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How to Clean Shower Head: Descale Quickly and Easily

Taking a hot shower or bath at the end of a tiring day is an ultimate source of relaxation for many of us. But, how many times has the thought of cleaning a shower head passed our mind? Rarely. Unlike the idea of regularly cleaning the bathroom tiles, floor, shower glass and curtains, cleaning the shower head is pretty uncommon and is often overlooked. But don’t worry, you’re not the only one.

Cleaning a shower head

A shower head is one of those things that remain out-of-sight and hence out-of-mind. It is not necessary to regularly clean it however timely maintenance makes the shower head go a long way. We may neither touch the shower head nor expose it to dirt or mud, still, the shower head can get clogged by running water throughout time. Minerals from water, especially calcium and magnesium from hard water, build up in the shower head over time. Even with a new electric shower, this not only disrupts the water pressure and damages the look but also results in mildew and bacteria in the shower head.

If your shower head looks dingy or the water flow has lost its way to holes, it may be that your shower head is clogged and needs some care. Keep on reading to find out how you can maintain a luxurious shower head and enjoy your shower therapy!

What is the best way to clean fixed shower heads?

Pantry items are always full of surprises! Luckily, to clean your shower heads, there is no need to rush to the supermarket and buy expensive cleaning solutions. Distilled white vinegar, with its antioxidant and antibacterial properties, does not only meet your kitchen needs but also aids your cleaning actions. Here is how you can use vinegar to clean your fixed shower head:

Fill a plastic bag with vinegar solution

Grab a thickset plastic bag large enough to fit the showerhead completely. Fill the plastic bag partway with a mixture of equal parts of warm water and white malt vinegar.

Immerse the shower head in the solution

Fully submerge your showerhead in the plastic bag filled with solution and hang it to the shaft using a tight rubber band, duct tape, or string. Make sure to tie properly such that the bag cannot slip. Let the shower head soak in the solution for a few hours.

Scrub off the residue

Once the buildup softens, remove the plastic bag and run the shower to wash off the limescale. Use an old toothbrush or any smooth sponge for gently scrubbing any remaining residue while especially focusing on holes. Run water through the shower drain in flush until you no longer see mineral deposits. Give it a good rinse right after to remove the vinegar smell.

Buff with a soft cloth

To avoid water spots and give a shiny look, use a soft cloth to polish the surface of the showerhead. There you go; it will almost look like a just-installed one!

If the fixture is made of metal and has a tough limescale build-up, you may also simmer the shower head in vinegar on the stove for 15-20 minutes. Avoid using vinegar solution if the shower head is chrome, brass, or gold coated.

How to remove limescale from the handheld shower head?

If you have a detachable handheld showerhead, cleaning becomes easier for you. Here is how you can degunk your handheld shower with ease:

Detach the shower head

To detach the shower head from a hose, grab a wrench and wrap the connection with an old rag to avoid wearing off of metal. Carefully twist the connection and remove the water pipe.

Detach shower head for cleaning

Use a container

To completely immerse the shower head, grab a bucket or a plastic container of adequate size and fill it with enough white vinegar and water in equal parts.

Soak the shower head

Depending on the toughness of the limescale deposit, let the showerhead rest in the mixture from half an hour to overnight.

Scrub off the residue

Once you see the mineral deposits flaking off the surface, use an old toothbrush to give it a clean while especially focusing on nozzles. Once the residue is completely scraped off, run hot water to flush off internal deposits and rinse the head thoroughly using cold water to get rid of the vinegar smell.

Wipe off the shower head

Thoroughly wipe the exterior of shower head to make sure no water stains remain on the surface. Use a soft cloth to give it an edgy buff.

How do you clean a chrome shower head?

Vinegar is hailed for its natural properties and is considered eco-friendly against harmful chemicals. Although it is safer than cleaning products available commercially to get rid of the white buildup that plagues your showers and faucets, long exposure of vinegar with your chrome coated ware may damage their look. To protect chrome finishes, soak the showerhead in solution only for a few minutes or try any of the alternate methods provided below:

Using Lemon Juice

  • Take a bowl and fill it with half a cup of warm water. Cut and squeeze a lemon in the water bowl and mix well.
  • Remove any water spots or soap scums from the exterior of the chrome showerhead using a scrubbing brush.
  • Dip a sponge or toothbrush in a water-lemon mixture and gently clean the internal parts of the shower head cleaning through the holes.
  • Once all stains are removed and the white deposit is brushed off, rinse thoroughly.
  • To polish the exterior, dampen a soft cloth in essential oil and carefully buff your chrome shower head giving it a royal look with a pleasant fragrance.

How to descale a long clogged shower head?

If you have avoided cleaning showerhead for a long while or have shifted to a house where its cleaning has long been neglected, chances are your new shower head has a hard build-up of limescale deposits that can’t be removed easily by immersing in white vinegar for an hour. This can happen especially if you live in hard water areas.

Limescale on shower head

To remove stubborn limescale build-up and clean your shower head, add a few tablespoons of baking soda to the mixture of vinegar and water and let the shower head soak in the solution for a little longer. The abrasive properties of baking soda will flake off the tough limescale with minimal effort.

For best results, soak the shower head overnight in the cleaning solution and give it a deep clean. Avoid vinegar if your shower head is nickel, gold, or brass coated.

Tips to make your shower heads run a long way

  • Make a habit to clean your showerhead every once in a while to avoid losing its charm. Make a little effort to clean it every month if you live in hard water areas to maintain the flow
  • Thorough cleaning avoids mildews, germs, and harmful bacteria from building up in the shower head that may contaminate the water
  • Avoid using bleach, commercial products, and coarse brushes to treat shower head as harsh chemicals and abrasives may scratch or damage your ware’s finish
  • Install an inline shower head filter. It is an expensive yet long-term investment especially if you live in hard water areas, saving both your bathroom and body from toxic residues.

Now that you know how essential it is to clean a shower head, here is the time to practice what is learned and give your bathroom an elegantly cleaned look. Happy bathing!