De-Gunking Your Shower Head Is Strangely Satisfying

De-Gunking Your Shower Head Is Strangely Satisfying

DWV.  I’ll admit, not an abbreviation the cool kids are using these days, but the cool ADULTS of the world should be.  I’m talking about Distilled White Vinegar.  Not only is it a natural option when you’re cleaning around the house, it doesn’t leave behind a lingering chemical smell or any weird residue once your cleaning mission is complete.

With a new baby at home, I try my best to use more natural options when I’m cleaning, especially now that our son Joseph is walking and getting into every.  little.  space.  of our home, literally.  (i.e. He just discovered how to take apart our lint trap in the clothes dryer last week.)

I can’t pretend to be someone I’m not.  I don’t buy “organic” cleaners on a regular basis because I just feel like they aren’t going to work well (whether that’s really true or not.)  Also, the higher prices of these products often annoy me.  So in the end, if it’s something I can splash over my baby spinach leaves, then it’s DEFINITELY something safe enough for me to clean with, even with a 16 month old lurking nearby.  

If you peek in my pantry, you will always find at least two different kinds of vinegar: balsamic and red wine.  Sometimes, depending on a special recipe, I may have apple cider and rice vinegar as well.  However, without fail, the biggest bottle of them all is actually stored under our bathroom sink, not in our pantry.

According to “Heinz® Distilled White Vinegar is made from sun-ripened grain and crystal clear water. With a clean, crisp flavor, it’s ideal for your favorite marinades, salads, and recipes. Also, due to its mild acidity (5%), it is a great all natural helper around the house for cleaning and other chores and at a fraction of the cost of chemical based products.”  

Distilled White Vinegar is what I always have on-hand because it’s my “go-to” for a variety of cleaning purposes.

Today, I’m sharing with you one of my favorite uses of distilled white vinegar.  What I like to call “de-gunking the shower head.”  Trust me, it’s so oddly satisfying.  I hope you understand once you see the before and after in the video I’ve shared.

For someone who has hard water from our own well, it is necessary to “de-gunk” as I like to call it, once every few months.  The best part is, it’s super easy to do, extremely cost-effective, requires no scrubbing, and you’ll most likely have these supplies already laying around your house.

You will need:

1 Gunky Showerhead

1 cup of Distilled White Vinegar (or enough to submerge the entire surface area of the shower head)

1 large gallon plastic food storage bag

1 hair elastic or rubber band

Here’s what you do.

  1. Open the plastic food storage bag and carefully pour about a cup of distilled white vinegar inside (give or take.)
  2. Find someone very tall to reach up high in order to submerge the shower head inside of the bag so that it’s completely surrounded by the vinegar.
  3. Gather the top portion of the bag (the excess material) and using a hair elastic or rubber band tie it so that the bag is attached to the shower head and will not fall off.
  4. Wait about an hour and check on it by rubbing the bag against the flat portion of the shower head.  You should see some particles (aka “the gunk”) start to come off and float in the vinegar.
  5. Carefully remove the bag and check the end result by running the shower. You will immediately notice all of the holes are no longer clogged and the water pressure should be back to normal.  If not, replace the bag and leave it on a bit longer.  Usually the longer you let it sit, the better the result.


Use caution depending on what finish your shower head is coated with, since vinegar is acidic, although just 5%.  All of our fixtures are still original to the home we purchased three years ago so I didn’t even consider testing this out in a small spot to make sure it didn’t ruin it.  What I lovingly refer to as “Gaudy Gold.”  I have left the bag on overnight and it hasn’t caused a problem to the gold finish yet.  You could leave yours in the vinegar for about 3-4 hours to see results.

I hope you’re now motivated to de-gunk your life using distilled white vinegar.  You can start with your shower head!

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