There’s a pleasant soapy fragrance wafting all over our wide brown land.
COVID-19 has reminded us about the importance of hygiene, and in conjunction with physical distancing and isolation, it’s played a vital role in flattening the curve. We’re going to win the war against COVID-19, and we’re going to win it with clean and soapy hands.
We’re also cleaning our homes like never before. But while we’re being extra attentive to domestic hygiene, there are some still areas we neglect. The showerhead is one of them. While we clean the rest of the shower on a regular basis – and probably even more frequently right about now – the shower head remains a bit out of sight, out of mind. But it is something that should be cleaned at least once a month and for very good reasons.
Minerals and other deposits can build up inside the showerhead and form a solid, gunky film. This gunk covers the small holes within the head and can reduce water pressure as a result. That alone is a reason to give the showerhead a good clean from time to time. If you find the water pressure is still a bit weak and dribbly afterward, you could have a larger pressure issue that needs to be resolved.
We can help with that…somewhere down the track.
Secondly, there are health factors to consider. The warm, humid environment of a bathroom makes shower heads a natural breeding ground for bacteria, mould, and other germs. The film that builds up within the head provides a home for these nasties and stops them from being flushed out by the chlorine we have in our water. When you turn on your shower, there’s a risk these potentially harmful microbes can be dispersed into the air and inhaled.
A study by the University of Colorado showed that 30% of showerheads contained high levels of a pathogen often connected to pulmonary disease. It also found that Stenotrophomonas Maltophilia is also common – this bacterium attaches itself to all that goop that gathers inside showerheads and can cause nasty infections.
Yikes! Scary stuff. But really, there’s no need to panic. The solution is simple. If you can unscrew the showerhead, soak it in a bowl of white vinegar for a few hours. This should be enough to dislodge the gunk – give it a gentle scrub with a soft toothbrush to remove stubborn deposits.
If you can’t unscrew the showerhead, pour the vinegar into a re-sealable plastic bag and tie it around the showerhead with a rubber band. Make sure the showerhead is completely covered with the vinegar. Leave it like this for a few hours and then run hot water through the shower to blast away the debris.
A word of warning. If you have a nickel, brass or gold finished shower head, take it out of the vinegar after 30 minutes, Prolonged exposure can damage the beautiful finish of these fixtures. And for cleaning all showerheads, try to avoid harsh bleach and chemical-based cleaners. Remember how we once told you about our reluctance to use commercial drain cleaners because they do more harm than good? We believe the same to be true for products that can be used to clean a showerhead. Stick with something natural like vinegar – it will do just as good a job and leave your entire shower sparkling clean and totally hygienic.