the Best Way to Clean a Showerhead


Sometimes, the best thing in the world is coming home after a long day and sitting in a nice, warm shower. The most relating part of that shower, the nice stream of water. But what happens when that stream is disrupted, and water isn’t flowing freely?

When this happens, it’s best to ask yourself, when was the last time I cleaned the showerhead? Hard water is a problem for a majority of California homeowners and San Diego is no exception. Because of this, we’re sharing the best way to clean a showerhead.

How Does Hard Water Affect Showerheads?

Hard water is full of minerals. Specially calcium, magnesium, and lime. These all leave a noticeable white residue in your shower and on your fixtures. Not only is this kind of gross looking, it can also impede the flow of your water.

When hard water passes through the holes in your showerhead on a daily basis, it can leave mineral deposits all over, and even inside. These are the deposits that lead to an uneven flow.

How Often Should I Clean the Showerhead?

How often you clean the showerhead depends on your lifestyle and household. A home with more people in it will need more frequent cleanings. Smaller households won’t need to clean as much. It all depends on how often your family uses the shower.

Some households only need to clean their showerhead once every six weeks, for others, it’s every month. Cleaning times all depend on your individual lifestyle and household.

Something else to consider is the amount of hardness, or mineral deposits, in your water. You can easily test this at home. Online stores like Amazon and local stores like Ace or Home Depot all sell testing kits, they usually run between $10 and $15.

The Best Way Clean Your Showerhead

Cleaning your showerhead is one of the easiest household chores. We might be a little biased, but the set it and forget it method is something that works with our lifestyle.

All you need are materials that can be found in your pantry. They are:

  • White vinegar
  • Large plastic food storage or sandwich bag
  • Rubber band or zip tie
  • Washcloth or old toothbrush

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Before you do anything, pour at least a cup of vinegar into a food storage bag. If your showerhead is a bit bigger, you’ll need a larger bag. The bag should comfortably fit over your showerhead.
  2. Wrap the vinegar filled bag around your showerhead. Add more vinegar to the plastic bag if your showerhead isn’t fully submerged.

    Secure the bag with a rubber band or zip tie. Make sure the bag can hang there for a while without getting loose.

  3. After the bag is secure, just let the whole thing soak for an hour or so. Because the vinegar needs to stay at room temperature, it can take a little longer than expected to fully clean the showerhead.

    The only exception to this rule is if you have a brass, gold or nickel coated showerhead. Don’t leave the bag on for over 30 minutes. Anything longer than a half an hour can damage the finish.

  4. Now that you’ve waited the proper amount of time, the next step is to remove the bag and give the showerhead a very gentle scrub. Take the bag off and use an old toothbrush—or something equally soft—to gently scrub anything off the showerhead.
  5. Finally, wipe everything down and test the shower. Turn on the water and see how it flows. If it’s looking good, you’re ready for a nice, luxurious shower.

There’s a really easy way to maintain your showerhead between soaks. Keep a spray bottle filled with equal parts water and white vinegar in your shower. Spray down the showerhead every time you use the shower.

What Not to Use

We understand how easy it is to look at a bottle of bleach or some other chemical cleaner and think it’s an easy alternative. We’re begging you to not do this.

We do not recommend using bleach on your showerhead. Contrary to popular beliefs, bleach actually fosters bacteria growth.

Premade or premixed chemical cleaners can also damage your showerhead. Sometimes the chemicals are so strong they can ruin the finish.

The last thing we advise against is a hard brush. Anything that’s more course than the used toothbrush has the potential to scrape and leave permanent streaks all over your nice showerhead.