How to Clean a Fixed Shower Head Like a Pro

How to Clean a Fixed Shower Head - Clean and Tidy Living

How to Descale a Fixed Shower Head

Cleaning the bathroom is a fairly straightforward task that mostly involves spraying, wiping and occasionally some scrubbing. 

However, when it comes to descaling a showerhead things can get slightly more complicated. 

At Clean and Tidy Living, we understand that we all want to find the easiest ways to do the hardest jobs. 

Despite wanting an easy method, we also don’t want to compromise on the standard of cleaning. 

Once you know how to get limescale off of a showerhead, it’s not as much of a daunting job as it seems. 

We’re here to explain how to clean a fixed shower head with various methods, so you can find the one that works for you. 

If you’re looking for the best descaler, take a look at our article: What Is The Best Limescale Remover UK 2020

In this post, we’ll cover:

  • How to Remove a Fixed Shower Head
  • How to Clean a Fixed Shower Head with Vinegar
  • How to Descale Shower Head With Descaler
  • How to Clean Shower Head Rubber Nozzles
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How to Remove a Fixed Shower Head

Before starting the fiddly job of attaching a plastic bag to your showerhead, double-check that there is absolutely no way of removing it. 

Most showerheads can simply be removed by twisting the head until it comes loose. 

Be sure to hold the head carefully to avoid getting a nasty bump on the head. 

Even if you’d prefer to clean your shower head whilst it’s still attached, it’s important to occasionally remove it to avoid and prevent limescale build-up inside the joints. 

If you don’t remove limescale inside where the head meets the pipe, the joint could fuse together or even be damaged by the mineral deposits. 

Taking the head off of the shower fixture allows you to:

  • Check the internal components for calcium build-up
  • Scrub the showerhead more easily and thoroughly 
  • Be completely sure you’ve rinsed away any vinegar or chemical residue. 

How to Clean a Fixed Shower Head 

In this post, we have provided two methods for cleaning a fixed shower head. 

One method uses natural products like white vinegar, and the other one uses a purpose-made descaler gel.

If you don’t have either of these products to hand, then you may be able to remove some limescale deposits using a blunt knife and gently scraping away at the calcium deposits. 

However, we don’t necessarily recommend this method with metal showerheads as it can cause scratching and damage. 

For plastic showerheads with limescale build-up, a blunt knife should work quite well to chip away at the collected mineral deposits. 

How to Clean a Shower with Vinegar

A lot of UK households try to avoid using chemicals in household cleaning as much as possible. 

At Clean and Tidy Living, we believe if a job can be done just as well with a natural or eco-friendly product as it can with a chemical product, then we should always try and go with the natural option. 

Where to buy white vinegar - Clean and Tidy Living

In less severe cases of limescale, vinegar can do a very efficient job of softening built-up limescale and making it much easier to remove. 

You may find that vinegar has to be left on longer than chemical descalers, but leaving it overnight and rinsing in the morning is barely any extra effort at all. 

  1. To clean a fixed shower head with vinegar, fill a plastic bag with white vinegar and place it over the fixture so the limescale is completely submerged. 
  1. Tie the bag with an elastic band, food clip, hair tie or whatever you can find lying around that fixes the bag securely.
  1. Leave the bag on overnight for a deep clean, or for a few hours for maintenance cleans. 
  1. Remove the bag and use a damp soapy sponge to rinse the showerhead and remove all traces of the vinegar.  
  1. If some limescale remains, scrub gently with a firm-bristled brush or pick away at the grit with a toothpick or blunt knife. 

Vinegar works best when used little and often, rather than as a deep-cleaning treatment. 

Keeping up with spraying and wiping the showerhead with white vinegar will prevent limescale from building up and minimise how often an overnight soak is required. 

For advice on where to find white vinegar, and some white vinegar cleaning tips, take a look at our Clean and Tidy Living article Where To Buy White Vinegar For Cleaning In The UK

How to Descale Shower Head With Descaler

If you’re trying to find out how to clean a shower head without vinegar, luckily there are other options out there. 

People generally opt for natural cleaning products when it comes to cleaning showers and faucets because of the potential contamination from chemical cleaners. 

Limescale on Shower - How to Clean a Fixed Shower Head - Clean and Tidy Living

However, as long as the strong chemicals are properly rinsed away then it’s completely safe to use them. 

Make sure the metal is okay to be in contact with chemical solutions, or if you’re going to risk it we suggest only leaving the solution on for 30 minutes and try to submerge as little of the showerhead as possible, but so that all the limescale is coated.  

  1. To descale a showerhead with descaler, either remove the showerhead or fill a plastic bag with descaling liquid and place it over the showerhead so all the limescale is completely submerged. 
  1. Leave the descaler on for 30 minutes to a couple of hours, or overnight in particularly bad cases of limescale. 
  1. Remove the bag and brush gently with any bristled brush you use for cleaning and rinse under the tap or with a damp soapy sponge if the showerhead is fixed. 

Make sure all of the descaling liquid has been removed to prevent damage, discolouration or chemical peeling on the fixtures. 

Here Are 3 of the Top UK Descaling Products:

1. Cillit Bang Limescale Remover

Great for removing limescale but also as a weekly wipe-down bathroom cleaner to keep limescale away and remove build ups from soap and scum. 

Cillit Bang’s Limescale Remover also has a lovely smell which is always a bonus for a cleaning product, especially in the bathroom. 

Note that this cleaner isn’t to be used on brass or copper and zinc plated metals. 

2. HG Scale Away Foam Spray 3x Stronger

A powerful foam spray that easily clings to showerheads and vertical surfaces like tiles, to remove limescale completely.

This extremely powerful scale remover removes persistent scale quickly, easily and thoroughly, leaving a brilliant shine.

HG states that this product may be corrosive to metals, and reviewers have commented that the product has caused damage on marble and granite surfaces, so be sure to use it with caution. 

3. HG Professional Limescale Remover 

A highly concentrated gel that clings onto showerheads and vertical surfaces. Great as a deep-limescale treatment in toilets or on taps and showerhead fixtures.

HG recommends that their product is only used on showerheads stated to be acid-resistant.  

To clean a shower head with HG professional limescale remover, immerse blocked showerheads in the gel liquid for 30 minutes and finish off by brushing.

How to Clean Shower Head Rubber Nozzles

The reason showerheads nowadays have rubber nozzles on them is because it’s much easier to remove limescale from rubber than from metal or plastic. 

If you’re wondering how to clean a rubber showerhead or one with rubber nozzles, simply massage your thumb over the rubber and the debris should just lift off.

Limescale on Shower - How to Clean a Fixed Shower Head - Clean and Tidy Living


If the built-up mineral deposits aren’t coming off with gentle rubbing, there are a number of household items that could help: 

If after enough poking and prodding the rubber nozzles still aren’t clean, coat the rubber nozzles in either white vinegar or limescale removing product, leave for about 30 minutes to soften the hard-water residue and scrub again with your utensil of choice. 

Once all the debris has been removed, be sure to properly rinse the showerhead, especially if you’ve used a chemical limescale remover. 

How to Clean a Fixed Shower Head – Key Takeaways

Living in hard water areas can come with all kinds of annoying issues. 

Calcium and mineral deposits can build up in pipes, appliances and basically anywhere water touches. 

This, unfortunately, means that taps, bathtubs and showerheads are prime spots for that problematic scaly build up. 

If limescale isn’t properly removed, or removed at all, replacing showerheads or entire shower fixtures can be a costly and unnecessary bill. 

We hope this post explaining how to clean a fixed shower head with vinegar, and with descale has been helpful. 

Like most household tasks, it’s much easier and faster if you have some tools to help you out. 

And they don’t necessarily have to be a brand new purchase. 

Common household items like old toothbrushes and toothpicks are perfect for digging out and buffing away mineral deposits that accumulate on our fixtures. 

However, it’s safe to say that the easiest type of showerhead to clean is one made of rubber or that has rubber nozzles for the water to spurt out of. 

These are a newer design feature that means it’s super quick and simple to just rub away any limescale as it builds up. 

So if you really hate descaling showerheads, next time you’re out shopping for a new shower or just the head, be sure to pick up one made of rubber. 

Related How-To Cleaning Articles: 

How to Clean a Fixed Shower Head

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