8 Methods on How to Clean a Showerhead Without Vinegar

Like most people, you probably don’t think about cleaning your showerhead all that often. But if you’ve been having trouble getting good water pressure out of your shower, it may be time to clean the showerhead!

Soaking the showerhead in vinegar is a popular method, but are there other ways to clean a clogged showerhead?

Luckily, yes!

Baking soda is a great weapon for unclogging a showerhead. There are some other ways. Examples include – lemon juice, liquid soap, oven cleaner, coca-cola, bleach, bathroom cleaner, and hydrogen peroxide. 

In this article, we will walk you through eight different cleaning methods without vinegar cleaning a shower head. So whether you’re trying to avoid the pungent smell or just don’t have any on hand, we’ve got you covered!

How to Clean a Showerhead

Why Does vinegar not Always the Best Solution?

We all know that distilled white vinegar is great for cleaning. It is a natural disinfectant and can remove hard water deposits, mineral buildup, and soap scum. You will notice white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar in the top list of cleaning a showerhead wherever you search.

But vinegar is not always the best option. Though it can clean the mineral deposits, sometimes it alone doesn’t work on severe limescale problems. So, you may look for an alternative.

Sometimes, people get the result they were expecting but cannot stand the pungent smell of vinegar, which is why they look for alternatives.

However, acidic vinegar can also damage some types of metal. So, if your shower head is made of brass, bronze, or copper, you should avoid using vinegar to clean it.

So, whatever the reason, we have solutions for you. Here are some cleaning methods that you can follow to clean your showerhead without using vinegar.

Ways to Clean Shower Head without Vinegar

Ways to Clean Shower Head

Here we will show you how to clean a showerhead without vinegar step by step so that next time you don’t have to call the plumber for help. So, let’s move into the methods!

Method 1: Use Baking Soda Paste

If you don’t like the vinegar smell or are not near your hands, go for baking soda. It is also a cleaning powerhouse and works like magic on different things.

For cleaning shower heads, you need to make a paste of it. But before that, check out whether the showerhead is detachable or not. If it’s detachable, then separate it for easy cleaning. If it’s not, you have to do the process without separating it.

Make a paste of baking soda that is not so liquid or sticky. However, take some hot water and add one cup of baking soda. You can also add some detergent in it but it’s optional.

Now soak the entire showerhead in this mixture for 20-30 minutes for detachable ones. And rub the paste around the showerhead for non-detachable ones.

After that, brush off any deposits with an old toothbrush and clean holes using needle-nose pliers. Continue the process just for a few minutes, and then rinse well with water. This deep cleaning method will surely give you the desired result but make sure not to use it frequently as it may damage the finish on your showerhead. 

Method 2: Try Some Lemon Juice 

As a household item, lemon juice is a great cleaning agent. It is acidic in nature which helps to remove hard water buildup and mineral deposits. For giving your showerheads a good cleaning, you can use it as an alternative to a commercial cleaner.

For cleaning the showerhead with lemon juice, you need some lemons and hot water. So, take a clean bowl and fill it with equal parts of lemon juice and hot water. Make sure that the bowl is large enough to fit the shower head, and always try to use freshly cut lemon juice for better results.

Now let the head soak into the mixture for at least 30 minutes. If the stain is hard or limescale buildup is bad, you may need to soak the showerhead overnight or several hours.

After that, rub a scrubber all over the shower heads to remove any dirt or grime buildup. Rinse off with clean water and dry with a soft cloth. Finally, set the head properly and use plumbers tape to ensure that the shower arm has a good seal. It will prevent any leakage.

However, if you can’t unscrew the head, take a plastic bag, fill it with the lemon juice solution, and secure it around the head using a twist tie or rubber band. And let it soak similarly as mentioned above.

Method 3: Liquid Soap is Useful

Using liquid soap to clean a shower head is very easy. You can use Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castle Liquid Soap as it’s a multi-purpose cleaner. It’s a great cleaning agent that works like magic for shower heads.

First, take a zippered plastic bag and fill it with warm water. Then pour a generous amount of Dr. Bronner’s Soap into it and give it a gentle shake to make foam.

Now, tie it around the shower head using a rubber band and let it soak for at least 30 minutes. After that, wet a dishcloth with warm water and rub it all over the area to clean any remaining mineral deposits.

Finally, run the hot water supply for just a few minutes from the shower head to clean leftover dirt or grime buildup.

Method 4: Try Your Favorite Oven Cleaner

If you are looking for other alternatives to clean a shower head, an oven cleaner can be one of the best options. It’s very effective but avoid liquid ones as they can be harsh on most showerheads.

So, use an oven cleaner in spray form and coat the showerhead. Let it sit for no more than 15-10 minutes. Keeping it longer may damage the head surface.

Now take a microfiber cloth or sponge and dip it in soapy water. Rub the cloth over the showerhead to remove any dirt or grime buildup. Rinse off with clean water and dry with a clean cloth.

method 5: Take Help of Bleach

For cleaning showerheads, bleach is also a good option. But before using bleach, make sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions first, as some showerheads are not safe for bleaching.

Mix one part of bleach with one part of water into a container. Remember to use one that you won’t use afterward for food storage!

Now, use a clean cloth, soak it in the bleach solution, apply it to the shower head and leave it for 5-10 minutes. Then again, use the cloth and rub the head to remove leftover stains.

Finally, rinse the showerhead properly with clean water and turn on the water and check if it’s working properly or not.

Don’t forget to open the windows while working on this method, as bleach fumes can be quite strong. You may also want to wear gloves and a face mask.

Method 6: Use Bathroom Cleaners

Bathroom cleaners are formulated to clean the toughest cleaning jobs in your bathroom. They are strong enough to remove mold and mildew but safe enough to use on most surfaces. But most of them can be harsh on the shower heads. So, go for the natural ones.

Among the natural cleaners, Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner, Better Life Natural Tub and Tile Cleaner, Seventh Generation All-Purpose Cleaner etc. can be a great options.

The most important fact is that these cleaners are non-toxic and natural. In fact, the process is also the same for all of them.

To clean a shower head with a bathroom cleaner, simply spray the cleaner on the showerhead or soak it into the solution and let it sit for a few minutes. Then use a scrubber brush to wipe away the deposits.

Finally, rinse the showerhead with hot water and repeat the process if necessary. Bathroom cleaners can also be used to clean the showerhead fixtures.

Method 7: Resort to Hydrogen Peroxide 

Just like bleach, hydrogen peroxide is great for cleaning. But it’s safer than bleach because it’s non-toxic and doesn’t produce harsh fumes. It also does a great job of breaking down mineral deposits.

For using hydrogen peroxide, mix it with equal parts of water. If you use 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide, then dilute 1 cup of water into it or if you use 1 gallon of hydrogen peroxide, then use 1 gallon of water.

Now, take the shower head off and soak it in the solution. Make sure the head is fully submerged in it.

You can also use the solution without removing the shower head from the shower arm. For this, you have to soak a microfiber cloth in the solution and apply it all over the stained area.

Let the shower head soak for at least 20-30 minutes in the mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water to deep clean it. Then brush away the hard water stains and other remaining deposits. You can also try gently scrubbing the spray nozzles to clean the holes.

Finally, run hot water to rinse the shower nozzle and head properly. Hopefully, you will get your desired water flow from now on!

Method 8: Try to Keep the Shower Head Clean

Most people don’t pay attention to keeping the showerheads clean, and as a result, they have to face several problems. If you don’t clean it properly, the mineral deposits will build up. Finally, you will experience a very low water pressure.

Not only that, when people don’t clean these regularly, lung infectious bacteria buildup may be harmful to health.

So, cleaning the showerhead is a must, whether it’s for getting a good shower experience or maintaining hygiene. That’s why you should always try to keep all the showerheads of your bathroom sparkling clean.


Always use an adjustable wrench for removing showerheads so that it doesn’t displace. And take extra precautions for metal showerheads as they get damaged easily if you use the wrong methods. Whatever method you use, don’t forget to put on hand gloves.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do showerheads get clogged?

There are several reasons for a clogged showerhead. The most common one is the buildup of mineral deposits. Over time, these minerals can restrict water flow or even prevent water from flowing. Another possible reason is a foreign object lodged in the showerhead.

Sometimes dues to less water pressure and hard water, the shower head may get clogged.

What is the best way to clean a showerhead?

There isn’t necessarily one “best” way to clean a showerhead. The method you use will depend on the type of showerhead and the severity of the buildup.

For example, suppose you have a removable showerhead. In that case, you might be able to clean it with a simple soak in vinegar and cleaning with a brush. If your showerhead is non-removable, you’ll need to use a different cleaning method.

However, you can follow the methods mentioned above for cleaning showerheads in most cases. But it’s always better to check the compatibility of the type and the method to prevent any damage.

How often should you clean your shower head?

To maintain good water flow and proper hygiene, regularly cleaning the showerhead is recommended. If you don’t clean your showerhead regularly, it may cause health problems like lung infection, as mentioned earlier. Also, the water pressure will be very low, which may give you a bad shower experience.

So, how often should you clean the showerhead?

Well, cleaning once a month is more than enough to avoid any problem. But if you live in an area where the water contains a high level of minerals, cleaning it more frequently would be ideal.

However, it also depends on how hard your water is and how often you use your shower. If you have soft water and don’t use your shower very often, you might be able to get away with cleaning it once a month. But if you have hard water and take multiple showers every day, you’ll probably need to clean it more often.

Does CLR clean shower heads?

CLR is mainly used for removing calcium, lime, and rust from showerheads. So, if your showerhead is clogged due to any of these deposits, then CLR can be used for cleaning.

To use CLR, simply remove the showerhead and soak it in a mixture of CLR and water overnight. Brush away any remaining deposits in the morning and rinse the showerhead with clean water.

If you don’t want to use CLR, you can also use vinegar or baking soda as an alternative. Just follow the same process as mentioned above.

Sum it Up

Whatever method you use, cleaning a showerhead is easier than you think—and definitely worth the effort. By taking care of your showerhead regularly, you can prevent mineral buildup and ensure that everyone in your household enjoys a relaxing, refreshing shower.

If you enjoyed this article on showerhead cleaning tips without vinegar, be sure to check out our other cleaning tips and tricks. From cleaning grout to getting rid of tough stains, we’ve got you covered.

So, bookmark this site, and don’t forget to visit whenever you get time! Happy cleaning!

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Melia Karneva

This is Melia Karneva, a mother of two young gentlemen. A stay-at-home mom, she loves nothing more than cleaning and cooking for her family. Her true passion, is writing, which she pursues with great zeal. She loves putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) in her spare time. Karneva thinks of herself as a Renaissance woman - she can do many things but doesn't like to brag about them.

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