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How to clean a clogged shower head without toxic chemicals

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Like it or not, shower heads get clogged, water has calcium and other mineral deposits which over time will build up and clog faucets, showerheads and coffeemakers. While this isn’t harmful, it slows the flow of water and can affect the quality of the showering experience.

There are many powerful products, that may also be toxic, that claim to easily blast away calcium, lime and rust deposits.

In fact according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, a popular cleaner designed to remove calcium lime and rust, carries along with it the following warning,

“DANGER: CORROSIVE TO EYES AND SKIN! HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED! Causes eye and skin damage. DO NOT get in eyes, on skin or on clothing. DO NOT ingest. DO NOT breathe vapor or mist. DO NOT mix with bleach or other household chemicals as harmful fumes may result. Handle with care, wear rubber gloves and eye protection. Use in well ventilated areas. DO NOT spray directly towards the face. Contains sulfamic acid and alcohol ethoxylate. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN Acute Effects Skin irritation: Corrosive liquid. Avoid skin contact. Eye irritation: Corrosive liquid. Risk of serious damage to eyes. Avoid eye contact. Inhalation: do not breathe spray. Avoid breathing vapors. Use only in a well-ventilated area. Ingestion Contains sulfamic acid and alcohol ethoxylate. May be harmful if swallowed.”

Instead of turning to toxic products to clean the clog just grab some distilled white vinegar, and follow these simple steps for a green, completely non-toxic solution for cleaning that clogged shower head. The acids in vinegar naturally break down the deposits, allowing the water to once again flow unrestricted. You can also use this trick for cleaning and unclogging faucets.

Supply list:

1. A plastic bag, recycle one if possible

2. A rubber band

3. Distilled white vinegar

Click photos above for complete instructions on how to clean your shower head without toxic chemicals.

Step One
Step One Ellice Campbell

Step One

Step One
Fill the plastic bag about half way with vinegar and fasten the bag tightly to the shower head.  Do this by enclosing the mouth of the bag over the shower head and fastening it tightly in place with the rubber band.

Step Two
Step Two Ellice Campbell

Step Two

Step Two
Ensure the shower head is fully immersed in the vinegar, it needs to be in order for this to work properly.  Let it sit for at least 12 hours, a really crusty shower head may need more time.

Step Three
Step Three Ellice Campbell

Step Three

Step Three
When finished, carefully remove the bag, avoiding as much as possible, splashing the vinegar in the face, take special care to avoid the eyes. Dump down the drain. 

Run hot water for a minute to clean all vinegar residue off the shower head. Viola, it will run like new!