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How to Clean a Showerhead (6 Easy Methods)

How to Clean a Showerhead (6 Easy Methods) - Proline Range Hoods

Have you ever had a clogged showerhead? Maybe it wasn’t completely clogged but it shot water in different directions? It can be frustrating and annoying.

Luckily, we have the perfect solution for how to clean a showerhead fast and easy. We’ll go over six methods that will fix your problem in no time.

We’ll start with one of our favorites: cleaning it out with apple cider vinegar!

How to Clean a Shower Head with Apple Cider Vinegar

Marble Shower and Stainless Shower Head - How to Clean a Showerhead

What You Need

  • One bottle of apple cider vinegar (You can find it in 16 ounce bottles or larger on Amazon)
  • Baking soda (optional)’
  • Twist tie or clip
  • Gallon plastic bag
  • Sink
  • Adjustable wrench

1. Remove the shower head.

Try removing it by hand by turning it counterclockwise. If it’s too tight, use a crescent wrench to remove it. Scroll down to our section on how to remove a shower head for more information.

2. Set it inside a gallon-sized plastic bag.

Depending on the size of your shower head, you might be able to fit it into a quart-sized bag. Make sure to use one that fits the entire thing.

3. Add about a quarter cup of baking soda into the bag. (optional)

This will help accelerate the cleaning process, but it’s not required. The baking soda reacts with the acidic vinegar to help break down the mineral buildup in your shower head.

4. Pour one part apple cider vinegar and one part water in the bag until the shower head is completely submerged.

Vinegar is acidic, so it’s important to dilute the solution. This will protect the finish on your shower head.

5. Seal the bag with a twist tie or clip.

6. Let the baking soda and vinegar break down calcium and water stains for 15 to 30 minutes.

If your shower head has a coating, don’t soak it for much longer than 30 minutes. Acidic vinegar may break down its finish.

7. Remove the shower head from the bag.

8. Rinse it under running water.

9. Dry and reattach it.

Use a microfiber cloth for the best results.

Discover the secret to a perfectly clean kitchen with our recommended degreasers.

How to Clean a Shower Head with Baking Soda

Small Shower

What You Need

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap (optional)
  • Twist tie or clip
  • Adjustable wrench

1. Remove the shower head.

2. Set it inside a plastic bag.

3. Add vinegar into the plastic bag, enough to cover the rubber nozzles.

You don’t need to submerge the entire nozzle. But you can do that for a more thorough clean.

4. Add about 1 to 2 tablespoons of baking soda.

If your showerhead is quite grimy, you might want to use more baking soda. It will help break down the tough mineral deposits.

5. Seal the bag with a twist tie or clip.

6. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.

7. Remove the shower head from the bag.

8. Rinse it under running water

9. Dry and reattach it.

Use a microfiber cloth for the best results.

How to Clean a Shower Head with Vinegar

Glass Shower with Fancy Lighting

What You Need

  • Vinegar
  • Plastic bag (quart or gallon-sized)
  • Twist tie or clip
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Water

1. Remove the shower head.

2. Set it in a plastic bag.

A quart sized bag usually works, but gallon bags are great for larger showerheads.

3. Fill the plastic bag with one part vinegar and one part water.

You don’t need to fully submerge the shower head – just make sure to submerge the rubber nozzles. That’s where calcium and other minerals can build up and harden.

We recommend diluting the vinegar so you don’t damage the finish.

4. Seal the bag with a twist tie or clip.

5. Let it sit for a couple of hours (no more than 30 minutes if your shower head has a finish).

Vinegar by itself takes a little time to tackle tough mineral deposits. But if you give it time, it will leave your shower head sparkling.

If it's coated with a finish like gold, nickel, or brass, you should let it sit for just 30 minutes. If it's left to soak for hours, the finish may get damaged. Diluting the solution will reduce the risk of damage.

6. Remove the shower head from the bag.

Remove it away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. The vinegar smell will be quite strong.

7. Rinse it under running water.

8. Dry and reattach it.

Use a microfiber cloth for the best results.

How to Clean a Shower Head with Bleach

White Bathroom with Glass Shower

It is not recommended to clean a shower head with bleach. Using bleach to clean showerheads accelerates the production of bacteria, according to a CU Boulder study. The bacteria found in showerheads is resistant to chlorine-based cleaners like bleach. This allows it to grow quickly, which can be hazardous to your health. Most bacteria in showers is harmless, but some lead to lung disease.

Bleach can damage shower heads with chrome, nickel, brass, or other finishes. It also stains clothes and is unsafe to use around children. So, to keep your shower head clean and bacteria-free, use a safer solution like vinegar, baking soda, or CLR.

How to Clean a Shower Head with CLR

What You Need

  • CLR
  • Water
  • A bowl
  • Adjustable wrench

1. Remove the shower head.

2. Fill a bowl with half water and half CLR (find it on Amazon here)

In most cases, a CLR and water solution will work great. CLR is a strong cleaning solution so it’s important to dilute it before cleaning. This will make it less abrasive.

3. Submerge the shower head in CLR solution.

4. Let it sit for two minutes. Don’t let it sit for more than five minutes.

Since CLR is an acidic cleaner, it can break down the finish on your shower head. If it's coated with chrome, gold, nickel, brass, or another finish, do not soak it in CLR for over five minutes. Two minutes is ideal.

5. Remove the shower head from the CLR solution.

6. Rinse it really well under running water.

7. Repeat steps 4-6 if you still need to break down hard mineral deposits.

How to Clean a Shower Head Without Removing It

Shower with Plants on the Wall

What You Need

  • Quart-sized or gallon plastic bag
  • Rubber bands
  • Vinegar or CLR
  • Water
  • Electrical tape or plumbers tape

1. Partially fill the plastic bag with 1 part vinegar and water or 1 part CLR and water (50/50 ratio).

2. Lift the bag to submerge the shower head in the cleaning solution.

We recommend diluting both the CLR and vinegar. Both of these compounds are quite acidic, and CLR is especially potent. Add more vinegar or CLR & water until it is fully submerged.

It’s best to put a little less in the bag, so you don’t risk it overflowing when you put the bag over your shower head.

3. Seal the end of the bag with a rubber band.

Wrap the rubber band around the shower arm so that the bag of vinegar or CLR solution can sit on its own. Electrical tape or plumbers tape works well too.

4. If you’re using CLR, let the solution sit for 2 minutes. If you’re using vinegar, let the solution sit for no more than 30 minutes.

Vinegar and CLR are acidic cleaners, so they can damage nickel, chrome, brass, or other finishes. The more you dilute the cleaner, the less risk you have of damaging the finish.

If you want to soak your shower head for a few hours, dilute the vinegar with 50% water. That will neutralize some of the acid making the vinegar more finish-friendly.

If the hard water stains are not dissolving, you can rinse it with water and repeat this process. But proceed with caution. Consult your manufacturer on the best way to clean your shower head if you’re in doubt.

5. Rinse the shower head under running water.

6. Dry it with a towel and reattach it.

How to Remove a Shower Head

Shower with Running Water

To remove a shower head, first try unscrewing it counterclockwise by hand. Hold the shower arm with one hand and untwist the head with the other. If you can’t loosen it, use a crescent wrench or adjustable wrench. Just set it to the appropriate width, secure it to the shower nozzle, and twist counterclockwise.

Wrap some electrical tape around the jaws of the wrench before removing it. This will protect the finish from damage.

Most shower heads will loosen counter clockwise, but you might have to turn some clockwise.

In some cases, it might be really stuck thanks to heavy rust buildup. Then, grab a second crescent wrench or channel lock and secure it to the shower arm. Once that wrench is secure, loosen the shower head with your other wrench.

If you need more torque, try a wrench with a longer handle.

Check out the video below to see how it’s done.

https://youtu.be/vkdnGf5XYWI

How to Clean Shower Head Rubber Nozzles

What You Need

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Old toothbrush or scrubby sponge
  • Quart-sized or gallon plastic bag

1. Remove the shower head.

2. Fill the plastic bag with one part vinegar and one part water.

3. Submerge it in vinegar and water.

4. Let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes.

Vinegar is acidic, so be careful about soaking it for over 30 minutes. It may damage the nickel, brass, gold, or other finishes.

5. Remove it from the bag.

6. Use the old toothbrush or sponge to scrub the nozzles.

A toothbrush is great to get in between the rubber nozzles and scrub the hard-to-reach places.

7. Rinse the shower head under running water and reattach it.

What is the best way to clean a shower head?

Beige Bathroom with Brass Showerhead

The best way to clean a shower head is to use vinegar and a quart-sized bag. Just fill the bag with one part vinegar and one part water, enough to submerge it. Seal the bag to the shower arm using electrical tape or a rubber band. Then, let it sit for a few hours. If your shower nozzle has a finish like chrome or nickel, don’t soak it for more than 30 minutes. The finish may get damaged. Once it’s done soaking, rinse it, dry it with a towel, and reattach it.

How do you remove limescale from a shower head?

White vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or CLR are great cleaning solutions to remove limescale from your shower head. For more stain-cutting power, you can add a couple of tablespoons of baking soda to the vinegar. Avoid bleach and other abrasive, toxic cleaners.

How long do you soak a shower head in vinegar?

Soak a shower head in vinegar for about 30 minutes. Otherwise it may damage the outer finish. If you want to soak it for longer, you can dilute the vinegar with water. A 50/50 vinegar and water solution is great to soak your shower head for a couple hours. Take a closer look at the manufacturer’s instructions to determine how long to soak it in vinegar.

How do you clean a shower head without vinegar?

You can use one part CLR and one part water to clean your shower head as well. If you don’t have white vinegar, apple cider vinegar works too.

  1. Remove the shower head.
  2. Fill a bag partially with CLR or apple cider vinegar solution.
  3. Seal the bag with a rubber band or electrical tape.
  4. Let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the bag and rinse it under running water.
  6. Dry it with a microfiber cloth.
  7. Reattach the shower head.

Can you use bleach to clean a shower head?

Do not use bleach to clean a shower head. A CU Boulder study showed that bacteria found in showers is resistant to chlorine-based cleaners like bleach. So bacteria is more likely to grow in your shower if you clean with bleach than if you use other types od cleaners. It’s also dangerous and toxic; there are plenty of safer alternatives such as white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or CLR.

We hope you enjoyed our six methods for cleaning your shower head. Vinegar is typically the safest and easiest solution, while you should avoid bleach and other abrasive cleaners. If you can’t remove your shower head, don’t worry. Just put your cleaning solution in a plastic bag and let it soak for 15 to 30 minutes.

If you found this article helpful, you might like our other cleaning articles below.

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