How To Clean A Shower Head With Baking Soda

How To Clean A Shower Head With Baking Soda? [Easy Guide]

Don’t you just love it when you can finally get under the shower and enjoy a relaxing bath after a long day?

The steady flow of water coming from the shower head instantly rejuvenates our mood and brings us a soothing sensation.

However, this refreshing experience can turn sour over time when calcium starts building up around it. The shower head will then not be capable of producing streams and can only result in dripping water.

The good news is you can bring back the glory of your shower head with some easily available pantry items! Let us tell you how to clean a shower head with baking soda to start enjoying a truly gratifying bath again!

Why Is Baking Soda Used To Clean Shower Heads?

Baking soda is the common name of the naturally occurring chemical compound sodium bicarbonate. It has been used as a cleaning agent for around 5500 years now! Egyptians of that time used baking soda to clean up their daily necessities, as well as for mummies!

pH Balance

One of the main reasons behind its effectiveness in cleaning is its slightly basic pH balance. Because of this chemical feature, baking soda can neutralize the acidic nature of a substance.

That is why you can combine it with vinegar so easily. The reaction between acidic vinegar and basic baking soda results in a solution that can cut through any grime anywhere!

Odor Cancellation

Along with cleaning up the visible dirt particles, baking soda can also give your olfactory nerve some pleasure! While your favorite air fresheners and candles only help in covering a bad odor, baking soda can effectively remove it. The slightly basic properties can neutralize the acids present in your air and cancel the smell.

Non-Toxic Pest Control

It can also be a safer form of pest control since it kills common household bugs like ants and cockroaches. If you heat baking soda at 300-degrees in Fahrenheit or above, it releases carbon dioxide which can get inside the hard-shelled system of those bugs and fail their organs effectively.

Preparing The Shower Head Before Cleaning

Separate It From The Fixture

The first thing you need to do in order to prepare the shower head for a cleanup session is, of course, detach it from the fixture.

You can complete this step easily by locating the nut connecting your shower head to the pipe, loosening it up with a wrench and then manually unscrewing the head. Usually this nut is placed at the attached arm. A wrench is preferred over pliers to remove the shower head because its finish may get damaged otherwise.

Place Under Running Water

Now hold the detached shower head under a running faucet to let the water pass through it. Doing so will make the cleanup session easier for you later since the water will already be removing much of the accumulated dirt. The baking soda solution or paste can work as a deep cleaner afterwards for this shower head.  

Different Ways To Clean A Shower Head With Baking Soda

There are many ways to go about for cleaning a shower head with baking soda. You can use it with only water to make a paste, add vinegar to it or mix it with both vinegar and dishwashing liquid.

Let’s check out all these options by going from the simplest one to the most demanding one.

Baking Soda And Water

Baking Soda And Water

If you don’t have any other ingredient to work with except baking soda, this will be the best cleaning solution for your shower head. All you have to do here is make a paste of baking soda and water. To prevent it from becoming too runny or too powdery, add in more baking soda or more water respectively.

Then just apply the fresh paste to the shower head and rub it everywhere including the nozzles to ensure an effective coating. Let it sit there for about half an hour to soak up all the dirt present underneath. Then rinse the shower head well and take it for a test run to see if it is working properly without any residual.

Baking Soda And White Vinegar

Baking Soda And White Vinegar

White vinegar is often deemed the hero of homemade cleaning solutions. No matter what you are planning to clean up next, vinegar will usually be among the top ingredients to help in it. Similarly, this easily available pantry item can make cleaning shower heads more effective for you.

Take a large container where your shower head can be submerged easily. Now pour three cups of white vinegar into it. Then add a cup of baking soda after which there should be bubbles appearing in the solution. If your shower head is a bit bigger, you can increase the amount of both vinegar and baking soda.

Put in the shower head so that it can sink below the fresh solution completely. Let it sit for an hour or longer depending on the amount or intensity of accumulated dirt. For the best results, you can even leave it in there overnight! Then rinse it well with warm water the next day to get rid of all the vinegar.

Use a soft cloth to wipe the shower head clean and then reconnect it to the arm or fixture. Turn it on to see if water is flowing properly through the nozzles. Let it go on for at least a few minutes to be sure and to remove any excess vinegar left in there.

Baking Soda, Dishwashing Liquid And Vinegar

Baking Soda, Dishwashing Liquid And Vinegar

Combine two tablespoons of baking soda, half a cup of vinegar and 4-5 drops of a dishwashing liquid to prepare the cleaning solution. You can disconnect the shower head and soak it in this mixture, or use a ziplock bag to hold the solution and then secure it around the pipe with a rubber band.

Either way, the shower head needs to be submerged in this cleaning solution for 30 minutes to over an hour. Then use an old toothbrush to scrub off any residual and then rinse well with hot water.

Tips For Cleaning A Shower Head

Wipe It Dry To Avoid Clumping

You need to check if the shower head is completely dry before starting to clean it with a baking soda solution or paste. This is because rubbing the soda on your shower head when it still has water can cause it to clump up. If it has already happened, you can use vinegar to get rid of the clumps.

Coca-Cola Cleans Shower Heads

Apart from tasting delicious, the soft drink Coca-Cola can actually help you to clean some bathroom fixtures! Pour some of it into a bowl and then dip the shower head in it. Almost all of the accumulated grimy dirt will easily come off once you rub the shower head drenched in coke.

No Bleach

While bleach is surely one of the more popular choices for a cleaning solution, it actually does not help to clean up a shower head.

A 2018 study conducted by Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) of Colorado had shown that chlorine bleach can promote production of a strain of bacteria that causes lung-diseases.

Besides, its caustic nature can also damage clothes. That is why avoiding bleach would be the wiser decision.

No Hard-Bristle Brush

It is important to use the right kind of brush while cleaning a bathroom fixture like shower head. For instance, using a brush with hard bristles may help you get rid of the germs but it can also result in removing some of the shower head polish! Hard bristles can scratch or scuff a finish made of chrome or similar metallic shades.


As you can see, it is very easy to learn how to clean a shower head with baking soda. Preparing the bathroom fixture for cleaning, making the solution or paste and carrying on the cleanup process - all the steps are pretty straightforward.

So even if you have never done this before, bringing back the shiny surface of your shower head should feel like a breeze! Besides, it also takes you one step ahead in being self-sufficient.

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