A shower head is one of the most important parts of your bathroom, and keeping it clean is essential for maintaining good water flow and ensuring a relaxing shower experience. Learning how to clean a shower head is quite simple, and with the right materials and techniques, you can keep it looking and functioning like new. This guide will discuss various methods for cleaning a shower head, from simple shower head soaks to deep cleaning solutions for removing mineral deposits.
How to Clean a Shower Head: The Basic Steps
To clean a shower head, you will need the following items:
– Plastic bag
– Distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
– Rubber band
– Old toothbrush
– Microfiber cloth
– Needle nose pliers (optional)
Prepare the Shower Head for Cleaning
Before you can begin the cleaning process, you need to prepare the shower head. Start by turning off the water supply to the shower, either by turning off the main water valve or the local valve located near the shower. Next, remove the shower head from the shower arm if it’s a handheld model or if it’s easily removable. Some shower heads may need to remain attached to the shower arm, in which case you will need to modify the cleaning methods mentioned below.
The Vinegar Soak Method
One of the most effective ways to clean a shower head is by using a vinegar soak. This can help dissolve and remove mineral buildup, soap scum, and other debris that can accumulate on the shower head over time.
1. Fill a plastic bag with enough distilled white vinegar to fully submerge the showerhead. If you prefer, you can also use apple cider vinegar.
2. Place the shower head inside the vinegar-filled bag, making sure it’s completely submerged. If the shower head isn’t removable, use a rubber band to secure the bag around the shower arm, with the shower head soaking inside.
3. Let the shower head soak for a few hours, or for particularly stubborn buildup, leave it overnight.
4. After soaking, remove the shower head from the vinegar-filled bag, and gently scrub it with an old toothbrush to remove any remaining debris. For shower heads with flexible rubber nozzles, you can also gently push the nozzles back and forth to help dislodge any buildup.
5. Rinse the shower head thoroughly with hot water to remove any loose debris and diluted vinegar.
6. If your shower head has a filter screen, use needle nose pliers to remove the screen and clean it separately. Gently scrub the screen with the toothbrush, then rinse with hot water.
7. Reattach the shower head to the shower arm, making sure it’s properly tightened. Turn the water supply back on and run the shower for a few minutes to ensure proper water flow.
Alternative Showerhead Cleaning Tips
While a vinegar soak is an effective method for cleaning a shower head, there are some alternative methods that can also be used.
1. Baking soda: Mix a small amount of baking soda with water to form a thick paste. Apply this paste to the shower head and let it sit for 15-30 minutes before gently scrubbing with an old toothbrush and rinsing with hot water.
2. Lemon juice: For a more natural cleaning solution, consider using lemon juice instead of vinegar. Soak a cloth in lemon juice and wrap it around the shower head, or similarly to the vinegar soak method, fill a bag with lemon juice and submerge the shower head. Allow it to soak for a few hours before rinsing and gently scrubbing.
3. Store-bought showerhead cleaners: There are various cleaning products specifically designed for shower head maintenance. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for these products.
Cleaning Nickel Coated Shower Heads
When cleaning nickel coated shower heads, it’s important to avoid harsh cleaners, such as undiluted vinegar or baking soda, as these can damage the finish. Instead, use diluted vinegar or a mild cleaning solution to thoroughly clean the shower head. Always rinse the shower head with water after using any cleaning solution and buff it dry with a microfiber cloth to prevent water spots.
Maintaining a Clean Shower Head
Regular cleaning of your shower head is essential for keeping it free from mineral deposits, soap scum, and other types of debris. It’s recommended to clean your shower head at least once every few months, or more often if you have hard water in your area. Pay attention to any changes in water flow or pressure, as this may be a sign that a thorough cleaning is needed. By following these tips, you can keep your shower head looking and functioning like new.