Shower head descaling and disinfection

Descaling, cleaning and disinfecting shower heads is a necessity. The potential build-up of scale and biofilm will not only restrict the flow of the shower head but could lead to the growth of Legionella bacteria.

B & V Chemicals have a range of all in one shower head descalers and sanitisers which drastically cut the time needed on this laborious, time consuming task. You will still end up with sparkling clean, free flowing and disinfected shower heads but in a fraction of the time.

Shower head 3

Figure 1. Shower head before and after cleaning

Under HSG 274 Part 2 there is a potential Legionella risk in any water system where:

  • Water is stored or re-circulated
  • The water temperature in all or some part of the system may be between 20–45 °C
  • There are deposits that can support bacterial growth
  • Water droplets are produced and dispersed
  • There could be exposure to contaminated water droplets

As showers undoubtedly fit all the above criteria, particular care needs to be taken in considering the cleaning, descaling, and disinfecting these on a regular basis. Consideration should also be given to removing infrequently used showers and taps, ensuring that the removal does not leave any dead legs in the system.

HSG 274 Part 2 states the necessity to dismantle, clean and descale removable parts, heads, inserts and hoses where fitted. This should be done quarterly or as indicated by the rate of fouling or other risk factors, e.g. areas with high-risk patients.

Our Multitreat SHD range are specifically formulated as one stage chemicals to clean, descale and disinfect within a very short time scale. The chemicals used are less corrosive to metals and less likely to cause embrittlement of plastic components. The use of the Multitreat SHD range is also safer for operators to use compared with the traditional acid descaling followed by chlorine disinfection, a potentially extremely hazardous combination of chemicals if mixed by inexperienced operators.

 The Multitreat SHD range

Multitreat SHD 

A combination of powerful descaling chemicals, disinfectants, and dispersants.

Multitreat SHD (Indicator)

This is the same formulation as Multitreat SHD but containing an indicator which changes colour from pinky orange to yellow at the point where the acid content is depleted beyond the point where effective descaling can take place. The colour change therefore indicates to operators that the solution needs to be changed.

Multitreat SHD (Indicator) colour change profileFigure 2. Multitreat SHD (Indicator) colour change profile

Multitreat SHD gel

A thickened version of Multitreat SHD used for fixed shower heads and taps. This product is always used neat and should not be diluted.

Independent efficacy testing has shown that the above range of products has proven effect against Legionella spp and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We would recommend that in hard water areas where scale is a visible problem Multitreat SHD or SHD (Indicator) should be used neat. A maximum dilution of 1:3 can be used in soft water areas and where no scale can be seen on or in the fitting to be cleaned. A 1:3 dilution has been independently tested and shown to have a log reduction rate of 3.9 against Legionella (the neat version had a log reduction rate of 4.9), within a very short contact time of 5 minutes. Independent testing has also shown Multitreat SHD to be effective against Pseudomonas Aeruginosa at 20oC in dirty conditions, either neat or at a 1:3 dilution.

As previously mentioned, traditional methods for descaling and sanitising shower heads involved a long period of immersion in acid (generally 1 hour), followed by disinfection in a chlorine solution for an hour. Using Multitreat SHD to clean shower heads produces the same results but in a recommended time scale of around 15 minutes.

One of our customers who switched over from traditional shower head cleaning methods to our Multitreat SHD Indicator stated:

We recognise the vital importance of keeping our shower heads spotlessly clean to minimise the health risks. In the past this has proved a time consuming and difficult task, as we have been using the traditional chlorine-based products with a descaler. We cannot believe the difference now that we are using B & V Chemicals’ Multitreat SHD. It is so easy to use that shower heads can be thoroughly cleaned within minutes with fantastic results. There are no horrible smells and our shower equipment is no longer suffering from damage from harsh products. We are over the moon with this product and will continue to use it in the future.”

If you would like any further information on our Multitreat SHD range, contact

Water safety, disinfection and secondary disinfection

Jill Cooper

Jill Cooper

Jill Cooper is Own Label Manager at B&V Chemicals, a leading UK and Export distributor of Water Treatment chemicals for Cooling Water Systems chemicals, Closed Circuit chemicals, Boiler chemicals, Hot and Cold Water System Chemicals, Effluent and Wastewater chemicals. A Microbiologist and Chemist, she has 20+ years production, toll blending and regulatory knowledge.

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HuwaSan specialise in the production and distribution of chemicals for water treatment. B & V Chemicals are water treatment supply partners in the UK.