Although you probably make sure that your bathroom is cleaned regularly, it is easy to overlook the shower head. It is often set above head height and you may not even see it when you are cleaning, not to mention that reaching up to check whether it needs a clean can be a strain.
The good news is that the shower head does not need to be cleaned that often. In fact as a general rule and a quick wipe with a clean cloth and some bathroom cleaner is sufficient. But, one problem that does tend to bedevil shower heads is limescale.
Limescale tends to occur in areas that supply hard water. Hard water is not bad for you, in fact many people believe that due to the minerals dissolved in the water it has many health benefits. This may be true. However, one distinctly unwanted symptom of hard water is the tendency of it to leave deposits of limescale on everyday appliances that frequently come into contact with water. The kettle is perhaps the best known appliance for suffering from limescale build up, but the shower head suffers too.
Apart from looking unsightly, limescale can clog up the holes in your shower head causing water flow problems and reducing its effectiveness. You buy the what you think is the best shower head for your shower. The last thing you want is for your new shower head to look brown, scaly and dirty.
So What Is Limescale?
Limescale is a hard off-white chalky substance that forms on appliances that come into contact mainly with hot water. It is principally calcium carbonate dissolved in the water that accumulates when the water evaporates.
What To Do About A Build Up Of Limescale On A Shower Head
There are of course many products on sale that purport to remove limescale quickly and easily. One such product is Calcium, Lime, and Rust Remover by Jelmar which we know to be an excellent product. However, perhaps less well known is that you do not necessarily need to use a specialist product in order to clean your shower head. In fact white vinegar is more than up to the task.
Cleaning your shower head with a scourer or brush is one way, but due to the shape of the shower head this method can be fiddly and result in a far from clean end product. The key feature of CLR or white vinegar however is not in a quick clean, the key feature is that they are slightly acidic. Given time the acid will effectively dissolve the limescale leaving your shower head shiny and new.
The way to achieve a clean shower head the easy way is to leave the shower head soaking in a solution of your cleaning agent overnight. This can be done easily if the shower head is detachable, but if it is fixed in place it is really not much more difficult.
Take a polythene bag. Fill it with a solution of water and CLR or water and vinegar (approximately 50% each of water and vinegar). Place the bag over the shower head and seal it in place with an elastic band or a clip. Then just leave it. Leave it for 8 hours at least, but preferably overnight and ideally 24 hours.
Don’t waste any time checking it. The process is slow and almost invisible. You will end up frustrated and doubting it works. Just leave it for the requisite period and when you come back the shower head will be clean.
At the end of the time, take the bag off and rinse the area and wipe down your shower head and if the solution was properly in contact with the limescale on the shower head then it should be free of all limescale deposits. If there is still bits visible, then either give them a scrub, they should now come off easily, or if necessary repeat the soaking process until all traces of limescale are gone.
Enjoy your nice clean shower once again and congratulate yourself on a job well done with minimal fuss and effort.