28th November 2016
For many people the culprit of limescale, grime and smells in washing machines is hard water. Hard water can cause multiple problems to all home appliances that use water, especially washing machines. Sometimes it is easy to tell you have hard water but sometimes you might not think about it when washing clothes or don’t even know you could see and feel a big difference when switching to soft water.
Hard water contains Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Copper, and more which then leads to limescale build-up in your pipes and appliances. Limescale will shorten the lifespan of your home appliances. If you have hard water you will notice soap scum build-up on your toilets, showers, sinks, dishes and glassware and more. When doing laundry, you will notice your clothes with rust stains, yellowed whites, dull looking or dingy colours and even rough to the touch. To keep your whites whiter, your colours brighter and enjoy fluffy towels, you can install a water softener in your home. This will also prevent costly damage to the electric heating element, which is used to heat water inside the washing machine. By using soft water, you can have all the advantages of soft water and also prevent future limescale build-up throughout your home.
To clean a washing machine of limescale and grime build-up you will need two ingredients, vinegar and baking soda. For top-loading washing machines, fill up your washing machine with hot water on the longest cycle with no clothes in the washer. Depending on your washing machine size, add about 250ml of vinegar, close the lid and let the washing machine run for a few minutes. Open the lid and add 30g of baking soda, shut the lid once more and let run for a couple more minutes. Once that is complete and all the ingredients are mixed together, open the lid and let the water mixture stand for about 30-60 minutes. You can dip a cloth or a sponge into the vinegar and baking soda water to wipe down the rest of your washing machine. Once you’ve waited long enough for a good soak you can let the cycle finish and wipe out the bottom and sides of the machine of any leftover residue.
For front-loading washing machines, mix baking soda with a bit of water and add it to your detergent container. Pour the vinegar into the drum and run a washing cycle with the highest temperature. When the cycle has been completed, use a cloth or a sponge to wipe the washing machine clean.
For both top and front load, it is highly recommended to run another full cycle with no clothes to rid the washing machine of any leftover vinegar and baking soda. Cleaning your washing machine with natural washing machine descaler is a good way to cut through the built up limescale and will further prevent the limescale after you install a water softener.