How to clean a showerhead

How to clean a showerhead, according to an expert

Of all the things you clean in your bathroom, your showerhead may not automatically be at the top of the list — after all, you never touch it, and it’s supposed to clean you. But it’s important to regularly clean your shower head because the constant warm, moist environment can lead to mildew or bacteria growth. If you live in a place with hard water, you can also get mineral build-up that clogs up your shower head, which can affect your water pressure, and no one enjoys showering when the water is barely trickling out.

Fortunately, cleaning a showerhead is relatively easy and doesn’t require any complicated products — you probably have several of them at home already. Ahead, find how to clean this often neglected shower part from a home expert’s advice. You can get the job done with a variety of different substances. Whether you prefer vinegar, baking soda, soap, cola, or bleach, get ready to have a bright and shiny showerhead.

How to clean a showerhead with vinegar

One simple and effective way to clean your showerhead involves using an ingredient you can find in your kitchen: vinegar. It’s acidic enough to break down anything that’s clogging up the shower head but is not toxic if you breathe it in or get it on your body.

Kristiana Laugen, a Home Expert at Handy, says you can simply remove the showerhead and soak it in equal parts water and distilled white vinegar. Let the showerhead sit for a few hours to give the vinegar a chance to break down any dirt or grime.

If you have a showerhead that can’t be detached, fill a bag with equal parts water and distilled vinegar and tie it tight around the showerhead with a rubber band or string.

Once you remove it from the vinegar, Laugen recommends using a small brush or microfiber cloth to wipe away any residue and let the water run for a few minutes to flush out any remaining vinegar or debris.

How long should you soak a showerhead in vinegar?

The amount of time to soak a shower head in vinegar will depend on how clogged it is. Laugen says if it’s only slightly clogged, you can soak it for about 1-2 hours. If your showerhead is dirtier or you haven’t cleaned it in a while, you’ll want to soak it in vinegar for about 3-4 hours.

If your showerhead could use a deep clean (i.e., you can’t remember if or when the last time you cleaned your showerhead was), baking soda can kick it up a notch. Laugen says to take a large sealable plastic bag and mix one cup of distilled white vinegar with ⅓ cup of baking soda. Quickly place the showerhead in the bag and make sure it’s fully covered before tightly sealing the bag, using a rubber band if needed. Let the showerhead soak for at least 4-5 hours and once you remove it, remove any leftover residue with a small brush or microfiber cloth.

How to clean shower head without vinegar

Vinegar isn’t the only common household product you can use to keep your shower head clean and fresh.

How to clean shower head with baking soda

Take some baking soda and mix it with water. You can kind of eyeball how much of each to use, but you should end up with a thick paste (add more baking soda if it’s too thin, and more water if it’s too powdery). Spread the paste on your shower head and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Rinse the showerhead well afterward.

How to clean a shower head with soap

If you have dish soap handy, Laugen says you can DIY a cleaning solution that will eliminate soap scum on your shower head. Combine ½ cup of dish soap and 1 ½ cups of distilled white vinegar and mix it well in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the showerhead and let it sit for about an hour, and then use a small toothbrush to scrub the showerhead. If there’s still residue, repeat the process. Laugen notes this process is best for lighter jobs; if your showerhead is really clogged, you might want to soak it instead of spraying and scrubbing over and over.

Another popular option is using Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Liquid Soap. This cult-favorite soap is made with organic and certified fair trade, plant-based ingredients, and is biodegradable too. And it can be used to clean everything from your face and hair to laundry to your general home need The formula is concentrated though, so you’ll need to dilute it (here’s a handy cheat sheet). Create your own, antibacterial household cleaner using Dr. Bronners and water. You will just spray the mixture over your shower head and wipe it clean.

How to clean a shower head with Coke/Soda

Coke (or any cola) can be a refreshing drink, but it can also be used as a cleaning agent. Because of its acid content, cola can help break down buildup in a clogged shower head.

To clean your shower with cola, Laugen says to pour two cups of cola into a large plastic bag and tightly wrap it around the showerhead with a rubber band until the showerhead is completely submerged. After 30 minutes, remove the bag, and use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe away any dirt or lingering soda. Run the showerhead as well, to ensure you’re not left with any stickiness for your next shower.

How do you clean a showerhead with bleach?

Bleach can be a harsh substance (especially on your eyes/nose/throat via fumes and clothes if you have a spill), and chlorine can potentially stain stainless steel. But if you want to clean your shower head with bleach, Laugen recommends choosing diluted household bleach. And because it contains strong chemicals, she says to consider wearing gloves when handling bleach and to be cautious of touching your face, hair, or clothes when using it. You should also try to keep the door and any windows open to maintain good ventilation.

To clean your shower head with bleach, combine one cup of bleach with two cups of water into a spray bottle. Tightly secure the cap and shake the bottle to combine the two ingredients. Spray your shower head with the solution and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Then use a small toothbrush or microfiber cloth to wipe down the showerhead, and if there’s still limescale or mineral residue on the showerhead, repeat until it’s clean.

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