How To Clean A Shower Head
Maintaining a clean shower head is important in order to keep it functioning properly. It’s annoying if there isn’t a regular, consistent spray but blockages and an uneven scattered effect. More importantly, bacteria can build up in the shower head, which could be bad for health. There is a type of bacteria called mycobacteria associated with lung infections, fatigue, fever and night sweats. The general advice is to soak your shower head in a cleaning product once a month, and thoroughly rinse off.
However, the risks may actually not be that high because this kind of bacteria is present in many kinds of water sources, and our bodies have built up a tolerance so that most of us don’t become sick. Whatever the latest studies suggest, though, who wants to risk it! Another incentive is the look of your shower head. Aside from what’s inside the shower head it’s nice to keep its exterior nice and shiny. Here are some simple tips which can help you make that happen.
Get a plastic bag (freezer bag or storage bag) and then fill the bag halfway with white vinegar. Take the bag and place it around the shower head, attaching it with a rubber band. Leave it for an hour, then remove the bag, turn on the water, and give it a good polish with a regular cleaning product. Hey presto, a lovely, shiny shower head.
Deep Clean It
If you shower head can be unscrewed, great. If not, then consult your manual (online, if necessary), and run it under a faucet to remove any nasty detritus which may have been accumulating inside. Use an old toothbrush and give it a good scrub; vinegar and water work well for loosening up the dirt that lies within. Consider using a toothpick or perhaps a safety-pin or cocktail stick to gouge out dirt from the pin holes of the shower head. Then, soak the parts of the shower head in vinegar overnight. The next day, rinse the head, put it all back together and it should be significantly cleaner due to your efforts.
Oven Cleaner It
This strong chemically based substance requires rubber gloves; you must avoid all contact with skin. If you can, wear a painter’s mask. You won’t need to leave it on for that long because it might end up damaging the lacquer coating the shower head. Twenty minutes of the oven cleaner being sprayed and left on should do the trick. You’ll then want to rinse the shower head quickly and thoroughly. If it can clean an oven & toaster oven then it can certainly clean a mere shower head.
Baking Soda It
This is great because it’s not at all dangerous for your skin but is natural, inexpensive and usefully abrasive. First, mix it well with water so that it forms a kind of paste. Just keep adding the powder so that it’s neither too thick nor too runny. Then, apply it all around your shower head so that it is completely covered. Twenty to thirty minutes should be enough to do the job, and you will then be able to look forward to having a nice, sparkling, shiny shower head once again, after you give it a good rinse.
Pour cola into a bowl, dip the shower head in, dislodging any dirt which may have built up. Don’t do this for too long, in order to avoid having the sticky substance clog up the shower head. Then, simply rinse and shine with a regular bathroom cleaning spray, and it should be noticeably cleaner and shinier.
If you’ve tried some of these tips and they haven’t worked for your shower head, then consider examining the filter screen. You should find the manual online, if you haven’t kept a hard copy. The filter screen is generally located in the connecting part, between the shower head and pipe. Once you’ve managed to unscrew and get the filter screen out of the pivot ball, run some water over it for a few minutes to flush out any gunk. A toothbrush may also be used to good effect, to loosen and remove mineral deposits. Then, simply place the filter screen back into the pivot ball and screw everything back into place. Rinse and see the difference.
It’s best not to use bleach to clean your shower head because it may actually end up increasing harmful bacteria. It can also damage the silver lacquering covering the shower head. Don’t use an especially hard-bristle brush which can scratch the chrome finish of your shower head. Don’t shut the door to your bathroom and be surrounded by strong-smelling products like vinegar or other cleaning products. You don’t want to damage your health in one way, by trying to protect your health in another!
- What’s in Your Showerhead? – Water Quality & Health Council