We tried the 39p cola shower-head cleaning hack – here's what we learned

Apologies in advance for the 'before' shots

shower head after coca cola cleaning hack
(Image credit: Future)

We've all heard of the mildly alarming things Coca Cola is good for, from removing rust to defrosting an icy windshield. In the name of the Real Homes We Tried... series, I used a bottle of coke to clean my showerhead.

When it comes to how to clean a shower head, many cleaning fans recommend using vinegar, but how does its acidic friend coke compare?

bottle of coca cola

(Image credit: Future)


North London is known for having some of the hardest water in the capital, and limescale builds up very fast - as you will have noticed... When we moved into our rental in October 2020, we were deeply grateful to find the shower worked really well. 

Everyone's experienced the daily frustrations of a shower with low pressure or one that doesn't like to stay hot, but ours was great.

showerhead covered in white limescale marks

(Image credit: Future)

Recently, though, I've been wondering if the shower is beginning to lose its oomph due to a nasty build-up of limescale - particularly after returning home from a long weekend in an Airbnb with a 10/10 shower.

Slightly nervous it wouldn't go back on easily and that I'd get in trouble with my other half, I unscrewed the shower head and dunked it in a black plastic shopping bag of Coca Cola.

shower head

(Image credit: Future)

I'd tested it with water and it didn't leak but noticed a small amount of coke managed to escape. 

You're supposed to use freezer bags, which would definitely work a lot better. I tied the bag up and left it for just under two hours, checking on it in case it was leaking loads, and made sure the bag was fairly tight around the showerhead and that the affected area was fully submerged.


shower head after coca cola hack

(Image credit: Future)

It was a sticky process, but after rinsing the shower head in hot water and giving it a little scrub with my favorite tough sponges from Marigold on Amazon, it looked considerably better. It's not a mindblowing result, but definitely an improvement that I'm 99% sure my boyfriend will notice. 

Next time, I'd leave it overnight, and stock up on freezer bags beforehand.

If your water pressure is really getting you down (no pun intended) then see our guide on the best high-pressure shower heads to buy.

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.