The importance of cleaning your shower head for healthy skin

A clean and hygienic shower head is not only important for your overall well-being, but also for the health of your skin. One aspect that is often overlooked when cleaning the bathroom is the shower head. In this blog we will discuss why cleaning your shower head is essential for maintaining healthy skin. We’ll also discuss some of the common dermatological issues that can arise as a result of a dirty shower head. Finally, we give tips on how to effectively clean your shower head.


What is a biofilm and why is it important to keep your shower head clean?

A biofilm is a layer of micro-organisms that adhere to surfaces, which can also be done on the inside of a shower head. This layer acts as a protective barrier to bacteria and mold, making them resistant to cleaning agents and giving them the chance to multiply and spread. Cleaning your shower head is essential for several reasons:

Remove bacteria and fungi

An uncleaned shower head can be a perfect breeding ground for the proliferation of microorganisms. This is made possible because the shower head provides a warm and moist environment in which these organisms thrive. During showering, these come into contact with your skin, which can result in skin problems, among other things.

Reduced water pressure and quality

Indeed, a clogged shower head can reduce water pressure and affect the quality of the water. Limescale and dirt can build up in the small holes of the shower head, reducing the amount of water that can flow through. This can lead to a less thorough cleansing of the skin and possibly cause clogged pores or acne. It is therefore important to clean the shower head regularly to prevent blockages and to maintain water pressure and quality. However, a clogged shower head has not been proven to cause acne directly. Other factors, such as hormones, medication, stress and skin care, also play a role in the development of acne.

Impurities and hard water

Natural deposits in tap water are normal, but what happens when your tap water contains extra minerals such as calcium and magnesium? The extra mineral rich water is also known as “hard water”. Hard water can make things worse for people with sensitive skin or a tendency to eczema.

It is important to note that the impact of hard water on the skin can vary from person to person. Some may not experience any noticeable effects, while others may be more sensitive to the negative impact of hard water on the skin.

To reduce the effects of hard water on the skin, you can use water softeners or install shower filters that reduce the minerals in the water. These measures can help protect the skin and reduce the symptoms of eczema and other skin conditions.

Keeping your shower head clean is therefore not only essential for maintaining a clean bathroom, but also for the health and well-being of your skin. By regularly cleaning your shower head, you minimize exposure to harmful microorganisms and promote healthier skin.

Dermatological problems


Not cleaning your shower head can lead to several dermatological problems, including:

Growth of bacteria and fungi.

There are several types of bacteria and mold that can grow in a dirty shower head, such as mesophilic bacteria and mold that grow best at temperatures between 25 and 50 °C. They belong to a group of bacteria that is most common.

The bacteria can cause skin infections, pneumonia and other illnesses.

In addition, different types of mold that can occur in shower heads and bathrooms. The fungi can cause skin infections, fungal infections of the nails and other diseases

Impurities and chemicals in the water retained by a dirty shower head can both directly and indirectly irritate the skin and cause allergic reactions such as contact dermatitis. This can also be caused by insufficient rinsing of soap and shampoo residues.

Studies suggest that mineral-rich water, known as “hard water”, may have negative effects on eczema symptoms and cause atopic skin conditions early in life.

Hard water contains elevated amounts of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Although these minerals have no direct health effects on their own, using hard water for washing and showering the skin can cause problems. It can dry out the skin and cause irritation, especially in people with sensitive skin or skin conditions such as eczema.

How do you clean it?

Cleaning your shower head is easy and can help prevent the above problems. Follow these steps to effectively clean your shower head:

  1. Remove the shower head: Unscrew the shower head from the hose or attachment.
  2. Soak the shower head in vinegar: Fill a bowl with vinegar and soak the shower head in it. Vinegar helps dissolve limescale and kill bacteria and fungi.
  3. Clean the shower head: Use an old toothbrush to scrub away any remaining limescale or dirt. Make sure you reach all the little holes and openings.
  4. Rinse Thoroughly: Thoroughly rinse the shower head with warm water to remove any vinegar residue.
  5. Reinstall the shower head: Refit the cleaned shower head.

Another method of cleaning your shower head is to use a special shower head cleaner. These cleaners are available at most supermarkets and drugstores. Follow the instructions on the package to clean your shower head with a special cleaner.

It is recommended that you clean your shower head at least once every few months to maintain optimum hygiene.

It’s a good idea to descale your shower head about every month or every two months. This of course depends on how hard the water is and how often you shower. By doing this regularly, you prevent the holes from becoming clogged and your shower jet remains strong and healthy.

Absolute! You can simply fill a plastic bag with white or apple cider vinegar, slide it over the shower head and let it soak overnight. The next day, rinse the shower head with water, and you will notice that the water flows freely again.

Regular cleaning vinegar works wonders. You can also use baking soda for stubborn limescale. But be careful with abrasive materials; these can damage your shower head.

A preventive weekly rinse with cleaning vinegar can work wonders. Regular cleaning prevents limescale from accumulating and keeps your shower head in optimal condition.

Plan your descaling ritual at a time when you do not need the shower immediately. Evening is ideal; then the cleanser can do its work all night without interrupting your morning routine.

In other words

Cleaning your shower head is an important part of maintaining healthy skin. Regularly cleaning your shower head can help remove bacteria, mold, and irritants that can cause skin problems. Follow the steps above to effectively clean your shower head and enjoy a clean and healthy shower experience.

How can Iconic Elements help you?

Iconic Elements skin care can support you in maintaining healthy skin, especially after reading our blog about cleaning your shower head. Our products, including the Sensitive Cream, Calming Cream and Natural Moisturizer Cream, are specially designed to care for and protect your skin against daily challenges. Get the glowing, healthy skin you deserve with Iconic Elements.

While you are here

Showering with hot or cold water is more than just a daily hygienic ritual. It can be an invigorating start to the day, but also a relaxing moment to end the evening. It can even result in you feeling better after you get out of the shower than when you got in. Have you ever wondered if shower temperature affects your body? More on: Which is better for your skin a cold or a hot shower?

Picture of Dr. Francis Wu

Dr. Francis Wu

Dr. Francis Wu, een vooraanstaande dermatoloog, is de drijvende kracht achter Iconic Elements. Hij heeft sinds 2004 zijn expertise ingezet om een veilige en effectieve huidverzorgingslijn te creëren, geschikt voor zowel gezonde huid als huidproblemen. Iconic Elements, opgericht in 2016, is de eerste brede skincare lijn in Nederland ontwikkeld door een dermatoloog. Als medisch specialist streeft Dr. Wu naar het bevorderen van het welzijn van mensen door hoogwaardige en effectieve huidverzorgingsproducten te bieden. De proefdiervrije en vegan producten vermijden schadelijke chemicaliën en bevatten natuurlijke ingrediënten.
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