How To Clean A Shower Head

Effortlessly maintain the cleanliness of your shower head, whether you choose to remove it or not, with the help of our step-by-step guide.
Written By: Richard Morgan | Updated:
How To Clean Shower Head
Richard Morgan/DIY Works

Whether you’ve noticed deposits appearing near the nozzles (as shown in the image above) or inconsistent spray patterns, it may be time to clean your shower head.

Over time, limescale build-up causes shower heads to become blocked, affecting the water flow and spray patterns. It also covers the shower head, making it lose its desirable shine.

Luckily, cleaning a shower head isn’t that difficult and involves no expensive products or tools. Whether you have a fixed head shower head on your luxury mixer shower or an adjustable shower head, below is everything you need to know to effectively clean a shower head.

What You’ll Need

  • White vinegar
  • Toothbrush
  • Cocktail stick
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • Bucket

How To Clean A Shower Head

  1. Remove the shower head from the hose (don’t lose any of the rubber washers).
  2. Rinse it under a tap with the shower head facing upwards towards the water.
  3. Use a toothbrush and white vinegar to loosen any debris inside.
  4. Use a cocktail stick to poke out any deposits within the nozzles.
  5. Place the shower head in a bucket of white vinegar overnight.

Regarding the final step, you can add some baking soda into the mix for extra cleaning power when tackling a heavy limescale build-up.

How To Clean A Shower Head Without Removing It

If you are unable to remove the shower head from the hose, don’t worry because you can still effectively clean it. All you need is a plastic bag and rubber band, as shown below:

  1. Place a rubber band over the top of your shower head.
  2. Fill a plastic bag with white vinegar.
  3. Attach the bag over the shower head and use the rubber band to secure it.
  4. Leave it for an hour to get to work.
  5. Remove the bag and turn on the shower.
  6. Polish the shower head with a dry microfibre cloth.

Preventing Limescale Buildup

Limescale is a common problem that’s made worse if you live in an area with hard water. Although you could dry the shower head with a cloth after each use, it isn’t something that you want to do each and every time you get out of the shower. Alternatively, the most common method to reduce limescale build-up is to install a water softener.

Thanks to modern technology, some of the best-rated shower heads now come with clever designs that prevent the build-up of limescale. This is certainly something to consider if you are having trouble and don’t mind spending slightly extra on a shower head to reduce the dreaded limescale build-up.


Cleaning your shower head really is that easy and can be achieved regardless of whether it’s a fixed or adjustable shower head. If you’d prefer to clean a shower head without vinegar, there are plenty of dedicated cleaners that you can use instead. However, we’d recommend that you avoid bleach and use a hard bristle brush to remove any debris.

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