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This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum.  Completing this BB is part of getting the sand badge in Plumbing.

In this Badge Bit, you will clean/decalcify a shower head.  (Note that this BB is part of a 6-part choose your own adventure list BB called the Tiny List. You must complete six Badge Bits in the Tiny List.)



Some related articles
  - How to Clean the Shower Head with Vinegar
  - How to Unclog Your Shower Head While You Sleep
  - How to Clean a Shower head with Baking Soda and Vinegar
  - Explosive Shower head Cleaner









To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
 - Clean/decalcify a shower head

To show you've completed this Badge Bit, you must show proof of the following (as pictures or a video < 2 mins):
 - Dirty/calcified shower head operating poorly
 - Cleaning/decalcifying the shower head
 - Newly cleaned/decalcified shower head operating properly
 - A description of the method for how the shower head was cleaned/decalcified
COMMENTS:
 
Posts: 33
Location: Hemingford Nebraska
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Approved submission
Our shower head wasn’t that bad, but I thought I’d give this BB part a shot. The steps were simple.
First, a shot of our shower head before cleaning.



I soaked the shower head in white vinegar to dissolve buildup. It worked well inside the holes but not so much on the surface. This is the same bag of vinegar I used for my aerator.



Then I used a stainless steel scrub brush to remove the dissolved minerals. I didn't want to mar the plastic so easy does it.



Testing the shower head after cleaning rinsed away the debris. As you can see I could have left it soak a bit longer but it was getting late and we both needed a shower!

Staff note (Mike Haasl) :

I hereby certify this BB complete!

 
steward
Posts: 13697
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Approved submission
I cleaned the shower head tonight!  I did the bag of vinegar and then wiggled the rubber nipples to get the chunks off.
Before.jpg
Before
Before
Vinegar-in-a-baggie.jpg
Vinegar in a baggie
Vinegar in a baggie
Done-.jpg
Done!
Done!
Staff note (paul wheaton) :

I certify that this BB is complete!

 
pollinator
Posts: 134
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Approved submission
Cleaned the shower head yesterday while cleaning the sink aerators. It didn't have a lot of buildup, but had a lot of staining.

Soaked in 9% vinegar for about three hours (while working on a couch repair)

Massaged the rubber tips with my fingers after the soak; got quite a bit of hidden build-up from inside the nozzles and managed to remove most of the staining.

IMG_0224.jpg
Shower head with staining
Shower head with staining
IMG_0225.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_0225.jpg]
IMG_0231.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_0231.jpg]
IMG_0232.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_0232.jpg]
IMG_0249.jpg
Clean and not stained anymore
Clean and not stained anymore
Staff note (Mike Haasl) :

I certify this BB complete!

 
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Approved submission
Cleaned the shower head in our guest bath for the he 1st time in 13 years!  Put the vinegar bag over it and cleaned it overnight.  Scrubbed it with a recycled toothbrush and voila!  Good as new!
IMG_20200709_205103326.jpg
Before
Before
IMG_20200709_205516617.jpg
During
During
IMG_20200709_205534581.jpg
During in profile
During in profile
IMG_20200710_085842578.jpg
After!
After!
Staff note (Mike Haasl) :

I certify this BB complete!  Along with your new air badge in plumbing

 
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Approved submission
Old showerhead, not been messed with since I moved in. Perfect time to clean it up!
IMG_20200916_154521750.jpg
Here it is, with the spray dial taken off.
Here it is, with the spray dial taken off.
IMG_20200916_155112486.jpg
A nice bath in apple cider vinegar. Just the dregs, not wasting my good stuff
A nice bath in apple cider vinegar. Just the dregs, not wasting my good stuff
IMG_20200918_164001195.jpg
Poured out a day later, and scrubbed in the sink.
Poured out a day later, and scrubbed in the sink.
IMG_20200918_164609217.jpg
Much nicer looking than when I started.
Much nicer looking than when I started.
IMG_20200918_164625658.jpg
Nothing is obstructed anymore.
Nothing is obstructed anymore.
Staff note (Mike Barkley) :

I certify this BB is complete.

 
pollinator
Posts: 331
Location: Zone 7a
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Approved submission
Quick clean of a shower head with vinegar.
Staff note :

Certified

 
gardener
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I like your videos Kevin!
 
Kevin Harbin
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Ashley Cottonwood wrote:I like your videos Kevin!


Thanks!
 
pollinator
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Approved submission
I soaked the shower head in vinegar by tying a bag of vinegar to it then scrubbed with a brush immediately after removing the bag.

Edit: Cleaner be ware, I hate how the water flows out of this shower head now! Hah.
Dirty-Showerhead.jpg
[Thumbnail for Dirty-Showerhead.jpg]
bag-of-vinegar.jpg
[Thumbnail for bag-of-vinegar.jpg]
Clean-Showerhead.jpg
[Thumbnail for Clean-Showerhead.jpg]
Staff note :

Certified complete

 
gardener
Posts: 1237
Location: Denver, 6a / BSk, rental house dweller, going back to Wheaton Labs soon
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Approved submission
I used the "take the shower head off and dunk it in pure vinegar for twenty minutes" method.
IMG_20201003_180724_1.jpg
Before
Before
IMG_20201003_181005.jpg
Dunked
Dunked
IMG_20201003_192934_1.jpg
After
After
Staff note (Mike Haasl) :

I certify this BB complete!

 
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Approved submission
Showerhead was surprisingly ugly beforehand (oh, the things we don't notice!).  Soaked it in white vinegar with the showerhead down, in a bag in the sink.  Left it about an hour or so.  Scrubbed off the remainder with an old toothbrush.
showerhead-01.jpg
Before
Before
showerhead-02.jpg
Trying to get it attached on the shower; couldn't get it right
Trying to get it attached on the shower; couldn't get it right
showerhead-03.jpg
Took the showerhead off and soaking in the bag of vinegar in the sink
Took the showerhead off and soaking in the bag of vinegar in the sink
showerhead-04.jpg
Using old toothbrush to brush off what's left
Using old toothbrush to brush off what's left
showerhead-05.jpg
All clean!
All clean!
Staff note (Mike Barkley) :

I certify this BB is complete.

 
author & master steward
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Approved submission
Today, I made a start on my plumbing sand badge. I have to say that until this badge bit, I never thought to even look at our shower head, let alone clean it. I was shocked at how gross it was!

Gross before photo. YUK!

I used the vinegar and baggy method because it was so easy and simple.

I left it to soak about three hours, then scrubbed it with an old toothbrush.

Nowhere near new, but much, much better.

My other surprise was to discover that our shower head is not metal, but rather chrome-colored painted plastic! I learned this when I tried to scrub some of the ickiest spots and the paint came off. You can actually see the white plastic in places in the last photo.

That's one of the things I love about the PEP program, I'm learning interesting things and invaluable skills by doing seemingly simple tasks.
Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Haasl approved this submission.

 
gardener
Posts: 1153
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Approved submission
The method was simple. I soaked the head in vinegar for a while, then scrubbed it up and rinsed it off. Thankfully I didn't need to disassemble it since the flow greatly improved immediately.
20201205_132405.jpg
Low flow.
Low flow.
20201205_133231.jpg
Soaking the head.
Soaking the head.
20201205_133536.jpg
The improved flow.
The improved flow.
Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Haasl approved this submission.

 
gardener
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Approved submission
Here is my submission for the Plumbing & Hot Water - Sand - Clean and Decalcify a Shower Head BB.

To document the completion of the BB, I have provided the following:
  - a before picture of the showerhead
  - an in-progress shot of you cleaning/decalcifying the showerhead
  - an after picture of the newly cleaned/decalcified shower head
  - a description of the method for how the shower head was cleaned/decalcified

I soaked the showerhead in the same white vinegar bath as the faucet aerators (reuse).  I also used a silicone scrubber and some dish soap to remove the last of the calcium and debris.
1.jpg
before with calcium and dirt
before with calcium and dirt
2.jpg
soaking
soaking
3.jpg
after a bit of a scrub
after a bit of a scrub
4.jpg
I had to share this as I saw my reflection on the face of the showerhead
I had to share this as I saw my reflection on the face of the showerhead
5.jpg
After - streams are straighter and with more even flow :)
After - streams are straighter and with more even flow :)
Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Haasl approved this submission.

 
Posts: 73
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Approved submission
To clean my shower head I took it off and soaked it in vinegar for an hour or so (with my kitchen tap aerator). I rubbed all the rubber tips with my fingers to break up any of the bits of buildup left, then I rinsed it with warm water.
Before.jpg
Covered in calcium
Covered in calcium
Soaking.jpg
Soaking in vinegar
Soaking in vinegar
After.jpg
All clean
All clean
Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Haasl approved this submission.

 
gardener
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Approved submission
I removed the shower head and soaked for a couple of hours in a beaker of vinegar. Then I gave it a rinse and scrub, flushed it through to remove any remaining residue.
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[Thumbnail for E65BC2D9-622F-40AC-8D88-6E2621EEDC7F.jpeg]
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[Thumbnail for 91BBCF71-43B1-4995-B95C-779AA8926482.jpeg]
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[Thumbnail for AC2C403C-9B9C-4BDA-A395-EA440D10F952.jpeg]
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[Thumbnail for 5F2A4F73-7757-4871-B195-C864055695F8.jpeg]
Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Haasl approved this submission.

 
Opalyn Rose
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Approved submission
Here is my submission for the Plumbing & Hot Water Aspect - Sand - Clean and Decalcify a Shower Head BB (duplicate).

Update: new photos showing adjustable showerhead dripping (before) and working well in two different settings (pulsing massage and standard mode).
To document the completion of the BB, I have provided the following:
- Dirty/calcified showerhead operating poorly
- Cleaning/decalcifying the showerhead
- Newly cleaned/decalcified showerhead operating properly
- A description of the method for how the shower head was cleaned/decalcified

This showerhead is in my sister's private bathroom.  I soaked the showerhead in a white vinegar bath.  I also used a silicone scrubber to remove the last of the calcium and debris.
1.jpg
Initial state of shower head
Initial state of shower head
2.jpg
soaking in vinegar
soaking in vinegar
3.jpg
status after about 20 minutes
status after about 20 minutes
4.jpg
after 4 hours with scrubber and vinegar bath
after 4 hours with scrubber and vinegar bath
0-drippig-showerhead.JPEG
before - dripping while in masage mode
before - dripping while in masage mode
6.JPEG
pulsing massage mode operating properly
pulsing massage mode operating properly
7.JPEG
standard shower setting working well too
standard shower setting working well too
Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone flagged this submission as an edge case BB.
BBV price: 0
Note: Can you add a picture demonstrating "shower head operating properly "

Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Barkley approved this submission.

 
Posts: 22
Location: Scottish Highlands
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Edge case submission
I opted for the soak in vinegar method, unfortunately the only plastic bag I had was a compostable one from a farmers' market which turned out to have a pinhole in it!

I ended up soaking our shower head in a planter in the bathroom sink and it worked well enough. :)
IMG_20220410_193726566.jpg
Before with red scale
Before with red scale
IMG_20220410_194503837.jpg
Soaking in the planter
Soaking in the planter
IMG_20220410_223843695_MP.jpg
After - squeaky clean!
After - squeaky clean!
Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone flagged this submission as an edge case BB.
BBV price: 0
Note: please add photos of operating poorly and operating properly

 
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Edge case submission
Shower decalsifing with vinegar.
PXL_20220622_204550084.jpg
Clean showerhead
Clean showerhead
PXL_20220622_201732959.jpg
Tide bag while dealing with rest of bathroom.
Tide bag while dealing with rest of bathroom.
PXL_20220622_201610257.MP.jpg
Make vinegar water bag
Make vinegar water bag
PXL_20220622_194837474.MP.jpg
Shower start
Shower start
Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone flagged this submission as an edge case BB.
BBV price: 0
Note: Please include photos of shower operating before and after cleaning

 
Posts: 42
Location: London, UK
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Approved submission
My showerhead was in need of some cleaning. I detached it from the piping to soak in white vinegar for a few hours. Most of it dissolved and the last few bits could be scratched off with my fingernails.
Dirty.jpg
My dirty showerhead
My dirty showerhead
Dirty-on.jpg
dirty-on
dirty-on
In-vinegear.jpg
Soaking in vinegar
Soaking in vinegar
Clean.jpg
After some soaking and picking off the remaining build up
After some soaking and picking off the remaining build up
Clean-on.jpg
clean-on
clean-on
Staff note (gir bot) :

L. Johnson approved this submission.
Note: I hereby certify this badge bit complete.

 
Aurora House
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Aurora House wrote:Shower decalsifing with vinegar.


Take 2
PXL_20220807_185744976.jpg
Grody shower head
Grody shower head
PXL_20220807_185759881.jpg
On
On
 
pollinator
Posts: 114
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Approved submission
I was cleaning the kitchen faucet and figured I should do the showerhead too. I soaked it in a peroxide and vinegar solution for several hours, scrubbed it, and cleared the holes with a toothpick. It sure needed it.
7885F94E-98EF-4E1C-98F8-3939EDAF12FF.jpg
Very irony
Very irony
IMG_6991.jpg
Soaking in a baggie
Soaking in a baggie
13B50690-F9AC-4410-9D21-21155FCFFEFD.jpg
All done!
All done!
Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Barkley approved this submission.

 
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