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9 Mar 2022

Watch: How to descale a shower head

Our video shows the best way to remove limescale from a shower head so it looks as good as new
Dirty shower head

A shower head clogged with limescale not only looks gross, but it can harbour nasty bacteria and the build-up can also negatively impact the water pressure of your shower.

There's lots of limescale cleaning products in the shops, and tips and tricks on the internet or social media that recommend using cheap household items such as vinegar or Coca-Cola.

Watch our video below to see what method we recommend or keep reading on for a detailed breakdown of the steps, as well as water-saving tips including if an eco shower head is right for you.


Renovating your bathroom? Read our shower buying guide to find out which type will be best for you.


Six steps to descale a shower head

A quick search online will bring up a million and one ways to descale a shower head, but this is the cheapest and easiest way.

  • Pick your acid of choice. We recommend citric acid. It's stronger than distilled vinegar and doesn't smell. It's widely available, too, so you should be able to easily buy it online or in a large supermarket.
  • Dissolve two tablespoons of citric acid powder in a large bowl of roughly one litre of hot but not boiling water.
  • If your shower head detaches, you can completely submerge it in this bowl.
  • If your shower head doesn't detach, use the plastic bag trick. Fill a large zip-lock bag with the citric acid-water solution and put it over the shower head. Zip it up as far as you can and use an elastic band to tie it in place.
  • Leave it for about an hour, take it out of the solution and give it a quick final wipe over with a cleaning cloth.
  • Run water through it again to wash out any remaining solution.

Why not get another chore out of the way while you're at it? Find out five simple ways to remove limescale from your kettle.


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How does an eco shower head work?

An eco shower head can be a great addition to a mixer or power shower.

It doesn't magically save water. It simply gives the feeling of a higher pressure without actually using more water. This means you can turn the dial down and save water.

To check whether you could cut your water usage, put a 2-litre container on the shower floor. If it takes less than 12 seconds to fill when the shower is running on full, that's the equivalent of it putting out 10 litres every minute.

If that's the case, you could benefit from a low-flow or water-saving shower head. Unfortunately they don't work with electric showers though.

Find out more about eco shower heads, where to buy one and other water-saving gadgets you can try in our eco shower head buying guide.

Five ways to save water and save money

In addition to an eco shower head, there are plenty of ways to conserve water use - from small changes you can make to your routine to home improvement fixes.

  1. Keep your showers under five minutes.
  2. Don't run the tap when brushing your teeth.
  3. Only run your washing machine and dishwasher when you have a full load.
  4. Fix leaky taps sooner rather than later.
  5. Only fill your kettle with the amount of water you need.

Survive the squeeze with more money saving tips: 17 ways to save money on your household bills and living costs in 2022