How to Clean a Shower Head With CLR

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CLR (Calcium Lime Rust) is a powerful cleaner with properties appropriate for cleaning lime, rust, and calcium from shower head surfaces. Dirty shower heads restrict the water flow and spoil your bathing experience with their dirty looks. However, cleaning them with CLR will ensure proper water flow and will also revive their appealing look.

How to Clean Shower Head With CLR?

The surfaces of shower heads are prone to interact with heat (because of hot water from geyser), soaps, dirt, and other fluff. Hence, these interactions take a heavy toll on their surfaces, which need proper cleaning. Therefore, if you intend to learn how to clean shower head with CLR, follow this guide.

Step 1: Get Your Supplies Ready

  1. CLR Cleaner solution.
  2. Half-a-bowl of water
  3. Big bowl for washing the shower head
  4. Sponge or cleaning brush.
  5. Pair of water-resistant gloves. (CLR is not good when it comes in direct contact with the skin)
  6. Make arrangements for proper ventilation in the cleaning room.
  7. Wear a respirator mask to avoid inhaling the toxic fumes.
A close up shot of a shower head and the shower holes

Step 2: Remove the Shower Head From Its Holder

  1. Remove the shower head from the wall.
  2. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to remove it properly without damage.

Step 3: Prepare the CLR Solution & Put Shower Head Into It

  1. Take a bowl filled with half water.
  2. Add CLR solution into the bowl to fill it.
  3. Let the solution mix up well.
  4. Put the shower head into the bowl, and submerge it completely.
  5. Let it settle down in the solution for 2 minutes.


You can also clean the shower head without removing it from its placement. Instead, fill the CLR solution in a plastic bag and tie it to the shower head so that it submerges completely in the solution. And the rest of the process remains the same.

Step 4: Clean the Shower Heads

The light residues, dirt, dust, and debris will eradicate just by submerging. However, for robust build-ups, you need to follow the below steps:

  1. First, use a toothbrush or sponge.
  2. Scrub the surface of the shower head while it is soaking.
  3. Now, scrub all the areas thoroughly and especially the build-up spots.

Step 5: Rinse the Shower Head and Inspect

  1. Rinse the shower head with clean water.
  2. Use a running tap or a bowl of clean water for this purpose.
  3. The loose specks of dirt will fall off, and the shower head will be clean.
  4. If the shower head is not clean as per desire, repeat the process.

Step 6: Reinstall the Shower Head

  1. Check the cleanliness.
  2. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to reinstall the shower head.
  3. Enjoy a refreshing shower.

Check the steps being executed in this video for better guidance on cleaning your shower heads.

Precautions While Using CLR

  1. You need to avoid using CLR in an unventilated area because breathing chemical fumes from CLR can harm your health.
  2. It is advisable not to leave CLR for more than 2 minutes. It is because as it’s acidic, it might damage the surface if left for too long.
  3. Always use CLR only after spot testing it. Being acidic, it can cause etching, thereby damaging certain surfaces.
  4. Strictly avoid using CLR in a spray bottle as spraying leads to mist which in turn can cause inhalation hazards.
  5. Mixing CLR with other household cleaners can cause toxic fumes. For example, CLR, when combined with bleach, causes poisonous chlorine gas. Therefore, please avoid this.
  6. Avoid using concentrated CLR. Always dilute it with water. The ideal ratio is 1:1.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Other Methods That Can Be Used for Cleaning Shower Heads?

CLR is probably the most effective cleaning solution amongst all for shower heads. However, you can use home remedies for light cleaning of shower heads as well.

For example, you can clean them with baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and others. All of these methods are quite effective and impressive in terms of their results.

To know more about how to clean shower heads with such methods, follow this article.

A gold toned shower head

Which Materials Are Not Suitable for Cleaning With CLR Solution?

Certain materials that are not suitable for cleaning with a CLR solution include aluminum, marble, colored grout, painted surfaces, laminates, glazed surfaces, and stone.

How Often Should I Clean My Shower Heads?

As per experts, you should clean your shower heads at least once every month. However, it would be even better if you consider weekly cleaning. If you can take time out for weekly cleanings, the chances of robust build-ups will degrade.


This article elaborates upon the in-depth steps of using CLR solutions for cleaning shower heads. Keep in mind the safety equipment recommended to use in the first step and all the precautions above before commencing with cleaning.

Shower heads experience immense rust due to hard water. And CLR is the best and easy-to-use solution to help you out in the process. So follow the steps above, and get it over with!

Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.