how do you clean a shower head

How Do You Clean A Showerhead?

You know we love our showers here at Complete Home Spa, but we don’t love cleaning our shower heads. That said, after doing tons of research we’ve found two methods that are simple and painless.

Why Your Shower Head Needs Cleaning

If you’re asking this question, then you are most likely getting fed up with the following problems:

  • Almost no water coming through
  • Scale and build-up are blocking the openings
  • It looks dirty and gross

All of the above are the result of build-up over time. Some of us have hard water coming out of our pipes and it leaves hard traces of lime and calcium deposits. For some, it’s simply debris that has gotten into the water main and getting stuck.

Whatever the case, you don’t need to suffer from a problematic shower as the solution is very simple.

Two Shower Head Cleaning Methods

#1: The Bag and Band Strategy

What you’ll need:

  • white vinegar
  • any bag (we use a Ziploc)
  • rubber band or zip ties
  • old toothbrush (optional)

What you’ll do:

Fill the bag with the white vinegar. There should be enough of the vinegar to cover the entirety of the showerhead. Now put the showerhead inside the bag and tie the bag securely with your rubber band or zip tie.

Photo credit: decoist.com

Leave it to soak for an hour or overnight depending on how much scale or gunk you have on your nozzle. The acidity of the vinegar will dissolve the hard and stubborn deposits that are plugging it up.

Later, when you remove it from the bag, you can give it some swipes with the toothbrush to make it look like new again. Turn on the water to flush out loosened debris.

Use this method if you don’t want to remove your showerhead from its arm. You may be just plain lazy or you may be a bit anxious if you can actually take it off and get it back especially if it’s the kind that needs a wrench to be removed.

#2: Dismantling and Soaking

What you’ll need:

  • container
  • white vinegar
  • toothpick
  • old toothbrush
  • wrench and rag (optional)
  • plumbing tape or Teflon tape

What you’ll do:

As the name implies, you’ll need to remove your showerhead from its arm. To do this, get a hold of the connecting nut and turn/twist it counterclockwise.

If it’s difficult to turn, use a wrench (not pliers!) to loosen the nut. The rag can be wrapped around shower neck to protect the finish from scratches and damage.

Once you’ve got your showerhead out,  soak it in vinegar in the container you’ve set aside. Make sure it is all covered in the vinegar.

Same principle as the first method applies. Soak it for 30 minutes or overnight depending on the severity of your blockage problem.

Photo credit: lawsplumbing.com

When the time is up, take your showerhead out. You can poke the holes with the toothpick or scrub more with your toothbrush to ensure a very thorough cleaning. Blast with water to drain away bits and pieces of gunk. Clean and dry with a microfiber cloth.

Finally, screw it back on. Run the Teflon tape counterclockwise around the threaded part of the wall pipe and put the head back in.

See Also: Top 5 High-Pressure Shower Heads

Video: See How It’s Done

We really like Melissa from Clean My Space. Here is a video that shows exactly how the first method is done.

How to Clean Your Shower Head! Easy Bathroom Cleaning Ideas (Clean My Space)

Will This Work for All Shower Heads?

But wait! You’re probably already wondering if our little tricks will work on any type. It doesn’t matter if you have a high-pressure showerhead or a rain shower head. What can get problematic is what it’s made of.

Soaking is fine if yours is made of any of the following materials:

  • chrome
  • stainless steel
  • other metal surfaces that are not any of the below

Watch out if yours have the following finish:

  • gold
  • brass
  • nickel

You can still use our vinegar method but it should be soaked no longer than 30 minutes. Any longer than this and you will ruin the finish.

Hope this helped!