Should I Use Calgon in My Washing Machine? (Explained)

For a machine whose job is to clean clothes, you would expect the inside of your washing machine to be clean at all times. 

Well, you could not be farther from the truth. And this is where products like Calgon come in.

Calgon is one of the best products for preventing limescale buildup. However, most people argue whether or not you should use this product at all.

Calgon is a necessary product to use, especially in an area with hard water. It has unique chemicals that work with your detergent to prevent the formation of limescale. This way, your washing machine remains protected from damage, and you save on the amount of detergent you use during a wash cycle.

In this article, I will explain why using Calgon in your washing machine is essential alongside the entire application process.

Can I Use Calgon in my Washing Machine?

Should I Use Calgon in my Washing Machine

You can use Calgon in your washing machine. But it is only effective when you use it during a wash cycle.

Calgon is a water softener and not a type of detergent, so you still need a quality brand of detergent. 

Below are three main benefits of using Calgon while washing:

Protects the Internal Parts of Your Washing Machine

Using Calgon as your machine cycles will protect your washing machine from limescale.

Hard water makes washing clothes difficult and leads to limescale buildup in the machine’s internal parts.

The primary areas that get limescale damage are the hoses, pipes, drum, and heating element.

The reason is that the excess minerals settle on these machine parts when you use hard water to wash your clothes. This buildup affects the functionality of these parts.

For example, in the heating element, the limescale acts as an insulator and reduces the heat the element produces. 

Therefore, increasing the energy the element needs and the time it takes to clean clothes.

By using Calgon, you can prevent this buildup, protecting these machine parts and saving electricity as energy automatically returns to normal.

Protects Your Clothes

Limescale will also settle on your clothes when washing with hard water, especially when you do not use enough detergent.

Limescale on your clothes will give the clothes grey lines and make the clothes look dirty and feel rough. This accumulation can also cause skin irritation for sensitive skin.

Softening water when washing also helps to clean clothes better, removing stubborn stains.

Cuts Down the Amount of Detergent You Need to Use

The typical response to washing clothes in regions with hard water is to use more detergent.

So, the more detergent you use, the less likely you will experience the limescale problem.

However, using Calgon ensures you can reduce the amount of detergent you need for a wash cycle. Calgon states that this product helps save at least 25% of your detergent.

This way, you can use just as much detergent as you would if you lived in a region with soft water.

Now that you know the importance of using this product, it is vital to know the characteristics of Calgon.

Characteristics of Calgon

The active ingredient in Calgon is Sodium Tripolyphosphate which counters the effects of the calcium ions in water to reduce its hardness. (High calcium levels are responsible for hardness).

This water softener comes in three forms: powder, pills, and gel. These forms do not have different functions or qualities. You can choose any form based on your tastes and preferences.

However, most people prefer the gel and powder because they mix more effectively with the detergent, making them more convenient.

Below is a table showing the packaging for the different forms of Calgon.

Forms of CalgonPackaging
Powder550g, 1kg, and 1.6kg
Pills12-70 pills per box
Gel750ml, 1.5 liters, and 2 liters.

How Do I Use Calgon in my Washing Machine?

Using Calgon is a simple process. First, add the correct dose of Calgon to the dispensing drawer of your machine.

Calgon is not temperature sensitive, so it works at all temperatures. However, for effectiveness, you should use the dosage every time you want to start a wash cycle.

Putting the product in the drawer with the detergent will work once the water starts to flow.

You should read the instructions on the Calgon pack to know the exact dose to add to each cycle. This product is most effective when you use it with every wash cycle.

Does Calgon Remove Existing Limescale in Washing Machine?

Calgon is a preventive product. So, using Calgon while washing will prevent limescale from forming and not remove existing limescale from your washing machine.

If you already notice limescale forming in your machine, there are some remedies you could use to remove them.

Lemon Juice and Vinegar

This combination is one of the most readily available remedies to removing limescale in your machine. The acid in lemon and vinegar combine to make a good descaling solution.

It helps that you can readily get these ingredients from your kitchen or a local supermarket.

Removing existing limescale in your washing machine with this solution is straightforward. First, prepare a solution that is equal parts lemon juice and vinegar.

Next, pour this solution into the detergent drawer instead of the detergent and run a wash cycle.

One advantage of this method is you can use this solution to clean other appliances that may be affected by limescale.

Running a Service Wash Cycle

Most modern washing machine brands have and recommend running a service wash cycle at least once a month. But, of course, this timing depends on how often you operate the appliance.

You will need to operate this service cycle while the drum is empty. That is, there should be no clothes in the machine.

Also, endeavor to perform this operation with the right detergent type. The suitable detergent for this operation contains bleach and enzymes that help with descaling.

The final factor to consider is the temperature of the cycle. You have to select the hottest temperature. Preferably, select a temperature between 180 to 205℉. 

You can also run this operation with other substances like vinegar or baking soda, depending on the amount of limescale buildup.

It is essential to consider the type of bleach you buy so you do not damage your washing machine and lose your warranty.

Does Calgon Clean Washing Machines?

Yes, Calgon helps you keep your washing machine clean. This product also helps to prevent foul odors.

However, you should remember that Calgon is ineffective as a curative measure. So, if you already notice dirt, scale buildup, or unpleasant odors, you will need to use other cleaning agents.

The good thing is that you can use simple household items to clean your machine. Some such materials are baking soda, lemon juice, and vinegar.

You can mix the baking soda with water or vinegar for the service cleaning cycle. Alternatively, you can use lemon juice and vinegar to achieve the necessary results.

While cleaning your machine’s drum, clean the detergent drawers, as they can also collect dirt and release unpleasant odors.

You should wash these drawers in hot, soapy water and use a toothbrush to scrub off remnants. Other places to clean are the seals and crevices that could trap molds and dirt.

You can follow these steps to keep your machine clean at all times:

  • Shake off all clothes before initiating a wash cycle.
  • Do not add too much detergent; it will leave soap suds on your clothes.
  • Too much detergent can also leave buildup on the clothes.
  • Endeavor to leave the door open in between cycles to promote airflow. This airflow dries up dampness and prevents buildup.
  • If you live in regions with hard water, you should consistently use water softeners like Calgon.

Generally, While removing limescale from your appliances is possible, it is better and cheaper to establish preventive measures – and Calgon is one of the best preventive measures.

Using this method will prevent scratching and marring your appliance due to scrubbing.

And it is also possible that you will only be able to remove some limescale from machine parts altogether.


Can I Use Calgon on Other Appliances?

No. All three Calgon products are specifically for washing machines and must be present in every cycle for effectiveness.

Can Calgon Help to Stop Bad Smells From My Washing Machine?

Yes, using Calgon will help stop bad smells from the accumulated dirt in your washing machine.

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