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The Home Depot

Showerhead Cleaning and Replacement Guide

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Plumbing > Showerhead Cleaning and Replacement Guide
Showerhead Cleaning and Replacement Guide

Taking a shower is a daily activity for many people. If you’ve never considered the cleanliness of your showerhead, you may want to think about potential bacteria and germs that you may encounter from your showerhead.


Because of the moist environment and the design of most showerheads, it’s common for them to attract microbes that may expose you to bacteria during a shower. Minimize issues and keep your showerhead cleaner with a showerhead cleaning and replacement guide. The effort required to maintain a showerhead will improve your shower experience.

  1. A study showed that bleach does not remove all the bacteria and that bacteria levels can rise substantially after cleaning with bleach.

    1.Importance of a Clean Showerhead

    People with a weak immune system may experience health issues from exposure to bacteria on a showerhead. As bacteria and microbes form on the wet showerhead, they settle into the nooks and crannies of the device. When you turn the water on to take a shower, the spraying water will dislodge the bacteria and direct it onto you while you shower. The situation continues over time with the bacteria multiplying.

  2. 2.Cleaning the Showerhead

    Unfortunately, using bleach to clean a showerhead is not as effective as you might think. A study showed that bleach does not remove all the bacteria and that bacteria levels can rise substantially after cleaning with bleach.


    The most effective way to clean a showerhead involves removing it from the pipe. After you remove it from the pipe, disassemble the entire unit. Fill a bucket with warm white vinegar and place the showerhead pieces into the white vinegar to soak. Make sure that the face plate of the showerhead is completely submerged beneath the surface of the vinegar.


    Allow the showerhead to soak in the white vinegar for 20 to 30 minutes. After soaking, examine the components carefully. If you see deposits building up and blocking openings, use a small brush to dislodge the deposits and then rinse the showerhead well with warm water.

  3. 3.Preventing Contamination

    Plastic showerheads are inexpensive, but microbes and bacteria attach more easily to plastic than they do to metal. To prevent future contamination from being an issue with your showerhead, purchase a showerhead with 100 percent metal parts.


    Another option for preventing future contamination is to avoid using the showerhead and take baths instead.

  5. 4.Replacing a Showerhead

    To control the contaminants and reduce bacteria, replace your showerhead every six months. Remove the existing showerhead with a pliers, taking care not to scratch any components with the tool. Fit the new showerhead onto the pipe and you should enjoy bacteria-free showering.


    You might also consider using a filtering showerhead. These filters help remove contaminants and even chemicals from the water that flows through the showerhead. You may notice that the life of your showerhead extends dramatically when you install a filtering showerhead.


    Although tempting to overlook, your showerhead bears ongoing maintenance to ensure that it stays clean and effective. Most healthy people shouldn’t experience health issues from showering, but this can be an important consideration for folks with weak immune systems.

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