ByHannah Cole/Aug. 20, 2021 12:03 pm EST
There are enough places to worry about keeping up with as a homeowner. Everywhere you turn, there's a corner with too many unswept crumbs, a ceiling fan with too much dust, a couch with too much pet hair, and a lawn that needs mowing before the rain comes. And despite the bathroom being one of the of the most bacteria-laden areas of the home — ironically enough, less so than the kitchen (ew) — the shower head doesn't always make the cut when it comes to spring cleaning (or summer, or fall). It's one of those things that you remember to clean when it, well, breaks.
According to cleaning company RocketMaids, however, cleaning your shower head should be a seasonal priority. If you can't get to it every four months, you have about a two-month window before you should really get in there and clean the gunk and hard water buildup. After six months, you may run into plumbing issues, advisesApartment Therapy.
There's just one catch: When you do make time for this often neglected task, you'll want to skip the bleach. Scientists discovered that using bleach to clean your shower head may as much as triple the amount of bacteria present, reports the Shower Head Store. So what can you use? We're here to break down some of the best products to bring your shower head back up to speed.
1. Soak your shower head in vinegar
If you're one of those people who likes to passively clean (we're looking at you, Roomba owners), then you're in luck: One of the most effective ways to clean your shower head requires very little effort, attention, and it does all of the work for you.
You'll need an elastic band or strong, waterproof tape, a Ziploc baggie, and some white or apple cider vinegar. Fill the plastic bag about halfway with the vinegar, then submerge the attached shower head in the bag. Secure it with the elastic band, or tape it closed to prevent any liquid from leaking out. Next, you can gently turn on the shower to fill the remainder of the bag with water, which should cover 100% of the shower head. Be warned, though — too much water pressure may result in a minor explosion of vinegar, so fill the bag slowly!
Next comes the best part: Set it and forget it. You can leave the shower head to soak for at least one hour, depending on the severity of the situation. Once your timer goes off, detach the bag from the shower head and pour the liquid down the drain, advisescNet. It should be good as new, but repeat as necessary.
2. Clean your shower head with baking soda paste
No vinegar? No problem! We're willing to bet you have another household staple or two laying around that can do the dirty work for you. All you need is some water and baking soda — and considering we're in the bathroom here, half of that's already at your disposal! Morning Chores suggests mixing water with the baking soda to form a thick paste that's not too watery, but not too clumpy, either. Coat the shower head with the mixture generously — don't be afraid to cover the nozzles, since that's usually where most of the build up occurs. After half an hour, rinse the shower head with some water and turn it on to see your results!
If you're looking for a bit of extra shine or cleaning power, Taste of Home also recommends mixing about four or five drops of dish soap with two tablespoons of baking soda and some vinegar to really deep clean the shower head. You can even submerge it in a bag like in option one!
3. Don't be afraid to use toothpicks and brushes on your shower head
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You can use everything from a sponge to a microfiber cloth to clean your shower head, but when it comes to getting into the nitty gritty of those stubborn nozzles, you'll appreciate a few tools to help. General Plumbing explains that it's perfectly safe to use toothpicks to help remove any gunk and debris caked into your shower head, so long as you're gentle in doing so. Since they're short, they won't do any damage to the internal part of the shower head, and they'll help remove anything clogging the holes!
Another option is to regularly go in with a toothbrush or a non-abrasive scrub brush. In order to minimize the hassle of cleaning later on, TikTok user @shannen_castro shares her favorite hack: Leave a stand-up brush filled with Dawn dish soap and vinegar in the shower at all times. That way, you can scrub everything down more frequently, and pretend it's a microphone while you belt out your favorite shower-worthy tunes — it's a win-win.
4. Clean chrome shower heads with lemon
As with most home DIY projects, whether they're simple spring cleaning tasks or major renovations, it's always important to do your research before getting started. In this case, you'll want to make sure that the method you use to clean your shower head won't ruin its finish. For example, even though vinegar is a great natural cleaner, it may eat at some more vulnerable metals over long periods of time, like chrome. The same goes for some commercial cleaners — always double-check that it's safe to use the product in question before you let your shower head soak!
If you have a chrome shower head, then there's another natural option that can do the trick, says Simply Maid:Take a lemon and slice it in half, then squeeze it into a bowl and dilute it with some warm water. You can then use the actual pith of the lemon to wipe down and scrub at the shower head with this acidic mixture, which acts as a great cleaner in place of some more aggressive options. This method gets bonus points for being a tool and a cleaning solution in one, if you ask us.
5. Opt for oven cleaner for hard-hit shower heads
This one's not for the faint of heart (we mean it — you could faint without the right precautions), but if your shower head has gone untouched for too long, it may be necessary to pull out the big guns. Before running to the store to grab a commercial grade cleaner, check your cleaning supplies for oven cleaner. The formula is similar and will give the same results, but be prepared to take the adequate safety steps if you go this route.
Morning Chores warns that you'll need both a mask and gloves due to the strength of the chemical cleaner, especially when used in a small area like the bathroom. Once you've suited up, spray the cleaner on the shower head and let it sit for no longer than 20 minutes, then give it a thorough rinse. That should do the trick to degunking those nasty nozzles once and for all!
6. Crack open a Coca-Cola to wash your shower head
Some may be shocked at this cleaning hack, but for those who've questioned what exactly is in Coca-Cola all these years, this may come as no surprise at all. The beloved soda is actually a highly recommended solution to bring your shower head back to life again!
Coke has a pH balance of 2.0, meaning that it's highly acidic. The phosphoric acid in the soda allows it to break down stains, which is why you see Coke recommended so frequently as a last-minute DIY cleaning hack. Since hard water buildup can cause all sorts of stains around the edge of your shower head, Coke is a great option to bring back some of that shine, as noted byMorning to Bed.
Simply swap the vinegar mixture in option one with some of the soda instead, and attach the liquid-filled bag to the shower head. Let the shower head soak for at least 30 minutes before removing the bag. Give it a good rinse and you'll be good to go, with significantly less signs of hard water wear on your shower head.
7. Save your shower head with some WD-40
Any homeowner who's been through the trouble of a loud door hinge has some WD-40 stashed away for the next creaky situation — that's a fair bet. But the classic lubricant has more value than just fixing annoying squeaks. Believe it or not, but WD-40 can clean your shower head, too!
According to the company's website, you should only bring out the WD-40 if you're dismantling the shower head to give it a deep clean. Once you unscrew the shower head, give the nozzle a good spray of the WD-40 to loosen up any minerals, dirt, and hidden bacteria that may be lodged up in there. You may need to go back in with a brush or toothpick to fully remove some of the debris, but the heavy-duty cleaner should do most of the heavy lifting here.
Be sure to fully clean the shower head with soap and water after so that there's no trace chemicals left behind. That way, once you step back under your sparkling and pristine shower head, you can actually enjoy some time to relax — you've earned it!
Start by unscrewing the shower head from the shower hose. Next, mix 200ml distilled white vinegar with 200ml water and pour this into a Ziploc bag. Pop the shower head inside, seal the bag and leave the vinegar solution to work its magic on the build-up of limescale and soap scum overnight while you sleep.What is the best hack for cleaning shower head? ›
Generally it's a good idea to spray your shower head weekly with a cleaning solution that's equal parts distilled white vinegar and water. A once-a-month regular shower head cleaning with a paste of baking soda and lemon juice will keep the grime and buildup at bay.How do I clean my shower like a hotel? ›
With Water: Similar to vinegar, baking soda chemically reacts with water to remove any dirt and grime your shower may have. Simply pour a handful of baking soda onto a cloth to wipe an already damp shower door.
Fortunately, there's a tried and true method for removing minerals and hard water stains from shower heads. And the best part is you don't even have to remove the fixture! Just grab a bottle of white vinegar, a plastic bag, and a piece of string, and you've got everything you need to clean a shower head.Does WD 40 clean shower heads? ›
Most shower-heads have a screw near in the middle of the outlet holes. Opening the screws would open the shower-head up. Let it dry up and then spray it with good amounts of WD-40. This would make the dirt loose and hence, make it easier to get it off.Does vinegar and baking soda clean shower head? ›
The easiest way to clean a showerhead is to use a mixture of baking soda, vinegar, and dish soap. The combination of slightly basic baking soda and acidic vinegar creates an effective cleaning solution for your showerhead. And the addition of a small amount of dish soap increases its cleaning power even more.What can I use instead of vinegar to clean shower head? ›
If you don't have vinegar on hand, you can clean your showerhead with baking soda. Make a paste with baking soda and water and apply it directly to the showerhead. Let the paste sit for about 30 minutes, then scrub with a wet toothbrush.What household items can you use to clean a shower head? ›
Use baking soda, vinegar, and a gallon sized bag to clean showerhead components. A zip tie is a very secure way to attach the bag around the neck of your showerhead. You can also use a rubber band if you're able to wrap it well and keep the bag in place.Does vinegar affect chrome shower head? ›
Even soaking your shower head or faucets for more than 15 minutes puts their finish at risk. Vinegar may be a mild acid, but it's an acid nonetheless. Prolonged exposure to vinegar will damage chrome finishes by eating the finish right off of your fixtures.Can you mix baking soda and white vinegar together? ›
These two common household materials can serve as natural cleaners to remove grime and keep your surfaces clean. Because vinegar and baking soda are on opposite ends of the pH scale, they can be combined and used as effective cleaning solutions.
White vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or CLR are great cleaning solutions to remove limescale from your shower head. For more stain-cutting power, you can add a couple of tablespoons of baking soda to the vinegar.Is cleaning vinegar the same as white vinegar? ›
The only difference between cleaning vinegar and the distilled white vinegar is their levels of acidity. White vinegar is usually 95 percent water and 5 percent acid. By contrast, cleaning vinegar contains up to six percent acid and is around 20 percent stronger than regular white vinegar.How often do you need to clean your shower head? ›
You should deep clean your shower head at least once a month to remove mineral deposits like limescale. Limescale not only slows water flow and reduces water pressure, but it can also serve as a breeding ground for health-threatening bacteria.Can you use dryer sheets to clean shower doors? ›
Remove soap scum
A few drops of water on the dryer sheet and you should be able to rub away soap scum on your glass shower doors and shower tiles. It even works well on plastic shower curtains, and it's an efficient and cheap solution to a common problem.
Professionals apply a combination of warm water and liquid dish soap on the tiles and scrub with a brush. Then wash the spot thoroughly to make it look sparkling clean. To get rid of the stubborn dirt and mildew from the grout, the experts use a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.Why do people use vinegar in the shower? ›
While white vinegar is best known for its culinary uses, it can work wonders in the bathroom. Praised for its powerful acetic acid solution, vinegar helps to dissolve mineral deposit, bacteria, dirt, grease and grime.Can you use CLR on shower heads? ›
Thankfully, there's CLR® Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover to quickly and safely give you a clean showerhead once again.How long do you leave WD-40 on shower head? ›
If that does not work, apply penetrating lubricant to the showerhead. Penetrating lubricants, like WD-40 and Liquid Wrench, can work like magic in this situation. Apply a coat of lubricant to the area. Allow it to sit for roughly two hours.How do you clean a shower head without CLR? ›
- Step 1: Bag it. For regular cleaning, fill a small compost or silicone bag with your cleaning vinegar of choice. ...
- Step 2: Wait. Give the vinegar anywhere between 1–8 hours (or overnight) to do its job. ...
- Step 3: Rinse and polish.
Run a damp rag or microfiber cloth over the nozzles to remove any buildup – it will easily fall away from the nozzles! If your showerhead is chrome, you can take a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and wipe down the showerhead for a streak-free finish.
Vinegar. Vinegar is a safe, all-natural household cleaner with the amazing ability to combat hard water stains. Pour some in a spray bottle and squirt any surface where you find hard water stains. Let it sit for five to 15 minutes to give the vinegar time to break down the minerals in the chalky, white stain.Does Coca Cola clean shower heads? ›
Using Cola is a sure-fire way to target limescale and restore the shine in your shower, without risking discolouration or peeling on your metallic surfaces.Is it safe to put baking soda and vinegar down the shower drain? ›
Both baking soda and vinegar are highly caustic. They are, in fact, able to dissolve certain materials that one would not normally think of as being dissolvable. However, the extreme amounts of acid in vinegar, along with its acidic nature, are what cause the drain to become blocked.Can hydrogen peroxide clean shower head? ›
Cleaning the shower head with hydrogen peroxide is a simple process that's safe and can save money. The process of cleaning the shower head with hydrogen peroxide is simple. All you need is to pour a few drops of hydrogen peroxide into the shower head and then scrub it with a toothbrush.What is the black buildup on my shower head? ›
Assuming that you're seeing the black bits only when you occasionally wipe the faucet spout and shower head, the deposits are probably oxidized manganese, a mineral that's often found in trace amounts along with iron in drinking water.What is the best homemade shower Cleaner? ›
In a spray bottle, combine 1/3 cup ammonia, 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup baking soda, and 7 cups of water. Spray down the shower, then watch as the vinegar and baking soda together create a cleansing, bubbling foam. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe down the tiles and tub with a damp cloth.What is the best thing to clean showers with? ›
After removing all shower accessories and bottles, spray the entire area with a commercial shower cleaner ($2.28, Walmart) or a DIY shower cleaning solution of equal parts vinegar and dish soap. Don't forget the hardware as well; soap scum easily builds up on shower faucets.What can I clean my shower with daily? ›
- 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide.
- 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol.
- 1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap, like blue Dawn.
- 1 tablespoon dishwasher rinse aid, like Jet-Dry.
- 2 cups water.
Bleach And Vinegar
This is because vinegar is a great cleaning agent for crockery and utensils because of its acidic nature. However, you should never mix it with bleach for cleaning purposes or in any other situation. It can be extremely dangerous as it produces chlorine gas when mixed even at low levels.
Using vinegar as a chrome cleaner is a great way to remove tarnish and mineral deposits from chrome surfaces. A small amount of vinegar can tackle tough stains on showerheads, towel bars, faucets, hinges, chrome trim, bumpers, pans — whatever chrome surface needs a good cleaning in your home.
The plastic and glass surfaces on most small kitchen appliances, such as blenders, coffee makers, and toasters, are safe to clean with vinegar, but you want to avoid any rubber parts or metal that vinegar can corrode. This includes stainless steel.Why not to mix vinegar and baking soda? ›
"Baking soda is basic and vinegar is acidic," says Bock. "When you put them together you get mostly water and sodium acetate. But really, just mostly water." Plus, vinegar causes baking soda to foam up. If stored in a closed container, the mixture can explode.Can you mix Dawn and vinegar and baking soda? ›
Cleaning Organizing. Tired of stinky, retail cleaners? Try this: Vinegar Cleaner: 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp Dawn dish soap 1 tbsp white vinegar Directions: Fill spray bottle with water. Add Dawn.What goes first vinegar or baking soda? ›
Spray full-strength vinegar on first and let it sit for a few minutes. Wipe the area with a nonabrasive cloth or sponge. If any stains remain, sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge and scrub. Then wipe with a clean wet cloth to rinse.How do you clean a shower shower Cleaner? ›
- Spray Shower with Cleaner. After removing all shower accessories and bottles, spray the entire area with a commercial shower cleaner ($2.28, Walmart) or a DIY shower cleaning solution of equal parts vinegar and dish soap. ...
- Let Sit and Scrub. ...
- Rinse and Wipe Dry.
PureWow recommends combining 1/3 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of white vinegar in a gallon-sized Ziploc-style plastic bag (You'll probably want to do this in the bathroom). The mixture will start bubbling, and then you can place your showerhead in the bag, completely submerging the head.What is the fastest way to deep clean a shower? ›
You can use baking soda and water, or use washing soda with hydrogen peroxide. Some people find it easier to use a toothbrush to apply solutions on the grout before scrubbing them off. This will allow you to reach all the necessary spots and clean your shower walls thoroughly.How do you clean a shower with Dawn and vinegar? ›
Pour equal parts of vinegar and Dawn into a spray bottle. Gently shake, then spray liberally onto the surface to be cleaned. I have found the best results is when I use it to clean chrome shower and sink fixtures. After spraying on the fixture, rub and wipe it with a microfiber cloth to avoid scratching.How long should vinegar sit on shower head? ›
- Remove the showerhead from the hose. ...
- Put the showerhead in a bucket or plastic container and cover it with white vinegar.
- Leave it to soak in the vinegar for at least 30 minutes, preferably around an hour. ...
- Take the showerhead out of the vinegar and rinse it with water.
White vinegar, also known as distilled vinegar or spirit vinegar, is made by fermenting grain alcohol (ethanol) which then turns into acetic acid. Water is then added to the vinegar, so white vinegar is made of five to ten percent acetic acid and ninety to ninety-five percent water.
In a spray bottle, combine 1/3 cup ammonia, 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup baking soda, and 7 cups of water. Spray down the shower, then watch as the vinegar and baking soda together create a cleansing, bubbling foam. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe down the tiles and tub with a damp cloth.How do you clean a shower with Dawn? ›
Dawn dish soap and vinegar – Mix equal parts of vinegar and blue Dawn dish soap into a spray bottle. Run the shower for a few minutes on hot to heat up the shower space. Spray to coat the surface of the shower walls evenly with the mixture. Let sit for 5 minutes then use a damp cleaning rag to wipe away.