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How to Clean a Shower Head (And When It’s Time to Get a Replacement)


How to Clean a Shower Head

Stepping into the shower doesn’t just take the dirt and oil out of your hair. The warm water also relaxes your muscles and helps relieve stress.

That is… until you see that grimy monster growing on your shower head. That gunk can take your shower from calming to I’ve-got-to-get-out-of-here-as-fast-as-possible. But you don’t have to panic about your dirty shower head. It’s easy to get rid of that debris and get it shining again.

We’ve put together this guide to show you how to clean a shower head, so let’s get started!

Signs It’s Time to Give Your Shower Head a Good Cleaning

You don’t have to clean your shower head as often as, say, your toilet. However, if you forget about your shower head for too long, it can get covered in a layer of crusty, nasty sediment (and other debris), which will make your shower more difficult and much less enjoyable.

But how do you know when it’s “the time?”

Here are a few signs you should bring out the sponge and give your shower head a good cleaning.

1. The Water Pressure Changes

Does your water pressure feel lower than usual? The sediment that builds up on the surface of your shower head may be partially blocking the individual holes. This can prevent as much water from making it through, which will weaken the water pressure.

2. It Won’t Spray Straight

All the water coming from your shower head should spray in the same direction. If you have a few spouts of water spraying to the side or farther up than normal, the sediment buildup is redirecting it. Scrubbing it off can fix this annoying problem.

3. You Can See a Buildup of Sediment

Can you actually see the layer of gunk forming on your shower head? That means it’s getting too thick. It’s time to bring out the sponges and get rid of it.

How to Clean a Shower Head

In most cases, cleaning your shower head is an easy job (unless you want to do an in-depth cleaning). All you need is some white vinegar and your favorite sponge or scrubbing brush.

The Basic Method

This method will get rid of all the sediment buildup and fix any water pressure problems most of the time. And it doesn’t take a lot of work.

Start by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and water in a large, plastic bag. Then put the bag over your shower head so the head is completely submerged in the vinegar mixture. Secure it in place with a zip tie or tape and let it sit for about eight hours (it’s a good idea to leave it overnight).

After you take the bag off, turn on the hot water to remove any remaining debris. You might need to use a sponge or scrubbing brush to remove difficult stains.

The In-Depth Method

You shouldn’t have to resort to the in-depth cleaning method unless your shower head needs some serious work. This is a bit more labor-intensive, and you’ll want to make sure you have all the right tools before you start.

Use your shower head’s instruction manual to take it apart (if you don’t have the manual, you should be able to find it online). The manual will also tell you what tools you need to complete the job.

Once you’ve disconnected the shower head from the pipe, you can remove the interior filter screen and clean it with warm water or a mild soap. Fill a bowl or bag with vinegar and water (again, in equal parts) and let the shower head soak in the mixture for about eight hours.

After this, you can put everything back together, turn on the hot water, and remove any last bits of sediment.

When to Buy a New Shower Head

Sometimes, no amount of cleaning can save your shower head. If this happens, it’s time to start shopping for a new one.

1. Cleaning Doesn’t Help

Does sediment buildup stick around no matter how much you scrub? Does the water pressure stay low even though there doesn’t seem to be a good reason?

Your shower head may just be old and on its way out. Replacing it with a new model can take care of these problems.

2. It Starts Leaking

If you notice your shower head is still dripping even when the water is off, its sprung a leak somewhere. Not only is this annoying to listen to when you’re trying to fall asleep at night, but it can also cost you a lot of money. You’ll spend less buying a new shower head than living with a leak for a few months.

3. You Notice Black Mold

Have you noticed small black dots forming on your shower head? This isn’t normal debris. This is black mold.

This type of mold is extremely dangerous to live with, and it can be difficult to get rid of. Even if cleaning seems to help, the mold will continue to grow back every time. Keeping a moldy shower head isn’t worth risking your health.

How to Install Your Replacement Shower Head

Shopping for a new shower head is simple, but installing it can be much harder, especially if you don’t have the right tools or experience. Because of this, you shouldn’t try to do it on your own.

You can focus on learning how to clean a shower head, but let us take care of the difficult plumbing jobs. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today to set up an appointment or learn more about our services. We’re happy to help!

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