Why descale your washing machine?
If you don’t descale your washing machine regularly, limescale can form on the heating element. This limescale can cause your washing machine to take longer to get the water to the right temperature, costing you more electricity than necessary. Also, limescale on the heating element means it breaks down faster – which of course you want to avoid!
Wondering how exactly limescale is formed? It happens when calcium reacts with carbonate, often when you heat water. Like in your washing machine, shower head or water boiler. Hard water has a lot of calcium. Because water hardness varies by area, lime scale affects some people more than others.
Preventing lime scale
Preventing it is better than curing it, as we all know! How hard your tap water is and how quickly lime scale forms in your home depends on your environment. Online you can look up how hard the water is that comes from your pipes. You can find out how to deal with it in our tips below:
- Dose your detergent: detergents contain ingredients that prevent limescale. The packaging of your detergent will have dosage recommendations for the hardness of your water. This way you can check how much detergent you need to combat limescale.
- Wash at low temperatures: Because limescale is formed when you heat your laundry, it helps to wash at a lower temperature. Washing at 30 or 40 degrees is better than washing at 60 or 90 degrees.
If you follow these two tips, descaling is not necessary. However, do you regularly use hot wash, or do you use a detergent without descaling ingredients? Then read on! These methods are also great for cleaning your washing machine and preventing grease fungus.
How to descale a washing machine
There are several ways to descale washing machines. For all ways, empty the drum of your washing machine and use a cloth to remove any dirt. You can usually use a normal wash program to clean and/or descale your washing machine – but if your washing machine has a special program for cleaning, use that.
Then the answer to the question: how often should you clean and descale your washing machine? Of course this depends on the hardness of the water and how often you use your washing machine, but on average you should consider once a month. That may sound like a lot, but it’s not that bad! Especially if you have read our explanation below:
You can buy specific washing machine descaling tablets or descaling solution. Your descaler’s instructions will tell you exactly how to use them. Often you will need to run a simple wash cycle at 60 degrees or higher.
Descale with vinegar
Descaling your washing machine with vinegar is just as easy, often cheaper and better for the environment too! To do this, empty a whole bottle of cleaning vinegar into your detergent drawer – a whole bottle might sound like a lot, but it will clean your washing machine very well and it doesn’t cost that much. To descale your washing machine you can run a wash cycle at 90 degrees, 95 degrees is also an option.
Descale with baking soda
Descale with baking soda is very similar to descale with cleaning vinegar. Put about half a cup of soda in the drawer where you normally put detergent and run a wash programme at 90 degrees, 95 degrees is also possible.