Cleaning a bathroom shower head

Parksville, BC, Canada

Hello Everyone: I am looking for some advice on how to clean a bathroom shower head. As you will see from the pictures, the shower head is a sunflower/rain shower style made by American Standard, and it has protruding rubber nipples through which the water flows. The problem I have is cleaning the face of the shower head. If I rub across it with a cloth or a sponge, the rubber nipples are depressed back into the unit, and water no longer comes out of these holes.

Is there some way I can clean the shower head without disturbing the rubber nipples and/or retrieve them when they have been pushed back into the head?

Thanks. . .

Thumbnail by Barbirolli Thumbnail by Barbirolli
Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

Does it not unscrew? Maybe if you take it off at the butterfly nut there is a hidden screw in there somewhere that releases the faceplate

Iowa City, IA(Zone 5a)

I would try preventive measures. Spray it with vinegar or alcohol after each use, and there shouldn't be much to clean. If you really need to scrub it, how about trying a toothbrush?

Parksville, BC, Canada

missingrosie; iowhen: Thank you both for your comments and suggestions. The head does unscrew from the arm, but there is a "ball joint" below the screw and I don't see a way in - I'm not a handyman and I am reluctant to disassemble it just to clean it. And I can't see an obvious way to remove the faceplate. It's not in too bad shape, so treating it with vinegar or alcohol would be an option (that would be OK on rubber?).

I was hoping there would be a straightforward process to clean the unit, but unless I'm missing something, it seems like poor design as far cleaning is concerned.

Regards. . .

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Weren't there any instructions with it? If not, email the company and ask them. I find these companies are so helpful. I have had a Moen kitchen faucet for 20 years now and they have replaced a few parts twice, and absolutely no arguments. They have a record of what i did to it and when. They are guaranteed as long as I have it and the house. LOL, pretty good guarantee I would say.

Parksville, BC, Canada

Jnette: Thanks for your suggestion. The shower head was installed when I bought my house and no instructions were left by the previous owner. I tried a few months ago to contact American Standard but after a few emails back and forth asking me more questions, I never heard from them again. I have tried again today, so we'll see what happens this time.

Cheers. . .

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Have you researched the net for am instruction manual? Most of them are on there. Sure wouldn't hurt to have one anyway.

Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

Barb, if you look at the front (down side) of the shower head, you will see two indentations between the last & penultimate nipple circles, across from each other. Inside of them are screws. If you have the right small screwdriver, you can pop that cap off.

Alternatively, just dip a Q-tip in CLR or stainless-steel polish & wipe between the circles? Seriously.

I dream of the day that cleaning a shower head is such a priority.

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

One Christmas Eve with a houseful coming and a million other things more important to juggle, I decided the kitchen cabinets needed a coat of paste wax ---right then! So, not for a lack of anything else to do with less or more prioity ---- just when it's time....it's time.


I figured there had to be a way to get into that unit because it got put together at some point.
Those rubber nozzels should not push in so easily tho . Ought to be able to take a quick swipe with the cleaning cloth every now and again. American Standard labels lots of showerheads 'easy clean' and surely that can't mean "because you can't" !!

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

I would think a bowl with some of the cleaner in it should work to just set the head in it for a short time. Or use an old tooth brush and the cleaner?

Some times what seems to some as small things, bother the heck out of us as a woman of the house. MY GOSH!! What if someone wants to take a shower and notices how grubby it is!!! Means a lot to worry about. :0)

Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

I suppose. No doubt it is a character flaw that "cleaning shower headz" will never bubble to the top of my to-do list. But I have beautiful water that basically comes from the creek out back & getz some minimal treating. Hard water might make a difference.

The toothbrush is a good idea, even though they're not as helpful if you can no longer buy "firm" bristles.

Bedford, VA(Zone 7a)

I have a similar shower head and the nipples do get clogged at time with sediments from ym hard water, even though I have a whole house filter. I have to run my fingers over them a few times while the water is running to dislodge the little deposits. I would hesitate to soak them in anything because it might degrade the silicone. My suggestion to clean the face is to run one of those handled brushes you can purchase for dish hand washing over the face while the water is running, so the force of the water keeps the nipples from getting pushed back in yet the brush bristles can still scrub the face of the unit

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

OR Summerkid, what if you don't clean those little things out, and pretty soon they are all plugged and no water comes out to shower with. Come on sometimes small things become big things.

Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

Whatever, Jnette. I don't think she is trying to clear out the nipples, just the face of the shower head.

Parksville, BC, Canada

Terri: I like that idea (cleaning the shower head face with a brush while the water is running) - I'm going to give it a try. Thanks for the suggestion.

Cheers. . .

Oostburg, WI(Zone 5b)

I work for a competitor of Am. Standard as a cust service rep. Our showerheads also have the rubber nipples. We advise rubbing across them with your hand, rather than a towel. I don't know if ours will recede like yours but at least you can feel them if they start moving in and stop any pressure.

Since you don't want to remove the showerhead, find a zip-lock type bag large enough to get the showerhead inside. Fill the bag with a solution of 50/50 white vinegar/water. Get up on a chair, stool, ladder, etc, and put the bag over the showerhead and tape it (duct tape works well) to the shower arm, ensuring the complete face of the showerhead is in the solution. This can be messy as one can't be sure of how full to fill the bag until you get it up there. Maybe do a trial run with just water first so you know much solution to put in. Check the showerhead in a few hours and rub off dissolved mineral deposits. Repeat as needed.

Parksville, BC, Canada

kooger: Good information - many thanks, I'll give it a try. Your advice is much more helpful and complete than the suggestions I received from the American Standard Help service, where they appeared to not understand what I am trying to do.

Regards. . .

Oostburg, WI(Zone 5b)

You are welcome! Glad to help. :)

Northwest, MO(Zone 5a)

I use the plastic bag and vinegar trick on mine. Instead of duct tape, I wrap a rubber band over the plastic bag on the stem of the shower head. I leave this on while I am at work, remove the bag and turn the shower on full blast and it pretty well cleans the rubber tips out.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

yes, baggie and vinegar......can't beat it!

Santa Monica, CA

Just came across this thread. My showerhead doesn't have nipples but it is somewhat clogged. Thanks for reminding me of the vinegar & water/ plastic bag/ rubberband trick. I'm going to try it right now. Boatleaf Betty

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

I send it through my coffeepot once a year also.

Santa Monica, CA

HI Missing Rosie- I don't have a coffeemaker but I periodically have to boil vinegar-and- water in my teakettle & some of my pots & pans because the water where I live leaves so many mineral deposits. Well everybody- my showerhead is working fine now. The plastic bag broke but the showerhead is attached to one of those flexible hose things so I just submerged it in a plastic dishtub full of vinegar & water for a few hours. You wouldn't believe all the little bits of crud that came out!

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

LOL, well have a good shower!!

Santa Monica, CA

Thanks Jnette, I did. Btw, I think the 'crud' I referred to is called limescale.

Norman, OK

I too had shower in my bathroom from American Standard brand which was installed by plumber cherry hill NJ
and while installing it they showed me this tip so that I can get my shower head run smoothly. Try this out. Fill a plastic bag with white vinegar and fasten the bag on shower head with an elastic band and allow it for 12 to 18 hours and when done allow the shower head run hot water for few minutes.




This message was edited Oct 1, 2014 4:37 AM

Thumbnail by RJBriggs

i think the best way is to bring soft Grocery bag and full it with Vinegar and link it Carefully in the head of the shower and let it for hour you will get great result

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