June 14th, 2024

How to Descale a Shower Head

In this guide, we’ll tell you exactly how to descale a shower head. And, good news – it’s so straightforward, you’ll have your shower looking spick and span in no time.

Now, if you’re based in an area with hard water, you’ll likely find limescale starting to build on various shower supplies after time. If you’ve already spotted this, read on to find out what cleaning – plus preventative – measures you can take.

How to clean a shower head (handheld)

There are many ways to clean a bathroom with white vinegar, and it can also be used to remove limescale from a handheld shower head: 

  • Detach the shower head from the hose
  • Place this head into a bucket or plastic container
  • Fill the vessel with white vinegar
  • Leave the shower head soaking in the vinegar for half an hour
  • Retrieve the head before rinsing it with water
  • Use a toothbrush to remove any lingering limescale deposits

TOP TIPS: For an extra thorough clean, re-rinse the head with water, put the shower back together and turn it on to flush out the remaining limescale.

How to clean a shower head (wall-mounted)

Our shower supplies include fixed showers, but if you are struggling to work out how to descale a shower head that can’t be easily detached, take these steps:

  • Half-fill a large plastic bag with white vinegar
  • Use string or an elastic band to secure the bag completely over the shower head, ensuring it is wholly submerged in the vinegar
  • Leave this bag in place for 30 minutes
  • Turn on the shower to remove the limescale still inside the head

Repeat this whole step-by-step process as often as necessary for you to rid the shower head entirely of limescale. 

How often should you descale your shower head?

It is good practice to clean a shower head about once a month. However, even more regular cleaning can be necessary if you live somewhere with hard water. Don’t forget to clean the bathroom tiles, too!

Top tips to prevent limescale build-up in your shower head

There are many ways to guard against limescale build-up in your bathroom, such as by using bathroom panels instead of tiles

You might want to know how to not only descale a shower head but also keep the limescale at bay in the first place. Why not consider…

  • Cleaning multiple shower heads simultaneously: Yes, even those that don’t strictly ‘need’ cleaning but might still be starting to gather limescale.
  • Opting for a shower head with rub-clean nozzles: The term ‘rub-clean’ refers to how easily limescale can be removed from the shower head.
  • Fitting a more compact shower head: You could do this as part of a wider project to create a minimalist bathroom. The smaller a bathroom’s fittings, the easier they are to keep clean.

With our expertise in bathroom design and installation, we can overhaul your Greater Manchester shower area – or just provide you with bathroom supplies.

Descaling your shower head: FAQs

Can you use normal vinegar to clean the shower head?

White distilled vinegar is the best option, as malt or brown vinegar – not being clear – could stain the shower head. As well as distilled vinegar, baking soda is another popular cleaning solution.

How do I descale my shower head without vinegar?

If you don’t have white vinegar, you might want to visit a local supermarket to pick up a specialist limescale cleaning solution. 

When using a limescale cleaner, be sure to follow the provided instructions carefully. For example, remember to wear gloves and avoid spraying the solution overhead so that chemicals don’t potentially end up in your eyes. 

Another alternative is cleaning with baking soda.

Do you still get limescale with soft water?

No, as soft water lacks the minerals that cause limescale deposits. In fact, soft water can actually have the opposite effect, removing the various minerals that harden water.

How long do you soak a shower head in vinegar and baking soda?

You should usually soak the shower head for a minimum of 30 minutes – ideally, an hour is best.

Note: brass shower heads should not be soaked in this solution for longer than 30 minutes.

Why is water not coming out of my shower head?

The culprit could simply be low water pressure resulting from limescale blocking the shower head. If it turns out that you need to replace this head rather than just clean it, please contact us for further advice.

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