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Cleaning

Here’s how to clean that crusty gunk off your shower head

Scrub a tub tub

A crusty metal shower head. Credit: Getty Images / skhoward

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Don’t forget to add your bathroom to your list of spaces to tackle during your spring clean. While you may remember to wipe down the sink, clean the toilet, and spray mirrors, you also want to give fixtures—especially your shower head—a deep clean of their own.

Shower heads can often build up residue and mineral deposits from the water running through them. A thorough clean will lead to a cleaner shower and may even improve your water pressure.

We talked to a few experts on how to clean a shower head, and here’s what they recommend.

Things you need

How to clean a shower head

Step 1: Remove the shower head

A person disconnects a shower head.
Credit: Getty Images / Grigorev_Vladimir

Make sure to disconnect the shower head.

Remove the shower head from the shower fixture or hose.

Step 2: Soak the shower head

A bottle of white vinegar next to a scrubbing brush and cloth.
Credit: Getty Images / Pat_Hastings

The tried and true white vinegar comes in handy yet again.

Pour vinegar into a plastic storage bag or bin that is larger than the shower head. “Showerheads typically suffer from hard water or calcium build-up, so soaking the showerhead in CLR or white vinegar will typically remove the build-up,” says Michael Rusciolelli, owner of Janitorial Management Inc. in Philadelphia.

Lauren Bowen from Two Maids & A Mop recommends placing the shower head in vinegar. “Leave it submerged for at least an hour, or overnight if you need a deep clean. The vinegar will loosen the mineral deposits naturally.”

Step 3: Scrub it clean

Two wooden toothbrushes.
Credit: Getty Images / Viktoriya-Kraynyuk

Reserve some toothbrushes for cleaning.

After soaking, remove the shower head from the vinegar and scrub any loose debris away.

As an optional step, you can create a mixture of equal parts baking soda and lemon juice and scrub it on the shower head using a small brush or old toothbrush.

You could also mix baking soda and vinegar to get rid of mineral deposits that didn’t soak off, says David Mason of hardware design company Knobs.Co.

Step 4: Rinse, wipe, and reconnect

A running shower head in a bathroom.
Credit: Getty Images / ByoungJoo

Reconnect your shower head and get ready to clean yourself up.

Rinse the shower head with hot water, wipe clean with a microfiber cloth, and reconnect to your shower fixture.

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