how to unclog shower head with vinegar and bicarb

How to Clean & Descale A Shower Head

If your shower head is clogged with calcium build-up and long overdue for a clean, this simple hack for descaling a shower head and tap faucets will help you improve water pressure again. Learn how to clean a showerhead using this simple trick with non-toxic ingredients you already have in your home.

How to clean a shower head and descale

This article was first published in February 2015 and has been updated in 2020.

Why You Should clean Your shower head

Your shower heads can become clogged and dirty with calcium, limescale and various gunk that travels through the pipes.

Over time, not only does it lose it’s sparkle, but you may even find the water pressure reduced as well.

This is also the reason you may find some of the water spraying in different directions from your showerhead – because there is an obstruction or a build-up impacting the flow of water through the jets.

The same can occur with sink faucets around the house so this simple descaling hack can be done in the bathroom, kitchen, laundry… and even with your outdoor faucets if you wish.

This should be part of your regular bathroom cleaning schedule to ensure your fittings stay in excellent condition for longer!

Shower head with calcium build up and limescale
BEFORE – You can see the build up and limescale around the water jets

Reducing Chemicals At Home

The typical household is so full of chemicals and various cleaning products, therefore it was little wonder that many of us are seeking more natural cleaning alternatives in their home.

Thankfully, there are 2 ingredients most of us have in our kitchen are powerful cleaning tools when combined – vinegar and baking soda.

We use them to clean our microwave and dishwasher, and they also work wonders on unclogging a blocked showerhead too! They can also be used to clean most other appliances around your home, or as non-toxic drain cleaner too.

Baking soda and vinegar for cleaning

What You Will Need

A solution to a clogged shower head is to create a natural showerhead descaler using those same amazing household products you already likely have.

  • 1/3 cup of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • A small plastic bag such as a zip lock or freezer bag
  • An elastic band
Clean shower head

how to Clean Your Shower Head

STEP ONE – Add the baking soda to the ziplock bag. Then pour in the vinegar. It will instantly react and start fizzing when the two ingredients combine.

STEP TWO – Cover your shower head or faucet with the bag so they are submerged in the solution. Do this as quickly as possible after adding the vinegar so the showerhead gets the full benefit of the reaction.

Cover shower head with ziplock bag

STEP THREE – Keep the bag in place over the showerhead or facet with an elastic band (or make do with a hairband if you cannot find one) and leave it in place for several hours to work the magic. You can leave it over night if you wish.

how to unclog shower head with vinegar and bicarb

STEP FOUR – Remove the ziplock bag and cleaning solution from your shower head and scrub with a scrubbing brush or an old toothbrush to remove any remaining calcium and build up. Run the hot water for a minute to rinse away the solution.

How to clean a shower head
AFTER – You can still see some limescale remaining which can be scrubbed off

If you are using this simple descaler method to clean your faucets around the house, follow the above steps, securing the zip lock bag around the tap instead.

This natural cleaning solution for your home using 2 key ingredients from your kitchen… bicarb and vinegar, means no nasty chemicals needed. Not only is this shower cleaning hack a non-toxic alternative, but it is also very thrifty!

Here are more cleaning tips to save you time:

For further bathroom tips and hints, grab the free printable bathroom declutter checklist and cleaning schedule to help you in your journey to a cleaner, more simplified home.

Clean shower head

How To Clean A Shower Head

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Learn how to clean a showerhead using this simple trick with non-toxic ingredients you already have in your home.

Materials

  • 1/3 cup of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • A zip lock bag
  • An elastic band

Instructions

  1. Add the baking soda to the ziplock bag. Then pour in vinegar. It will instantly start fizzing.
  2. Cover your shower head with the bag so they are submerged in the solution. Do this as quickly as possible after adding the vinegar.
  3. Secure the bag over the showerhead with an elastic band and leave it in place for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  4. Remove the ziplock bag from your shower head and scrub with a scrubbing brush or an old toothbrush to remove any remaining calcium and build up.
  5. Run the hot water for a minute to rinse away the solution.

Did you try this project?

Leave a comment below and share a photo #simplifycreateinspire

What are your bathroom super clean tricks and hints?

7 thoughts on “How to Clean & Descale A Shower Head”

  1. This is awesome! I so need to do this…some of the holes in my shower head are clogged and I didn’t know of a good way to clean them out (aside from spending an hour with a toothpick and attacking each hole, which wasn’t high on my to-do list, lol). I will be giving this a try this weekend! Thank you for sharing this!

  2. Jessica @ HomeAddons

    Hey Holly,

    What a great tip for cleaning these things! My shower head is always getting filled with Iron and lime as my water source is from a well.

    I am going to have to try this concoction out, it’s also great that it’s all natural. You look like you have had some really good results with it.

    Thanks for sharing your secret recipe!

    Jessica

  3. Thomas Madinson

    What an incredible tip for cleaning these things! My shower head is continually getting loaded with Iron and lime as my water source is from a well. I will need to attempt this invention out; it’s additionally extraordinary that it’s all characteristic. You seem as though you have had some great outcomes with it.

  4. William Johnson

    Great ideas for cleaning the shower faucet. Thanks for sharing such an excellent idea for cleaning shower faucet.

  5. Helpful Information. I appreciate your hard work. It will be helpful for every housekeeper. What is your opinion about the new mainstream vinegar and daybreak dish cleanser as a tub/shower cleaner? How do you feel about the new popular vinegar and dawn dish soap as a tub/shower cleaner? Is that safe to use?

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