You may notice after a while of using your showerhead that the water pressure has weakened and water doesn’t come from all holes. This may have to do with the mineral buildup and soap scum that block the holes. Don’t worry, though, this is not yet a reason to throw the showerhead away and buy a new one. A simple cleaning can fix the problem and get the showerhead work at its best again. While vinegar is the most popular product to clean showerhead, you may want to know other methods in case you don’t have vinegar on hand. Here is how to clean shower head without vinegar.
To begin with, mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with warm water. Stir until you get a thick and homogeneous paste. If the paste is too runny, add baking soda. If it’s chunky, add water.
Remove the showerhead from its mount and place it holes side up on the bottom of your tub. Put on rubber gloves and cover the showerhead with a generous amount of paste. You want to wear gloves to protect your skin from the damage baking soda can cause.
Let the paste sit and do its work for 25 minutes. If you allow it less time to sit, it may not loosen up all debris. If you forget about it and it sits for an hour or longer, it will be difficult to clean it. That’s why, keep a close eye on the watch, or set the timer to ensure you get back to the paste exactly in time.
Rinse the showerhead under the faucet. If it is mounted on the wall, wipe it down with a wet cloth. Lastly, turn on the shower to remove the paste leftovers and buildup residue that may be still lingering in the showerhead holes.
Many online tutorials teaching how to clean shower head without vinegar recommend to use oven cleaner. Oven cleaner is powerful, so safety must be number one priority when working with it. Before you proceed with cleaning, put on protective gloves to prevent skin damage. You should wear a mask as well. Oven cleaner’s fumes may be harmful for your respiratory system. If you don’t have a mask handy, wrap a towel around your head.
Remove the showerhead from the mount and place it in the tub. Spray it with oven cleaner and let it sit for 20 minutes. This should be enough for the cleaner to loosen up the stuck grime. Since oven cleaner is so powerful, you don’t want to let it sit for longer. Set the timer to ensure you are not late with its removal.
Keep the showerhead under a powerful jet of water to rinse off the oven cleaner and the loose debris. It’s not a good idea repeating the process over and over until the water high pressure is restored. If the oven cleaner failed to clear the showerhead holes fully from the first try, use another cleaning method for the second attempt. It may be baking soda or Coca-Cola.
Fill 2/3 of a plastic bag with Coca-Cola. The bag should be a bit larger than the size of the showerhead. If a thick layer of foam forms as you pour the Cola, let it dissipate, then keep pouring until the bag is 2/3 full of beverage. Foam doesn’t have any cleaning properties.
Take the showerhead off the mount and submerge it into the bag with Cola. Secure the showerhead with an elastic band so that it stays in place while soaking. Let it sit in the bag for 15 minutes. This time will allow the phosphoric acid found in Coca-Cola to loosen up the hard water residue and soap scum.
Wipe down the showerhead with a wet cloth. Turn on the shower to clear out the water holes. If the water pressure is still weak, it means the buildup has not been removed completely. You want to repeat the process to force the toughest residue out.
Limescale cleaner and toothbrush
Pour limescale remover into a bowl. Dip a toothbrush into the cleaner and start scrubbing the showerhead. This should break down the buildup accumulated in the nozzle holes and blocking the water flow. Dip the brush into the bowl after every dozen of strokes to make sure its bristles are permanently saturated with limescale cleaner.
Turn on the shower to the maximum to wash away the buildup residue stuck in the holes. If the water pressure doesn’t come back to normal and there are still holes through which water doesn’t flow, go on another round of scrubbing. An additional session of intense rubbing should rid the showerhead of stubborn residue. As you might have already understood, this method implies pretty much elbow grease. Make sure you have sufficient time and energy to take on this task and carry it through.
How often to clean showerhead?
No matter which method you choose, it’s good to clean the showerhead once a month. If the residue builds up until it blocks the water holes, it will be harder to deal with. You will spend more time, effort and cleaning product on removing it. Even if you don’t see limestone spots on the nozzle surface, it doesn’t mean the holes are free of residue. You want to clean them on regular basis before they get clogged and spoil your shower experience.
If you wonder how to clean shower head without vinegar, there are some effective ways you can try. Baking soda and oven cleaner are the most hassle-free, as you just spread them on the showerhead, let sit, and rinse. The Coca-Cola and toothbrush & limestone methods require more active implication from you but are as effective as the previous products. In fact, all methods mentioned in this post show similar effectiveness to vinegar. You won’t regret substituting vinegar for them.