Why Add Citric Acid to the Washing Machine: A Trick for Appliances

The citric acid in the washing machine is a cheap remedy for limescale and bad odor.

Citric acid is not only a tasty food additive but also a very useful helper in the household. This spice destroys even the oldest plaque, effectively cleans the sink and kettle, and keeps cut flowers fresh. Another useful use of acid is to clean the washing machine.

Even the most expensive machine inevitably gets dirty over several years. Detergent residue, threads from clothes, and germs accumulate in the drum. Hard water causes limescale to form on the elements of the machine. Removing dirt from hard-to-reach places and getting rid of the unpleasant smell will help citric acid.

How to clean a washing machine with citric acid

  1. To begin with, you need to pull out all the clothes from the machine, otherwise, they can be spoiled.
  2. In the drum of the machine, pour 90-100 grams of citric acid. If the capacity of the machine is small (up to 4 kg), you can use 60 g of acid. Close the door of the machine.
  3. Turn on the washing mode with the longest duration and high temperature (more than 60º). If there is a lot of limescale, you can increase the temperature to 90º. You will see flakes of limescale in the drum of the machine.
  4. After you finish washing, rinse the machine 2-3 times.
  5. Wipe the inside of the drum, as well as the door and gasket.

This procedure can be repeated several times a year to prevent soiling and scale formation. If the water hardness is high, you can clean the machine with acid more often. Acid not only cleans the machine but also helps save energy. After all, the less scale on the elements of the machine, the faster it heats the water.

It is very important not to pour more than 100 grams of citric acid into the machine. Excess acid can ruin the elements of the machine. The less dirt in the drum, the less acid you need to add.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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