How To Clean A Showerhead

Over time, a showerhead can become clogged and dirty because of mineral deposits within your home's water supply. This can lead to an uneven spray coming out of the showerhead, which can negatively impact your comfort levels while showering. Thankfully, cleaning a showerhead is a fairly simple process that you can do yourself in just a couple of minutes with the right tools.

What You'll Need

You'll want to gather your tools before you begin. You'll need an adjustable wrench, a rag, vinegar, a toothpick, a bowl large enough to hold the showerhead in, and plumbing tape. These items can be found at most hardware and grocery stores if you don't already have them in your home.

Cleaning the Showerhead

First, remove the showerhead from the shower arm. To do this, wrap the rag around the nut holding the showerhead in place and use the adjustable wrench to unscrew it. The rag will prevent you from damaging the nut with the wrench.

Then, rinse out the showerhead to remove any loose debris. Use the highest pressure faucet available to remove as much of the built up minerals as possible. Then, use the toothpick to poke away any loose pieces of buildup, and clear up any holes in the showerhead that are blocked.

Pour a mixture of one part vinegar to one part warm water into the bowl, and submerge the showerhead within the mixture. Leave the showerhead in the mixture for a few hours – leaving it overnight means that you won't disrupt your shower schedule. The vinegar should dissolve any remaining minerals and clean out the interior of the showerhead.

Wrap plumbing tape over the shower arm – if there is old tape already installed, remove it first. The tape ensures a good seal between the arm and the showerhead and prevents leaks. Then, simply reattach the showerhead to the shower arm, again using the rag with the wrench to ensure that the nut holding the showerhead in place isn't damaged.

Long-Term Solutions

Clogged showerheads are almost always caused by hard water, which is when your home's water has a high mineral content. The buildup in your showerhead is these minerals, usually calcium, forming on the metal as water runs through it. You can reduce the chances of this occurring in the future by contacting a plumber (such as one from Brown's Plumbing) to install a water softener in your home, which will remove these minerals from your water supply before it enters your plumbing.