This might be surprising, but your shower might be making you sick. A hot steamy shower is comfortable and soothing, but at the same time it might be getting you sick and covered in germs and bacteria. If you open your showerhead, you would see it covered with bacteria known as NTM (nontuberculous mycobacteria). Researchers from the University of Colorado have shown that places with NTM correlate with lung infections.

Bacteria lives and thrives in all shower heads and household water distribution systems. While most of these bacteria are harmless, NTM, which can cause lung infection is present in showerheads and is a health threat to the public.

Bacteria in showerheads

Your shower head is one of the most disgusting, dirty and filthiest objects in your house and hardly anyone knows about it. It is directly related to lung infections and lung diseases. The bacteria inside these heads are harmful and malignant.

Even if you use a shower filter, the bacteria remain. This is because the purpose of the filter is to reduce chemicals like chlorine from the water and not microbes and harmful bacteria.

So many people are covered every day in germs and bacteria because of the lack of knowledge regarding this. Their mouths are filled with germs as they prefer brushing teeth in the shower not knowing the consequences.

Here are few common bacteria and microbes present in the shower head.

  • NTM
  • Mycobacterium avium
  • Mycobacteria gordonae
  • Staphylococcus
  • Streptococcus bacteria
  • Legionella pneumophila
  • Atypical mycobacteria

How to clean your showerhead

Now that you have seen various harmful bacteria present in the showerhead, you might have made up your mind to clean your showerhead.

You might be thinking to yourself if showering with all these bacteria is getting you clean for real or not?

Here are few different ways you can clean the bacterium in your showerhead thoroughly.

The easiest way to clean your shower head is by filling a sturdy plastic bag with distilled vinegar and attaching it to all the shower heads in your house. These bags can be attached using a rubber band or anything that is feasible for you.

An alternative is removing the shower head completely and soaking it in a bowl of distilled vinegar. Let the shower head be soaked in the vinegar bowl for at least an hour before taking it out. And remember to use a fresh and new sturdy bag for every use. It is advised to dispose of the plastic bag after every use.

After the bags have been attached to the shower heads or the shower heads, have been soaked in vinegar bowl for over an hour, remove the plastic sturdy bags and dump the vinegar in the sink. Remember to run the shower heads and wash them with water thoroughly to flush the vinegar out.

The frequency of washing your shower heads

The advised time frequency for cleaning your shower heads is every six months. Once your shower head is cleaned with detail and soaked in vinegar, the effect can last up to 6 months before the shower head needs to be cleaned again.

It is strongly advised to regularly clean all your shower heads with detail to keep yourself from all sorts of harm and health threat by the bacteria in the shower head.


It might be surprising for you to know how dirty your showerheads can be and how easily we ignore the consequences of not cleaning our shower heads. The types of bacteria present in these shower heads can cause lung infections and also infect open wounds in some cases as well.

To reduce harmful bacteria, it is advised to clean your shower heads by the method shown above properly. This would prevent many diseases and keep you from health threats, and you can enjoy your hot steamy showers without guilt.