You count on your shower head to get your body thoroughly clean, from head to toe. But is the shower head itself clean, though? There’s a good chance that it’s not. Showerhead handles, jets, and nozzles can develop mineral, limescale, and mould build-up, and they may harbour bacteria as well.
Your bathroom should be the cleanest room in your home, since that’s where we wash. So today, we’ll take you through the proper process of cleaning your shower head, to keep you – and your shower head- spic and span.
Shower Heads and Limescale
Hard water leaves behind mineral deposits called limescale. You may notice white build-up near the spray holes in your shower head. There may also be additional limescale deposits inside the shower head itself that you can’t see.
Even if you live in a soft water area, your rubber shower nozzles will still develop a layer of black mould and gunk if you don’t keep it clean.
Limescale can affect how well your shower head functions. As the nozzle holes become caked with deposits, less powerful water jet sprays out. Reduced water pressure can dampen your enjoyment of a morning shower.
The buildup may also redirect the flow of water. Some of the holes may spray water at odd angles. Tiny streams may shoot off to the side instead of down on your head.
Shower Head Germs
It’s also possible that bacteria are hanging out inside your shower head. The dark, damp interior of this fixture provides an ideal environment for bacteria to flourish. A family of germs known as mycobacteria is especially likely to take up residence in your showerhead.
Mycobacteria have the potential to cause lung infections. Just because they’re in your shower head doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll make you sick, but why risk it? Cleaning your shower nozzle regularly could provide an extra layer of protection for your family.
How to Clean a Removable Shower Head
The easiest way to clean a shower head is to take it down from the wall before beginning the descaling process. With a little unscrewing action, you may have the fixture off the wall in no time. If it doesn’t come loose easily, use a wrench to help with the job. Be sure to keep track of any small parts, such as washers, since you’ll need them during reassembly.
You can use this cleaning method for handheld showerheads with long hoses, too.
1. Perform an initial cleaning.
After taking down your shower head, use another fixture to spray the holes with water. Use an old toothbrush or a soft scrub brush to loosen limescale deposits.
2. Select a container.
For this process, you’ll need a plastic container that’s big enough to fully fit the shower head. If possible, choose one that’s quite similar in size to the fixture so that you don’t waste vinegar.
3. Do a vinegar soak.
Grab a jug of white vinegar, and start filling the container with it. Use enough to fully submerge the shower head. Sprinkle a few scoops of baking soda into the vinegar, and stir it to combine.
Then, set the shower head in the container. Leave it there for at least half an hour. For best results, let it soak overnight.
4. Rinse the shower head.
When you take the showerhead out of the container, use a stream of clear water to rinse away the vinegar and any loosened limescale debris. Let the water run into the spray holes so that it can rinse away any debris that’s hiding inside.
5. Scrub away remaining residue.
It’s time to use the old toothbrush again. With it, scrub at any remaining scale deposits. You can also use toothpicks to poke or prod at stubborn spots — especially ones that are blocking spray nozzles.
6. Remount the shower head.
Once your cleaning process is complete, put the shower head back where it belongs. Don’t forget to include any small pieces that you’d set off to the side while you were cleaning!
How to Clean a Mounted Shower Head
Cleaning your shower head doesn’t have to mean removing it from the wall. Yours might not come off easily, or you may worry about damaging the finish. Whatever your reason for leaving the shower head in place, the following steps will walk you through the cleaning process.
1. Prepare a bag.
Instead of bringing your shower head to a container, you can bring a container to the shower head. A resealable storage baggie or another sturdy plastic bag will be your best bet. Choose one that’s big enough to fit the entire shower head.
Fill the bag with enough vinegar to cover the shower head. Lift it to the fixture and slide the head inside.
2. Secure the bag around the shower head.
Use rubber bands, strong tape, cable ties or another method to securely attach the top of the bag to the neck of the shower head.
With rubber bands, it will probably work best to wrap them around the shower head several times before positioning the bag. Then all you’ll have to do is tuck the top of the baggie underneath the snug loops.
Keep the bag in place for 15 to 60 minutes.
3. Rinse the shower head.
At the end of the soaking time, remove the baggie. Turn on the shower, and let a steady stream of water run for a minute or so to flush out any debris. Use an old toothbrush or a cleaning rag to wipe away any loose bits of limescale, and rinse the shower head one more time.
Repeat your cleaning process once every 2 – 3 months to keep your shower head looking fresh.