A clogged shower head can get in the way of enjoying a relaxing shower. The clog can cause the water flow to be reduced or spray in various directions. Neither of these is optimal when you are in a hurry or looking for a shower to wake you up or wash away the day’s stress. This is why it is important to clean your shower head regularly. One of the most well-known options is to use vinegar. However, you may not like the odor associated with this cleaning method. In this article, we will discuss how to clean shower head without vinegar so that you are aware of the other options available.

There are numerous alternative ways to clean a shower head. The methods mentioned are simple and use items you likely already have available at home. All the methods outlined below will help with cleaning out build up that clogs the shower head without the strong smell of vinegar.


Option 1: Baking Soda

Baking soda is a very versatile product. It can be used in baking, to absorb odors, and in cleaning. Part of its allure is that it is also very cheap to buy.

In addition to cleaning a stove top or pans, baking soda will also work to remove the dirt and grime build up from a shower head.


Materials Needed

  • 1/2 cup of baking soda
  • Water
  • Spoon to mix the baking soda and water
  • Container to hold the baking soda paste


Step 1: Remove the Shower Head

To effectively clean the shower head, it is best to remove it from the wall first.


Step 2: Make a Paste

Add a little water to half a cup of baking soda and stir the mixture to make a paste. The paste should be thick. If you find that it is too runny, that means that too much water was added. To offset this, add more baking soda and stir it in. If the mixture looks too dusty, add more water to it. Ideally, you want the consistency to look like toothpaste.


Step 3: Apply the Paste to the Shower Head

Next, apply the paste mixture to the entire surface of the shower head. If there is not enough paste to cover the entire thing, make some more following the steps outlined above.

If you are concerned about skin irritation, you can wear rubber gloves when applying the paste to the shower head.

Allow the paste to stay on the shower head for approximately 25 – 30 minutes.


Step 4: Rinse

After the time has elapsed, run hot water over the shower head to rinse off the paste. Be sure to use a high pressure water flow to ensure all of the paste is removed.

If the water pressure alone is not enough to rinse off the shower head, you can clean the paste off using your hands or a wet dish cloth.


Step 5: Replace the Shower Head

Once the cleaning is complete, reattach the shower head. After it is replaced, turn the shower on to make sure there are not any remaining clogs as a result of residual baking soda stuck in the water holes.


Option 2: Bleach


Materials Needed

  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Bucket or bowl, preferably disposable


Step 1: Remove the Shower Head

Take the shower head off the wall to begin the cleaning process.


Step 2: Make the Mixture

Mix equal parts of bleach and water into a disposable bowl or bucket.


Step 3: Apply the Solution

Use a brush or a scrap piece of old clothing to apply the solution. Keep in mind that whatever bleach touches clothes wise will be stained and ruined, so be sure that if you opt to use a piece of clothing, it needs to be one you do not need.


Step 4: Rinse

After you have left the bleach solution on the shower head for several minutes, rinse it thoroughly. Use high pressure water for rinsing off the shower head.

If there is a lingering bleach smell, you can use warm water and soap to clean off the smell of the bleach.


Step 5: Reattach the Shower Head

Now that the cleaning is done, reattach the shower head.


Option 3: Disinfectant


Materials Needed

  • Disinfectant
  • Warm water


Step 1: Take the shower head off

To begin the cleaning process, first remove the shower head from the wall.


Step 2: Scrub

The next step is to clean as much dirt and debris off the shower head as possible. Use a sponge or a toothbrush to access the smaller parts and get them clean.

Place the toothbrush head into the disinfectant and then brush it onto the shower head. Gently scrub the entire surface.


Step 3: Rinse

After scrubbing the disinfectant onto the shower head, be sure to rinse the shower head with warm water. Use a high pressure and keep the water running to ensure all of the disinfectant is rinsed off of the surface.


Step 4: Reattach

Your shower head should now be clean, so it is time to reattach it to the wall.


Option 4: Soda

Even Coca Cola can be used for cleaning showerheads and removing mineral deposits. Though not a traditional cleaner, this is a common way to get a shower head clean without vinegar.


Materials Needed

  • 12 ounce can of Coca Cola
  • Bowl or plastic bag
  • Rubber band (if using the plastic bag method)


Unattached Method

Follow these steps if you want to use Coca Cola to clean your shower head by removing it from the wall.


Step 1: Remove the Shower Head

Take the shower head off the wall in order to clean it effectively.


Step 2: Add Coca Cola

Empty a can of Coca Cola into a bowl.


Step 3: Submerge the Shower Head

Submerge the shower head in the bowl with the soda for at least 30 minutes.


Step 4: Remove and Rinse

Remove the shower head from the bowl and rinse it thoroughly with high pressure running water. The water should be warm to effectively clean the surface.


Step 5: Reattach

Reattach the shower head to the wall and test it to ensure it is clean and performing better.


Attached Method

Alternatively, you could use Coca Cola to clean the shower head without removing it. Simply pour the soda into a plastic bag, submerge the shower head fully, and use a rubber band to attach the bag to the shower head.

Regardless of the method selected, be sure to rinse the shower head off thoroughly before showering the next time.


Option 5: Hydrogen Peroxide


Materials Needed

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Baking soda
  • Plastic bag


Step 1: Create the Mixture

Combine equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda in a plastic baggie.


Step 2: Remove the Shower Head

Take the shower head off the wall to clean it for best results.


Step 3: Immerse the Shower Head

Fully immerse the shower head into the plastic bag that has the hydrogen peroxide and baking soda paste.


Step 4: Allow the Shower Head to Soak

The shower head should soak in the mixture for 20 to 30 minutes.


Step 5: Rinse

Next, take the shower head out of the mixture and rinse it with warm water under a high-pressure flow to finish cleaning the shower head and remove any lingering residue.


Step 6: Reattach

Now that you have a clean shower head, you are ready to reattach it and test it to ensure there are no remaining mineral deposits or remnant cleaning solution in it.


Option 6: Dr. Bronner’s

Dr. Bronner’s is a multi-purpose cleaner. It is well known for its natural ingredients that are non toxic. There are eighteen different uses listed on the bottle, so this cleaner truly lives up to its multi-purpose name.


Materials Needed

  • Dr. Bronner’s Pur-Castile Liquid Soap
  • Hot water
  • Dishcloth
  • Plastic bag
  • Rubber band


Step 1: Create the Mixture

The first step is to create the mixture of water and soap in the plastic baggie. Next, add about 1/8 of a cup of Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap for every two cups of hot water. This will create a soapy mixture in the bag.

Be sure to confirm that the plastic bag you are using will fit around your shower head. For example, a one-quart bag works for most shower heads.


Step 2: Tie Bag to the Shower Head

Fully submerge the shower head in the soapy mixture. Use a rubber rand to attach the bag to the shower head.


Step 3: Soak for 30 Minutes

Allow the shower head to soak in the mixture for approximately 30 minutes.


Step 4: Remove the Bag

Once the time has elapsed, remove the bag from the shower head by taking the rubber band off. Pour the soapy mixture down the drain, as you will not need it any more.


Step 5: Rinse

Clean any soapy residue off the shower head by running it under the faucet or wiping it down with a wet dishrag.


Step 6: Test it Out

Be sure to run the hot water to test out your cleaned shower head. This will make sure that any soap or lingering residue is cleared out of the water holes.


Why You Should Clean Your Shower Head

For many people, cleaning the shower head is a rarely thought about chore. However, you should complete this task regularly as there can be serious repercussions if you do not.

For one, a showerhead regularly accumulates harmful bacteria and mold. This can make you sick.

Additionally, they can get clogged from mineral deposits in the water. Over time, this will negatively affect the water pressure. It could even get so bad that it stops the water from flowing out completely.

Instead of waiting until there is a serious issue, keeping the shower head clean is better. It is not hard to do, and you can even use items that are likely easily accessible around your house if you are willing to try different methods with various cleaning supplies.

You likely already clean your bathroom regularly, so add cleaning the shower head to your cleaning regimen to keep it working well and to avoid harmful bacteria from accumulating.


How to clean shower head without vinegar FAQ


What is the fastest way to clean a shower head?

The fastest way to clean your shower head is to allow the head to soak in your desired cleaning solution while you wipe down the bathroom or complete other cleaning tasks. Once about 30 minutes have passed, you are ready to rinse it off and use a soft cloth to wipe down the shower head.


How do you descale a shower head naturally?

If you are looking for cleaning methods that do not involve an abrasive cleaner or cleaning agent and you prefer a natural alternative, lemon juice is a good option. Add hot water and lemon juice in a bowl and allow the shower head to sit in the mixture for about 30 minutes. After the time is up, wash the shower head off and wipe it down.


How do I descale my shower head without removing it?

Submerge the shower head in a cleaning agent by placing the cleaner in a plastic bag and tying the bag around the shower head. This will clean stains on the surface and remove any built-up dirt, grime, or mineral deposits clogging the water holes.


How do you deep clean a shower head?

To deep clean a shower head, you should mix baking soda and water to create a paste that can be applied over the entire shower head. After allowing the paste to sit for 20 – 30 minutes, wear gloves and use a brush to scrub the surface and really clean out the water holes. This can help prevent future clogs by ensuring the water holes are clean from the paste and mineral build-up.

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