How to Clean Shower Head (The Basic Method)

Although showers are meant to keep us clean and fresh, they demand the same treatment, too. Just because they deal with water all through the day, it doesn’t mean we can neglect them from cleaning. When you find your shower delivering just a trickle of water, it is a high indication that the shower head demands immediate attention.

Why is it important to clean the shower head?

If you are living in an area of hard water or if the water in your area is contaminated, then it is important to install a shower head. It helps to mitigate the contaminants and the mineral deposits in the water. The shower head treats the water, removes the contaminants, and offers soft water for bathing. But when the shower head’s opening and nozzles get blocked, it becomes the perfect place for the bacteria and the mold to grow. It may also stop treating hard water effectively. Thus, cleaning the shower head as frequently as required is important.

See also: Top 6 Benefits of a Good Shower Filter

Cleaning the shower head – the basic method

If the water from the showerhead flows in all directions and seems to be leaking and oozing out water rather than having a regular flow, it definitely needs cleansing. If you are living in an area with hard water, you should have shower head cleaning on your bucket list at least once a week. If you have been cleaning it like you would clean other utilities, here is the step-by-step process of procedurally cleaning the bathroom shower head.

  1. Scrubbing the nozzles of the head:

This is the first step in the showerhead cleaning process. This step helps to clear any occluded debris from the pores of the shower head. We can remove the debris by scrubbing it with a sponge. After the clear sponge, we hve to scrub it with baking soda and water paste. The abrasive quality of baking soda will clear the debris stuck with the showerhead’s exteriors. After scrubbing, running the shower on hot to wash off the baking soda paste is important.

  1. Soak the showerhead in vinegar solution:

Give the showerhead the vinegar treatment after scrubbing. Prepare a solution that comprises equal parts of water and vinegar, and pour the mixture into a plastic bag. Now, tie the plastic bag like a bib around the neck of the shower head. Make sure the holes of the head are immersed in the vinegar solution. Secure the bag with the shaft with the help of a rubber band. You can leave it to soak in vinegar for about 20 minutes to an hour. If your shower head is made of highly polished surfaces such as brass or oiled bronze, simply spray vinegar to avoid abrasion. You can also choose to replace vinegar with apple cider vinegar.

  1. Flush the shower head:

After soaking, remove the bag with vinegar solution and run the shower in hot water mode. This will help to flush out the minerals from the hard water that has been occluding the holes of the showerhead.

Cleaning the shower head professionally:

Though a simple wipe down and soaking the showerhead in vinegar solution helps remove the debris, it is still the basic way of cleaning the showerhead. If the shower head has not been cleaned for months and is severely clogged, we may have to indulge in a different way to clean it.

Also, for showerheads that are too big and will not fit in a zip-top bag to be soaked in vinegar solution, the most optimal way is to remove the entire showerhead and offer it a more thorough cleaning. First, we have to make use of an adjustable wrench to remove the showerhead from its base. In order to remove the loose debris around the shower head, we have to use a cloth across the surface and remove the sealing tape that might obstruct the threading at the internal side.

After removing the showerhead, we have to carefully inspect the flow restrictor that is present inside the showerhead. If there are any large pieces of debris, we have to remove them manually, with the help of nose pliers. We can also use a toothpick to remove any stubborn debris. But we have to make sure we don’t widen the holes in the head in the process.

The next step is to rinse the shower head completely, and the best way to do so is to place it in a bowl filled with vinegar solution. Make sure the head is completely submerged in the solution. We can even leave it for a day or an entire night to allow the vinegar to dissolve hard mineral buildup. It will also dislodge them from the head.

After removing the showerhead from the solution, we should ensure not to use abrasive cleaners, chemicals, or strong sponges to clear off the dirt. Doing so will only degrade the chrome finish of the shower head. The best way to scrub them is to use a soft bristle brush and a small quantity of baking soda and vinegar mixture to scrub off the stubborn spots.

See also: 15 Tips on How to Recover Water Damaged Items

Routine cleaning tips for shower heads:

The best way to maintain the showerhead and improve its shelf life is to clean it routinely. Do a weakly cleaning of the shower head. This can be done by spraying a solution of water or white vinegar on the shower head and wiping it off with a dry cloth. We can also try scrubbing the nozzles of the shower head with a mild toothbrush and running the shower in hot mode for a few minutes to flush out any debris.

One best way to control the quantum of mineral deposits and bacterial growth in the shower head is to install an exterior shower filter between the water line and the shower head. This prevents the minerals from occluding the minute pores in the shower head. We can also make use of the bathroom fan to remove humidity in the room instantly to remove mold and mildew growth.


  1. Is it a good idea to use bleach to clean the shower head?

No, it is not recommended to use bleach on shower heads, as it might damage the surface. Bleach will corrode nickel, brass, chrome, and other finishes on the shower head.

  1. How do I clean the rainfall shower head?

Rainfall shower heads are generally bigger, but still, we can clean them by removing them and dipping them in the vinegar-water solution.

  1. My shower head has rubber nozzles. Can I still clean them with vinegar?

Yes, you have to soak the shower head in vinegar and dislodge the build-up of debris by manipulating the rubber nozzle with the finger. You can follow this process by scrubbing it with a toothbrush and rinse it thoroughly.

See also: Best Shower Filter for Hard water

Bottom Line:

Using warm water and vinegar, with a bit of scrubbing, will help clean the mineral deposits off the shower head. It is also suggested to use mild cleaners that help to remove the soap deposits from the fixture. After cleaning the shower head, it is important to make sure that it is dried completely with a lint-free cloth before fixing it to restore its shine. If the nozzles are clogged beyond a certain extent, it is better to replace them rather than to clean them.

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Lara Herrington
With over 12 years of experience, she is a proficient content writer and editor specializing in a diverse range of subjects, including technology news, country news, arts, science, travel, and automobiles.


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