How hard water affects appliances

If you can see limescale on the end of your taps, it will also be building up in your washing machine dishwasher and small appliances.

Much of the UK has hard water, caused by the water flowing over or through rocks, dissolving minerals which are later deposited in your home, especially if the water gets heated. Some appliances will be affected, largely just in terms of the increased energy required to heat the water. This could eventually lead to burn out of the heating element, but for appliances like:

  • Coffee machines
  • Steam irons
  • Steam mops
  • Wallpaper strippers
  • Carpet cleaners

the small holes can become blocked. If not treated, they can be very costly to replace as it's not usually viable to repair them.

One solution is to use de-ionised water (if the water isn't being consumed), but that can be expensive so the easiest solution is periodic descaling.

If you have limescale on your taps, it will also be in your kettle