how to clean shower heads with vinegar

How to clean shower heads with vinegar [ Best 6 steps with guide]

Hello, you’ve reached the blog post on how to clean shower heads with vinegar. If you’re anything like me, you may have just moved into a new apartment and are looking for some ways to make the place feel more like home.

Or maybe there’s a buildup of lime or mineral deposits from the water that has started to clog up your shower head and make it hard to rinse off soap or shampoo. If this sounds like something that’s happened to you then this is the article for you!

In this article, I’m going to cover how to clean a showerhead by using vinegar and an old toothbrush as well as what vinegar is good for in other parts of your life. But before we get too into that let’s go over why you would clean your shower head and what vinegar has to offer.


Table of Contents

Why need to clean shower heads regularly??

The first and probably most important reason is to maintain the longevity of your shower head. If there’s a buildup of lime or mineral deposits on your shower head, it can damage the sealant around where the water comes out, causing it to leak.

This can allow water to get into the walls around your shower and cause damage. Another reason is it can be hard to rinse soap and shampoo out of your hair when the water pressure is low.

This is mostly just a problem for other people sharing your shower but still something you may want to consider cleaning up if all of you are experiencing low water pressure.


How to clean shower heads with vinegar- 6 steps.

Step 1 -Remove your shower head.

Starting off, you’ll want to remove your shower head. You can both remove and replace a showerhead together if you’d like but for most people, this is just easier to do separately.

To remove the showerhead, simply unscrew it from the wall by holding the knob at the base of the showerhead and turning it counterclockwise. Once the showerhead is removed, you can then install a new one if necessary.

Once you have it installed, put it back in place and plug your shower head into an outlet as per the instructions that came with it.

Step 2 -Pull off any hairspray or other residue.

If you’ve used hairspray recently or not rinsed properly, you may have some buildup of residue left behind (especially if it was water-soluble or even soap-soluble). To get rid of this, I recommend using an old toothbrush or the end of a wire hanger to brush off any hairspray and residue that you see.

Another reason for pulling buildup off your showerhead is to help prevent any buildup from happening in the future. Get all the extra residue off so you don’t have it building up on your showerhead where it could clog it up. Remember, if your shower head is clogged, you’ll be more likely to get lime deposits as they’ll be harder to pull through.

Step 3 -Center your vinegar on the head.

Now that you’ve got all the buildup off your shower head, you want to center it on top of the showerhead. This way, any particles that are in the vinegar will be evenly distributed as much as possible and won’t just sit on one side or the other.

Distribute a thin coat of vinegar over exposed surfaces of your showerhead to prevent staining and buildup in your shower.

Step 4 -Leave it to sit for at least 15 minutes

In this step, you want to let the vinegar soak into your shower head. This will help prevent any staining and buildup of lime or mineral deposits in the future. If you’re using a shower head with a sealant on the outside, wait at least 15 minutes before rinsing it off to ensure that the vinegar has soaked in enough.

This is also an important step because it will allow the vinegar smell to evaporate.

If you have a shower filter, it may also be good to remove it for this step. Shower filters can slow down the process of vinegar being able to clean your shower head.

Follow the instructions on your shower head as far as replacing and cutting off the water supply. You want to make sure there’s no chance of water damage by getting water in the walls surrounding your shower.

Other post: How to clean dried paint brushes

Step 5 -Rinse

After 15 minutes, remove your shower head from the sink and rinse it out with warm water. You’ll want to wash it in a circular motion with your thumb or brush. This will help loosen up any lime or mineral deposits that may be stuck on the shower stem and nozzle.

Step 6 -Replace and enjoy your newly cleaned shower head

Finally, you’re going to want to put your shower head back in place and reconnect the water supply. Now that you’ve cleaned it up, you’ll be able to enjoy using a clean showerhead!

how to clean shower heads with vinegar
how to clean shower heads with vinegar

Additional information:

How to clean chrome shower head?

First, it’s important to note that most of the things you clean with vinegar will not harm your shower head. However, there are some things specifically made for cleaning chrome showerheads and other metal fixtures. You can find all kinds of cleaners on the market that are made specifically to clean chrome, so if you want to make sure it’s free of any harmful chemicals, look into those.

What you will need to clean the chrome shower head?

  • Measuring cup (at least 1 cup worth of vinegar)
  • Toothbrush (optional but recommended)
  • Steel wool or cotton swab to clean off minerals and buildup
  1. A full measuring cup of vinegar – You will be using this to soak the showerhead in, so make sure you fill it up as much as possible.
  2. A toothbrush or some kind of cleaning brush with bristles- This is optional but recommended for chrome showerheads. If you have buildup on your shower head and it’s not coming off easily, then you need to scrub it with a toothbrush to get it all off.
  3. Steel wool or cotton swab to clean up minerals.

Step 1 – Clean the room

Start with cleaning out the area where you will be working. Using warm soap and water, clean any hairspray residue or other debris that has gathered in the rinsing area of your shower. If you don’t clean up any buildup here, you’ll be just making it harder for the vinegar to clean.

Step 2 – Soak the chrome showerhead

Fill your measuring cup up with vinegar. You want as much vinegar in there as possible. This is to ensure that all of the buildups will be removed from your shower head. Pour the measured vinegar into your rinsing area and put your shower head in it so that it is completely covered by the solution. It may start fizzing, which is perfectly normal and okay.

Related: How to clean glass cooktop 

How to clean shower head with apple cider vinegar?

To clean the showerhead with apple cider vinegar, you need to have:

  1. Your showerhead (duh).
  2. A scrub sponge.
  3. Scrub brush.
  4. Apple cider vinegar.
  5. A towel.

Step 1 – Remove the showerhead from the wall [optional]

If you have time, you can do this step to ensure that when you go to replace it, there’s no risk of you getting water on the walls and causing damage to your drywall or paint job. If not, proceed to Step 2 immediately.

Step 2 – Scrub the showerhead

Use the scrub sponge and dip it into a cup of apple cider vinegar. Use this to begin scrubbing the inside and outside of your shower head. Scrub in a circular motion to loosen up any buildup and grime on your showerhead. Your best bet is in using a brush that has bristles so you can really get in there and scrub off any gunk that is stuck on there.

Step 3 – Rinse off the showerhead

Once you’ve removed all the visible grime, it’s time to rinse off your shower head. Use warm water and a towel to dry it up really well. This will prevent any grime from building up in the future.

How to clean showerhead with vinegar and baking soda?

To clean the showerhead with vinegar and baking soda, you need to have:

  1. Showerhead.
  2. Baking soda.
  3. Vinegar.
  4. Disinfectant spray (optional).
  5. Clean sponge or anything soft to clean with (optional).

Step 1- Rinse the showerhead

Before you use vinegar and baking soda to clean your shower head, make sure it’s completely dry (this will prevent any residue buildup). Next, take your vinegar and add some to your mixing cup. Pour the vinegar into the rinsing area of the showerhead. The key to this is to put as much as possible in there. Don’t use too much if you don’t want to risk burning anything when you turn on your water.

Step 2- Clean the vinegar

Using the baking soda, scrub a little bit of it around the rinsing area of your shower head. You can also use a sponge to do this if you’d prefer.

Step 3- Wash off the showerhead and rinse

After you get your dirty showerhead clean, use a towel to dry it off. Then, spray your disinfectant on it (or just wipe it down with some disinfectant wipes – whatever you prefer). Soak up any excess vinegar with a towel and then rinse any leftover vinegar away.

Step 4- Hang up the showerhead

Finally, you can hang up the showerhead and enjoy using it with nice clean water!

How to clean calcified showerheads?

To clean your calcified shower head, all you need is:

  1. Vinegar. – You will be using this to make a solution that loosens up the calcium buildup on your shower head. Put about two cups in a bowl or bucket and fill the rest of it with water.
  2. Petroleum jelly. – This will help protect the surface of your showerhead from drying out too fast.
  3. Brush or soft scrubber. – You want to use something with bristles as opposed to a hard brush to avoid scratching your shower head.
  4. Soft cloths or paper towels, or cotton swabs – You will be using these to soak up the vinegar solution, and you only want them there for so long, otherwise they’ll leave streaks on the showerhead (which affects its appearance).


How to clean shower head without vinegar?

To clean your showerhead without vinegar, you will need:

  1. Baking soda.
  2. Toothbrush.
  3. Soft cloths or paper towels (optional).
  4. WD-40 lubricant if needed (optional- for the showerhead manufacturer says to use this in place of vinegar).
  5. Water hose with spray nozzle (if you can’t turn the water off from where you are, use a bucket of water and spray nozzle).
  6. Disinfectant spray (optional).


Step 1- Find the model of the showerhead and turn it off.

You want to make sure you do this step first so that you don’t accidentally forget to turn off your showerhead while cleaning. If you’re not sure how to turn your showerhead off, consult the manufacturer’s manual or look in your toolbox for a small wrench that matches the size of your shower head. The size of the wrench will depend on the girth of your shower head. It may be possible that you can take apart your shower head and clean it at this point. I personally prefer not to because you might forget to put it back together again.


Step 2- If you are able to remove the showerhead, remove it and clean it by hand.

If you aren’t able to remove the showerhead from its holder, proceed on to the next step.


Step 3- Soak a toothbrush in baking soda and apply it to the surface of the sprayer.

Baking soda has the ability to absorb water, which is why you want to soak a toothbrush in it before you apply it to your showerhead. You only need a small amount on the surface of your showerhead and that’s how much you’ll use. Set aside to dry for about an hour since you applied so much baking soda, place into an airtight container.


Step 4- Rinse your sprayer with hot water for about 30 seconds or until the vinegar solution runs clear.

You only need to run your water for a minute or less, but it depends on how long you applied the baking soda onto your shower head.


Step 5- Wipe down your shower head with a soft cloth if desired.

Sometimes, you may want to wipe down the surface of your showerhead with a disinfectant spray after using the baking soda and vinegar solution. This is an optional step, but I would recommend it because it will get rid of any leftover grime that remains after washing off the vinegar solution with hot water.


Step 6- Clean your sprayer with a mixture of dish detergent and water.

Using an old toothbrush, scrub the surface of the showerhead until it is clean of any scratches or gunk. It may take some work to get the stubborn stuff off, but once you manage to do that.


Step 7- Soak a soft cloth in hot water and use it to wipe off any excess grime on your shower head.

If you used WD-40, rub it on a soft cloth and clean away any excess material.


Step 8- Clean the sprayer with a mixture of bleach and water if you have another showerhead.

If you don’t have another showerhead to use in the meantime, don’t worry! Use an old toothbrush to scrub away the grime until your showerhead is nice and shiny again.

How to clean shower head rubber nozzles?

To clean a scratched or worn out rubber nozzle on your shower head, you need:

  1. Toothpaste.
  2. Soft toothbrush.
  3. Soft cloths or paper towels (optional).
  4. Water hose with spray nozzle (if you can’t turn the water off from where you are, use a bucket of water and spray nozzle).
  5. Disinfectant spray (optional).


People ask about how to clean shower heads with vinegar:

What is the best vinegar for cleaning?

The best vinegar to clean shower heads is white vinegar because it is the least harsh on surfaces.

What can I use to clean a shower head with no vinegar?

If you don’t have any vinegar on hand, you can use baby powder to clean your showerhead. This also works well if you have a cat or dog dander build-up. Remember that this solution will leave a residue and that you should rinse off after allowing it time to soak into the hard water deposits and grime on your showerhead.

How long should you soak your shower head in vinegar?

If you’re wondering how long you should soak your showerhead in vinegar, it depends on how long the buildup has been there. If it’s only been a few months and the buildup isn’t too severe, then you don’t need to soak it for more than an hour. Longer than that if the buildup is severe or if you are noticing that there are some mineral deposits on your shower head.

How do you remove limescale from a showerhead?

The most common way to remove limescale from your shower head is to use vinegar and baking soda as described above. It is important that you only do this once every few months because you don’t want to damage your showerhead.

How do you remove scale build-up from a shower head?

You can get rid of scale build-up on a showerhead by using toothpaste and a soft brush. If your soap scum is the result of hard water, then place some of the toothpaste on your rag.

What kind of vinegar do you use to clean a shower head?

You can use regular white vinegar to clean your shower head as long as it doesn’t contain any additives. If you want to extend the life of your cleaning solution, then use distilled white vinegar.

How do you clean a shower head with calcium buildup?

You can get rid of calcium deposits on your shower head by using baking soda and water. It is best to test out this method before using it on your showerhead because too much baking soda could leave a residue on your showerhead that is hard to remove.


The one thing I would say is to make sure you’re using the correct vinegar for the job. Use distilled white vinegar, as it won’t leave any type of residue behind on your showerhead.

I hope this blog post has helped you to learn how to clean your shower heads with vinegar. If you have any questions about the process or want to share your experience in cleaning showerheads, please leave a comment below!


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