How to Clean Your Shower Head with Vinegar

How to Clean Your Showerhead with Vinegar hero.

When your shower head starts looking crusty, you have more to worry about than just the nasty appearance. Your showers may be less relaxing if the water can’t get through holes plugged up with mineral deposits.

Fortunately, there’s a tried-and-true natural method for removing minerals and hard water stains from shower heads. And you likely won’t even need to remove the fixture to clean it! When you learn how to clean a shower head with vinegar, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how effective — and quick and easy — the technique really is!

The Easy Way to Clean a Shower Head with Vinegar

Person cleaning shower head with a sponge

This method of cleaning a shower head with vinegar doesn't even require removing it. All you need to do is pour white vinegar into a plastic bag (not all the way to the top) and cover the shower head with the open bag. When the shower head is immersed, tie the bag around it with string or twist ties and let it soak. If your shower head is gold, brass, or nickel-coated, don't leave the bag on for more than 30 minutes, as it could damage or remove the finish on the shower head.

Otherwise, you can leave it on for a few hours or even overnight if it's particularly clogged with deposits. After you remove the bag from the shower head, run hot water for a minute or two so that any mineral deposits that are stuck in the head can be rinsed out. If the shower head still looks dirty, scrub it with a toothbrush and then turn the hot water on again for a few minutes. You may need to do this a few times if your shower head hasn’t been cleaned in a while. Once you’ve completed these steps, wipe any water spots off the shower head until it shines.

How to Clean a Shower Head More Thoroughly

Person holding parts of a shower head

Now that you know how to clean your shower head, you may be interested in knowing how to disinfect a shower head for a more thorough clean. To accomplish this you’ll need a wrench or pair of pliers to remove the shower head. Follow these steps to clean and disinfect your shower head:

  1. Remove the shower head using a wrench or pliers. Be sure to wrap the connecting nut with a cloth to protect the finish, and twist it off with a wrench or pliers.
  2. Soak the shower head in a bowl or bucket filled with vinegar. Leave it overnight unless the fixture is coated in brass, gold, or nickel — in that case, remove it from the vinegar after 30 minutes. If the fixture is made of metal, you can simmer it in a pot of vinegar on the stove for 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse the shower head by holding it upside down under a faucet. The mineral deposits should flake right off. Scrub with an old toothbrush or poke a safety pin or toothpick through the holes as you rinse.
  4. Reinstall the shower head. To prevent leaks, wrap plumbing tape around the threaded part of the pipe coming from the wall. Then screw the shower head back on. Run hot water for a minute to flush out any remaining residue.

How Often Should I Clean My Shower Head?

Close up of dirty shower head

The frequency of vinegar cleaning for calcium deposits in your shower head will vary depending on the type of water you have. Water that is categorized as ‘hard’ has a higher concentration of minerals, including calcium. This higher concentration of minerals flowing through your shower head will require more frequent cleaning.

Vinegar has long been recognized as a natural and effective cleaning agent, particularly when it comes to tackling calcium deposits in and on shower heads. Calcium deposits, also known as limescale, can accumulate over time due to hard water, leaving unsightly white or yellowish stains and reducing water flow. Regular cleaning with vinegar can help keep your shower heads free from these deposits and flowing freely. These types of homemade shower head cleaners can be just as effective — if not more — than cleansers you buy in the store.

The frequency at which you should clean a shower head with vinegar depends on the severity of the calcium deposits and the hardness of your water. In general, it is recommended to clean shower heads every one to three months to prevent significant buildup of minerals. However, if you live in an area with extremely hard water, more frequent cleaning may be necessary.

Benefits of Disinfecting a Shower Head Naturally

Shower head running in a bathroom

Disinfecting and learning how to unclog your shower head in a natural way offers several benefits. Since vinegar is free from harsh chemicals, it’s safer for both the environment and your health. Unlike commercial disinfectants, natural solutions are less likely to cause skin irritations or respiratory issues.

Natural disinfectants can effectively kill or inhibit the growth of germs and bacteria that can accumulate on shower heads. Vinegar has antimicrobial properties that help eliminate common pathogens, such as E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus. This reduces the risk of infection and helps maintain a clean and hygienic showering environment. Vinegar is also relatively cheap when compared to commercial disinfectants.

There’s also the environmental factor to consider. Choosing natural disinfection methods for your shower head reduces the use of chemical-based cleaning products that can harm the environment. By using eco-friendly solutions, you contribute to a greener and more sustainable approach to cleaning.

Leave Your Cleaning to the Professionals

While homemade shower head cleaners can go a long way to make life easier, keeping up with the rest of your household cleaning can be a challenge. If you’d like to spend less time cleaning and more time doing what you love, give the professionals at your local Molly Maid® a call. Our team has decades of cleaning experience and the attention to detail that will leave your home sparkling from top to bottom.And as part of the Neighborly family of home service providers, all our work is backed by the Neighborly Done Right Promise™, which ensures that the job is done right every time. Get started today by requesting a free estimate.

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