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How to Clean Showerheads

Updated: Feb. 07, 2023

A quick soak will make your grimey showerhead shine and is an easy way to know how to clean showerheads.

How to clean a shower headFamily Handyman
We'll show you an easy way to clean your clogged showerhead and get it operating like new again. Mineral build up can plug up the spray holes. Here's a simple way to restore the flow.

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Remove the showerhead and soak it

cleaning a showerhead

Photo 1: Protect the finish when removing the showerhead

Begin this DIY showerhead cleaning project by unscrewing the showerhead by gripping the shower neck with a pipe wrench (as shown), grabbing the nut on the showerhead with the adjustable pliers and turning pliers counterclockwise until the nut loosens. Protect the finishes on the showerhead and wall pipe by wrapping them with a cloth.

how to clean a showerhead

Photo 2: Soak the showerhead in vinegar

Open the showerhead holes by soaking the head overnight in a vinegar bath and poking the loosened mineral scale free with a toothpick. Rinse the showerhead in tap water, then reinstall it by applying Teflon tape to the wall pipe threads, screwing it on and tightening it by reversing the technique in Photo 1. Complete the repair by turning on the cold water in the shower and blasting out any remaining mineral gunk to make sure you have a clean shower head.

Over time, hard-water minerals in tap water build up and clog the spray holes in showerheads. Fix this problem by removing the showerhead and cleaning it. Buy a lime removing product to loosen the scale, or soak the head overnight in vinegar (either white or apple cider). Check the owner’s manual or manufacturer’s website to confirm that vinegar won’t harm the finish.

Carefully remove the showerhead and open the holes using the steps shown in Photos 1 and 2. If the showerhead is too stuck to remove, try filling a plastic bag with vinegar, tying the top of the bag around the top of the showerhead and submerging it overnight in the vinegar. If that doesn’t work, you might want to consider one of these outstanding showerheads that provide a spa-like feeling.

Required Tools for this how to clean showerhead with vinegar project

Have the necessary tools for this how to clean showerhead with vinegar DIY project how to clean a shower head project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Pipe wrench
  • Pliers
  • Rags

Required Materials for this how to clean showerhead with vinegar project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time for this how to clean a shower head project. Here’s a list.

  • Vinegar