Saturday, February 16, 2013

The natural, easy way to turn your shower head from ick to slick

Have you ever realized just how disgusting something in your house is ... just as company has arrived?

My teenage son is responsible for cleaning his own bathroom. There have been times we've had to school him on exactly what "clean" means, and how to achieve it. But usually I'm noticing the shower walls, floor, and shower curtain. Or the bases of the sink faucet or handles. Or the mirror with all the toothpaste flecks.

But last week, just as an old college friend was coming in town, I noticed the shower head in our son's bathroom. This is the same shower our overnight guest would be using. It looked like this:

Eew. Ick. Yuck. If it's been cleaned in the five years we've lived here, it's been a looong while. I'm pretty sure our son has no idea it should be part of his cleaning routine.

Luckily our overnight guest is a guy's guy, and he may not have even noticed or cared that his shower water was coming out of something not so shower-fresh. However, for my own peace of mind, I had to remedy the situation as soon as possible.

I'm sure you're like me, and would rather not spend your money on expensive cleaning products that are full of nasty chemicals, and don't even work all that well. And who wants to ruin her manicure with excessive scrubbing? (Ha! As if I had a manicure. But maybe you do. I don't want those gorgeous nails to be ruined.)

Enter the miracle product. One so powerful, yet so economical and natural.

Yep, here's all you need:

  • White vinegar (1/3 cup or more, depending on the size of your shower head)
  • Baggie or bag with no holes (double bag if you're unsure)
  • Rubber band, tape, long twist tie, or string

Your contraption will look like this while it's working:

To figure out how much vinegar you need, do a dry run with your bag. Hold it over your shower head and twist it closed. Visualize how much vinegar you'll need to cover the front of the shower head entirely. 

Here's how to rig up your contraption:
  1. Pour the appropriate amount of vinegar into a glass measuring cup. Heat up the vinegar in the microwave until it's hot, but not boiling
  2. Take all your supplies, including the heated vinegar into the bathroom.
  3. Pour the vinegar into the bag.
  4. Carefully hoist the bag up and over your shower head.
  5. Twist the bag closed to keep the warmth inside (make sure the vinegar completely covers the dirty part of the shower head) .
  6. Tie the bag off securely.
  7. Let it sit for several hours (mine was about 8 hours but that may have been excessive).

When I pulled the bag off later, most of the grime was floating in the bag. All it took to remove the rest was a damp cloth. The gunk slid right off.

To give my brushed stainless steel shower head a nice polish, I gave it a quick wipe with some dust spray. That step is not necessary, but now it's all shiny and new-looking!

Wow, that was a lengthy commentary for such a simple process. It really is quick and easy. Unlike reading this blog post. Now go forth and clean your icky shower heads.

What are your favorite easy, natural cleaning methods? I'm trying to start using more natural products for cleaning. It's amazing what some of the simplest products we have in our pantry can do!



  1. I never trust Wayne when he cleans the bathroom as his version of 'clean' and my version of 'clean' are never the same! Agree, walls, shower curtain and floor are never really touched so I find myself going in after he does to finish the job! lol This is a great idea - you can also soak cotton balls in the vinegar before you tie it up - I've done that with my faucets before :) xxx

    1. For a short time when The Mr. and I were both working corporate jobs a few years ago, we had a cleaning lady come every two weeks. Her fee was very reasonable ... but we got what we paid for. The faucets were always splotchy and we were always finding spots she missed on our vanity counter. Clearly she is not detail-oriented!

  2. Great idea. I also use a lot of natural products for cleaning - vinegar, bicarbonate of soda...make my own soap and washing machine liquid too, as I'm trying to give up all chemical products.

    1. Do you have a high efficiency machine? I'd love to know the washing detergent recipe you use.

  3. yeah... I need to do this! :(

    great tip Hollie, pinning!


    1. The shower head almost scared me away, but I couldn't believe how easily the mess wiped off. Happy cleaning!

    2. i finish the job off by wiping the faucets shower head towel rails etc with methylated spirits I also clean mirrors and shower screens with it..

  4. You know either it takes only a little to impress me or this is a great post. I think I tried denture cleaner once. Then I forgot it was up there and the kid turned the shower on and the bag went spewing and flying off. I know it didn't look that good. Those hard water deposits make the the water streams go crooked. I'll try anything before I go ahead and replace the shower head like I did last time.
    I'll let you know.

  5. Great Idea! I'd heard it before in theory, but couldn't work it out in practise, so thanks for the details!! I also do the vinegar/water in a bowl and zap in the microwave for a few minutes and leave to sit for a sparkling clean microwave!! Works like a charm!!

    1. I tried the vinegar trick for the microwave, but my baked-on gunk didn't wipe off. Maybe I didn't heat the vinegar up enough? I'll have to try it again.

  6. In the world of modernization, nobody will bathe simply from water contained in a bucket. And with lives that have never been busier, who will have the luxurious time to enjoy their bath in a bath tub? With more modern and busier lives, it is no wonder that the demand for hand-held shower heads is increasing among the homeowners. best handheld shower head

  7. it can even keep your shower at a comfortable temperature when someone flushes the toilet or turns on the washing machine. HomeAddons


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