In a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder, shower heads were found to contain bacteria potentially dangerous to those that had weakened immune systems. Moreover, the researchers found that not only will cleaning with bleach not kill the bacteria, but in one case the levels were found to be three times higher post cleaning. 

While the risk to those in good health is low, the question remains how can a shower head effectively be cleaned?
 
Shower Head Cleaning TipsAccording to an FAQ document provided by Laura K. Baumgartner, Ph.D., a researcher who worked the project, shower heads are full of nooks and crannies that provide an ideal home for bacteria and other microbes. This also makes cleaning them very hard. Even though products with bleach remove many microbes, these mycobacteria grow back (and chlorination does not keep them out) after cleaning.
 
For most people, this is not really a concern. If you are immune compromised, you might want to consider changing out your shower head regularly. Additionally, microbes attach more easily to plastics than metal - if you are concerned, you may want to hunt down an all-metal (not metal-coated plastic) shower head.
 
However, Baumgartner suggests that people who have an immune issue (or are otherwise concerned) can:
  • Install an all-metal shower head (not metal-coated plastic), as many studies have shown that bacteria attach and grow better on plastic than metal
  • Change out your shower head every six months
  • Install a filtering shower head. There are several designed those that have immune issues such as this shower head, which was found effective in another study.
  • Take baths, which will create fewer aerosols.
Most importantly, the researchers do not believe that taking a shower is dangerous.  The best practice is to simply stay outside of the shower when you first turn it on, as that first blast may contain a higher load of bacteria.
 

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Comments

CLR

CLR is a liquid cleaner (quite caustic so wear gloves)that removes CALCIUM, LIME & RUST
deposits. These deposits appear as greenish or whitish on metal faucets, showerheads,
inside your dishwasher (noticed more as rust if you have a porcelin liner). It also accumulates on the heating element in your dishwasher. You may see some white residude on the end of your kitchen sink sprayer/same deal as showerhead. These are all areas that require ocassional cleaning. If NOT cleaned when you have all these excess minerals in your water system, these items may eventually need replacing to work well again.

Showerheads

I have beem taking showers for over 60years, I am now 80 and still healthy so a shower sure is not going to kill me any time soon. they are plenty of other thins to worry about, like what you eat and drink or smoke.

This is totally toooooo cute

This is totally toooooo cute of a reply!!

Yucky shower heads

Too funny...! So let me get this straight in CA we get a lot of water coming from Colorado correct? So could it be that some of that bacteria is coming from CO that is now stuck in my shower head?? Now there's an idea for the makers of Brita ... replace your shower head every six months brilliant..! The last question I have is who is spending all that money for the University Colorado to do this study? Now I am afraid that everytime I drop a log down the toilet and it splashes back up my corn hole bacteria would get up there and give me colon cancer...! Who comes up with these stories anyway??

dude get a life

if you and your salad want to take a bacteria bath together by all means. really do we have nothing better to do with our lives than to bitch about bacteria in household items. lets remind every one that the human body is covered with bacteria weather you shower or not. like staff infections salad man you gonna put vinager on that.

shower heads

you have a better chance of being hit by a car or eaten by s shark than you do from bacteria in your shower head hell you could have a stroke right now in your bathroom getting ready to take a shower! who writes this crap anyways.. shower on!!!!!

showers

You''re an ass and please continue to shower with your dirty showerhead. Maybe it will improve your hate talk!!!! ANONYMOUS!!

Tue, 09/15/2009 - 23:03

Tue, 09/15/2009 - 23:03

pilgrims

From the begining people and animals have carried disease from one place to the other. It constituted ignorance decades ago and carelessness in this day in age. There is no "our country", some things like disease have no boundaries, and does not care if you are born in Mississippi or timbuktu.

showerheads

Vinegar is a natural (green) acid that will take care of lime build up and it is a natural cleaner that will kill household bacteria and mold. Take a ziploc bag and fill 1/2 way with vinegar, secure it around the showerhead with a rubberband for an hour or so, remove bag and you are done. No toxic fumes, no burning and irritation, no tarnishing brass fixtures.
"Cleaning Czar"