Experts warn of four serious illnesses you can catch from your showerhead

Close up shot of a showerhead
-Credit: (Image: Getty)


Brits are being urged to not forget to clean their showerheads often. With the warmer months resulting in more showers taken, making sure you're keeping your bathroom as clean as possible is important.

If hygiene levels start to drop, experts warn you could risk serious health problems. To remind homeowners, plumbing specialists from Trade Plumbing are issuing an urgent appeal to households across the UK this summer.

Without cleaning your showerheads frequently, you could put yourself at risk of developing serious health conditions. Research conducted by experts has found that dirty shower heads commonly harbour four main types of harmful bacteria.

They warn that each of them can result in a variety of health conditions:

  • Malassezia Fungi and Acanthamoeba - Causing eye conditions such as Blepharitis, and in rare cases, vision loss.

  • Malassezia Restricta - Causing scalp infections.

  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa - Causing ear infections.

  • Legionella bacteria - Extremely rare, but can result in the development of Legionnaires disease. This is more likely to be found in a public facility rather than the home.

Plumbing expert, Peter Clayton, says it’s not only important to clean your showerhead for health reasons, but also to improve the quality of your showers. He added: “The build-up of limescale on your showerhead can eventually obstruct water flow and lead to a weak and unsatisfactory shower experience.

"This is especially true for those who live in areas with hard water due to its high mineral content." Peter suggests it’s best to clean your showerhead regularly if you wish to prevent the accumulation of limescale and to clean your showerhead by soaking it in white vinegar.

He explains: “The acid in white vinegar is successful at breaking down the mineral deposits and removing bacteria on your showerhead. However, it's important to ensure you are using distilled white vinegar and not any other type as brown vinegar can stain your showerhead."

First, fill a container with white vinegar and then place your showerhead in the container of white vinegar and make sure the full showerhead is submerged. If you don’t want to remove your showerhead you can fill a bag with white vinegar and tie this around the showerhead using an elastic band”.

Place your showerhead in the container for 30 minutes to half an hour. Peter says: “If your showerhead is made from brass then ensure you do not soak it in vinegar for over 30 minutes, this could lead to corrosion."

Remove the showerhead and scrub lightly with a toothbrush. “Scrubbing with a toothbrush will remove any of the remaining limescale from the showerhead. Remember to pay close attention to the nozzles and jets as these small crevices can harbour lots of bacteria”.

Finally, rinse the showerhead and make sure to dry it fully before attaching it. However, if your shower head is still dirty, Peter recommends replacing it with a new one entirely."