I just received a question related to connecting up a washing machine, which I’d like to answer publicly so as to help more than one person. People are generally aware that hard water is bad for washing machines so it seems on the face of it to be a good idea to connect one to a water supply which is being softened.
“I live in a hard water area and I already have a salt softener fitted. I’m in the process of buying a new Miele washing machine who recommend not to connect it to softened water supply for reasons similar to those that you give about detergent residue and rinsing (Is it OK to connect a washing machine to a full scale water softening system?)
I could connect it to either the raw hard mains or the softened supply. Surely the advantages of using the softened supply to reduce the damage caused by limescale build-up would to me seem to outweigh the cons of having to rinse a few more times. Would that be your view or would you go over to raw mains?”
Here’s a quote from a few different washing machine manufacturers -
“Too little detergent results in lime scale on the heating element”.
This surely means that using enough detergent should not result in lime scale on the heating element?
As far as I’ve ever been told, washing machine detergent contains all the water softening agents you need. As long as you use a decent quality detergent and use the correct advised amount for your hard water you shouldn’t need anything else.
You get limescale in your kettle, taps and shower because you are heating up plain (hard) water. However, in your dishwasher and washing machine specialised detergent contains water softening agents to allow the detergent to work and to protect the washing machine from limescale.
If anyone knows any different I’ll be glad to amend my advice on this subject.