How to Clean Shower HeadsUpdated: Mar. 15, 2023
A quick soak will make your grimy shower head shine.
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Remove the shower head and soak it
Photo 1: Protect the finish when removing the shower head
Begin this DIY shower head cleaning project by unscrewing the shower head by gripping the shower neck with a pipe wrench (as shown), grabbing the nut on the shower head with the adjustable pliers and turning pliers counterclockwise until the nut loosens. Protect the finishes on the shower head and wall pipe by wrapping them with a cloth.
Photo 2: Soak the shower head in vinegar
Open the shower head holes by soaking the head overnight in a vinegar bath and poking the loosened mineral scale free with a toothpick. Rinse the shower head in tap water, then reinstall it by applying Teflon tape to the wall pipe threads, screwing it on and tightening it by reversing the technique in Photo 1. Complete the repair by turning on the cold water in the shower and blasting out any remaining mineral gunk to make sure you have a clean shower head.
Over time, hard-water minerals in tap water build up and clog the spray holes in shower heads. Fix this problem by removing the shower head and cleaning it. Buy a lime removing product to loosen the scale, or soak the head overnight in vinegar (either white or apple cider). Check the owner’s manual or manufacturer’s website to confirm that vinegar won’t harm the finish.
Carefully remove the shower head and open the holes using the steps shown in Photos 1 and 2. If the shower head is too stuck to remove, try filling a plastic bag with vinegar, tying the top of the bag around the top of the shower head and submerging it overnight in the vinegar. If that doesn’t work, you might want to consider one of these outstanding shower heads that provide a spa-like feeling.
Have the necessary tools for this how to clean shower head with vinegar DIY project how to clean a shower head project lined up before you start — you’ll save time and frustration.
- Pipe wrench
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time for this how to clean a shower head project. Here’s a list.