How to Descale and Clean a Shower Head?


We can all agree that one of the most annoying things is to have a shower that is throwing water in all directions but down. The dysfunction is caused by scaling, which comes about when the shower comes into contact with hard water for a prolonged time. Deposition of scales in the shower causes clogging of the shower openings. The rate by which the scales are formed depends on the water hardness level, i.e., dissolved mineral salts such as calcium. The level of water hardness varies from one region to the other; hence, showerhead clogs faster in some areas. The rate of scaling can be reduced by drying off the showerhead after taking a shower, thus reducing contact time between the showerhead and the hard water. The article describes some of the best and innovative ways on how to descale a shower head at home.

Using Vinegar

Vinegar is a great and quick option when it comes to descaling showerheads. When you decide to use vinegar, make sure you choose the appropriate type of vinegar. White distilled vinegar is the best choice since it is more effective and does not stain your shower head.

How to Descale A Fixed Shower Head?

  • Fill a plastic bag with white vinegar and fit over your shower head
  • Ensure that the showerhead is completely submerged in the vinegar. Use a string or rubber to keep the bag in place.
  • Leave it for preferably one hour, but if the showerhead is made of brass, the contact time should not be more than 30 minutes.
  • Remove the plastic bag and turn on the shower to flush out any remaining scale deposits

How to Descale A Handheld Shower Head Using Vinegar?

  • Detach the showerhead from the main hose and make sure you don’t lose any of the rubber washers
  • Place the showerhead in a plastic container containing white vinegar
  • Allow the showerhead to stay immersed in vinegar for one hour. For metallic showerheads, soak for a maximum of 30 minutes.
  • Remove the showerhead from the plastic container and rinse it with excess water
  • Using an old toothbrush remove any scales that did not come off, especially in the nozzles
  • Reins’ the showerhead again with plenty of water
  • Reattach the showerhead back to the hose
  • Turn on the shower to flush any remaining scales

Using Soda

  • Detach the showerhead from the hose
  • Add 3-4 tablespoons of soda to a bucket and fill the bucket with warm water.
  • Immerse the shower head and soak it for up to 24 hours
  • Rinse the showerhead with plenty of water and put it back to the hose

For a fixed shower head, wrap the showerhead with a plastic bag filled with soda. Leave it for 24 hours, followed by rinsing using water.

Using Specialist Scale Removes

They are mainly chemicals that are reserved for the stubborn kind of scales.  Many companies have specialized in manufacturing sprays that can remove the most stubborn scales. The sprays are easily acquired in your nearest supermarket.  When using these sprays, you should not spray overhead to prevent accidental inoculation of the spray into your eyes.


Last but not least, the old saying puts it prevention is better than cure. You can put up measures that reduce the formation of scales in your shower head. Some of these methods include; using water softens, wiping the shower heading after use, and using scale resistant showerheads.

Descaling a shower head is not an everyday activity. Descaling a shower head is an easy procedure that does not require any plumbing skills background. There are many natural and synthetic products that can be used in descaling your showerhead. You can try some of the proven DIY products. It is essential to know that it does not hurt to give the shower head a thorough clean before ordering a new shower head. Cleaning and descaling your shower head will return the joy of showering.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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