One of the most often complaints we hear from our customers is about how dirty, grimy and lime scale ridden their shower heads become with the hard water in this country. A large amount of our customers don't care about the health benefits of a shower filter, they don't really care so much about removing chlorine or heavy metals or the benefits of soft skin or healthy hair. What they care most about is will the shower filter stop their shower heads from becoming so dirty, crusty and overall so icky!? In these cases we are always very happy to let our customers know, yes! Installing a shower filter will help to remove lime scale, calcium and other contaminants that cause for shower heads to become encrusted with such an woeful layer of unattractive grime.
Sometimes customers just buy a whole new shower head that has a filter built-in, other times customers like to purchase an in-line shower filter. Which means that they keep their existing shower head and install our shower filter between where the shower head meets the water outlet (or where the hose meets the water outlet). This means that more often than not, they need to give their existing shower head a really good and thorough clean before installing the shower filter - so that once that is done, the shower filter will help to maintain their shower head's clean status and they do not have to clean the shower head nearly as often as much.
In this article we will discuss some great methods of cleaning your shower head to give it that just like new sparkle and also removing the grime and even built up bacteria which can be very hazardous to health.
What are the best products to use?
If you walk down any super market cleaning isle you will notice that there are a huge amount of bathroom cleaners, from lime scale cleaners, rust cleaners, streak free, white mark free, the list goes on and on.
Generally these type of chemical cleaners come in two different types: Acidic Cleaners and Alkaline Cleaners. The typical ingredients of an Acidic cleaner are: acids (phosphoric, citric, hydroxyacetic), anionic or nonionic surfactants, glycol ethers, alcohols, citrates, sodium EDTA. The typical ingredients of an Alkaline cleaner are: sodium carbonate, sodium hydroxide, sodium hypochlorite, anionic or nonionic surfactants, glycol ethers, alcohols, citrates, sodium EDTA. Acidic based cleaners are not always best for tiles and shower surfaces because can damage enamel finishes, so be aware of this.
When using any type of chemicals in your bathroom you should always be very careful. As the bathroom is a place were much of our skin is exposed and we inhale hot steamy gases, it is always advantageous to go down a more natural route for cleaning products. There are many great natural cleaning products on the market which work very well. But in the case of cleaning grime and lime scale from your shower head you can not go past the natural power of white vinegar.
Method One: Remove Shower Head
If you can be bothered to remove the shower head, this is the best method of giving it the best clean, bringing it back to the state it was in originally.
Step 1 - With a monkey wrench, remove the shower head from the pipe that it is attached to. Or if it is attached to a shower hose, then remove the hand held shower head from the metal hose. Remember that after removing the shower head water will always run out of the exposed pipe, so be careful not to slip!
Step 2 - Put the shower head into a thick bottomed stove top pot (big enough to fully submerge the shower head).
Step 3 - Fill the pot with white vinegar enough to fully submerge the shower head and make sure that it is floating on top of the vinegar and not touching the bottom of the pot (very important!).
Step 4 - Turn the stove on and gently simmer the vinegar, do not boil it. Keep an eye on it all the time and make sure the temperature does not get too hot and never leave it unattended. Depending upon how much scale and muck is attached to the shower head is how long you should simmer the shower head for.
Step 5 - Once the lime scale and other contaminants have sloughed away from the shower head, remove the shower head from the vinegar. At this point (wearing gloves) you may want to use a tooth brush to remove any stubborn stains and stubborn lime scale.
Step 6 - Rinse again and reattach the shower head, then run water through the shower head for a few minutes to make sure all contamination and lime scale is removed from the internals of the shower head as well.
Method Two: Cleaning With Shower Head Attached
If you do not want to remove the shower head, then here is a little trick that you can do to clean the shower head as well.
Step 1 - Find a zip lock bag or small plastic bag which completely covers the head of the shower head.
Step 2 - Slightly pour that zip lock bag with vinegar.
Step 3 - Place the bag over the face of the shower head, making sure that the face of the shower head is submerged into the vinegar.
Step 4 - Secure the bag with string or elastic bands onto the shower head and leave overnight.
Step 5 - The next day, with a toothbrush, brush the face of the shower head and remove all the lime scale, contaminants and other grime.
If you're looking for an easy and beneficial way to help prevent your shower head getting extremely dirty then please consider installing a shower filter.