How to Clean a Showerhead

Tackle blocked spray jets and mineral build-up on your bathroom showerhead with this deep-cleaning solution.

August 27, 2020

We get it – your bathroom showerhead is one of those spots in the home you’d expect to be somewhat self-cleaning, but it does need some routine upkeep to look new and function at full capacity. It may not come into contact with much besides water and soap, but cleansing the showerhead helps to treat hard water build-up and keep soap scum at bay. Mineral deposits like limescale in your water supply can create blockages in the holes through which water passes, reducing the power of the jet or entirely clogging it. Time to get those micro-jets clean and improve your overall showering experience.

Dirty showerhead in a bathroom.

How to Clean a Shower Head

Use baking soda, vinegar, and a gallon sized bag to clean showerhead components.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Materials Needed

  • pitcher
  • gallon-size plastic bag
  • 1/2 cup of baking soda
  • 4 cups of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of water
  • zip ties or rubber bands

Inspect Showerhead

Start by checking out your showerhead closely. Turn on the water, and identify which water holes seem plugged when the shower is running. Make sure those affected holes are completely submerged while cleaning.

Mix Cleaner

Place the gallon-size plastic bag, open, inside the pitcher, and fold the edges of the bag around the outside of the container. This helps to keep it upright. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the bag.

1 cup of baking soda in a plastic bag.

How to Clean a Shower Head

Use baking soda, vinegar, and a gallon sized bag to clean showerhead components.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Slowly pour the vinegar into the bag. Emphasis on slow! This isn’t meant to be a science experiment, but we guarantee that you’ll enjoy witnessing the bubbly reaction. Without causing the bag to overflow, continue adding the vinegar until it’s fully mixed and settled. Add 1 cup of water to dilute the mixture.

Baking soda and vinegar interacting in a container.

How to Clean a Shower Head

Use baking soda, vinegar, and a gallon sized bag to clean showerhead components.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Submerge Showerhead

The size and angle of your showerhead makes this next step a bit of a challenge to direct universally. Best-case scenario, you’ll be able to angle the showerhead downwards and fully submerge every single water jet into the bubbly cleaner, securely tying the bag around the neck of the showerhead. A removable showerhead or two-in-one design might call for a little extra work in order to get all of the jets soaked in cleaner. You’ll see that I took the handheld attachment of the showerhead out of the fixture and soaked it separately in a bowl on the floor of the shower.

Showerhead wand in a plastic bag for cleaning.

How to Clean a Shower Head

Use baking soda, vinegar, and a gallon sized bag to clean showerhead components.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

A zip tie is a very secure way to attach the bag around the neck of your showerhead. You can also use a rubber band if you’re able to wrap it well and keep the bag in place. Be mindful of the bag's weight, too; if you have a small showerhead, you may want to reduce the amount of cleaner weighing down your fixture. (Just pour any excess onto the floor of the bathtub or shower and give the area a good washing while you’re at it.)

Allow the showerhead to soak in the cleaner for four hours, or even overnight.

Plastic bag with cleaner secured around a showerhead.

How to Clean a Shower Head

Use baking soda, vinegar, and a gallon sized bag to clean showerhead components.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Wipe Down Showerhead Surface

When you remove the bag, pour the liquid down the drain and turn the water back on to see if any of the previously clogged jets have opened up. If your showerhead produced a low water pressure prior to cleaning, you might notice a big difference now.

Use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe down the surface of the showerhead gently to wash away any remaining build-up or residue on the metal or plastic. Soap residue and hard water spots should be completely gone, and your shower should be good to use again, so have at it.

Remember to clean your bathroom showerhead.

Remember to Clean Your Bathroom Showerhead.

Remember to clean your bathroom showerhead.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Routine Cleaning

For routine cleaning, keep some diluted vinegar in a spray bottle — no baking soda necessary. You can keep build-up at bay by spraying and wiping down the showerhead during your regular cleaning process, reducing the number of times you need to do a deep soaking treatment.

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