Is your shower hose looking a little worse for wear? Grime and dirt can accumulate over time, affecting not only the appearance but also the functionality of your shower hose. Cleaning your shower hose is a quick, economical way to immediately invigorate a lackluster showering experience.
In this guide, we will share expert tips to help you bid adieu to bacteria and buildup and bring back the shine to your shower hose. Using our extensive experience in all things shower related, we have gathered the most effective tips and techniques to ensure your shower hose is clean and free of any debris or bacteria.
From simple DIY hacks to cleaning methods—whether your shower hose is made of stainless steel, chrome, or plastic—we've got you covered. Don't let a dirty shower hose compromise your hygiene or satisfaction during showers. Discover the simple but rewarding routine of deep cleaning your shower hose and upgrade your shower experience today.
The importance of deep cleaning your shower hose
Your shower hose may seem like a small component of your bathroom, but neglecting its cleanliness can have a big impact on your overall shower experience. Grime, soap scum, and mineral deposits can gradually accumulate inside the hose, leading to reduced water flow and even unpleasant odors.
A dirty shower hose can also harbor bacteria, which can be harmful to your health and particularly hazardous for individuals with weak or compromised immune systems. You can extend the life of your shower hose and reap significant health benefits by regularly cleaning it—because your showers should make you feel better, not worse.
Signs that your shower hose needs a deep clean
Not sure if your shower hose needs a deep clean? Here are a few telltale signs that indicate it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get cleaning:
Reduced Water Pressure
Neglected shower hoses develop a layer of scaly deposits, usually due to the minerals in hard water. If you've noticed a decrease in water pressure during your showers, it could be a sign that your shower hose is clogged with debris or mineral deposits.
A dirty shower hose can emit a foul or “off” smell, which can be particularly noticeable when you turn on the water. This odor is often caused by bacteria, mildew or mold thriving in the hose.
If your once shiny shower hose has started to develop discoloration or stains—which could look chalky and white, slimy and black, or like rust—it's a clear sign that cleaning your shower hose is a must.
Tools and Materials for Cleaning Your Shower Hose
Before diving into the deep cleaning process, gather the necessary tools and materials. For a thorough and effective clean, you'll need:
•Vinegar—The acidity of vinegar makes it a versatile, natural cleaning agent that effectively breaks down grime, mineral deposits and hard water stains. It's also safe to use on all types of shower hoses.
•Baking soda—The basic pH of baking soda makes it ideal for absorbing odors (which are mostly acidic). Its slightly abrasive texture targets and removes stubborn stains without damaging the shower hose.
•Soft brush or toothbrush—You will want to avoid abrasive scrubbers for this cleaning project. Soft bristles will allow you to tackle persistent buildup or stains without scratching the hose.
•Bucket—Ideally, the shower hose can be removed entirely and placed into a bucket for the cleaning process. If this is not possible, you can fill a sturdy plastic bag with our recommended cleaning solution, submerge the hose and affix the top of the bag to the shower hose with a rubber band.
•Rubber gloves—Acetic acid is the powerful compound found in vinegar that is responsible for its excellent cleaning properties, but exposure to it can irritate skin. Gloves are a great precaution even when using natural cleaning products.
•Soft, absorbent cloth—Thoroughly wiping and drying the hose will not only ensure you don’t unintentionally leave behind any cleaning substances, but also prevent damp conditions from contributing to new buildup or bacteria.
Once you have collected your materials, you’re ready to give your shower hose the same TLC you show the rest of your bathroom. Here is a detailed guide that will have you cleaning your shower hose like a pro in no time:
How to clean a shower hose: a step-by-step guide
1. Remove the shower hose
Start by removing the shower hose from the shower head or any other attachments. This will make it easier to maneuver the hose and thoroughly clean the inside tubing and hard to reach spots.
2. Soak the hose
Fill a bucket with equal parts vinegar and warm water. Submerge the shower hose in the mixture and let it soak for at least 30 minutes. The vinegar will help break down any grime or mineral deposits.
3. Make a paste for scrubbing
While the hose is soaking, mix baking soda with water to form a paste (start with 3 tablespoons of baking soda to 1 tablespoon of water and adjust as needed).
4. Rinse the hose
After the soaking time is up, remove the shower hose from the vinegar mixture, and rinse it thoroughly with warm water.
5. Spot clean
Apply the paste to any stubborn stains or areas that require extra attention. Use a soft brush or toothbrush to scrub the hose gently. Rinse again with warm water until all traces of vinegar and baking soda are washed away.
6. Check the hose and repeat if necessary
Inspect the shower hose for any remaining grime or stains. If necessary, repeat the soaking and scrubbing process until the hose is clean and free of any buildup.
7. Wipe the hose dry
Once the hose is completely clean, wipe it down with a cloth to remove any excess water and give it a final shine.
8. Reattach and test for leaks
Reattach the shower hose to the showerhead or any other attachments, ensuring a secure connection.
Congratulations! You have successfully deep cleaned your shower hose. But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure—to maintain a clean shower hose and prevent future buildup, follow these tips:
Tips for maintaining a clean shower hose
You don’t have to wait until your shower hose looks like it needs cleaning or your water pressure is down. To prevent buildup, keep your shower looking beautiful, and sustain the soothing experience you look forward to every morning, consider:
Regular deep cleaning:
Aim to deep clean it at least once every few months, or more frequently if you live in an area with hard water.
Using a shower filter:
Whether you’re new to the concept of shower filters or interested but skeptical of their results, our definitive guide will answer all of your questions.
Rinsing and wiping the hose after each use:
Adding this simple step to the end of your showering routine can help prevent the buildup of grime and mineral deposits.
Pro Tip: Keep a spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and water (and 5-10 drops of an essential oil, like lemon, lavender, or eucalyptus, for added benefits and aromatherapy!) in the shower. Periodically spritz all of the surfaces and fixtures—including the shower hose—with the mixture. Although this mixture is safe and effective to leave without rinsing or drying, using a squeegee or towel to remove excess moisture from shower walls and fixtures when not using the spray is another way to reduce buildup and bacterial growth.
Avoiding harsh cleaning products:
While it may be tempting to use strong chemicals to clean your shower hose, they can damage the hose material and potentially cause health concerns. Stick to natural cleaning solutions, such as vinegar and baking soda, to ensure a safe and effective clean.
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Common mistakes to avoid when deep cleaning
Deep cleaning your shower hose shouldn’t be a complicated process, but here are a few common mistakes to steer clear of:
Using abrasive materials:
Most shower hoses are not actually made of the metal they resemble. Instead, they are plastic pieces that have been painted with a finish. Avoid using abrasive materials, such as steel wool or harsh scrub brushes, as they can scratch and damage the surface or painted finish of your shower hose.
Mixing Vinegar and Baking Soda
Many online sources encourage natural cleaning enthusiasts to mix their vinegar and baking soda to achieve powerful results. The truth is that both vinegar and baking soda are much more effective when used separately and mixed only with water. The acidic nature of vinegar and basic nature of baking soda means that unless you use the solution while it is actively bubbling, combining them actually cancels out the properties that make them great natural cleaning alternatives in the first place.
Neglecting to rinse thoroughly:
After soaking or applying cleaning solutions, always make sure to rinse the shower hose thoroughly to remove any residue. Leaving behind cleaning product residue can lead to further buildup and even affect the water quality.
Forgetting to clean the shower head:
While deep cleaning the shower hose is important, don't forget to clean the shower head as well. A dirty shower head can impact water pressure and quality, resulting in an inconsistent spray pattern or unwanted impurities in your shower water.
Natural cleaning solutions for a chemical-free clean without using vinegar
If you like the idea of using non-toxic products but prefer to avoid vinegar, there are several other natural alternatives that can effectively remove or prevent buildup and bacteria. Here are a few options:
- Lemon juice: The acidic properties of lemon juice make it an excellent natural cleaner. Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto a soft cloth or toothbrush and scrub the shower hose to remove grime and stains.
- Hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is a natural and effective disinfectant. Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water in a spray bottle and spritz it onto the shower hose. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
- Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties that can help kill bacteria and prevent mold and mildew. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with water in a spray bottle and spray it onto the shower hose. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing.
Troubleshooting common shower hose cleaning issues
Don’t worry—even if you think your shower hose is beyond salvaging, keep reading. Here, we’ve answered a few of the most frequently asked questions related to specific shower hose issues:
How do you remove limescale (calcium deposits) from the shower head and hose?
If you are dealing with significant limescale buildup, soak the hose for several hours (or even overnight)—this will dissolve the calcium deposits, making them soft enough to be gently scrubbed away. Keep in mind that it may require repeating the soaking and scrubbing process several times.
How do you get black mold off of the shower hose?
Deep cleaning your shower hose with vinegar is strong enough to kill even black mold—simply increase the soaking time to at least an hour and proceed with the rest of the process.
What is the black gunk on my shower hose?
Black, gunky buildup on shower heads and hoses is usually not mold at all, but manganese bacteria. Water with higher traces of manganese leaves behind oxidized manganese deposits that become food for harmless bacteria. As these deposits sit and accumulate, they create a black substance that people commonly mistake for mold. While there is still a chance that what you see is actually mold, it is unlikely as mold typically thrives in areas with little or no water movement.
Current research doesn't indicate that manganese bacteria threatens health, but there are other pathogens commonly found in shower hoses and shower heads that are known to bind together to form a slimy, thin layer of bacteria called biofilm. Regularly deep cleaning your shower hose and shower head is the best way to protect yourself from the potential health hazards of biofilms.
Top Benefits of Using a Shower Head with a Hose
Considering adding a shower hose to your current setup, but wondering if it’s worth the upkeep? Allow us to introduce you to the world of handheld shower heads and all of the benefits they have to offer:
Slide Bar with Handheld—Clean Smarter
Whether it’s children, pets, or soap scum—the flexibility and range of a shower hose means you can get all of the hard to reach spots while keeping some very important ones dry (toddler eyes, dog faces and bathroom floors, to name a few). A handheld shower head makes regular maintenance a breeze so you can spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying your shower.
3-Spray Handheld—Meet Everyone’s Needs
Ever want to keep your hair dry but realize it’s shaving day? Do you have individuals in your household who use (or could benefit from using) a shower seat? Are there young children in your life who insist on independently showering? The versatility of a shower hose and handheld shower head offers a customizable, comfortable solution to these and many other shower scenarios.
Low Flow 1-Spray Handheld—Save Time and Money
If you’ve never used a handheld shower head with a hose, you are probably unaware of how much of your shower experience is actually spent positioning yourself, trying to work with the angle of your fixed shower head based on what and where needs rinsing. A handheld shower head with a hose puts you in control—saving time and reducing water waste.
High Pressure 1-Spray Handheld—Indulge a Little
Showers all too often become yet another item to cross off the to-do list. We’re here to give you permission to take some of that saved time and use your handheld shower head to pamper the parts that fixed shower heads neglect. Because there is nothing quite like finally getting ALL of the shampoo and conditioner out of your hair (while simultaneously feeling like your scalp is being massaged).
Our Top Shower Hose Recommendations: what to know and what to look for
You may think of shower hoses as a standard accessory without much need for variation. And unfortunately, many companies treat them that way. What you typically find are 60” plastic hoses with plastic connectors, low-quality finishes and inner tubes made from PVC or EPDM (a synthetic rubber most commonly associated with roofing).
We don’t believe in settling for a product whose design not only falls short of meeting its full functionality, but is also intended to be replaced every few years. Our All-Metal handheld shower heads come standard with a 72” shower hose made from premium 304 stainless steel with durable brass connectors and a non-toxic silicone inner tube.
Available in 6 industrial grade finishes, our design centers around ultra-tough interlocking coils that give you the ultimate combination of flexibility and durability. Want even more hose to love? If 9 feet isn’t enough, we don’t know what is:
When it comes to cleaning, stainless steel collects less pathogen-bearing buildup than plastic pieces. Not to mention plastic breaks, cracks, and leaks more easily—increasing bacteria-abetting moisture and places for mold and grime to hide and accumulate.
Pairing the right cleaning routine with a shower hose (and shower head!) made from materials that are built to last will keep you enjoying it fuss-free for years to come. Visit our store and start designing your dream shower set-up today.