If you’ve been experiencing a blockage, and I don’t mean the kind that requires more fibre in your diet, consider cleaning your shower head to improve water flow and give you a better shower experience.
Basically, a shower head (like mine, pictured in this post), is constantly spouting water out, every day at your beck and call. Naturally, water has calcium and other mineral deposits which over time can (and will) clog faucets, showerheads and coffeemakers (have you seen our blog post on cleaning a Keurig yet?). This isn’t harmful per se, it just slows the flow. It constipates, if you will, your system.
There are many corrosive products that are out there claiming to blast away calcium, lime and rust (catch my drift?) which I’d never allow in my house. Certainly, all you need to dissolve this build up is a good soaking in some plain white vinegar. The acids in vinegar naturally break down limescale and rust and allow your shower heads to work like new again. You can also use this trick for cleaning and unclogging faucets.
All you need for this trick is:
1) a zippered bag or sandwich bag, heck you could even use a produce bag.
2) an elastic band, tie wrap or hair elastic (I’m all about options)
3) white vinegar (no options here, just plain white vinegar)
Fill your bag about half way with vinegar and fasten the bag to the shower head. Do this by enclosing the mouth of the bag over the shower head and fastening it tightly in place with the tie. Ensure the shower head is fully immersed in the vinegar, it needs to be in order for this to work. Let’s say yours is on a hose (like mine), then I’d suggest taking the hose down and letting it sit in the tub. Let this sit for 12 hours, or 24 if the shower head is really crusty and you have an alternative shower you can use.
When done, simply remove the bag (careful not to get any vinegar on your or worse, in your eye), and dump down the drain. Yes, it will smell for a few minutes but shortly thereafter you’ll notice no smell. If you want to be super sassy, throw some baking soda down your drain before you dump out the vinegar and you’ve now also cleaned our your drain in the process (go you!). Let the shower head run hot water for a minute before getting in, you’ll marvel at your handiwork; it will run like new!
If you are having stubborn stain issues, you can soak the shower head even longer to see if it will blast away. If you wish, you can use some baking soda and rub that in to the small nozzles with a cleaning toothbrush which will help break down any additional limescale and remove the discolouration. Rinse it clean and you should notice a difference. Keep in mind that brown discolouration is ugly (I believe this has to do with iron content in water), but is not harming the functionality of the shower head. Green and white ‘crust’ is what you really need to work on, calcium and limescale are the culprits in clogging your shower head.
Isn’t my grout clean? I know! Here’s a video I put together a long time ago on cleaning grout. Yes, it takes a lot (ish) of time, but the results are really and truly amazing.
This easy and cheap trick is just another simple way to maintain your home and keep things running like new.