How To Clean and Maintain Your Shower Head

How do you clean a shower head? We'll explain. Clean and maintain your shower head to keep it working well and looking good for a long time.

Cleaning a Shower Head: How-To Guide

Most of us know to clean our shower or bathtub on a regular basis. After all, we don’t want to step into a dirty environment to get clean. However, many of us also tend to forget to clean our shower heads. In theory, the shower head would just be clean in general because there is always water running through it so it would generally be clean. However, you need there are times when your shower head can use a little bit of care. Here is what you need to know about keeping your shower head in good condition.

When to Clean Your Shower head

There are a few ways to know that your shower head needs a cleaning. Some are obvious, others may be a little trickier to spot. It is actually recommended that you clean your showerhead every one to three months.

Stains and Grime: These are usually visible and obvious signs that it’s time for a clean your showerhead. Depending on your climate and shower usage, you may be dealing with mold, water deposits, or just stains. If you are looking at your shower head and noticing that it’s dirty, it’s time to do a bit of cleaning.

Water Getting Funky: Sometimes, your shower will look find cosmetically, but may still need a bit of care. Fluctuating pressure or streams that are spraying in all direction are often a sign that your shower head needs to be cleaned.

Hard Water: The water that comes out of our facets and showers often contains minerals like magnesium and calcium which can dry up and cause deposits. Water that contains a significant amount of chemicals is referred to as ‘hard water’ and, while you may not feel the difference, your shower head might get clogged over time. The amount of hard water is different by county, so if your shower is clogging up on a regular basis, you may want to check your county’s water mineral levels. If you do live in a place with higher amounts of minerals, you may want to clean your shower head every two weeks. Another option is to use a water softener.

Leaks: If you have a shower head with a hose or a shower head that’s super old, leaks may be due to a problem with the shower head. However, you should also consider the shower arm, which is the part between the wall and your shower head. Before taking action, take a minute to isolate the leak. If it’s an attachment that has come loose, a bit of tightening can do the trick. If there is a crack or a hole, however, you may need to purchase a new showerhead.

How to Clean a Shower head

There are several ways to clean your shower head ranging from specific cleaning products to home-based solutions.

Pre-Clean: If there is a lot of debris around your shower head, you may want to wipe that off first. If the debris is dry, you can use a scrub brush. Otherwise, it may be best to use a cloth and a cleaning solution to clean on and around your shower head.

De-clog: A popular home-cleaning tool, vinegar is great for reclogging your showerhead. If you can, consider detaching a shower head and soaking it in a small tub filled with a cup of vinegar and a cup of water for 30 minutes to an hour. You can also use If you don’t feel comfortable detaching your shower head, you can fill a plastic bag with your vinegar-water mix and tie it around the shower arm- just make sure that the shower head holes are immersed in the solution.

Destroy Mildew: If you are dealing with a mildew buildup around your shower head, your usual cleaning supplies will probably do the trick. For stubborn mildew, consider a mix of bleach and water — or your favorite bleach-based cleaning solution. Mildew tends to thrive in humidity, so if you live in a place that is particularly humid, consider a small dehumidifier for your bathroom.

A Few Reminders about how to clean your showerhead

As you clean your shower head, it is always helpful to clean your shower arm as well. Depending on the type of shower head that you have, you may need to do a little more, or a little less work. For instance, if you have a body spray style showerhead, you’ll want to make sure that you are cleaning all levels on a regular basis.

It’s easy to forget to clean your shower head, but a few minutes a week can help you avoid a bigger mess in the long run.

Resources— The Spruce, Direct Energy, Molly Maid