Here's how often to replace your shower head, according to experts

No one wants to be showered in germs

replace your shower head
(Image credit: Image credit: Sanctuary Bathrooms)

When we heard that Drench recommends you replace your shower head every six months, we couldn’t quite believe it. So, we asked some other experts, including a plumber, how often we should change it.

The wet and warm environment of the bathroom is a prime spot for germs - our guide on how to clean a bathroom will help you leave yours sparkling. And showerheads, in particular, can build up sediment from tap water, bacteria and mould.

replace your shower head

(Image credit: Methven)

However, you can easily keep on top of this by giving your showerhead a monthly deep clean. Simply fill a sandwich bag with white vinegar and submerge the showerhead for at least an hour, then rinse. Although it might not be our favorite activity, it'll make a huge difference - for more advice, read our how to clean a shower head guide.

How often you should replace your shower head

every six to eight months

Plumbing expert Stephany Smith from My Plumber (opens in new tab), a Fantastic Services (opens in new tab) company, agrees with Drench. She says shower heads should be changed every six to eight months, especially if you live in a hard water area.

‘Shower heads get overly-covered with sediment, mould build-up or black spots, and become a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause respiratory illnesses,’ Stephany begins.

replace your shower head

(Image credit: Sanctuary Bathrooms)

‘Because of the millions of germs thriving in your shower head, you will hear the medical experts recommend getting a new shower head installed at least once or twice per year.’

Stephany does say that regular cleaning will extend the life of a shower head, but those with a low immune system should be ‘vigilant’. She explains that ‘potential harmful bacteria (such as Streptococcus and E. coli) or mould can lurk in every part of your shower head.’ 

Every ten years

Rikki Fothergill, Content Specialist at Big Bathroom Shop (opens in new tab) begs to differ, arguing that they can last for ten years when looked after properly. 'They are easy to clean, using household products such as white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. This is an easy task if done regularly, we suggest once a month, and is also much more cost-effective.'

replace your shower head

(Image credit: Sanctuary Bathrooms)

Up to every fifteen years

Sanctuary Bathrooms (opens in new tab) Director James Roberts says 'customers may feel compelled to change their shower head because of personal taste or performance reasons. However, we would never actively encourage customers to change their shower head as regular as six months for the simple fact this could become a rather high, and also unnecessary, expense.'

James points out that shower heads also come with manufacturer guarantees of up to fifteen years in the event of any unexpected faults, 'so customers can be assured they have both protection and some reassurance of estimated lifespans based on that.'

Never (potentially)

With an ultra-modern Methven shower handset, you might never have to bother with a replacement. The brand offers shower heads with a lifetime warranty, for example, the incredible Aurajet Aio Shower Handset (opens in new tab). As long as you look after it and clean it properly, it will last for years to come - making it a sustainable investment. 

Drench also says that metal showerheads seem to be more resilient to germs compared to plastic. So that’s one thing to bear in mind when replacing.

replace your shower head

(Image credit: Methven)

Plus, if you have a large metal shower head, you may well be able to keep yours going much longer. For practical advice on buying a whole new shower, read our guide on how to choose the best shower for your bathroom.

Understanding how your bathroom works will help you know if it's time for a revamp, or if you need to make a simpler update. Arm yourself with knowledge by reading our guide to bathroom plumbing.

An invigorating shower, accessories you love, and good lighting are key in a bathroom - take a look at our bathroom ideas feature to help you work with what you've got.

Well, we'll certainly be giving our shower heads a clean more regularly from now on...

Millie joined Real Homes in early 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.