Cleaning your showerhead
If there is one thing which is annoying it is having a shower with the water squirting out in every direction but down. The water is being squeezed through the holes in your shower head which have become clogged with limescale and no matter how much you try to fix the problem by wiping the showerhead you find the situation only gets worse.
The problem comes from hard water which is entering your home and aside from installing a water softener, you have few options when it comes to preventing the build up of limescale on and in your appliances. Hard water isn’t harmful, so showering under the water won’t hurt you, but you may find it irritating once the holes are blocked and you will find that shower hoses and shower heads will need to be replaced on a regular basis.
But before you order a new shower head, once again, it is worth trying to give the shower head and the shower hose a good deep clean which will offer a few weeks of relief from shower blockage.
Most people would agree that they would rather not use harsh chemicals close to their skin and so vinegar is a great option for clearing your showerhead of limescale. If your showerhead can be unscrewed from the hose or wall fitting you should do so. Then immerse the showerhead in a bowl full of vinegar. Take it apart as much as possible – some models allow you to unscrew the front section. Leave it overnight and then rinse thoroughly with water until the water runs smoothly through the holes. You may need to use a pin to unblock the holes.
Simply add your showerhead to a saucepan of vinegar and bring it to a gentle simmer. Within a few minutes, the limescale should start to dissolve. Keep checking it and only simmer it until it is clean of deposits. Take care not to get it too hot especially if it is plastic.
It is unusual to find showerheads which cannot be removed from their fittings, but if yours is one of the few, you can still clean it of limescale. Fill a plastic bag with vinegar and tie it securely with a rubber band around the showerhead. Make sure it is fully immersed. Once again leave it overnight and then run the shower to see how clean it is. The video above shows exactly how to do this.
Hoses and pipes
No matter how much effort you put into cleaning your shower head, it will all come to nothing if limescale deposits are in your shower hose or pipes. It is important to clean these as well.
Remove the hose or pipe if possible and lay it in your bath. Add hot water and vinegar and leave to soak. This may take some time or you may have to repeat several times to remove large build-ups.
It is much trickier to remove a build-up of limescale from your pipework if it is still attached. For big problems, it may require the help of a plumber. But pouring vinegar or limescale remover into the pipe may help.
Keeping on top of the cleaning of your showerhead is important. The process of soaking in vinegar should be repeated every week during your general bathroom clean. This will mean that the problem will not have a chance to take hold. Once the initial clean has been done, a few minutes of soaking should be enough to keep on top of it if done regularly.
The use of a vinegar spray into the showerhead holes will also help to declog them in between cleans.
If you have a severe problem with limescale you can use a chemical limescale remover. Use the same methods as above, but take care to read the instructions as some materials can be ruined by the use of certain cleaners. Don’t soak for too long as these harsher chemicals will reduce the time it takes to dissolve deposits. You should also take care to rinse the showerhead completely before using the shower.
For more tips on maintaining and cleaning your bathroom, read this guide. Our 15-minute cleaning routine will also help you keep your bathroom clean on a daily basis.