How To Remove A Shower Head/Arm That Is Glued On [Quick & Easy Guide!]

Removing a shower head or arm that is glued on may take some work, but it is not impossible. We have done research on this topic and lay out a step-by-step guide to help you in this post.

To remove a shower head or arm that has been glued on, you need to weaken the bond of the glue. Here are the steps:

  1. Prepare your materials
  2. Loosen the bonded site as much as you can
  3. Soak the shower head or arm with glue solvent
  4. Carefully unscrew the shower head or unscrew/peel off the shower arm
  5. Rinse and clean up

If you still have issues after trying these methods, you should call a professional for help. Keep reading, as we will go into more detail on how to do each method in this post.

How To Remove A Glued-On Shower Head/Arm

A glued shower head or arm is usually held in place with super glue. Super glue works in tandem with water to form strong chemical bonds between surfaces. Once cured, it will hold for quite some time.

Shower head in bathroom with water drops flowing

To break this bond, you will have to use either brute force or melt the glue with a solvent that will break down the bonded material. Of course, the latter is the better option, since it will cause less damage.

It is important to know how the glue used on your shower head works so that you can find the right way to work with it. With this in mind, here is the process for removing your shower head/arm:

Prepare Your Materials

Tools to prepare for removing shower head

Before any DIY project, you need to assemble your materials. For this job, the basic tools you need are the following:

  • Safety equipment (gloves, goggles, work-safe clothes, etc.)
  • Wrench
  • Glue solvent (store-bought or homemade)
    • You can also use acetone or nail polish remover
  • Thick plastic bag
  • Rubber bands or similar elastic

You can use additional or fewer tools from what we laid out in this list. What is important is that you can get the job done efficiently and safely.

Loosen The Bonded Site

Move the shower head or arm around to loosen the super glue as best as you can. Even though the super glue dried to a strong bond, you should still be able to crack it at its weak points.

Loosening the glue this way will make it easier for the solvent to melt it down.

Soak The Shower Head/Arm With Solvent

Fill up your plastic bag with enough solvent to cover the bonded area. Carefully place this over your shower head or up to the shower arm and hold it in place with the rubber bands. Make sure that the bag is secure and will not slip off.

From here, leave the glue to soak for 30 minutes or more. Acetone and nail polish remover may melt the plastic bag, so you might have to opt for a different solution or use a sturdier bag in this case.

Unscrew The Shower Head Or Arm

Once the glue is partially dissolved, remove the plastic bag. Now is a good time to have gloves on since the shower head will be soaked in chemicals. Rinse and wipe off the shower head with clean water.

Try to ease as much of the glue off as you can before unscrewing the shower head or arm with an adjustable wrench. If the glue has melted down enough, you may even be able to use your hands.

If you are using an adjustable wrench, you can protect the shower head with a piece of cloth. This will improve the grip of the wrench and also keep it from scratching the shower head.

Rinse And Clean Up

Hopefully, by now, you have successfully removed your shower head or shower arm. All that is left to do is clean up.

Wash away any excess material and brush off any leftover glue. Make sure you do not leave behind any chemicals. Lastly, properly store all materials and tools after use.

How To Make Home-Made Glue Solvent

While you can melt super glue with solvents such as acetone or nail polish, these may cause damage to the other materials that make up your shower head. As we mentioned, acetone can also melt the plastic bag you will use to soak the glue.

Another alternative solution is to use rubbing alcohol. It would be less likely to melt your plastic bag. A popular homemade method is mixing lemon juice with warm to hot water to create an acidic solution that can melt the glue.

Hot water with a lemon slice to make a hot lemon drink

What If Nothing Works?

Different glues will react to different materials. In the unlikely situation that you know which glue was used on your shower, you can find the appropriate solvent for it. If you do not know what the glue was, then you may have to do some trial and error.

Aside from acids, you can also try using vegetable or mineral oils, soapy water, and hydrogen peroxide.

Some sources will recommend gas or lighter fluid, but these are fire hazards that you should avoid. As much as possible, do not try to soak your shower in the latter two.

Store-Bought Super Glue Solvents

If you do not want to take your chances on household ingredients to loosen up the super glue, you can always buy an adhesive removal liquid. Most super glue and adhesive brands carry their version of this.

Pour a reasonable amount of adhesive removal liquid where the shower head or arm is bonded. As much as possible, follow any usage instructions that come with the product.

After you let the solvent soak for a while, you should be able to remove the shower head/arm.

Click here to see Super Glue Debonder on Amazon.

Shower Head/Arm That Has Rusted Over

A man wipes a shower head with a rag

While you may think that glue is keeping your shower head from coming off, this might not always be the case. Oftentimes, rust and sediment build-up can tighten the bond of your shower head/arm, making it a pain to screw off.

Take a closer look at your shower head to see if you notice any rust. If you are sure that the shower head was not glued on, then there is no use in soaking it in an adhesive liquid solvent.

Instead, all you need to do is work against the rust. There are a few different methods of doing this:

Brute Force

Using a wrench or a pair of pliers, twist your shower head. If you do so hard enough, eventually the rust will break, and the shower head will come off.

You can protect the shower head with a piece of cloth, as we suggested before. It will also increase friction, tightening your grip.

One downside of this method is that you may struggle in to twist the wrench hard enough. The other downside is that you will risk cracking or breaking parts of your shower head.

Using A Solution

When removing a shower head with glue, we advised you to use solutions like oils, solvents, and acids. You can also use the same soaking method for a rusted shower head, but with a different solution.

In this case, soak the shower head in white vinegar overnight. The acid will break down the build-up of rust for easier removal the following day.

If you do not want to use vinegar to soak your shower head/arm, you can also opt for store-bought lubricants instead. Lubricants like WD-40 can work much faster.

Click here to see WD-40 Spray on Amazon.

How To Reinstall Shower Head/Arm?

Installing a new shower hose on an used showerhead

If you have gotten your shower head/arm off, it may not reattach the same way. Leftover glue or rust will keep the parts from locking together securely.

You can try cleaning your shower head/arm to get rid of leftover residue. If the mechanisms are still intact, they should twist back on.

If there is some damage, you can tighten the hold with plumber's tape or glue the pieces back together. You can also consider replacing your shower head/arm altogether.

Any damage to the shower head or arm may lead to leaks. Your shower head/arm might also fall off after you reassemble them.

If you decide to replace your shower head/arm with a new one, make sure it is the right size. From there, you can screw the replacement on, or install it according to the product instructions.

Wrapping Things Up

A plumber installing new showerhead

To remove a shower head/arm that is glued on, work on loosening the bond of the glue. Do this by cracking the glue and soaking the shower head/arm in a solution.

After the glue melts (in 30 minutes to a few hours,) you can twist the shower head/arm right off with a wrench.

When working on this task, make sure to keep your own safety in mind. Avoid using materials that can harm your health or damage your bathroom.

Did you find this post helpful? If so, check out our other articles before you go!

How To Clean A Shower Head With Baking Soda [6 Easy Steps]

How To Install Or Replace A Shower Head In A Bathtub

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