Living in a hard water area really takes its toll sometimes. I’m not just talking about the frequent limescale that builds up in our kettles; hard water takes its toll on skin conditions that run in our family including eczema and psoriasis.
But while emollient creams can help tackle the skin issues, I needed something that would really ensure the longevity of my home appliances.
Living with Limescale
Since moving in eight years ago, we are now on our second dishwasher and our second washing machine. What happened to products that were built to last?
But it’s not just the products that are to blame; where I live (Kent) is a very hard water area and this can have a huge impact on the effectiveness and longevity of home appliances such as kettles, washing machines and dishwashers.
Limescale builds up and starts to affect the machine’s efficiency, but because we can’t actually see the build up of limescale (inside the pipes), we assume that everything is okay. Out of sight, out of mind and all that!
That is, until the day when your dishwasher or washing machine packs up, which has happened to us more times than I care to remember!
So when Dr Beckmann got in touch to see if I wanted to try our their products, I had to give them a go – for the sake of my appliances’ health!
Service-it Power Descaler
First up was Dr Beckmann’s Service-it Power Descaler, which costs £3.05.
Inside there are two 50g descaler bags which claimed to cut through limescale build up, prevent future build up – and therefore save me time and money in the long run.
This certainly sounds like something I need – and what’s great is that it can be used on either the washing machine or dishwasher. So because I had two sachets, I used one each on the machines.
For the washing machine I sprinkled one sachet directly into the drum and set it to one of the programmes at a minimum temperature of 60˚C.
And for the dishwasher I filled the dosing compartment (where your liquid or tablet goes) with the powder from the sachet, close the lid and sprinkled the rest into the bottom of the dishwasher. Again, I made sure the programme I chose had a minimum temperature wash of 60˚C.
Service-it Deep Clean Dishwasher Cleaner
Next up was the Service-it Deep Clean Dishwasher Cleaner (75g) which included a wipe and cost £2.99.
I liked the sound of a ‘Deep Clean’; our dishwasher is less than four months old, but I’m quite proud of the fact that I’m tending to it now in the hope of preventing it from going into early retirement!
The thing is with dishwashers, deposits of food can settle in the filter and pipes. Over time this can build up and lead to – you guessed it – bad smells and an ineffective clean.
The Service-it Deep Clean Dishwasher Cleaner claims to kills 99.9% of micro- organisms and bacteria. And even though I can’t scientifically prove this, it certainly smelt like the bacteria had been wiped out.
To apply, it’s simply a case of pouring all the powder directly into the bottom of the dishwasher – without loading any crockery or cutlery of course – it has to be empty!
You then choose a standard cleaning wash (not a quick wash) to get the most from the product and ensure it really does remove the bacteria.
It might seem a bit strange but I love the smell of things like bleach and cleaning products; psychologically I feel empowered knowing that my home is clean as well as tidy.
The handy wipe is great for cleaning the door seals and around the front of the dishwasher (definitely do this – you’ll be surprised at how much grime is picked up!)
Service-it Deep Clean Washing Machine Cleaner
The Service-it Deep Clean Washing Machine Cleaner was essentially the same as the Service-it Deep Clean Dishwasher Cleaner and cost £2.99 for 250g.
The description was that it not only cleanses the machine but also kills 99.9% of bacteria and micro-organisms.
In terms of applying, you just empty the powder directly into the drum (don’t put any laundry in) and select a programme with a minimum temperature of 60˚C.
The company suggests that the product is used every few months (or 40 washes) to ensure your machine is as clean as possible and continues to run smoothly and effectively.
One top tip I picked up from the service engineer (when he tried to fix my old machine) was to leave your washing machine door open for as long as possible after a wash.
Airing the washing machine drum allows for air to circulate and prevent any mould building up. I always ensure I do this now – and it’s the same with my dishwasher.
Service-it Washing Machine Cleaner
The final product I tried was the Service-it Washing Machine Cleaner, which costs £2.99 for 250ml.
As we all know, regular use of washing machines affects its performance and reliability, but did you know this is even more true when washing at low temperatures?
The Dr. Beckmann Service-it product works to eliminate detergent residues that form on the drum, pipes and seals, ridding the dirt and grime that create bad odours.
It also eliminates limescale on your machine’s element to improve efficiency and protect your washing machine against breakdown. Sounds fan-dabby-dozy to me!
The process to cleaning the machine is a little bit more in-depth, but definitely worth the effort. First of all I poured a small amount of Service-It onto a clean cloth and wiped the rubber seal around the door.
I then removed detergent drawer and soaked it for around 30 minutes following the diluting instructions), then I rinsed it and put it back in the washing machine.
I then poured the rest of the contents of the bottle into the detergent drawer and started a main wash cycle (again at 60˚C).
I really liked the fact that this cleaning process got me a bit more involved (in terms of cleaning the drawer of the machine), as I felt the machine was getting a mini overhaul!
Again, when it had finished I noticed that the machine had a really pleasant, clean smell to it – I wished it smelt like that every time I opened it!
So what’s the overall verdict?
It’s really important that we take care of our home appliances to ensure they do the job they were built to do well – and for a long time.
You might not be able to see limescale build-up (except in your kettle of course), but as a rule of thumb, every time I need to descale the kettle, I’ll also descale all my home applicances including my coffee machine and steam iron.
Obviously I can’t tell you how much limescale the products actually managed to clear, but what I can tell you is that they were all easy to use and left pleasant smells in the machines.
Just knowing that I’m doing my bit to help look after my home appliances is reassuring. I have a feeling that we won’t need a third washing machine or dishwasher in quite a while – as long as I continue to play Dr to my appliances.