How To Clean Shower Head Holes Without Vinegar

Perhaps you just hopped out of the shower, but you noticed the shower head was pretty grubby while in there. Some of the tiny holes in the face of the fixture are blocked, restricting the water flow and making the stream inconsistent, and there’s gunk on the front of the shower head, making it look dirty.

Key Points:

  • Cleaning a shower head quickly and effectively requires the use of white vinegar.
  • Alternatively, baking soda, coca-cola, and dish soap can be used to clean a shower head.
  • These alternatives involve mixing ingredients such as baking soda or coca-cola with water or vinegar in a plastic bag and securing it on the shower arm before flushing away any residue.

So, if your shower is in dire need of cleaning, but you don’t have white vinegar on hand, what should you use? There are a couple of alternatives, which we’ll outline in this article, so stick around to learn more!

What Is The Fastest Way To Clean A Shower Head?

Distilled white vinegar is the fastest way to clean a showerhead without much effort. You simply fill a plastic bag with enough vinegar to submerge the shower head, then secure it to the shower arm using a rubber band, ensuring the entire shower head is submerged.

Give the vinegar a few hours to work while you do something else. Remove the bag from the shower arm, and turn on the water to flush the residual gunk from the tiny holes in the shower head.

And, just like that, the shower head is clean and free of pesky mineral buildup!

You can also combine dish soap and white vinegar in a spray bottle for quick and easy cleaning on the go. As soon as you notice gunk building up, grab the spray bottle and wipe the shower head down. This will ensure the buildup doesn’t get too carried away, avoiding flow problems in the future.

What Can I use Instead Of Vinegar For Cleaning A Shower Head?

White Vinegar

If you don’t have white vinegar on hand, but your shower head desperately needs cleaning, there’s no need to worry! You can try several alternative methods to remove the stubborn gunk caked on your shower head without the help of vinegar. Here are a few options:

Baking Soda

Aside from white vinegar, baking soda is the next best thing for cleaning your shower head. We use it in our kitchens in baked goods as a leavening agent, tackling stubborn fridge odors and scrubbing stubborn stains out of the counter. While baking soda is handy for kitchen uses, you can use it just about anywhere for cleaning purposes, including your shower head.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Small bowl
  • Spoon
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • Warm water
  • Dishcloth
  • Old toothbrush

Pour ½ cup of baking soda into a small bowl and add a small amount of water. Only add about half a teaspoon of water at a time, as you’ll want to create a thick paste. If you thin it out too much, it won’t cling to the showerhead very well. You can always add a bit more baking soda if you thin it out too much.

Once you have a thick paste, apply the mixture to the offending areas of your shower head with a dishcloth. Coat the entire area with a liberal amount, ensuring there’s an even coating on all affected areas. Let the mixture sit on the showerhead for 20 to 25 minutes.

Don’t wait more than 25 minutes, as the mixture can become stiff and chalky, making it tricky to clean. Use a damp cloth to wipe away the excess paste, then use an old toothbrush to scrub the residual gunk on the shower head.

Rinse the shower head clean with fresh water, then turn on the shower to flush the tiny holes in the face of the fixture.

Use A Can Of Coke

If you don’t have white vinegar, you can use Coca-Cola to tackle tough deposits and stains on your shower head. Surprisingly enough, Coke is acidic, like vinegar, so it acts similarly to vinegar in cleaning. It’ll dissolve those pesky mineral deposits blocking the tiny holes in the face of your showerhead, making it an excellent cleaning partner instead of white vinegar.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A can of Coca-Cola
  • Rubber band
  • Plastic bag
  • Dishcloth or microfiber cleaning cloth
  • Old toothbrush

Choose a plastic bag large enough to cover your showerhead with ease. Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the bag (you might need more for larger shower heads), ensuring there’s enough to cover the face of the shower head completely.

Fit the bag over the shower head and secure it in place with a rubber band. Let the mixture work on the grime for about 30 minutes. Remove the bag and rinse the fixture with clean water. Use an old toothbrush to dislodge stubborn gunk, then turn on the water to the showerhead to rinse the holes in the face of the fixture.

Use Pure-Castile Liquid Soap

If you have Castile liquid soap on hand, you can use it to clean your shower head. The process is the same as cleaning with Coca-Cola, so follow the steps above. Instead of using Coca-Cola, fill the bag with ⅛ cup of Castile liquid soap and enough water to submerge the shower head.

Follow the same soaking, scrubbing, and rinsing instructions, and you’ll have a sparkling clean showerhead!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Shower Head

What Is The Best Thing To Clean A Shower Head With?

In general, vinegar is the best option for cleaning a shower head. The liquid is acidic enough to effortlessly remove stubborn mineral deposits, but it’s gentle enough that it won’t damage the shower head or the surrounding area.

While you could choose a commercial cleaner to clean your shower head, they often contain harsh chemicals that could stick around on your shower head, potentially getting on your skin when you shower. So, we recommend sticking with vinegar or another cleaner, like baking soda, that doesn’t contain harmful chemicals.

How Do I Get Rid Of Bacteria In My Shower Head?

If you’re concerned about bacteria hanging out in the tiny holes in your shower head, there are a few ways you can remove them. Vinegar is one of the best ways to remove bacteria, as it’s a safe, gentle, but naturally antibacterial due to its acidity. You can also use commercial cleaners designed as antibacterials if you prefer.

How Often Should You Clean Your Shower Head?

While the shower head often escapes the cleaning list, it shouldn’t. Showers are the perfect place for bacteria and other similar unwanted visitors, as they offer a warm, moist environment. So, to keep bacteria at bay, you should clean your shower head once per month or once every three months at the very least.

Failing to clean your shower head can open the door to calcium deposits, mold buildup, and bacteria in the shower head, particularly in the tiny holes in the fixture’s face. So, it’s essential to keep your shower head on a routine cleaning schedule.

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