Picture this: it's a regular weekday morning. You hop out of bed, step in the shower, turn on the faucet and WHOOSH! Your shower curtain attempts to murder you.
No, it's not quite that bad...but close enough. Your shower curtain blows inward, smothering you in plastic and pressing you into the cold tile wall.
If this has ever happened to you, you're not alone. In fact, the shower-curtain effect has confounded scientists for years. The reason your shower curtain wants to wrap you up in a cloak of death is much more complicated than anything in your bathroom ever should be.
One of the most popular theories explaining the shower-curtain effect is Bernoulli's principle. Bernoulli's principle states that as a fluid's velocity increases, pressure decreases. Fast-moving water flowing from the shower head creates a low-pressure area, and the higher-pressure air outside the shower presses the curtain against you in its endeavor for equilibrium.
But the leading theory behind the shower-curtain effect comes from UMass Amherst professor David Schmidt. Schmidt won an Ig Nobel Prize for his partial solution of the shower curtain problem. According to Schmidt, the shower's spray drives a vortex - much like a cyclone - that rotates around an axis perpendicular to the shower curtain. The low-pressure region at the center of this horizontal vortex pulls the shower curtain inward.
Yep, you create a tiny cyclone every time you shower. Let that sink in for a sec.
Now we come to the crux of the issue: how do we stop these clingy little buggers?
Dr. Schmidt advises that you sew weights in the bottom of your shower curtain liner. If you have a metal tub, take advantage of the liners with magnets to hold the shower curtain down. And don't be afraid to spend some money on your shower curtain liner. The cheapest liners are often the thinnest and lightest, leaving you susceptible to curtain cling. Curved shower rods also get the job done.
Don't suffer through your showers any longer. Create the shower space you wish to see in the world.