Ironically, taking a shower can actually expose you to bacteria and chemicals, considering that you do it to wash your body from impurities in the first place. That is why shower head filters exist and are in-demand nowadays. However, these filters can make things worse if not cleaned properly from time to time. After all, they gather harmful substances from the water every day which requires thorough cleaning. To know proper cleaning techniques as well as the timing of cartridge replacement, we are here to give you tips on how to care for shower head filters.
Purpose of Shower Head Filters
Before we learn how to care for shower head filters, some people are probably not totally convinced yet to install one in their bathroom. To help them make up their mind, here are some advantages of using shower head filters:
Reduce Daily Dose of Chemicals
One painful truth about modern industrialization is our potential exposure to over 75,000 types of harmful chemicals. Day-to-day things such as commercial foods, construction materials, perfumes, and household supplies can provide us with toxins. When it comes to public water supplies alone, there are already more or less 2,100 chemicals. Now, the risk when you shower without filters is absorption and inhalation of toxins from the flow of water. The great thing about shower head filters is that they reduce our inevitable exposure to chemicals. Less is always better than no change at all when we talk about chemical exposure.
Fewer Asthma and Allergy Attacks
There are a lot of claims that shower heads with filters help people with allergies and asthma by lowering the risk of attacks. These filters can block irritants causing the aforementioned health conditions. Studies also showed that without shower head filters, daily flow of water filled with synthetic chemicals can lead to poor air quality indoors in the long run. Toxic water leads to toxic vapor, of course.
Safe Shower for Pregnant Women
Chlorine is a health hazard for expecting mothers as well as their unborn child. Fortunately, shower head filters reduce exposure to chlorine. An English team of researchers discovered that women who make frequent contact with chlorinated water might experience pregnancy complications such as birth defects, premature delivery, low birth weight, stillbirth, and miscarriage.
Lower Risk of Cancer
Several studies presented that chlorinated water from the shower gives a higher cancer risk than chlorinated tap water. To be more specific, two different studies in Colorado and Massachusetts found out that chlorinated water can lead to rectal, kidney, and bladder cancer.
Healthier and More Relaxing Shower
Chlorine inhalation and absorption can make you feel worse after a shower if you are down in the dumps for a long time. It turns out that chlorine exposure may weaken your immune system and trigger mental depression as well as physical fatigue. With shower head filters, you will feel invigorated and be healthier than ever.
Hair and Skin Care
Chlorine water eliminates moisture and good bacteria from your hair and skin. One particular result is having extremely dry skin. Irritated skin leads to early signs of aging like wrinkles and discoloration. When shower head filters enter the picture, water is neutralized to make your skin soft and supple. It will not make your skin itchy at all.
When it comes to the health of your hair, chlorinated water removes natural oils that nourish hair follicles. Hence it may lead to an itchy scalp and frizzy hair. Filtered water makes hair soft, shiny, and strong.
Protection from Bad Bacteria
Without filters, shower heads accumulate a lot of gunk or biofilm inside. This so-called biofilm contains plenty of microorganisms and bacteria that cause diseases. A common pathogen found in shower heads is Mycobacterium avium, which causes pulmonary disease.
How to Care for Shower Head Filters
Finally, we are now ready to learn how to care for shower head filters:
First, gather the materials you need for cleaning shower head filters. The process requires a new cartridge, vinegar, shower cleaner, pan, water, rag or sponge, pliers, and rubber seal.
Regarding the shower cleaner, if you are planning to use an all-purpose or bathroom cleaner, make sure that the product is really good at removing mildew. Also, ensure that the product will not ruin the material of your shower parts.
To start off, find the filter by unscrewing the shower head. In removing the filter, unscrew first the swivel nut connecting the shower arm threads and the filter. Pliers can help you by loosening the nut. Now, take off the filter’s top and cartridge. You will only use the new rubber seal if the current one is damaged.
For the main event, clean the shower head filter with water and sponge. Hard-to-reach mildew can still be cleaned by soaking all parts of the filter in shower cleaner. You may put the cleaner in a pan. Afterwards, rinse the filter carefully before installing the replacement cartridge.
Just a heads-up with cartridges, you need to follow the instructions indicated for the specific cartridge required by the filter. That’s right; there are different types of cartridges. Make sure that you will purchase the exact one needed for your shower head filter.
Shower Head and Arm Cleaning
This is required before reinstalling the shower head filter. Soak the shower head in a pan filled with the vinegar solution. Once you notice that the shower head is clean, use water and sponge to rinse the vinegar completely and even remove remaining dirt or mildew. On the other hand, the arm needs a thorough soak in a shower cleaner-filled pan. Make sure to eliminate any sludge from the shower arm.
Align the shower head filter and arm threads. Use pliers in tightening the swivel nut again. Just take caution that the filter is tightened just right. If not, too much tightness can destroy the filter’s plastic material. Next, manually screw the shower head back into place.
Run the water for a few minutes after reassembling the shower head, arm, and filter. Check if the pressure of the filter is okay. If there are leaks, tighten the shower head and filter even more.
How Often Should I Clean Shower Head Filters?
Once a year is enough as your maintenance frequency in cleaning the shower head filter. However, if your locale’s water supply has really poor quality, you need more than one session for the whole year.
Replace the filter immediately if its threads or swivel nut is broken. Hints for replacement are weak water pressure and flow rate despite turning the knob to its maximum level.
To easily remember how to clean shower head filters, there are only six main procedures. Just gather the materials first, disassemble the parts, cleaning not just the filter but the shower head and arm as well, reassemble the pieces again, and inspect for leaks and irregular water pressure.
For other exciting products to enhance your shower experience, check out our take on the best Bluetooth shower speakers and massaging shower heads. To learn more bathroom cleaning tips, find out three ways to clean the whole area fast.