showerhead cleaning

How to Clean a Shower Head the Easy Way

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Over time, impurities in the water can build up in the shower head. This leads to reduced water pressure. By deep cleaning your shower head, you can remove these minerals.

In this article, the pros at Upstairs Downstairs will teach you how to easily and affordably clean a shower head.

Supplies Needed

To effectively clean your shower head, you will need a few supplies. These include:

  • white vinegar
  • a bowl
  • hot water
  • something to scrub with

These simple household supplies will help remove mineral deposits and hard water buildup, ensuring that your shower head functions optimally. With the following supplies, you can easily clean your shower head.

White Vinegar and a Bowl

White vinegar is a trusted and cost-effective cleaning solution.

Simply pour even amounts of water and distilled vinegar into a bowl big enough to submerge your shower head completely. Allow the shower head to soak in the vinegar solution for at least an hour. You can even leave it overnight for best results. The soaking process dissolves mineral deposits, breaking down blockages. For best results, disassemble your shower head as much as you are comfortable with. This allows the vinegar to reach more of the internal components.

Use white vinegar

An occasional soak with vinegar will keep your shower head clean. It will also prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. The acidity in vinegar acts as a natural disinfectant. White vinegar is a non-toxic, eco-friendly alternative to harsh chemicals. This makes it perfect for the home.

You can combine baking soda with vinegar for a bubbly reaction that is great for breaking up grime in the bathroom and elsewhere in the home. It is also safe to use around pets and your family!

Microfiber Cloth or Soft Brush

Use microfiber cloth

After soaking, scrub the internal and external parts of the shower head. This can help remove any softened, but not fully dissolved mineral deposits. You don’t have to be super thorough. A quick and firm scrubbing can dislodge stubborn gunk weakened by the vinegar.

Look for dark or discolored areas, especially in the faucet face. You may also use an unbent paperclip or needle to poke out any clogged holes. This is common in well water with high iron concentrations.

Hot Water

hot water

After your vinegar soak, fill the bowl with hot water and soak again. Another option is to simply reassemble the shower head and run hot water through it.

This will rinse away vinegar concentrations and push out bits of debris loosened by the vinegar. The heat from the water helps to break down and dissolve these deposits, effectively removing them from the fixture.

Turn your dial to the hottest setting, and let run for about five minutes. Be careful around the hot water!

Commercial Descalers

There are commercial products designed specifically for cleaning shower heads and similar applications. These may work better than vinegar alone, but usually not by a wide margin.

The procedure is often quite similar to the one described above. Be sure to read the instructions carefully for each product. Pay special attention to any directions or warnings about chemicals and fumes. Always use appropriate precautions and ventilation.

Certain products will be targeted at different water problems. For example, high concentrations of calcium versus iron. You can usually tell which one you are combatting in your home by the color of water stains.

A lighter, salt-colored buildup is caused by calcium (not to be mistaken for soap scum). Darker, rust-colored stains are a result of high iron concentrations.

Use the appropriate product for your situation for best results. There are even calcium, lime & rust removers that can help with it all.

Routine Cleaning Tips for Shower Heads

Cleaning Tips for Shower Heads

Regularly cleaning your shower head is essential for maintaining its optimal performance and preventing the buildup of mineral deposits and bacteria. Here are some simple yet effective tips to keep your shower head in pristine condition.

Weekly Cleanings

Make it a habit of cleaning your shower head on a weekly basis. This will combat mineral buildup and maintain optimal pressure. A quick scrub of the shower head face on a frequent basis can prevent blockages from taking hold.

Vinegar Solution

Vinegar Solution

Create a solution by mixing equal parts water and distilled white vinegar. Fill a spray bottle with this solution and generously spray your entire shower, including the shower head and nozzles. This can slow bacteria growth and hard water buildup. You can do it as often as every use.


After spraying the vinegar solution, use a scrubbing brush, soft cloth, or even toothbrush to spot clean trouble areas and prevent limescale. Pay close attention to the shower head face and your grout lines.

Rinse Thoroughly

Use the shower head to spray down the bathtub and shower walls to rinse away any residue. You can also splash water back as the shower head to wash away early hard water buildup.

Shower Head Filters

If your shower head has a filter, replace it as recommended. These can also clog up and restrict water flow.

If you don’t have a shower head filter, consider installing one. External filters catch minerals and bacteria before they reach your shower head. This will also decrease the levels of impurities reaching you!

We’re Here to Help

Whether you need to learn how to clean a clogged up shower head, or want someone to polish your entire bathroom, the pros at Upstairs Downstairs are here for you. Our professional cleaners are available for one-time service or regular care of your home.

Don’t let the stress of cleaning bring you down! Contact us today for a sparkling clean living space.

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