How to Clean a Shower Head

The Best Ways to Remove Mineral Deposits From Your Shower Head

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You may have noticed that your shower head no longer looks shiny and new. It may have chalky, white calcium buildup on its surface or maybe some of the jets are clogged and aren’t working anymore. You may be tempted to replace your shower head, but before you spend money on a new one, why not try restoring your old one? The plumbing and drain experts at Roto-Rooter offer some tips for the best way to clean your shower head.

Remove your shower head

The good news is that you probably already have everything you need to remove mineral deposits and renew the look and performance of your shower head.Remove your shower head. Simply hold the shower arm firmly with one hand, grip the shower head with the other hand and unscrew it from the shower arm. Remember, turn it to the left (counterclockwise). You can use a set of Channellock pliers, if necessary, but be sure to put a rag between the pliers and shower head so you don’t damage the shower head’s surface. Sometimes removing a shower head is difficult due to crusty calcium deposits in the screw threads. If it seems stuck, you don’t need to force it. Leave it in place and proceed to step 3-a.

remove shower head

Place Shower Head in a bowl of white vinegar

Place the showerhead in a bowl that is as at least as deep as the shower head is wide. Pour white vinegar (5% acidity is preferred) into the bowl, completely covering the shower head. Allow shower head to soak in the vinegar overnight, or for at least 8 hours.

white vinegar

If you are unable to remove the shower head, it’s probably due to the calcium buildup. Fill a plastic storage bag with vinegar and pull it up and over the shower head. Use a rubber band or a zip tie to secure it and leave the bag in place overnight (or at least 8 hours). Watch our video for a step by step guide.

plastic bag

Rinse shower head with warm water

Rinse thoroughly with warm water under a faucet. If necessary, use an old toothbrush and some toothpicks to gently scrub away or remove any stubborn deposits that might remain.

rinse with warm water

Wrap shower arm threads with Teflon tape

Use Teflon tape to wrap the threads on the shower arm in a clockwise direction.

teflon tape

Re-attach shower head

Re-attach the shower head by screwing it back into place (turn it clockwise). Hold the shower arm firmly with one hand and the shower head with the other hand. Turn it as tight as you can with your hand. It is probably unnecessary to tighten it with a wrench, but if you do use a wrench, don’t overtighten it.

reattach shower head

Turn on shower for 30-seconds

Finally, turn on the water and let it run for 3 minutes to flush out any remaining mineral deposits. Your shower should look and perform much better while requiring less water pressure for a comfortable shower.
run warm water

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