How to Clean a Shower Head That is Clogged?

Bathrooms usually have hard water coming in the shower and other plumbing fixtures, which causes mineral deposits inside the shower head. The high percentage of calcium and magnesium in hard water causes clogging in the metal and plastic pipes.

How to Clean a Shower Head That is Clogged? You can clean a shower head that is clogged by using vinegar, a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, and by cleaning the filter screen. You can use lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, CLR, or commercial descaler, and scrub the fixture with a brush and hot water to remove the mineral and limescale deposits.

A clogged shower causes low water pressure, or sometimes the water coming from the small holes stops.

This can leave you in a horrible situation with shampoo and soap all over the body. The rubber gasket may get damaged over time, which sends the particles into the water holes and causes clogging.

You can clean it by removing or without removing it, depending on the type of fixture.

Using vinegar

Vinegar is one of the most common and frequently used acidic materials to clean and unclog drains and different bathroom plumbing fixtures.

The acetic acid in vinegar causes the debris and mineral deposits to dissolve and unclog the metal pipes without much hard work.

You can remove the showerhead using a screwdriver and other tools, or it is also possible to unclog it without removing it. Mix vinegar and water in a large bowl and pour the solution into a plastic bag.

Submerge it completely in the solution and secure the bag around the rod with a tape or rubber band.

It might be challenging to place the bag around the shower; therefore, you can also remove it and put it in the vinegar and water solution.

Let it stay in the solution for 20-30 minutes so that it can dissolve the debris and clogging particles. Remove the plastic bag or attach the showerhead to the rod if you have detached it to clean.

Do not leave its brass components in for more than 30 minutes in the vinegar because it can damage the fixture finishing.

Baking soda and vinegar

Baking soda, known as sodium bicarbonate, is alkaline material that can fix clogged drains and bathroom fixtures.

It can work more efficiently if you mix it with an acidic liquid and reduce the time for cleaning the blocked holes.

Take 2-4 cups of vinegar and 1-2 cups of baking soda in a container and dip it in the container. The natural abrasive solution can remove the clogging and limescale buildup from the shower holes.

Leave the fixture in the solution for 30-50 minutes, and use a bristle brush to scrub the outer side to clean it properly. Rinse it and place it in its position using a wrench or screwdriver.

Clean the filter screen

The filter screen is a shower part connected to the shower head and the water pipe, which removes chlorine from the hard water that can affect the skin and hair.

You can read its shower manual to understand the working and cleaning of the filter screen and visit the brand website if you do not have the manual.

You need to remove this fixture from the pipe to clean the screen, and you can use needle-like pliers to take the screen out.

Place the screen under the water for a few minutes, and take a soft brush to remove the calcium and limescale deposits from the screen.

Put the screen back into place and fix the connections to the water pipes. Run the water through the shower holes to test if it is working properly and if the water pressure is adequate. 

Lemon juice and water

Lemon juice is cheap and one of the easiest ways to unclog the shower head because lemons are available in the house. It is better to squeeze fresh lemon juice instead of using the freeze or stored lemon juice.

Take a few lemons, squeeze the juice into a plastic bowl, and apply some on the fixture head.

Pour the remaining lemon juice into a container and add 3-4 cups of hot water. Make sure that the solution is enough to dip the fixture into it, and you can mix a bit of baking soda. 

Now submerge the shower head into the solution and let it stay for 20-25 minutes.

You can add more lemon juice if it is not enough to unclog it. Wash the fixture with fresh water and put it back in its place using a wrench or screwdriver.

Apple cider vinegar

I often use apple cider vinegar if I cannot find white vinegar.

Remove the showerhead from the water pipe carefully to prevent damage to the fixture, and take an adequate amount of apple cider to dip into the container. 

You can add 1- ½ cup of baking soda to the container to make an effective cleaner. Leave it in the solution for 50-60 minutes to dissolve the mineral deposits and other debris particles from the holes. 

Take a brush to scrub the inner and other sides, and rinse it with water. Fix it with the shower water pipe and do a test to check the water flow.


Calcium lime rust remover is a well-known cleaner to remove mineral deposits in drains and plumbing fixtures.

You can take a bowl or container and pour enough CLR and warm water to sink the showerhead into the solution.

Detach the fixture and submerge it into the CLR for two to three minutes.

Do not leave it in the solution for a long time because the chemicals can damage the components and cause color fading.

Wash it with fresh water and fix all the parts at their positions.

It is better to read the instruction in the manual before using CLR because some manufacturers do not allow harsh chemicals for the fixtures.

Scrubbing and hot water

You can use only hot water and scrub the showerhead with a cleaning pad if the fixture does not have much clogging. You can use a bristle brush to maintain its inner and outer sides.

The chemicals and the acids in the different cleaning solutions can affect the fixture; therefore, it is better if you clean it by running hot water through it.

You can use a toothbrush dipped in baking soda or a paper clip to remove the mineral deposits or dust clogs from the holes.

You do not need to remove the fixture from the water pipe to dip it in hot water, as you can turn the hot water tap and keep it running for one to two minutes.

Commercial descalers

Commercial descalers use different acids, such as lactic acid, citric acid, and acetic acid remove limescale and rust from metal pipes and surfaces.

You can use a commercial descaler from the market and pour some solution into a container.

Place it into the container for 4-5 minutes and wash the fixture with water after scrubbing it with a brush.

You can spray a disinfectant to prevent mold and mildew growth inside the fixture due to moisture.

It is better to avoid using commercial descaler on the brass fixtures and the shower heads with chrome finishing.

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