How to Clear a Clogged Shower Head
Updated: Oct 25
It's the middle of summer and you're taking your morning shower when you notice that the water isn't coming out of the shower head like it usually does. In fact, it's coming out in a slow trickle. You may have a clogged shower head!
Over time, your shower head can become clogged with mineral deposits, soap scum, and other debris. This can lead to reduced water pressure and even a complete loss of water flow. Not only is a clogged shower head annoying, but it also ends up using more water and energy than usual because you'll spend more time in the shower due to the low and inefficient water pressure. This will increase your water and energy bills in the long run.
Thus, it's important to clear a clogged shower head as soon as you notice it.
There are a few simple steps you can take to clear it up and get back to enjoying a clean shower head. In this blog post, we'll walk you through the process of clearing a clogged shower head so that you can get back to business as usual.
How do you know if your shower head is clogged?
Of course, the sudden weak trickle of water is an indication that your shower head is clogged. But how do you know for sure? There are a few telltale signs that can indicate that your shower head is clogged and in need of a good cleaning.
Low water pressure, trickling water, or no water flow
If you notice that your water pressure has decreased significantly, or if your water flow has slowed to a trickle, it's likely that your shower head is clogged. The water flow stopping fully is also a telltale sign of a blocked shower head.
Another sign to watch out for is leaks. If water is dripping from your shower head or spilling out from around the base, it's a sign that the internal components are blocked.
Water shooting out in random directions
If water is shooting out in all or random directions when you turn on the shower, it's possible that the shower head is blocked and water is randomly escaping from the few holes that aren't clogged.
Visibly dirty or clogged shower head
If you take a close look at your shower head and see that it's visibly dirty or clogged with mineral buildup, soap scum, mildew, or other debris, then it definitely needs to be cleaned because it is blocked!
If you have noticed any of the above signs, it's time to give your shower head a good cleaning. With a little effort, you can clear away the buildup and restore your shower head to its original condition.
Of course, if some parts of the shower head are too old to work properly even after cleaning or are leaking too much, then it's time to buy a new shower head. Here's how you can figure out if you need to replace your shower head.
Why is your shower head clogged?
There are several reasons why your shower head might be clogged.
If you have hard water, the minerals in the water can build up and clog the shower head over time. If your shower head has a whitish tinge, chances are that limescale due to hard water is causing the blockage.
Soap scum and mildew
Second, if you don't clean your showerhead regularly, soap scum and mildew can build up and block the holes. This is particularly true for handheld shower heads as they make contact with the body (and thus soap). Soap scum is unfortunately common in hard water areas.
Since a shower head is frequently in contact with water and moisture, it becomes a breeding ground for mould and mildew. Over time, these can block the holes of the shower head and restrict the flow of water.
Other sediments too can cause your shower head to get clogged. For example, if you have an old shower head, its parts might be degrading and the particles might be blocking the holes. The rubber gasket might also be old and thus failing part, sending tiny rubber particles up the water pipe and shower head, which then get stuck behind the holes of the shower head.
So, how do you clean a blocked shower head?
Now, it's time to get into the thick of it and figure out how to clear a clogged shower head! Note that it's easier to clean the shower head if you can disassemble it. It's also important to clean other parts of the shower head, such as the hose.
It's a good idea to use latex gloves when cleaning the shower head, especially since you'll be using materials that are corrosive to the skin.
Yes, you can clean a shower head using nothing more than distilled white vinegar, the king of household cleaning hacks. Simply remove the shower head and soak it in a bowl of vinegar for a few hours. If the buildup is particularly heavy, you may need to soak the shower head overnight.
Once the shower head has soaked, scrub it with a toothbrush to remove any remaining deposits. Finally, rinse the shower head well and reattach it to the shower arm. Try running the shower to clean it once again from the inside and get rid of any remaining vinegar. You should now notice an improvement in water pressure.
Use Calcium, Lime, and Rust Remover Solution (CLR Solution)
Calcium, Lime, and Rust Remover (CLR) solution can help to clean a shower head and restore it to its original condition. It's also quicker than using vinegar!
Take a plastic container or small bucket and pour into it the CLR solution and warm water in the ratio of 1:1. Then, simply remove the shower head and soak it in the cleaning solution for around two minutes (or as directed by the manufacturer).
Afterwards, throw away the cleaning solution and rinse the shower head gently. At this point, you can use a soft brush to scrub away any remaining deposits. Rinse the shower head again thoroughly with water and reattach it to the shower arm.
If you don't have CLR solution, you can use Lime-A-Way or any other reputed brand that's meant for cleaning shower heads and other bathroom fixtures.
Use Baking Soda
Wondering how to clean your shower head without vinegar? Well, here's another household item that can make your shower head squeaky clean — baking soda! Simply mix one cup of baking soda with enough water to form a paste, then apply the paste to the shower head and let it sit for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes have passed, use a toothbrush or other soft brush to scrub away the residue. Finally, rinse the shower head with warm water to remove any remaining traces of baking soda. Attach the shower head back to the arm and turn the water on to remove any remaining bits of sediment and/or the baking soda paste.
Can't remove your shower head? Use the plastic bag method!
If you're wondering how to clean a shower head without removing it, we've got the answer.
To clean a shower head without taking it off, take a plastic bag and fill it with vinegar. Tie this bag securely to your shower head with a rubber band, making sure that the shower head is fully immersed in the vinegar. Remove the bag after a few hours, wipe the shower head with a soft cloth, and turn the water on so that any sediments are washed away.
You can also fill the bag with a mixture of baking soda and water. Avoid putting any cleaning solutions in the bag, though, as the plastic might not be thick enough to handle strong cleaning agents. Also, do not mix any cleaning materials together!
Clean your shower head regularly to make it last long
Cleaning a clogged shower head is important, but it's also important to clean your shower head on a regular basis to prevent the buildup of deposits.
If you live in an area with hard water, we recommend cleaning your shower head every month. If you have soft water, you can get away with cleaning it every two or three months.
Regular cleaning will also help to prevent your shower head from rusting, which can cause even more problems down the road. It's also important to clean your shower room, glass doors, shower grout, and tiles to keep the bathroom hygienic.
Thanks for reading this article on how to clear a clogged shower head! We hope that you found it helpful.
With the StoneStream EcoPower, Say Goodbye to Limescale Buildups
Now, who wouldn't like a shower head that does away with regular intensive cleaning procedures? The StoneStream EcoPower shower head has mineral stones that soften and filter hard and impure water, keeping away dirt, chlorine, minerals, limescale, and bacteria, Thus, it reduces limescale buildup in the long run, which means your shower head will rarely get clogged.
Additionally, the EcoPower shower head comes with touch-clean spray holes, which means you don't have to work too hard to clean them — you just wipe them with a soft cloth! Basically, the anodized aluminum plate on our shower heads allows you to simply wipe away any mineral residue or sediments, reducing the number of times you have to do deep cleaning.
What are the other advantages of the StoneStream EcoPower, you wonder? 200% increased water flow, 3 spa-like spray settings, 35% reduction in water consumption, and a gentle water flow that's suitable for even babies, pets, and the elderly.
StoneStream also manufactures shower accessories such as shower hoses, non-slip shower mats, squeegees, and shower replacement filters that will help you keep your bathroom efficient, safe, luxurious, and clean.
Still have cleaning doubts? Here's a video that explains how you can clean your StoneStream EcoPower shower head easily at home: