Limescale build up in our toilets and taps are a problem for everyone. Although tap water is constantly controlled to ensure it is safe from bacteria and microbes it is often hard due to its’ usually high calcium carbonate content (commonly known as limescale).
Limescale deposits can not only damage costly appliances, it can also break them. If you are lucky and live in an area where the water is soft, you won’t be effected by this phenomenon. On the other hand, if your tap water is hard and you don’t have a centralized water softner, limescale cal severly damage the washing machines and water pipes.
There has been some valid testing done on softening and cleaning products. De-scaling agents have been added for years to commercial washing detergents. Organic and new generation ecological detergents are catching up, and today you will also find de-scaling agents added to these products, that will help us deal with limescale naturally and effectively!
This internal de-scaling agent (called complexing) prevents the formation of scale (zeolites, citrates, lamellar silicas).
The use of an additional external de-scaling agent is of no use. It isn’t necessary to add a de-scaling to comercially available detergents, except in the case of extremely hard water.
Modern detergents also already contain ingredients that are designed to reduce water hardness.
We recommend the following:
1) Use detergent it the quanitity suggested for medium-hard or hard water.
2) Use a de-scaling product and decrease the dose of detergent.
3) Never mix water softener with copious amounts of detergent.
Another solution could be that of using a homemade de-scaling agent. The natural products most commonly used against the production of limescale are baking soda, salt and vinegar. Vinegar and lemon are acidic, so they should never be used together with detergents as they stop the detergent from working.
De-scaling agents should be used in the final rinse of the washing machine. The easiest way to de-scale the washing machine is to run an empty wash at 60° with one liter of vinegar in the drum.
You can also try using a dose of 100 ml vinegar or less during a normal clothes wash. This way, the vinegar will act as a fabric softner during the wash cycle and as a de-scaler during the rinsing phase. Alternatively you can use citric acid. Pour 100 ml of a solution of citric acid with 15-20% concentration into the washing drum to soften clothes and de-scale the washing machine. If you like you can pour 1 liter of 15% concentrate citric acid into the empty drum and run an empty wash at a high temperature. If you live in an area with very hard water, it is recommended you follow this procedure once a month.
In short, there are many ways to de-scale your washing machine. All of these methods are very environmentally friendly so have fun experimenting them!