How Often Should You Replace Your Shower Head?
Don't get to see it completely white - the shower head should be cleaned more frequently! Every 5-8 months. Do you know why? The reasons can be found in this article, together with the correct way to clean it without polluting, in a natural, fast and really effective way. But forget the vinegar!
When you wash, do you ever look up? And do you ever think about how many bacteria and germs lurk in the shower? The showerhead is a very comfortable tool of modernity which, however, we often forget. We don’t take care of it! Yet it should be washed and cleaned much more frequently than we usually do.
To avoid washing with unsanitary tools and to ensure deep cleaning of the showerhead, here is what you need to do (and how often!). Here you will find rules on how often you should clean your shower head, how to do it and why.
How Often Should You Replace Your Shower Head & why!
How often to clean it?
The showerhead should be washed after each use to eliminate germs and bacteria every time. If this is not feasible, however, it is advisable to clean it at least once a week with an environmentally friendly cleaner for stainless steel.
This should prevent limescale build-up, but it is not always possible to completely eliminate it. So when the showerhead begins to show white encrusted marks, it’s time for you to clean it a little more thoroughly by dissolving the limescale and returning the nozzles to their initial state.
There are two main reasons why you should clean your shower head this often.
- The first concerns comfort and efficiency: when limescale accumulates on the showerhead, in fact, it gradually obstructs the small nozzles from which the water comes out, clogging them and modifying the jet, which becomes less intense and less direct. By regularly washing the showerhead, however, you will keep the holes free, ensuring a relaxing shower with a really pleasant jet.
- The second is purely hygienic. Limescale-nicked nozzles are a breeding ground for germs and bacteria, which can nestle quietly when we don’t clean regularly.
How To Clean Your Shower Head?
No, do not use vinegar: in addition to corroding metals, it is very polluting. Rather, to clean the showerhead in a natural way, rely on citric acid, a substance contained in citrus fruits that you find on the market in powder form in supermarkets and organic shops. As MammaChimica explains, citric acid is an excellent descaler that, unlike vinegar (which is also 53 times more polluting), does not leave odors and is truly eco-sustainable.
To clean the showerhead, then, pour about 100 grams of citric acid into 800 grams of water, put the solution in a spray bottle, spray on the showerhead and let it act. Citric acid will dissolve the limescale. At that point, rinse well and proceed with normal cleaning.
Signs That It’s Time To Replace The Shower Head!
Leaking shower head
Slow or steady leaks from your shower head can be costly in the long run as they make you spend more on your monthly water bills. The little cold drips coming from the showerhead can be annoying even when all you are looking for is a warm, relaxing shower. Before getting a new shower head, check if the valves or washer rings are responsible for the leak as they can be replaced. However, if you are still experiencing constant drips, it will be best to get a new showerhead.
Fluctuations in water pressure
If there is a change in water pressure, the showerhead should be inspected to make sure it has no dirt buildup and that the water tank is full. However, if you have cleaned the showerhead and the whole water tank is working fine but you are still having problems with the water pressure, you need to consider a replacement. Showerheads can wear out over the years and, as a result, may fail to provide the same level of water pressure after a while.
Too much sediment buildup
If you miss a water softening system or use a hard water source for your shower, you may experience recurring problems with excessive sediment buildup in your shower head and overall plumbing system. The grey or white layers that form on the screen inside the showerhead or on the inner rim are a sign of sediment buildup. This can create an erratic or unpredictable water flow from the showerhead. While it is possible to clean limescale and other debris from your shower head, over time they can damage other internal components that require replacement.
Enhance your shower experience
While you may be okay with the way your shower headworks, you may want to enhance your experience by transforming your daily shower into something more luxurious. The market has a wide variety of shower heads with different features that can help you get a luxurious and spa-like experience. You can still find showerheads that offer a variety of settings at lower prices. It’s important to do your research and take your time to find one that offers the experience you hope for.
Advantages & Disadvantages Of Shower Head Replacement
Your showerhead is one of the most used items in the house, but many people ignore it. It is not uncommon for people to leave shower heads alone without replacing or cleaning for years or even decades. You may believe that replacing the showerhead is unnecessary, however, there are several benefits!
Save on your water bill
Old showerheads commonly leak due to small cracks, old Teflon tape, or dirt and rust creating gaps. Even if the leak is slow, you could be wasting hundreds of gallons of water every year due to your outdated shower head leaking.
In addition, the shower heads of older models from over a decade ago have a greater range than modern models. Newer models provide strong spraying power while also reducing the amount of water used by up to 60 percent. Depending on the current state of your shower head and the efficiency of your replacement, you could save hundreds of dollars a year on your water bills.
Improve water pressure
Even if your shower head is only a few years old, its age, design, and buildup of calcium deposits, rust, and other grime can cause your water pressure to drop dramatically. You will be amazed at how powerful your shower water pressure can become by simply replacing and upgrading the showerhead.
An ugly, old-fashioned shower head can create even the most beautiful bathrooms. Showerheads come in a myriad of styles, colors, and designs to match any bathroom’s décor and more are being developed every day. This is especially beneficial if you have recently renovated your bathroom or plan to do so in the near future.
In addition to the rapidly evolving showerheads in the design area, they are also constantly being improved with regard to their characteristics. Several years ago, showerheads typically only offered a regular spray option and possibly a massage function.
So Here’s How To Replace The Shower Head
Replacing a showerhead is a fairly simple DIY project that can be done in about half an hour. Once you’ve selected a new shower head and made sure all parts have been considered, you can get started.
- Step One: Collect all the necessary tools and items
To uninstall the old showerhead and install a new one, you will need some supplies. Get some old towels, an adjustable wrench, and some Teflon tape. It is also a good idea to have a sturdy stool to allow for better reach.
- Step two: prepare the area
Spread a towel on the shower or tub floor to avoid damaging the tile and prevent small parts from falling down the drain. If you need a stool, place it in the shower or tub and make sure it doesn’t slip.
- Step Three: Remove the old shower head
Make sure the water is completely shut off. Tighten the knobs as much as possible without breaking them. There is no need to turn off the main water supply for the shower, but be careful not to push the knobs as you work.
The old showerhead may be wide enough to unscrew by hand, but if it isn’t, take an adjustable wrench and fit it onto the end of the showerhead. Wrap a cloth around the shower neck and showerhead to prevent scratches.
Slowly but firmly, rotate the showerhead counterclockwise until it is removed. Set the old showerhead aside in a large plastic bag or on another towel to prevent excess water from going anywhere.
- Step Four: Clean the Neck
The threads on the shower neck are likely laden with dirt, old Teflon tape, and plumber’s putty. Clean everything with a damp rag and an old toothbrush. Do not scrape off dirt with a screwdriver or other metal tool as this may cause damage to the threads.
- Step Five: Apply the Teflon tape to the threads
Wrap some Teflon tape on the threads on the neck. You will need to fully wrap the threads about three to four times. Anything less may not make a sufficient seal, but something more may make it too tight to screw into the showerhead. Apply the tape clockwise to prevent the tape from unrolling as you screw in the new shower head.
- Step six: connect the new shower head
Place the new shower head on the neck threads and screw it clockwise. First, squeeze it as tightly as possible with your hands and then tighten it firmly with the key. Wrap the nut on the showerhead and shower neck with a cloth to prevent scratches.
- Step Seven: Turn on the water
Finally, turn on the water and make sure the showerhead is working. Leave it running for a few minutes to make sure there are no leaks. If there is a leak, it may be necessary to remove the showerhead and apply a thicker layer of Teflon tape to the threads. However, if there are no leaks, you are good to go.
Buying Guide For The Best Shower Heads
Many people don’t think too much about the showerhead; they only use what comes with the shower. However, switching things around could give you a much more satisfying shower experience.
If the water pressure is low or you think you’d like a range of spray settings, a new showerhead may be just what you need.
But how do you select the right one? The market boasts hundreds of models and you have to narrow your choice to just one.
At CreHome, we try to help you find the ideal products for your individual needs. If you are ready to purchase a new showerhead, we encourage you to review our five winning picks at the top of this page. If you’d like to learn more about shower heads and how to select the perfect one, read on.
If the water pressure is low, fear not! New technologies can increase the power of the water flowing from the shower while maintaining a low GPM. If this piques your interest, look for a showerhead specially designed for use in areas with low water pressure.
Should You Replace The Shower Head?
Before you start your search for a new shower head, you may be wondering if it’s time to replace yours. The answer is probably “yes”.
Of course, if your shower head is damaged, leaking has poor water flow, or is otherwise poor, you may be looking for a replacement for this reason. But did you know that many experts suggest replacing the showerhead every eight or twelve months?
As it turns out, showerheads are the perfect place for dangerous bacteria to grow and thrive. For example, Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) that grows on some dandelions can cause lung infections. Of course, these bacteria shouldn’t cause too much trouble for healthy individuals. But they pose a definite risk to people with weakened immune systems.
In short, it’s best to err on the side of caution and replace your shower head every year.
Richard is an experienced small business owner in the hardware industry. He also owns a swimming pool maintenance business and serves as a consultant on land maintenance committees for a number of leading organizations. He is a regionally renowned security cracker/locksmith expert and in his spare time renovates and repairs vaults, safes, appliances, and a host of other products.
Types Of Shower Head
Let’s take a look at some of the most common showerhead types on the market:
Single adjustment shower heads
Single setting showerheads offer no choice in terms of speed or spray settings; they are “on” or “off”. Some people consider these showerheads too simple, but others prefer a no-nonsense shower head they just don’t want or need complicated settings.
Multi-adjustment shower heads
Multi-setting showerheads offer a range of spray settings to choose from. Whether you want a strong and powerful shower or a gentle rain shower, this type of head allows you to personalize your bathing experience. The Culligan filtered shower head on our product list offers five different settings, including a massage mode.
Multi-setting shower heads are suitable for people who like to tinker with different shower pressures. They are also great for families with multiple people, who all prefer different settings.
Rainshower heads are large, often eight or nine inches wide. The Moen Velocity on our list is eight inches wide and the Hansgrohe Raindance Downpour AIR showerhead is ten inches wide. This type of shower headwaters you gently, like a light rain. It’s ideal if you like to feel the water covering your entire body at once, but aren’t married to the idea of a powerful flow.
Low flow shower heads
Low-flow showerheads use less water than other types, but make you feel like the flow is as strong as any other out there. These products are as excellent as they are environmentally friendly and could save you money on your water bill.
Shower heads for speakers
Showerheads like the Kohler Moxie combine a regular shower head with a wireless speaker. Most of these products work via Bluetooth, so they will detect any Bluetooth-enabled device within a specified range. You can play music from that device and it will come out through the shower speaker.
The darkness, heat, and humidity of a shower enclosure are an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. To change the showerhead at least once a year.
Fixed vs handheld
Some shower heads attach directly to the wall. Other “portable” models connect to a hose.
- The fixed shower heads can rotate so that the general direction of the flow can be adjusted.
- Hand shower heads are more versatile. They attach to a wall bracket, but can easily be removed from the bracket and used by hand to direct the flow wherever it is needed.
Some shower nozzles are made from the same metal as the main body of the showerhead. Others are made of plastic, rubber, or silicone.
- Shower heads with metal nozzles tend to accumulate less bacteria.
- Shower heads with plastic, rubber or silicone nozzles don’t build up as much limescale as their metal counterparts. Limescale can be a particularly troublesome problem in hard water areas.
Presumably, you want the shower head you choose to match the hardware finish throughout the rest of the bathroom. Most bathroom accessories give off a chrome finish, so all of our top picks have a chrome option.
Notably, however, most of our top picks offer other finishing options as well. For example, in addition to Polished Chrome, the Kohler Moxie can be purchased with a finish of white, brushed nickel, and oil-rubbed bronze.
Ease of installation
Most showerheads are easy to install. Even if you have little or no DIY experience, you’d probably do just fine on your own with any of the shower heads on our list, as long as you have standard plumbing.
However, there are shower heads on the market today that are difficult to install. In these cases, you may want to hire a professional plumber.
There are two types of low-flow showerheads: aerating shower heads that mix air with water; and laminar flow shower heads that separate the water jets.
Showerhead prices range from around € 10 to several hundred dollars.
It’s hard to judge a shower head just by the price. A higher price does not always equate to a superior or more durable product. That said, a basic shower head that costs € 50 or more is probably worth checking out. If you want to enjoy a variety of spray settings or other quality brand features, however, you’re probably looking at a cost closer to € 100 +.
Our best Bang for Your Buck product, the Speakman Icon, currently retails for $73. For the price, you get a beautiful brass fixture in your choice of six shades that include polished chrome, polished brass, and matte black. True, it’s not a € 10 base model, but the owners we interviewed were glad they spent a little extra on the comfort and convenience of this product.
Up the price, a bit and you can get our Best of the Best product, the Moen Velocity showerhead, for $ 169. Most owners agree that this head’s water pressure is exceptional. The water flows from an eight-inch shower head with “immersion technology” that makes you feel as if your whole body is enveloped in the flow. Many owners love it so much, they say they have a hard time getting out of the shower in the morning.
If you live in an area with hard water, look for a showerhead with a plastic, rubber, or silicone nozzle. These materials do not become clogged with limescale as easily as metal nozzles.
These are some of the most frequently asked consumer questions about showerheads:
Q: What does GPM mean?
A: GPM stands for “gallons per minute” and, for our purposes, the measure refers to the manufacturing of the showerhead. As a rule, the higher the GPM, the stronger the water flow. However, as a water-saving measure, federal laws restrict the sale of showerheads that produce more than 2.5 GPM.
Q: Will I need a plumber to install my new shower head?
A: The showerheads are quite easy to install if you keep the rest of the box as is. Simply follow the directions provided with your product. You’ll likely need an adjustable wrench and plumber’s tape.
Of course, if you’re not comfortable doing the job yourself, a professional plumber could definitely handle it. It’s a small job that shouldn’t cost too much.
Q: How can I clean my limescale clogged metal shower head?
A: If your metal shower head is clogged with limescale and you are not inclined to buy a new one, try this DIY treatment. Fill a sturdy plastic bag with at least one cup of white vinegar and hot water. Securely attach the bag to the showerhead so that the affected nozzle is immersed in the vinegar solution. Leave the bag there for several hours. The vinegar should disintegrate the buildup.