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Here's How You Should Really Be Cleaning Your Shower Head

This shower head cleaning hack will make buildup and mold a thing of the past.

Mary-Elisabeth Combs Associate Writer
Mary-Elisabeth is an associate writer on CNET's How-To team. She's a recent graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill's English Department, and resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. On the How-To team, she covers a little bit of everything. When she's not writing, she's catching up on Formula 1 or reading.
Mary-Elisabeth Combs
2 min read
showerhead-install-10

Giving some TLC to your shower head can give it new life. 

Steve Conaway/CNET

Your shower might just be one of the most-used appliances in your home. That being said, it's also probably one of the grossest, harboring bacteria and sometimes even mildew. Other spaces in your bathroom seem to get all of the TLC, with your sink, toilet and the walls of your shower getting all of the attention. But if you let your shower head go neglected, it can have serious consequences for the quality of your showers. 

If you leave your shower uncleaned for an extended period of time, a buildup of calcium, hard water and mold can affect your water pressure, clog the nozzles of your shower and even harm your scalp and hair.

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However, it's pretty easy to get your shower head back into mint condition. The best part is, you probably have all of the ingredients you need in your kitchen -- we'll explain. 

For more home tips, here's how to really clean your Keurig machine and how to wash your pillow without making it lumpy

Items you need to clean your shower head

The first thing you'll want to do is gather all of the necessary ingredients and materials to bust the grime on your shower head. Grab a 1-gallon plastic freezer bag, a strong rubber band to accommodate the weight of the water that will fill the bag and some CLR household cleaner or white vinegar. 

You'll use the CLR household cleaner (CLR stands for calcium, lime and rust) or vinegar to create a 50/50 mixture with water, which will be what actually cleans your shower head.  

How to clean your shower head

Start by filling the gallon freezer bag halfway with CLR cleaner or white vinegar, and then use the rubber band to attach the gallon freezer bag to your shower head. Make sure you've left enough room to add the water and that the shower head itself is submerged.  

Next, turn your shower on and fill the bag the rest of the way, just be mindful of the velocity of the water when you turn your shower on -- you don't want the bag to fall off and splatter all over you and the bathroom.

All that's left to do is wait. Set a timer for 60 minutes, and then you should be good to move on to the next step. 

Rinse and wipe away all of the grime

The last step is removing the bag from the shower head, and draining the cleaning solution through the shower drain. Dispose of the gallon freezer bag, and then wipe away the grime with a damp cloth. 

To test your hard work, turn your shower on and see how much better it's working now that you've busted up the gunk ruining your shower experience. If the spray of your shower still isn't up to standards, you can easily rinse and repeat this process until you are happy with the results. 

For more, here's how to wash your enameled cast iron and how to get stubborn cat pee stains out of your couch