Is Your Shower Head Making You Sick

It turns out, shower head can be full of bacteria and you’ve never thought about it didn’t you?

Not even once, because you thought that shower head is the cleanest item in your bathroom.

Well, you thought it wrong.

Latest researches shows they are crawling with bacteria because of the wet conditions and from the pluming used.

If you unscrew the face of the shower head where the water comes out, you’ll find slime in there for sure.

However, many bacteria aren’t harmful, but there can be traces of nontuberculous mycobacteria(NTM) known for causing a lung disease.

What Are The Symptoms Of NTM

According to the American Lung Association,symptoms of the infection include:

  • coughing up blood
  • shortness of breath
  • persistent coughing
  • fatigue and fever

Not everyone develops the condition after exposure to NTM, and doctors aren’t sure 100% why only some people get sick.

However, people who already have lung problems, older adults and people with weak immune systems are at greater risk.

According to WebMD, the infection can be treated with antibiotics.

Where NTM Grows

According to the findings and Dr.Pace, NTM is more common in metal showerheads, as well as households that use municipal water over well water.

Mycobacteria are resistant to the chlorine found in municipal water, therefore, they have more room to grow after chlorine kills off other bacteria.

However, more research should be done to determine whether our water treatments could put us at risk and the use of the materials in our plumbing.

What Does This Mean For You

You definitely shouldn’t stop showering, but you might want to think about cleaning your shower head every once in a while.

Prevention From Shower Head Bacteria

Switch To Metal

There are couple of things you can do to prevent bacteria breeding where you shower. Some studies have shown that bacteria will grow less on a metal showering features comparing to others.

Clean Them Regularly

Always keep your shower head, tub and shower curtain 100 % clean, germ and mold free.

Scrub with an old toothbrush when detaching the head and rinsing the filter.

Or, fill a sturdy plastic bag with vinegar (which is a natural disinfectant) and attach it securely over your shower head.

Let it soak for about an hour, and then remove the bag.

Don’t forget to run water to flush it.

However, there’s no product or technique which can completely wipe out all germs from your shower fixture.

Just after a few days, the little critters will be back all over again.

If You Choose Public Showers – Be Picky!

If you are in position to use a public shower (like in the gym), and if you’re grossed out by the appearance of it- don’t use it!

The same goes for the stall itself.

Don’t go into a shower that’s visibly soiled, especially with blood or feces.

You will put yourself at an even higher risk of picking up nasty bacteria in a dirty stall, especially if you have an open wound or athlete’s foot.


Just for you to know, the water coming out of your shower head is no different than what’s coming out of your sink faucet.

It’s still the same water.

However, if you think your immune system is somehow compromised, consider skipping showers and take baths instead. 

Just keep everything sparkles-sly clean!


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