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How to Clean Shower Head and Protect Yourself from Bacteria
By Louise Price
Are you a wake-up-and-shower person who need that refreshing morning wake up call
to perk up and start the day off? If yes, beware – bacteria may be lurking in your
According to a published study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
shower heads can conceal harmful germs such as mycobacterium avium.
If the mycobacterium avium bacteria is inhaled, it can cause a mycobacterium avium
complex which is similar to pneumonia.
While it is rarely a problem for most healthy people, it can be a cause for concern
for pregnant women, the elderly, or people with weakened immune systems.
This group may develop lung infection with mycobacterium avium and experience symptoms
such as fatigue, a persistent dry cough, shortness of breath and weakness, and generally
Since germs thrive in warm and moist environment, it is important that you clean
your showerhead and replace it regularly. You can follow these simple steps to make
sure harmful bacteria are not lurking in your shower head.
Showerhead Cleaning Tips
1. Flush the Shower Head with Only Hot Water.
Every 6 months, run hot water for several minutes through the shower nozzle to flush
and eliminate the biofilm of micro bacteria.
2. Clean Shower Head.
Remove your shower head by rotating the shower head counter clockwise where it attaches
to the shower pipe.
Place the shower nozzle in a bowl of distilled white vinegar. Make sure all the holes
of the shower head are completely submersed. Soak in the vinegar for about 15-20
minutes. Stubborn deposits may take slightly longer, but do not soak for more than
30 minutes at a time.
After soaking, use an old toothbrush or other stiff brush to scrub the holes clean.
Reattach shower head. Run some hot water through the shower nozzle to get rid of
any remaining vinegar.
You can also clean the showerhead with a chlorine based cleanser or a water diluted
clorox (bleach). If the showerhead cannot be removed, fill a small plastic sandwich
bag with distilled white vinegar and secure tightly around the shower head.
Likewise, soak for no longer than 30 minutes at a time and then use a brush to clean
the holes, and run hot water through the shower head to rinse completely.
3. Replace Your Showerhead Every Couple of Years.
Since shower heads are inexpensive, it makes good sense to replace showerheads that
has accumulated germs. Cleansing with chlorine or vinegar prevents massive build
up, but eventually an old shower head will simply grow the bacteria back.
Metal showerheads appear to be less likely than plastic showerheads to grow biofilm,
according to the researchers.
With a cleaned shower head, you will be getting a refreshing splash of germ-free
water each time you shower.