How To Descale A Shower Head

Have you ever noticed a crusty buildup on your showerhead? This is almost always what is known as limescale buildup. It’s caused by minerals building up on your showerhead each time you use it, kind of like how stalagmites form, only in miniature.

When the problem gets bad enough, you’ll notice issues with the way the water flows from the shower head. In serious cases, jets may clog entirely. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to descale your showerhead — or replace it if the problem has gotten bad enough to warrant it.

Read below to learn more. 

How to Descale a Shower Head That Is Fixed

If your shower head is fixed, you’ll need to get a bit creative. The best way to descale a shower head is to soak it in something that will dissolve the minerals. Vinegar works. For heavy-duty descaling, you can also purchase limescale removers.

To decalcify a shower head that is fixed, you will need a freezer bag, your removal product of choice and some rubber bands. Fill the bag with the descaling product, then use the rubber bands to bind the bag tightly to the showerhead so that the jets are soaking in the descaling product.

Let it soak for about an hour, then remove the bag and turn the water on to flush the cleaning product and dissolved lime. If there are stubborn bits of scale remaining, use a toothbrush to scrub them. A paperclip or pin will work to clean jets that are filled with scale. 

How to Decalcify a Shower Head That Is Detached or Removable

This process works the same as above: Choose a descaling product, vinegar or something commercially available. Soak the shower head for about one hour, then use a toothbrush and running water to flush the cleansing product and remove the last bits of scale. During the soaking process, however, you can use a bowl or bucket to submerge the shower head, which is quite a bit easier than using a bag and rubber band!

If it’s a removable shower head, be sure to have the right tools on hand to remove it and reinstall it. You’ll need channel lock pliers to twist the shower head loose. Once you’ve removed it, clean any grime or bits of leftover plumber’s tape that may be on the threads. When it’s time to reinstall it, you’ll need plumber’s tape and pliers. Wrap the tape around the pipe’s threads (this will help prevent leaks) and use the pliers to tighten the shower head. Take care to avoid overtightening.

Preventing Limescale on Shower Heads

Limescale buildup can be tough to remove — prevention is much easier. Purchase shower heads that use specialized materials to prevent the buildup from happening, or you can turn descaling into a once weekly part of your cleaning routine.

To add it to your routine, you’ll need a spray bottle of your favorite commercial descaling product or white vinegar, plus a toothbrush. Spray shower heads with your cleanser, give them a quick scrub with the toothbrush, and rinse. This removes small bits of buildup quickly and easily so that you don’t have to spend a lot of time soaking and scrubbing a few months down the road.

Use these methods to remove limescale buildup on your shower heads. If the problem is severe enough, you can always purchase a new shower head. Be sure to check out Modern Bathroom’s line of shower heads and sprayers. We have a full line of products to help you create the perfect shower experience.

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