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How to Clean Your Showerhead

How to Clean Your Showerhead

There are certain items around the home that it is easy to assume never need to be cleaned. A showerhead is often one of those fixtures used daily but rarely cleaned. After all, with water passing through the showerhead and nothing else coming into contact with the showerhead, it is easy to assume that the fixture will always remain clean.

While showerheads don't need the same type of continual cleaning that a bathroom floor or sink might need, they do need attention from time to time. In this guide, homeowners can discover why showerheads deserve their own time in the cleaning spotlight and practical tips for cleaning showerheads with ease. Readers can also discover signs that it's time to let a showerhead retire.

Why Showerheads Should Be Cleaned

While showerheads remain relatively clean on their own, over time, a few things can happen that necessitate cleaning.

For starters, for homeowners with water with a high mineral content, showerheads can begin to accumulate a build-up. This is particularly true for hard water, which is usually high in calcium and magnesium. With each use, a little more of the minerals from the water are left behind. These minerals can harden, clogging up the holes in a showerhead. Usually, a sign that a showerhead has this issue is when the water pressure from the showerhead seems to be slowly decreasing. As holes clog up with mineral build-up, water can no longer escape at the same pressure rate.

The second issue that might make cleaning a showerhead necessary is the growth of mold or mildew. In humid climates, the leftover water on a showerhead will not evaporate. Instead, the showerhead will remain damp between uses. This can allow for the rapid growth of mold and mildew. Usually, this issue is spotted visually. The showerhead will develop a dark color around the jet holes, and mold or mildew will be visibly present across the entire fixture head.

Cleaning showerheads helps solve all these problems. With a deep cleaning, a showerhead that has lost pressure or grown mold and mildew can be restored to like new.

Step-by-Step Guide for Deep Cleaning a Showerhead

When a showerhead has accumulated a large amount of mineral build-up, mold, or mildew, it is time to give the fixture a deep clean. Deep cleaning a showerhead is relatively simple and can be done using common household items.

First, gather the following supplies:

  • ¼ to ½ a cup of baking soda
  • 2-4 cups of white vinegar
  • A cup of water
  • A gallon-size freezer bag
  • A rubber band or zip tie
  • A wrench
  • A bucket
  • A toothbrush

With items gathered, the following step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of cleaning a showerhead:

  1. Place the gallon-size freezer bag into the bucket.
  2. With the bag open, pour in the baking soda.
  3. Slowly add the vinegar, pouring gently into the bag. The vinegar and baking soda will combine and foam, making it important to add the vinegar at a slow pace.
  4. Next, pour approximately one cup of water into the mixture. Adjust the levels of vinegar and water based on how large the showerhead that will be cleaned is. The showerhead will be placed in the bag, which will displace a lot of the liquid. For larger showerheads, use less mixture. For smaller showerheads, use more.
  5. If possible, remove the showerhead from the wall using a wrench. With the showerhead removed, place the showerhead into the vinegar, baking soda, and water mixture. Secure the bag into place using rubber bands or zip ties. If the showerhead is not easy to remove, lift the bag over the showerhead and secure it with ample rubber bands or zip ties to hold the bag in place. Lessen the amount of mixture in the bag if the bag is too heavy to be held up.
  6. Allow the showerhead to soak in the mixture for two to four hours. For particularly dirty showerheads, leave the fixture to soak overnight.
  7. Remove the bag from the showerhead and pour the mixture down t