Although it may seem like shower heads should never get dirty, mineral deposits can build up on (and in) them over time. If not cleaned off periodically, these deposits make a shower head unsightly and can interfere with water flow. Here’s how to easily clean these deposits off.
- Gather supplies
- Apply white vinegar
- Remove from vinegar
- Test, detail touch-up if needed
You will need:
- distilled white vinegar
- a rubber band or other elastic tie
- a plastic bag without holes big enough to cover the shower head completely
- (optional) old toothbrush and/or toothpicks
- (optional) baking soda
The easiest way to clean your shower head is to clean it in place – you do not need to remove it.
Clean Your Shower Head Without Removing It
In most cases, there’s no need to remove a shower head before cleaning it. It can be sufficiently cleaned while still affixed to its pipe. (Additionally, some shower heads can’t easily be removed and, therefore, should be left in place.)
This cleaning process will involve soaking the shower head overnight so start the work at a time that the shower head will not be needed for many hours.
- Pour enough white vinegar into the plastic bag to completely cover the shower head when you put the bag over the shower head.
- Put the plastic bag over the shower head, and secure the bag in place with the rubber band/elastic.
- Leave the bag over the shower head overnight.
- The next morning, remove the plastic bag and turn on the shower head. Most of the deposits should already be gone.
- If desired, use the toothbrush and/or toothpick to remove any stubborn deposits.
You will have a shiny clean flowing-like-new shower head for your troubles.
Remove Your Shower Head for a Slightly More Thorough Cleaning
If you’d like to be a little more thorough, or if you simply don’t want to reach up to your shower head, you can try taking it down. With the water turned off, gently try to unscrew the shower head. If it doesn’t budge, it likely isn’t meant to come off and should be left in place. If it does give, you should be able to fully remove the shower head by unscrewing it with your hand.
Removing the shower head may give you access to both the inside and the outside of the head – depending on the design of the head. Why would you care? Because if you have large deposits blocking the holes, you may want to scrub both inside and outside with baking soda and vinegar to dislodge the blockages after doing the initial vinegar soak.
Once the shower head is off, it is time to clean it.
- Use a bucket or pot that’s large enough to hold the shower head. Add vinegar to cover the shower head.
- Soak the shower head overnight.
- After it soaks in vinegar, rinse with water and check for remaining deposits.
- Use an old toothbrush or toothpicks to dislodge remaining deposits.
- Optional – you may want to scrub with baking soda to remove deposits. Be sure to rinse thoroughly, first with vinegar, then water once you are done scrubbing. The baking soda may give you enough gentle abrasion to remove stubborn deposits.
- After your shower head is clean, screw it back in place.
Cleaning your shower head is a simple task that will keep it shiny and ensure water flows freely through it. If you’re disgusted by how your shower head looks or aren’t pleased with the way it sprays water, see what a difference a simple cleaning can make.
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