How To Clean a Showerhead

Whether your shower head is tricking water out because it’s blocked or you are a clean freak and want it to sparkle, it’s always good to keep your showerhead on the top of it’s game. Since that’s where the water is coming out to clean your body the last thing you need is to feel unclean after a shower. Minerals can build up over time and this reality is more common than we think. 

But most of us don’t actually know how to properly clean a showerhead in our bathrooms. The truth is it’s a simple process but we get caught up with bad products. Do we use chemicals to get rid of the bacteria? Or does it mix into the water when we go to shower next? It can be confusing to really know how to clean a showerhead. This is your ultimate guide to cleaning a showerhead without worrying about leaving residuals behind.

How To Clean Your Showerhead In General

There are so many different products that we can break down in order to clean our showerheads thoroughly. They will mostly all follow general steps despite having different solutions. The first step is to know how harsh the water is where you live. Some towns naturally have dirtier or more chemicalized water than others. This can lead to build-up. 

The next thing you need to do is figure out how often you need to clean a showerhead. Most people clean their showerhead every other month but for communities with harsh water and deposits, consider cleaning more frequently. The type of showerhead is also going to change your approach to cleaning and how often. Let’s talk about it! 

Removable Shower Heads

Cleaning a removable shower head is going to be very different from a non-removable and will require a toolbox if you want to do it correctly. 

    How To Clean a Showerhead

    Supplies for cleaning shower head

    • Wrench or pliers
    • Microwaveable container
    • Microfiber cloth
    • Toothbrush


    1. Because you don’t want to ruin your showerhead, take a cloth and wrap it around before putting the wrench or pliers around it. Now you can loosen the nut. 
    2. If possible, take the showerhead and place it in a large deep bowl. Pour the solution over the showerhead and let it soak for 30 minutes. 
    3. Remove the showerhead and dump out the solution in a safe way. Take an old toothbrush and scrub around the showerhead. Be sure to use a soft brush if you have a fine-finish on the showerhead. 
    4. After rinsing with water, proceed to dry it with a microfiber cloth. Screw your showerhead back in the same way you took it off. 
    How To Clean a Showerhead

    Non-Removable Shower Heads

    Learning how to clean your showerhead without removing it presents a different set of challenges because you cannot soak it in a bowl the same way you would when you can remove it. 

    Supplies for cleaning the showerhead

    • Microfiber cloth
    • Toothbrush
    • Plastic storage bag
    • Rubber band or masking tape
    • Toothpick


    1. Fill the plastic storage bag with the cleaning solution. You will wrap this over the showerhead as a different way to let it soak. 
    2. Secure the bag by using masking tape or a rubber band to keep the bag around the showerhead for 30 minutes. 
    3. After removing the bag, use a toothbrush to clean it the same way you would if it was removable. You may find more deposit build-up and need to use a toothpick to remove all the minerals. 
    4. Rinse with a damp sponge and dry clean with a cloth. 
    How To Clean a Showerhead

      How to clean a showerhead with vinegar

      There are a lot of different solutions to use when it comes to cleaning your shower head. More often than not, most people like to use vinegar as a cleaning solution because it works well and is non-toxic. 

      You can follow the same steps above when cleaning your showerhead with vinegar except before you soak the showerhead. It’s always great to use a microwavable dish and warm the vinegar in distilled water to really loosen up the dirt and debris. 

      How long to soak the showerhead in vinegar

      When it comes to how long you should soak your showerhead in vinegar you want to keep it to at least 30 minutes. This gives the showerhead time in the solution for the deposits to really break down and the solution to do its job. 

      Here are some guidelines:

      • Minimal buildup that is hard to see for the eye can do 30 minutes.
      • Visible grim should soak for about 60 minutes. 
      • Tough to remove deposits should soak for more than 60 minutes and have a hard bristles toothbrush to help scrub. 
      How To Clean a Showerhead

      How to clean showerhead with vinegar and baking soda

      To clean your showerhead with vinegar and baking soda you will need to mix three cups of white vinegar with 1 cup of baking soda. This is a very reactive mix, make sure the bowl you are using is large enough to contain all the initial bubbles you are going to get. 

      Once you mix it you can either follow the steps mentioned previously or use the baggy method. Many say that at least 30 minutes is good to soak but if you have a really troubled showerhead you can leave it in for 60 minutes to really get rid of the grime. 

      How to clean a shower head without vinegar

      Vinegar is certainly one of the most popular ingredients for cleaning bathrooms because it is a non-toxic option that works well and doesn’t eat through your finishes. Having said that, some people hate the smell of vinegar. Or some people just don’t feel like it is the best option out there to clean your showerhead. That’s why we have a few alternatives here. 

      How To Clean a Showerhead

      How to clean showerhead with bleach

      It’s really not a great idea to use bleach on your shower head for a number of reasons. A lot of people wonder how to clean a chrome shower head and the truth is if you use bleach it can go right through the finish. It also can end up in your water the next time you go to shower and it is not good for your skin or face to come into contact with bleach. 

      But now we’re wondering how to clean a showerhead that is clogged?

      Let us return to the baking soda and vinegar soak. This truly is the best combination that you can use and the most powerful. Also, if possible, try to remove the showerhead so that you can get the inside build-up as well. Harsh water has a lot of limestone and mineral deposits are the prime suspects of your clogged showerhead. This will also help when learning how to clean your filter screen in a showerhead. 

      Having said that we can also turn to an alternative of using apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar. Let’s dive into this a bit. 

      How to clean a shower head with apple cider vinegar

      Apple cider vinegar and CLR are two solutions that are commonly used as alternatives to white vinegar. 

      1. The ratio is one part apple cider vinegar to one part water with ¼ of a cup baking soda to help the mix out. This is often the answer on how to remove mineral deposits from a showerhead. 
      2. You want to use the mixture to soak or bag the showerhead just as you would in the general cleaning section. You can also soak for the same amount of time between 30 and 60 minutes. 

      Fresh Water Feeling

      When it comes to cleaning your showerhead you really want to have that fresh water feeling. That’s only possible when you go the extra mile to soak and break down the mineral deposits that build up from harsh water settings. It’s a lot of people’s inclination to use bleach to get rid of germs but the reality is this doesn’t work and is an unsafe way to clean. It can even damage your showerhead. 

      That’s why using a vinegar-based solution is the best way to go. Mixing this with baking soda helps you get rid of those pesky dirt spots while also increasing your shower pressure from unclogging your shower head. The process is straightforward which means you can start cleaning your showerhead every other month as recommended! 

      Just remember once you are done with the soak it’s important to use toothpicks and toothbrushes to get in the nooks and crannies.