It is possible for a shower head to get a buildup of mineral deposits even when you are not using hard water. If your shower head has started looking dingy and clogged with deposits, it is time to have it cleaned. The deposits can block your shower head’s jet openings and prevent the shower head from producing the desired spray. Here are steps and ways of cleaning your shower head.
While you can use a good soak and scrub to clean the shower head in a few minutes, it is prudent to consider other eco-friendly cleaning methods. Remove the shower head from the shower arm and soak it in vinegar. Remember, while newer shower heads screw onto the shower arm, older models come with a shower arm that features a ball-shaped end, which acts as the shower head’s swivel.
Cleaning the shower head without tools
If you want to skip the step of removing the shower head from the shower arm, you can simply use a rubber band and plastic bag to soak your shower head. This method is preferable for shower heads made from protected metal surfaces such as stainless steel and chrome. Slip a rubber band over the shower head and perhaps loop it around the shower arm more than once so the plastic bag will stay in place.
Fill the plastic bag with vinegar and attach it to the shower head by slipping its top underneath the looped rubber band. Wait for one hour, remove the rubber band and plastic bag, and flush the shower head with water. Polish the shower head with a soft cloth.
Detach the shower head: You need to disengage the shower head for thorough cleaning, especially if the mineral deposits prove to be beyond the power of soaking in vinegar. To detach the shower head, unscrew the nuts at the shower arm carefully to avoid marring the fixture’s finish. Cushion your wrench with a rag while you unscrew.
Rinse the showerhead: hold the shower head in an upside down position underneath a faucet and run a sharp blast of water through it. You aim is to rinse out all loosened dirt through the shower head’s opening where it connects with the shower arm.
Dismantle the showerhead: for further cleaning, you should dismantle the shower head and use an old toothbrush with vinegar to loosen the debris. Poke out stack deposits using a safety pin or a toothpick. Then soak the shower head parts in vinegar for a few hours to dissolve any remaining deposits. Repeat the rinsing process.
Reassemble and reinstall the shower head: wrap a plumbing tape around the shower arm threads for a good seal before you reattach the shower head. Use a wrench wrapped with rags or towels to reinstall your shower head, safely.
Some household cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can be toxic to your lungs, eyes and skin. But, you can use friendlier kitchen items such as vinegar in cleaning your shower head safely without causing allergic reactions in your bathroom. When used properly, vinegar can be a powerful tool in your cleaning arsenal that is also safe for you and your family. Moreover, it is inexpensive compared to other household cleaners.