As a homeowner, there are enough things to worry about maintaining. There are too many unswept crumbs in every corner, too much dust on every ceiling fan, too much pet hair on every couch, and a yard that needs to be mowed before the rain arrives. The shower head doesn’t always get the job done when it comes to spring cleaning, even though the bathroom is one of the rooms in the house with the most bacteria — albeit, less so than the kitchen (new) (or summer, or fall). When something breaks, you usually remember to clean it.
However, cleaning your shower head should be a seasonal priority, claims cleaning business RocketMaids. You have about two months until you should actually get in there and clean the sludge and hard water buildup if you can’t get to it every four months. According to Apartment Therapy, you can experience plumbing problems after six months.
There’s only one catch: You’ll want to forgo the bleach when you do find the time for this frequently neglected task. According to the Shower Head Store, researchers found that using bleach to clean your shower head might potentially increase the quantity of bacteria present. What can you utilize, then? We’re here to dissect some of the top products that will update your shower head.
1. Vinegar Soak Your Shower Head
You’re in luck if you’re one of those folks who enjoys doing passive cleaning (Roomba owners, we’re looking at you): One of the easiest and most efficient ways to clean your shower head does all the job for you with very little effort. You’ll need a Ziploc baggie, some white or apple cider vinegar, and an elastic band or strong, waterproof tape. Put the shower head’s attachment inside the plastic bag and fill it halfway with vinegar.
To stop any liquid from spilling out, tape it closed or secure it with an elastic band. The remaining water in the bag can then be slowly turned on to fill the shower, which should completely submerge the shower head. But be careful – filling the bag with too much water pressure could cause a little vinegar explosion.
The best part is next: Set it and forget it. Depending on how bad the condition is, you can let the shower head soak for as least one hour. Detach the bag from the shower head once your timer goes off and dump the liquid down the drain, suggests cNet. It ought to be as good as new, but repeat as required.
2. Use baking soda paste to clean your shower head.
No vinegar? No issue! We’re prepared to wager that you also have one or two more everyday items on hand that can take care of the grunt work. All you need is some water and baking soda, and because we’re in the restroom right now, you already have access to half of those. Morning Chores recommends combining water and baking soda to create a thick paste that is neither too watery nor too clumpy.
Don’t be hesitant to cover the shower head’s nozzles, as there is typically where the majority of the buildup happens. Generously coat the shower head with the mixture. Turn on the shower head to view your effects after 30 minutes and give it a quick water rinse.
Taste of Home also suggests using around four or five drops of dish soap with two tablespoons of baking soda and some vinegar to thoroughly clean the shower head if you’re looking for a little more shine or cleaning power. You could also put it in a bag and submerge it like in option one!
3. Do not be scared to clean your shower head with toothbrushes and toothpicks.
While you can clean your shower head with anything from a sponge to a microfiber towel, it will be helpful to have a few tools on hand to get into the nozzles’ intricate details. As long as you’re gentle, General Plumbing advises, using toothpicks to assist remove any crud and debris caked into your shower head is entirely safe. Since they’re short, they won’t harm the shower head’s internal components and will aid in clearing anything obstructing the holes.
Another choice is to frequently scrub with a non-abrasive scrub brush or a toothbrush. TikTok user @shannen Castro offers her go-to tip for reducing the stress of cleaning later: Keep a stand-up brush in the shower at all times, loaded with Dawn dish soap and vinegar. This will allow you to clean things more frequently and pretend it’s a microphone so you can sing along to your favorite songs in the shower.