How to Clean a Showerhead

3 Materials
12 Hours

Have you ever looked up at your shower head and noticed a bunch of the nozzles aren't working? I (Steph) installed a new shower head in 2013 when I moved into my house, and haven't thought about it since. Over time I have noticed the water seemed to be coming out harder and was spraying in different directions. It also didn't have the 'rain' effect it once did. I decided it was time to try to clean it! Here's what I did.

Watch the video

You can see many of the nozzles where not spraying water anymore.

Before you try this formula, be sure the fixtures in your shower can be safely cleaned with vinegar. Check the manufacturer's care instructions for your shower head or faucets. I started by mixing a cup of vinegar with 1/3 cup baking soda. The acid in the vinegar reacts with the baking soda to form a strong cleaning agent but vinegar on it’s own would work too.

The reaction between vinegar and baking soda is always fun to watch!

Once they were mixed, I placed the bag over the shower head and attached it with rubber bands. I made sure the mixture came in contact with all the nozzles.

After letting it sit a full day, I removed the bag.

Lastly, I noticed there were still mineral deposits in some of the nozzles so I used a toothpick to clean them out.

As you can see, before, about half the nozzles were working and now all the nozzles are back to working! I could tell a huge difference when I used the shower after cleaning. The water comes out in a rain pattern like when it was new, and it’s a much better experience than it has been. Pretty cool what a little bit of cleaning can do!

For a few more tips on this project visit!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 17 questions
  • Peggy Wernecke
    on Aug 24, 2019

    Oh wow, it completely changed the color of the shower head. I like the color after the cleaning.

  • Stephanie Hemingway
    on Aug 28, 2019

    Couldnt you take the shower head off and soak it that way also

    • DC
      on Feb 8, 2020

      I guess i am lucky, my shower head just unscrew from the pipe. I take it and all the sink tap ends I also unscrew, put all into a bowl of vinegar and within hours all are beautifully shiny like new.

  • Meme
    on Apr 3, 2020

    can you just remove the head and soak it in the solution?

Join the conversation

2 of 61 comments
  • Yasmina Mickas
    on Oct 26, 2019

    I have well water where I live and the water pressure sucks. A few months ago, I bought shower heads off the Internet that promised to correct the problem in the shower, anyways. It wasn't long before the first one became unusable, clogged with hard water deposits. I tried your solution. I knew these shower heads were chrome plated plastic, so I took them apart and only treated the head plate. AMAZING! all the little laser hole nozzles are cleared, and the shower head works like new. I can do this every month or so to keep it that way. Thanks for the tip!

  • Mari
    on Oct 27, 2019

    Thank you for the tips ladies. I tried this cleaning method but i didn't want to leave it on almost all day, busy household, any who i left my shower head running on super hot for about 5-10 mins before applying the Ziploc bag to it. I also squeezed 1/2 a yellow lemon and thinly sliced the peel and added it to the vinegar/ baking soda solution. I then let it sit for almost hrs. When i took the Ziploc off, i lightly scrubbed it with a toothbrush and ran my hot water again for another 5-10mins.

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