Limescale is a problem for all heating appliances. If you do not timely clean the washing machine with citric acid or another means that dissolves limescale, the heater will overheat and break. Prevention should be carried out every 3-6 months. What rules should be followed, where and how much to pour lemons on? We will tell you everything in order.
The principle of citric acid
Citric acid is widely used as a flavoring additive. However, this is not its only application. Crystalline powder is known to many housewives as a good whitening, disinfectant and cleanser. From time immemorial, samovars, irons, teapots have been cleaned with lemon. How does she act?
Scale is the result of the deposition of magnesium and calcium bicarbonates on metal parts. When heated, they decompose into carbonates (salts) and carbon dioxide that are practically insoluble in water. Hard tap water is especially rich in salts. Citric acid undergoes a chemical reaction with carbonates, which results in the formation of citrates. They easily lag behind surfaces and are removed with water when draining. At the same time, the lemon does not spoil the metal parts and gently cleans the heater of the washing machine.
Another product, vinegar, also acts on scale. However, it has a rather pungent odor and, if handled carelessly, can leave chemical burns on the hands.
Lemon is relatively safe for the washing machine, but still it is not worth it to roll it thoughtlessly. In the best case, cleaning will be ineffective; in the worst, it will cause damage.
To remove the scum and not spoil the parts of the device, you must follow the simple rules:
- Clean only an empty washing machine, without things in the drum.
- Use the exact amount of lemons (calculated individually). The maximum allowable weight is 200 g.
- Put citric acid into the powder compartment.
- Clean at 60 or 90 degrees. If the second option is selected, limit the procedure time to 1 hour.
- Remove the spin and add an additional rinse (drain the water at least 3 times).
- Monitor the cleaning process and do not move far from the washing machine.
- After cleaning, check the filter and drain for stuck scale particles. Wipe all accessible parts of the machine with a soft cloth.
What temperature to set?
The higher the temperature, the stronger the chemical reaction and the more efficient it is to descale the washing machine. But at the same time, there is a greater risk of damage to vulnerable parts. Therefore, choosing between 60 and 90 degrees, you should start from the degree of pollution of the heater.
The need for high temperature washing is when:
- a washing machine is used often, from 4 to 7 times a week;
- predominantly used program with a high temperature - 60 degrees and above;
- tap water is hard and contains a large amount of salts (you can understand the scale in the kettle);
- phosphate-free powder is used for washing (phosphates reduce the hardness of water);
- TEN did not clean for 6 months or longer.
How much to pour lemons?
In theory, to remove 100 g of scale, you need to take 125 g of citric acid. But the problem is that it is impossible to weigh limescale in the washing machine.Therefore, in practice, the calculation is made taking into account the prescription of cleaning the heater, as well as the volume of the drum.
- In a regular machine, a machine containing 3-4 kg of laundry is poured from 50 to 100 g of crystalline powder.
- In a washing machine with a volume of 4-6 kg - 60-120 g.
- With a volume of 7-8 kg - 80-140 g.
- At 10 kg - 100-200 g.
The lower limit of dosage is suitable for refreshing the machine with regular cleaning, and the upper limit is for the effective removal of old scale.
On average, washing the washing machine with citric acid lasts about 1-2 hours. The speed of the chemical reaction depends on the set wash temperature and plaque:
- at 60 degrees it takes from 1 to 3 hours of time;
- at 90 degrees - 30-60 minutes.
For gentle cleaning of the heater from scale, you can set the temperature to 40 degrees and after heating the water, put the wash on pause for 4 hours. During this time, the limescale will completely dissolve, and all that remains is to rinse the machine 3-4 times (put in rinse).
Frequency of use
It is necessary to clean the washing machine from scale approximately 1 time in 3-6 months. But again, the length of the pause between events depends on the frequency of washings and other factors listed above. If there are all prerequisites for the rapid formation of limescale, prevention can be carried out monthly.
If there is no time or desire to delve into all the features of the procedure, you can use a simple instruction. It will take 6 steps to complete.
So, how to clean the washing machine with lemon?
- Calculate the amount of citric acid according to the volume and age of cleaning the washing machine. The standard dosage is 3 tablespoons of crystalline powder, or 3 sachets of 20 g each.
- Make sure there are no items in the drum.
- Pour the right amount of lemons into the powder compartment.
- Choose any program with a temperature regime of 60 degrees. Turn off the spin. Put on an extra rinse.
- Do not go far while washing. If strange noises or the machine gives an error, check the filter and drain. Scales with a large amount may get stuck, then they must be removed manually.
- At the end of washing, open the hatch and gently bend the edges of the gum. Run a rag through all openings to remove any remaining particles of plaque.
For preventive cleaning of the washing machine, citric acid can be mixed with baking soda and washing powder (40 g each).
Possible harm to the machine
Citric acid can be harmful only if the dosage and temperature conditions are not followed. If it is poured too much and the program is set to 90 degrees, cleaning will adversely affect the condition of the rubber parts: the seal on the door, the seals on the bearings, nozzles next to the pump, etc. The rubber will lose elasticity, will begin to crack and crumble, which threatens the flow of water and serious damage to the washing machine.
Also, harm can be caused to things, if you do not get them out of the machine when cleaning or combine the procedure with normal washing. Citric acid steals color from bright tissues, they become dull and cannot be restored.
Advantages and disadvantages of the method
The method of cleaning the washing machine with citric acid is the most popular. He is praised in reviews and recommended by experts, and there are many reasons for this.
The advantages of the method:
Against this background, the only drawback in the form of possible harm in case of non-compliance with the rules for the use of lemons seems insignificant. However, you need to remember about it.
The minus of the method:
- risk of damage to rubber parts (if technology is not followed).
It is better to pour less citric acid and choose a mode with a low temperature, but clean the washing machine 2 times than use the product to the maximum and pay with the breakdown of the equipment.
Alternative washing machine cleaners
The most popular citric acid counterpart is 9% table vinegar.Also, to clean the washing machine from scale, special chemical powders are produced. By the way, the advertised Calgon does not remove limescale, but only prevents its appearance and improves the quality of washing.
What means can replace citric acid?
- Vinegar. Acetic-aqueous solution (200 ml per 3 l) is used to clean the washing machine from scale. This recipe also kills unpleasant odors and eliminates mold.
- Soda. More suitable for the prevention of scale, as it softens the hardness of water and prevents the appearance of limescale. To do this, it is added when washing in a container or just in a drum in the amount of 2-5 tablespoons. Also, soda is good for mechanical cleaning of external parts from residues of powder, mold, various kinds of stains.
- Frisch activ. A tool designed to clean the metal "inside" of the washing machine.
- Beckmann. Disinfects and removes various kinds of contaminants, including limescale.
- Magic power. German powder for effective anti-scale.
- Topperr 3004. The manufacturer of washing machines Bosch recommends the tool as the best for a complete cleaning of the device.
- Luxus Professional. Domestic descaler. Quickly and well removes limescale.
- "Anti-scale." The product contains strong acids that effectively corrode the scale that adhered to the heater. Manufacturer - Russia.
Complete care of the machine includes cleaning the heater, powder compartment, cuffs, drain, filter. To wash non-metallic parts, you can prepare a solution of copper sulfate or use soda, "Domestos". These products are well disinfected, remove plaque and mold.
So, citric acid for a washing machine is the # 1 remedy for scale. Despite the fact that the method is popular, it works at 100%. The main thing is to follow the instructions and remember the simple rules. Then the household appliance will last a long time, delighting the owners with its impeccable work.