How to Clean a Showerhead

It’s time to turn that dribble in your shower into a waterfall! If your showerhead is clogged from mineral deposits and covered in soap scum, you’ve come to the right place to learn how to clean it. Follow these showerhead cleaning tips to enjoy the splendor of high water pressure once again.

Clogged Showerhead? You Can Fix That!

We have two proven methods for cleaning a dirty and clogged showerhead. The first method is easier and doesn’t require tools or disassembly; the second method is more involved but yields better results.

How to Clean a Showerhead Without Removing It

  1. Grab a sturdy plastic bag large enough to fit over the showerhead.
  2. Place the bag around the showerhead, and fill it up with white or apple cider vinegar while you hold it in place.
  3. Use a rubber band, tape or a cable tie to secure the bag around the head, making sure the head is fully submerged in the vinegar.
  4. Allow the head to soak in the vinegar for at least 12 hours. (Only soak brass, gold or nickel-coated showerheads for 30 minutes.)
  5. After the showerhead has soaked, remove the bag and pour the vinegar down the drain. Turn on the shower, and run hot water through the head to remove any loose mineral deposits. Use a toothpick and an old toothbrush to scrub the water ports and knock off any stuck-on buildup.

Clean a Showerhead by Removing It

  1. Use an adjustable crescent wrench to gently unscrew the showerhead from the shower arm. Grip the end of the wrench for more leverage. Be careful – this shouldn’t require much force. If you find yourself struggling to unscrew the showerhead, dip an old toothbrush in vinegar, and scrub the threads on the shower arm to dissolve the mineral deposits.
  2. Once the showerhead is free, submerge it in a bowl filled with 50/50 hot water and white or apple cider vinegar.
  3. Allow this to soak for up to 12 hours. (If the showerhead is plated in brass, nickel or gold, soak it in 30-minute increments; prolonged exposure to vinegar may damage the plating.)
  4. Once the showerhead has soaked, remove it from the vinegar to drip dry for a minute or two. To prevent leaks, give the shower arm threads about 12 wraps of Teflon tape (a.k.a. “plumber’s tape”). Teflon tape seals the gaps between the threads to prevent leaks.
  5. Screw the showerhead on until it’s hand-tight; then give it another half turn with the wrench. Turn the water on. If the head leaks, give it another quarter turn with the wrench. Still leaking? You probably need a new rubber gasket, which you can buy at your local hardware store.

A Clean Showerhead Deserves a Clean Bathroom

Once you’re finished, head back to the Bathroom Cleaning page to learn how to clean the toilet, bathtub and more. Although we won’t clean your showerhead, Molly Maid will give your shower, your bathroom and the rest of your house the cleaning attention it deserves.

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