Home Household appliances Little-known appliance problem adds £37 to your energy bills – how to fix it

Little-known appliance problem adds £37 to your energy bills – how to fix it


Frugal homeowners should be aware of this little-known problem affecting household appliances.

Scale buildup in your kettle can make drinks taste bad, but heavy buildup can also reduce the efficiency of the heating element.


To get rid of not only limescale, but also a buildup of grimy bacteria – try our trickCredit: Getty

And it’s not just your pitcher – limescale can build up in other appliances too, adding money to your bills every year.

By following these simple steps you could save an easy £36.81 every year – here’s how to fix it.


Scale in your kettle can be minimized by using a water filter to reduce the impurities that cause the problems.

Descaling your kettle can be done using lemon juice or white vinegar.

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Whichever option you choose, all you need to do is fill the kettle halfway with lemon juice or vinegar and the other half with water.

Then let it sit for at least an hour before boiling, after boiling you just need to drain it and boil it a second time with water to get rid of any lingering sour taste.

When the costs are broken down, limestone going into a kettle can add an additional £9.18 to the average annual cost of £76.51.

Washing machine

Some of the most expensive appliances to run are found in the kitchen, including washing machines.

To get rid of not only limescale but also a buildup of grimy bacteria, try this trick.

Run a regular vacuum cycle on the hottest setting (a minimum of 60°C).

Add a little white vinegar to the detergent drawer – about 250ml.

White vinegar is an excellent natural ingredient to neutralize bad odors and kill bacteria present in the drum of the washing machine.

While waiting for the cycle to end, clean the outside of the machine with a white vinegar cleaning solution and a cleaning cloth.

A Mrs. Hinch hack is to use Stardrops White Vinegar Spray and a SonicScrubber – to remove limescale.

Run another regular empty cycle on hot – no detergent or vinegar, but try adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to the drum to remove any buildup.

When the cycle is complete, take a cloth and a cleaning spray of your choice to wipe down the inside of the machine.

Wait until it dries completely before closing it, as this will prevent mold from forming.


White wine has been proven to work wonders on limescale in the shower.

According to Harvey Water Softeners, limescale can shorten the life of our appliances and bathroom fixtures.

Tony Jones of Harvey’s says he urges household cleaners to steer clear of expensive products and start with a regular commercial limescale cleaner.

He says: “They’re cheap, but read the label carefully to make sure they’re suitable for use on the affected area.”

It naturally removes limescale by breaking down calcium carbonate to make it easier to clean.

“The only tricky part here comes if you’re cleaning vertical glass.

“This makes it difficult to soak the affected area. This can however be fixed. Just apply a little more wine and repeat the process several times until the stains disappear.”

Grab a squeegee to wipe away residue for a brilliant shine. Ikea has them for 75p.

Will Owen, energy savings expert at Uswitch.com, said: “Studies suggest that a heavy build-up of limescale can reduce heating efficiency by 12%, which is an extra £19 a year for the use of the shower by an average household.”


Dishwashers tend to get pretty gross pretty quickly, but a busy mum-of-two has shared her trick to getting them sorted in no time.

Carolina McCauley posted her cleaning hack on Instagram where it has been viewed over 150,000 times.

The beginning of his video shows his dishwasher looking stained, dirty and with limescale buildup.

In the caption, she said: “If your dishwasher is a little dirty inside, just add 2 tbsp citric acid to the detergent cup and run a quick cycle.

“You will be amazed at the difference.”

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Keep an eye out for cleaners you can use every two months in a wash that remove unpleasant odors and limescale.

It is antibacterial and will remove any annoying limescale, leaving your laundry just clean fresh and free of insects.