So, you’ve finally bought and installed that shiny new shower. But how do you keep it in tip-top condition? In this guide, we’ll give you some expert advice on getting the most out of your new purchase.
Whether it was a simple like-for-like swap, or you’ve fitted an outlet where there wasn’t one before, a fresh new shower can totally transform your life. From livening up those bleary-eyed mornings to your post-exercise ritual, a good shower can help leave you in the best of moods. Of course, with a good quality shower, you should enjoy many years of satisfying showering. However, as is the case with bathroom fixtures, constant use and corrosion from water can mean significant wear and tear in just a short space of time. So, how do you care for and prolong the life of your shower? In this article, we consider all the things you should be doing.
Limescale and general cleaning
Depending on which part of the country you live in, you may have already noticed a build-up of limescale on your taps, basins, kitchen sink and toilet. With around two-thirds of the UK consisting of hard water areas, limescale is a particular issue for great swathes of the population. Even if you live in a “soft water” area, like Scotland and Northern Ireland in particular, you may still see signs of corrosion, with minerals such as calcium and magnesium present.
Limescale doesn’t just leave your brassware looking dull, it can also affect the performance of outlets like taps and showers, not to mention the negative effects it can have on appliances like washing machines. One way of protecting your whole household from potentially damaging corrosion is to fit a limescale inhibitor to your plumbing system. And, whilst there are some simple ways of keeping your toilet limescale-free, regular cleaning can help maintain the overall appearance and performance of your shower.
Perhaps once a week or once a fortnight, depending on your level of use, clean all the exposed parts of your shower with warm soapy water (a mild washing up liquid is all you need) With a soft cloth or sponge, carefully wipe all parts before rinsing with clean water. While you might be tempted to use a chemical household cleaner, we would advise against this as it may cause damage in the long term.
Cleaning your shower heads
After a while, you may notice a build-up of limescale or dirt around your shower head and/or handset. This may start to affect the water flow and overall performance, meaning a more thorough approach to cleaning may be needed.
If you can remove your shower head, this step is pretty easy. All you’ll need is a plastic sandwich/ziplock bag, some white vinegar, a soft cloth and an old toothbrush. Then, simply follow the instructions in this video.
For more information see our comprehensive guide on cleaning your shower head or handset.
Maintaining the valve
Sometimes, with a mixer shower, limescale can affect the internal parts as well as those that are easily accessible. If, over time, the flow from your shower isn’t as good as it was, and you have performed the steps above, it may be worth cleaning the shower valve itself.
A thermostatic shower valve is a sophisticated bit of kit and contains several working parts, many of which we explain in our guide to how a thermostatic valve works.
These parts can be contained within an exposed valve (which is fitted to the wall, but otherwise “exposed”) or a concealed valve, which is “concealed” within a wall cavity. In both cases, you will be able to remove the valve and clean it, which could potentially improve performance. In the video below, we show you how to do this with an exposed valve. However, for full instructions on this, and how to do the same with a concealed valve, see our comprehensive guide to maintaining your shower valve.
Cleaning your shower enclosure or screen
As part of your regular bathroom cleaning routine, you should also maintain your shower enclosure or screen. All you’ll need is a sponge, squeegee, some household shower cleaning product (first checking it is suitable for use on shower screen glass), white vinegar and a spray bottle. Simply follow the video below.
For full instructions, please see our guide on how to clean a shower screen.
If it’s long-lasting protection you’re looking for, why not treat your shower screen with Showerguard? Just one treatment of this revolutionary product (which can also be used right around your bathroom) will help protect and preserve your glass for a long time to come.
Caring for different types of shower
Whilst mixer showers, with both exposed or concealed valves, are the most common type available, you may have purchased a different type of shower. From self-contained electric showers to the latest smart and digital showers, many of the basic principles remain the same, although there may not be as many exposed parts which require maintenance.
More cleaning tips for your bathroom
Maintaining a good bathroom cleaning regime will help you prolong the life of all your products. At Victoria Plum, we have plenty of step-by-step guides on keeping different parts of your bathroom clean (and even some for your kitchen!). Check out just some of these below:
- How to clean a bath and bring that sparkle back
- How to clean a toilet
- How to clean tiles
- How to clean a tap cartridge
- Spring cleaning: Breathe new life into your bathroom
- How to make eco-friendly reusable bathroom wipes
- How to clean a kitchen hood filter
Accessorise your bathroom in style
Is your bathroom is looking a bit bare? A little lacking in character? Perhaps it’s time to add some accessories? And, with the Accents range from Victoria Plum, we’ll help put the fun in functional!
Simply click on the image below to discover carefully coordinated accessory sets to complement your bathroom style.