Keeping your shower head clean is essential to maintain good hygiene and prevent buildup. The effects of an unclean shower head range from reduced water pressure at best to the accumulation of bacteria and mould at worst.

In all cases, it’s not something you want to clean yourself! So, keep reading to learn how to clean a shower head with the tips and tricks shared by our end of tenancy cleaning Fulham team.

How to Clean a Shower Head

There are two ways to clean your shower head. One is general, fast, and effortless, while the other is a deep clean that takes time and effort.

Let’s start with the quick and effortless method.

Quick Clean

What you’ll need:

  • Toothbrush
  • Baking soda paste or lemon juice with salt

It doesn’t matter whether you have a fixed, handheld, rain, dual, or high-pressure shower head; they all come with nozzles that you can quickly clean to kick the performance of your shower head up a notch.

Start by letting some water out of the nozzles, then rub the nozzles gently with a toothbrush to reach any residuals. If you want more effective cleaning, dip the toothbrush in baking soda paste or lemon juice with salt.

You can even use your fingers if you don’t have a toothbrush ready for cleaning.

Ideally, if your shower head is detachable, you should take it apart to clean the fixture’s interior and exterior, then reassemble the head afterwards.

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Deep Clean

What you’ll need:

  • Cleaning vinegar or white vinegar solution
  • Baking soda
  • A toothpick
  • Heavy-duty plastic bag
  • A deep bucket or a bowl
  • Cleaning toothbrush
  • Lockable pliers or a wrench
  • Needle-nose plier

The process of deep cleaning your shower head is more complicated than just cleaning the nozzles. Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Submerge Your Shower Head in a Plastic Bag With Vinegar Solution

Fill half of a plastic bag with distilled white vinegar. Ensure your bag isn’t overfilled. Otherwise, it may overflow when you submerge the shower head.

After that, put your shower head in the solution and ensure all the nozzles are under the water’s surface.

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Step 2: Secure the Shower Head

Ensure the shower head doesn’t come out of the water if you’ve detached and submerged it in the bag.

On the other hand, if you don’t have a detachable shower head, you should tie the tips around the head with a rubber band.

Double-check that the band is wrapped well so it doesn’t fall once you let go.

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Step 3: Let the Shower Head Soak

After you prepare the proper setup, leave the head to soak for a couple of hours. You might even leave it overnight if you haven’t given the shower head a deep clean and find it especially dirty.

However, if the shower head is brass, don’t leave it in vinegar for over 30 minutes. Otherwise, you’ll damage its finish.

On the other hand, if you have a nickel-coated shower head, don’t let it soak at all!

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Step 4: Remove the Bag

Get your shower head out of the vinegar solution and pour it down the drain. Then, turn the hot water on to flush out any leftover minerals in the shower head’s fixture.

While at it, you might want to add baking soda to remove soap residuals in the drain.

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Step 5: Unclog Any Remaining Nozzles

After completing all these steps, unclog any remaining nozzles with a paper clip tip or a toothpick.

Then, scrub the head with a toothbrush and dry baking soda to eliminate leftover minerals. Turn the hot water on to kick the residual minerals out and repeat this process until all the mineral deposits are gone.

Step 6: Polish the Shower Head

When finished, use a soft cloth to polish the shower head. Make sure it’s lint-free to prevent any lint from clogging the nozzles.

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How to Clean a Shower Head’s Filter Screen

Sometimes, your shower head sputters even after a deep cleaning session. In that case, you’ll have to disassemble it and examine the filter screen.

Here’s how to do so:

  1. Use lockable pliers or a wrench to remove the shower head.
  2. Wash the interior with water to remove any debris.
  3. Use needle-nose pliers to remove the filter screen.
  4. Flush the filter screen with water. If the mineral buildup remains, soak the screen in a bowl of vinegar. Alternatively, you can use a commercial descaler to clean it.
  5. Reassemble the filter screen and run the water at the fullest pressure for a few minutes to remove any leftover debris.


How often should you clean your shower head?

Ideally, you should clean your shower head once every three months to eliminate mineral buildup or bacterial growth.

It also depends on your area and whether its water is hard. Also, the more people use the shower, the more often you’ll have to clean the mineral buildup from the shower head.

How do shower heads get dirty?

Over time, the accumulation of grime and mineral deposits leads to clogging and a noticeable reduction in water pressure.

Can you clean a shower head with bleach?

While bleach effectively kills bacteria and mould, you should avoid it when cleaning your shower head.

Bleach is a harsh chemical that can damage the finish of your shower and cause it to deteriorate over time.

If you don’t rinse it well, you’ll expose your body to bleach when you shower.

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Wrapping Up

In brief, regularly cleaning your shower head will prevent any extreme buildup that leads to irreversible damage.

Make sure to scrub the nozzles often with a toothbrush dipped in baking soda and soak your shower head in distilled vinegar every couple of months, and you should be good to go.