One of the best ways to save money and be frugal is to find ways to reuse things that can no longer be used for their intended purpose. I’ve gotten pretty good at this over the years, finding uses for jars, spare parts, newspaper, old clothes and many more items that most people just throw away. The other day I needed to replace my shower curtain liner. I hated to just throw it away if I could figure out some other way to use it for a little longer, so I gave it some thought and came up with twelve ways I could reuse the liner.
Wash it and rehang it: Many people don’t realize that a vinyl liner can be washed. If unattractive mold is your only problem, just put it in the washing machine with a little bleach to get the mold off. Don’t put it in the dryer. You can probably do this two or three times before you need to replace the liner.
Use it as a tablecloth: We camp a lot and the picnic tables at the campgrounds are usually pretty dirty. Rather than invest in a special tablecloth, I can use the liner as a tablecloth. It’s water proof, easy to wipe messes off of, and I don’t care if it gets dirty or damaged while we’re camping. I can also put it under the tent or screen room to keep moisture out.
Use it under a blanket for an outdoor picnic: Nothing ruins a picnic more than spreading out your blanket and sitting down on it, only to discover moisture seeping through and onto your rear end. Put the liner under the blanket and your moisture problem is solved. This use also works when gardening or weeding. It gives you a place to keel or sit out of the damp dirt.
Keep it for use as an emergency tarp: We live in hurricane country so damaging storms are always a possibility. We keep tarps in case we need to cover a damaged roof, but a shower curtain liner makes a good spare. It’s waterproof and fairly durable. It also works to cover the grill in winter, or the woodpile.
Give it to the kids for a tent: Hang an old liner over a low tree branch, stake it out so it’s stable, and presto: Your kids have a pup tent to play in.
Use it as a protective floor cover in the garage: When we change the oil in the cars or do other maintenance, invariably oil or some other liquid leaks onto the floor. Putting the liner under the car will keep any liquids from staining the floor. Also, if you have a car that leaks regularly, put the liner where you park to protect the garage floor.
Use it for craft time: When the kids want to paint, glue, or do other messy projects, spread the old liner on the table or floor to contain messes. Any spills, marks, or messes are on the liner, not your table or carpet.
Make it into a bag: If you need a waterproof beach tote or shopping bag, cut and sew your old liner into a bag. No need to worry about sand, leaky sunscreen, or liquids from your groceries messing up a nicer bag.
Use it as a seat cover when hauling the dog: Sometimes when we take the dog to the vet, she barfs from nerves. I have used trash bags for barf containment, but a liner will cover the whole seat at once and can be tucked in and secured better than a bag.
A trunk liner I haul a lot of soil, fertilizer and other messy things in my trunk during gardening season. Lining the bottom of my trunk with the old shower curtain means no more messes in my trunk.
Cheap entryway protector: We’re in the rainy/icy/snowy season so putting the old liner by the door gives people a place to take off muddy boots and shoes before tromping through the house.
A mattress cover: If you’re toilet training the kids, if someone is sick, or if an older person has nighttime wetting issues, a vinyl liner can be used as a protective mattress cover. Put it underneath the fitted sheet and, if necessary, secure it in place with safety pins.
You can probably come up with more ideas. A shower curtain liner is waterproof and durable which makes it a very useful object, once it’s days lining your shower are done. Don’t just toss it in the landfill. Save yourself some money and find another use for it before you toss it.