4 Simple Steps to Clean a Calcified Shower Head

4 Simple Steps to Clean a Calcified Shower Head




One of the most common problems with shower heads is that they get clogged. This happens naturally over time and rarely is reason to need to call a plumber. Rather, the most likely culprit is calcification from hard water. The deposits build up and will clog the small holes of the nozzle in your shower. Thankfully, there is an easy fix.

If you are having troubles with calcified shower head, or tired of looking at white crud every time you bathe, here is a quick and simple solution to help you get your old shower head working like new.

Follow these easy step-by-step guide, provided by Northridge Rooters On Time, to clean your shower heads all on your own.

What you will need

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • A large plastic bag or bowl
  • A plastic scrub brush
  • Tape or Rubber Bands


  1. First, you will want to partially fill your plastic bag with a couple cups of white vinegar and an equal amount of hot water. You only need the bag to be about half full, and large enough to fit around the shower head completely.

*For extremely heavy calcium buildups, use undiluted vinegar instead.


  1. Second, you will want insert the shower head into the bag filled with the vinegar solution. It only needs to be submerged deep enough to cover the calcium encrusted area. Once it is submerged, secure the bag in place with some tape or rubber bands.

If you are having a hard time attaching the bag to the nozzle, simply remove your shower head and soak it in a bowl filled with the vinegar solution. This method also works great on handheld models!

  1. Next, let the shower head soak in the vinegar solution for a couple of hours.

*Check on the shower head a couple of times while it is soaking to make sure the vinegar isn’t reacting with whatever metal your showerhead is made of. Most shower heads are made of metals that are easily cleaned and don’t react, but a small amount are made of composite materials that can pit or discolor when exposed to acids like vinegar.


  1. Finally, remove the solution filled bag and scrub the encrusted area with a plastic scrub brush. The remaining calcium buildup should come off easily after the vinegar soak. Once you have finished scrubbing the outside of it, turn on the hot water to flush out the nozzles of any remaining vinegar or calcium.

If any of the spray hole remain clogged, you can use a small pin or tooth pick to poke through them and dislodge any residual buildup.

A Few Notes on Removing Discoloration and Buildup

If there was severe build up, a ring or stain of white may remain. To remove stubborn calcification stains, try adding some baking soda to the area that is white. You should be able to rub it in with a toothbrush or dry cloth and remove any stubborn limescale. This should also remove the white discoloration. If there is green or brown discoloration, this is mainly from the minerals that are in your water and generally don’t indicate a problem. However, they are a bit more stubborn. These kinds of stains may require brushing with baking soda, rinsing and then repeating the process a few times before it is completely clean.

After all of this, your shower head should be looking good as new! Congratulate yourself on a job well done!