How To Properly Clean Your Shower Head

Showers are where you go to get squeaky clean after a long, hard day. But if you don't regularly wash your shower head, they can do the exact opposite. Bacteria builds up the longer you go without cleaning it. Then this bacteria can travel through the mist of water and humidity, which is never good. Best Maids warns that this issue may also put people in danger of contracting Legionnaires disease. This bacterial pneumonia causes shortness of breath, fever, chills, coughing, muscle aches, and many other symptoms (via Mayo Clinic).

Depending on the minerals in your water, you may notice deposits on your shower head that affect its performance. As the deposits build up, the flow of water slows and the amount of water pressure suffers. While this problem won't affect your health, it can make your bathroom routine last longer than necessary. 

To prevent these problems, you should clean your shower head monthly. Regular deep cleanings are also recommended at least every six months.

Soak in vinegar

The best way to clean your shower head is by soaking it in vinegar. That being said, how you do this will depend on the model you employ in your bathroom and the tools you have access to. Some units can simply be pulled down from the wall while others must be removed from the shower arm with a crescent wrench. However, you can also use a simple hack to deep clean the shower head with vinegar while it's still attached.

Molly Maid recommends using a 1-to-1 ratio of hot water and vinegar. If your shower head has been removed from the wall, place this mixture in a bowl. If it's still attached, add the mixture to a plastic bag and wrap it around securely. Using rubber bands or tape will keep it in place. Leave it to soak for up to 12 hours.

It's important to know what material your unit is made of. If it's plated with gold, brass, or nickel, soaking it in vinegar for an extended period will damage it. Instead, only do 30-minute intervals to be safe. To reattach it when done, wrap the shower arm with plumber's tape and screw it back into place with the wrench. When it's back on the wall, let it drip any excess vinegar for a couple of minutes before turning on the water to empty it out.

Scrub the filter screen

If you have the tools available, you should take the extra time to scrub the filter screen in your shower head before reattaching it. Doing this step allows you to deep clean your shower head. You won't have to do this every month, but it will likely need extra attention if this is the first time you have washed it in a long time. You should always do this step after soaking it in vinegar.

Water Pik recommends consulting the instruction manual for your unit to know where the filter screen is located. However, it's usually in the pivot ball where the shower head connects with the arm. Removing it can be tricky, so use needle-nose pliers or tweezers to pull it out. Then you can clean it under running water. If there's a lot of gunk, use a toothbrush to scrub it out. Once clean, pop it into the pivot ball and reattach your shower head.