According to new research conducted by the University of Colorado at Boulder, your shower head could be filled with Mycobacterium - a strain of bacteria that can be detrimental to our health.
After testing DNA from 656 household showers in the United States and Europe, scientsits discovered that mycobacteria was far more common in homes using municipal tap water rather than well water.
Mycobacteria are resistant to chlorine-based disinfectants. The worst bit? Mycobacteria is also linked to nontuberculous mcybacterial lung disease.
Previously, sSpeaking to Readers Digest, Dr Noah Fierer, a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder leading the Shower head Microbiome Project says it’s not uncommon for “slime” to be present in your shower head.
“Most showerheads, if you unscrew the face of the shower head where the water comes out, you’ll find slime in there,” he says. “We call it biofilm, but slime is just as accurate.”
But don’t panic just yet, Dr Fierer says not all bacteria are harmful.
“There may be benefits to bathing in bacteria every time you shower,” he says. “It could be like taking a probiotic rinse."
Still, giving your shower head a once-over doesn’t hurt – especially if it’s been a while.
The trick to cleaning your showerhead
As Melissa Maker, the cleaning expert behind popular YouTube channel Clean My Space, explains, simply fill half of the bag with vinegar and place it over the shower head, making sure it’s submerged. Secure with a rubber band or zip tie and leave overnight.
In the morning, remove the bag and run the shower for a couple of minutes before using. All the gunk that has built up over time will fall away.
For detailed instructions, watch the video below.