cold rush of air following it. I accept that there may be more reasons than this and i expect they are rare! Venturi and coanda effect?!? yeah i expect these to be mentioned and explored but first? before considering that hot air rises?? Come on guys!! Be realistic!!

      • Alex Rossie says:

        All of the above?

      • kiwiwni says:

        The trickle of water flowing down the drain is nowhere near enough to “create a vacuum”.

        Think about it.

      • Justin says:

        what enters the shower space is water. what leaves is water mixed with air – if you would be able to look at a transparent drain you’d see large pockets of air being pushed out with the flow of water. So air is drawn in to maintain net effect.

        • barry99705 says:

          Pretty sure air takes the path of least resistance, which will be that big ass space above the curtain. Also, there’s really not that much air leaving by way of the drain. Hot air rises, which pulls in cooler air at the bottom. Try this next time if you have a clingy curtain. Leave about 6 to 8 inches open at the back side. It won’t cling.

    • willaim says:

      Yes make the a world a better place just like this current generation already has!`

  2. shower creeper says:

    I approve of this. Though those magnets are so powerful that they will chip or shatter by striking force if not coated in something softish. Thick shrink tubing would work nicely.

  3. ITFloater says:

    Easier Solution.. use two curtains, one on the outside one on the inside… you keep water from getting out and the cool air outside of the shower from rushing in and the curtain “groping you”

  4. Koldfuzion says:

    I love this website, but seriously reddit links? This was on the /r/DIY frontpage about 2 days ago.

  5. drj113Doug says:

    I often wondered what caused the movement – I suspect that it is air currents caused by the moving water. Turn the water off and the phantom dies…. Is anybody prepared to do the actual research to see what the actual cause is?

  6. Matt says:

    Nice idea, but I cant help thinking that the galvenised bolts will eventually start to rust especially as they were cut, and will streak the curtain. Plastic suckers sewn onto the curtain might provide a cleaner solution, and would also have allowed attachment to the bath.

  7. vonskippy says:

    Wow, adding magnets to a shower curtain – how hacker-like.

    What’s next, how to make doilies that stick to the bottom of your flower vases?

    More focus on QUALITY less on QUANTITY – ok?

  8. Kaaaaaang says:

    And this kids, Is the first time trollscience helped the world after millions of atempts.

  9. Willy Doyle says:

    I’ve always found it sufficient to wet the side of the tub and let the water hold the curtains in place.

  10. Angry Showerer says:

    Man they have had magnets in the bottom of shower curtains for years, WTF is this on my HAD for -_-

    • edonovan says:

      They did state that in the article and pointed out most showers are not metal. I’m not sure I would call adding metal for a magnet to stick to a hack more than I would call it common sense.

      I hope tomorrow I get to see the hack about the rod that keeps curtains from falling to the floor.

  11. berk says:

    i am aware of this ‘curling’ issue of my shower curtain. for me, the solution is using water as an adhesive. if the tiles are wet, the curtain will simply adhere to them. save your magnets for your time machine

  12. fartface says:

    Wow… really? HAD is swirling the drain. Tomorrow, HAD discovers that putting bread into a toaster will give you TOAST! Witness this AMAZING discovery!

  13. Thopter says:

    First people complain that there aren’t enough real hacks on this site, now they’re complaining that hacks that are posted aren’t of high enough “quality”. They’re never pleased, are they?

    • vonskippy says:

      It’s called “QA” – google it.

    • Dissy says:

      Haters gotta hate (and post their hate so everyone knows they hate it)
      It’s called trolling, and yes HaD is completely overrun with it.

      A reasonable person can tell a story would not interest them and simply not click it, let alone read it and post about it.

      • vonskippy says:

        Dissy – let me guess, you’re on some Public School’s School Board right? Championing the mediocre isn’t just a hobby for you, it’s your profession and your calling.

        Haters got to hate is the dumbest meme on the internet. How easy (and valueless) to call anyone that disagrees with you a “hater”.

        Personally, I’d rather stand up for the best of the best, which magnets on a shower curtain for fucks sake, is NOT.

        Feedback, as any engineer knows, is how a system is monitored, managed, and improved. Only a complete moron thinks that feedback (even negative feedback) is a bad thing.

        I enjoy the discussion threads on HAD even when I think the original article is weak. Discussions, good and bad, are how things are figured out.

        • Dissy says:

          Yes because “What’s this doing here? HaD sucks!” is extremely useful feedback to the author *Rolls Eyes*

          The very fact you think empty insults (directed at a person who likely didn’t even submit this posting to the site) and name calling is positive criticism, combined with your own childish name calling, only goes to prove my point.

          If you actually had any positive criticism to post, then by all means do so. But simply claiming something sucks in the comment section instead of the site feedback (where it will, you know, actually get to the editors who posted the thing) is not useful to anyone, including yourself if you don’t wish to see such stuff posted.

          • aliveoneee says:

            k… here’s the positive version… I would be SOOOO HAPPY if I could go back in time and slap whichever HaD writer in the face right before they hit post. The fact that you think negative comments provide no valuable feedback tells me you have a LOT of growing up to do.

        • willaim says:

          FFS i wish people like you would go to FACEBOOK and post your fugly photos on Instagram where you belong was having fun reading the comments which I suspect is half the reason HaD chooses these stories, do everyone a favor and take your hate to your OWN HACK site oh wait whats the address again?

  14. MakerDino says:

    OK I’m hi-jacking this thread…

    I submitted this one last week about non-Newtonian fluids but it never got posted.

    This is science.

  15. donhamilton says:

    Professor Google knows all.

    For years…….

    • robomonkey says:

      rats, you beat me to it. Bernoulli Effect. But I learned about it years before Professor Google. In College Physics. Now I feel old as I’ve acquired knowledge prior to the ability to just “Google” it.

  16. Jehu says:

    I’m just surprised about the spelling mistakes. “Who know”?

  17. n0lkk says:

    I had to laugh when I read “hold it taught”, only because I recently used “taught” in a similar context recently, and knew it wasn’t right and the word I needed wouldn’t come to mind. In the end I *taught* myself, *taut* is the word to use to convey making something tight.

  18. Hirudinea says:

    What’s with all the hate, it’s Christmas, just be glad they didn’t just put up “Go eat some fucking turkey!”

  19. M4CGYV3R says:

    OMG This is genius! It’s too bad they haven’t already manufactured and sold shower curtains like this for decades!

    Oh wait…

  20. echodelta says:

    Those magnets sold in shower curtains are pure BS. They haven’t the strength, hard drive magnets do!
    Typical damage from water getting out of the shower and soaking the floor etc runs into thousands of dollars to fix, renters are gouged for bad design. Why is the rim of a tub flat? To let water run off of it and onto the floor. I use a second spring loaded shower curtain rod to hold the curtain wall to wall at the bottom, in addition to wetting it first. Cling and all the water damage problems gone. The curtain is clear ( the room is private) it is a liner because no one makes clear. Redundant decorator curtains are something that the fashionistas have forced on us, darkness in the shower.

    • willaim says:

      haha I put in a shower light because of that but good idea though I on the other hand would probably trip over the bottom rod and knock all my teeth out. I too have often wondered why there wasn’t a ridge along the front edge to drain the water back in the tub.

      • signal7 says:

        Any piece of PVC based molding (moulding?) from the hardware store would work. All you need is a caulking gun and problem solved. I did this in the last place I rented, but rather than have an issue with a ridge running the length of the tub, I was just interested in preventing it at the edge of the curtain. Cut up a Big Lots cutting board to make a triangular shield and just caulked it in place. Yeah – I know I could probably have bought one off the shelf, but these things just aren’t common in my area for some reason.

  21. Digital says:

    My solution to this problem was to not get my shower curtain at the dollar store. For about 10 bucks you can get a heavy duty vinyl one from Walmart that will not grope you!

  22. cplamb says:

    The same solution used for window curtains works for shower curtains as well. Attach weights to the bottom of the curtain. I’ve found this prevents mischievous elves from wrapping the curtain around one’s legs whilst showing. I guess the elves aren’t very strong or perhaps just lazy.

  23. MrX says:

    Of course is ascending air. The water vapour and heated up air from the shower is lighter than air, making it ascend. Because you won’t create vacuum in the shower, air from the bottom must fill the gap. The air flow does pull the curtains near you.

  24. Mime says:

    Comrades… Only a place like this, with people like us, would a topic like this be debated to intensely. I love it!

  25. Salokcin says:

    Everyone is wrong. The curtain only gropes you if you pee in the shower, duh. It’s a natural defense mechanism of the shower [curtain].

  26. Brian Catlin says:
  27. madwelder says:

    The curtain where I live now was a hussy, wrapping around anybody who jumped into the shower, until I installed a curtain rod that bowed outward just a few inches; it worked wonders.

    Rebuild the whole bathroom: The best setup I ever had was a bathroom with no curtain at all. The whole floor and walls were tiled and the shower head came out of one wall. It also held the toilet, sink, spin dryer, and a clothes line during wet weather. The best part is that for cleaning, you can hose the place down…just remember to put the toilet paper away first.

  28. Promethius326 says:

    So first I see a post about someone building a computer from the ground up then I see this post. I’m not saying they aren’t both valid and useful but they are on 2 completely different levels. HAD needs to figure out who their audience is and then post accordingly. Personally I don’t come here for the home improvement tips but if enough people really want that kind of thing, I can always go somewhere else.

    • willaim says:

      Personally I think there is room for both but if you can’t share then by all means please go elsewhere HackNMod comes to mind.

      • willaim says:

        It comes down to you can’t make 100% of the people happy 100% of the time But I for one am grateful that HaD is around. I enjoy reading about and trying some of the more high level stuff and I also enjoy reading the comments on some of the lower level stuff. I don’t know why some people bit… complain so much especially about a site that is totally free for the masses not to mention so light on ads..Just look at the competition HaD is light years ahead of all the rest. I say variety is the spice of life and welcome most every story even the vibrator one from weeks ago. Keep it up HaD the haters will still come back because lets face it where else are they going to go?? HAHA Happy Holidays :)

  29. thatdamnhippie says:

    For god sake people quit bitching. You sound like a bunch of whiny ass emo kids…do the world a favor and kill your self already.

  30. Aleks Clark says:

    it still happens with cold water…and the drain plug. Even 10-year old could figure out it’s the air current created by the rushing water (i.e. Bernoulli effect), cause you can freaking FEEL it on your face.

    And I bought some tiny neodynium magnets and superglued them to the shower, and inside the curtain seam. they’re strong enough to auto-align despite the small size, and are pretty much invisible.

  31. ehrichweiss says:

    Don’t they already sell curtains with magnets? We’ve had a set in our bathroom for 15 years. I wouldn’t think this would be worthy of H-A-D if you could find it in a department store.

  32. matt says:

    is this really a hack? its along the same lines as using duct tape or zip ties.

  33. Jamie says:

    Wouldn’t it just be easier to add weight to the bottom of the curtain. Such as with the ones with magnets already built in. Just add an extra magnet there adding more weight. Would look better and work just as well.

  34. Josh says:

    Are there still people who struggle with this annoying problem? I have fixed it in a far easier fashion than anything else. E mail for info.

    • Sharron says:

      I would love to know the answer to this problem. I have bought heavy weight shower curtains with magnets and it doesn’t work. I never thought about the tub being fiberglass and the magnets not working on that. Duh. But if there is another solution, please let me know.

  35. Sharron says:

    This may be a repost – sorry. Josh, if you really have an answer, I would love to hear it. I have tried the magnetic liner and it doesn’t work (now I realize it is because I have a fiberglass tub, duh).

  36. Rod says:

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