Hot water dispensers are brilliant appliances to have in your kitchen. They provide a quick and accessible source of boiling water and reduce your reliance on a kettle. However, the instant hot water dispenser is renowned for gathering limescale inside. As a result, you must know how to descale a hot water dispenser – we tell you how in our below guide!
Why Is It Important to Descale a Hot Water Dispenser?
Wherever you have standing water, limescale can build up. Limescale is generally not dangerous to humans. Why bother descaling your instant hot water dispenser, then you ask?
Limescale, while not dangerous, can damage appliances. If it is left to build up, it can affect the integrity of your appliances and wear away the material. Limescale can also clog pipes and the internal mechanisms of appliances like a hot water dispenser where water is involved. Over time, this could cause the dispensers to stop working completely.
Aside from this, limescale can also give the water supply an unpleasant taste and colouration. It can make the water become cloudy and make it less pleasant to drink.
Lastly, a build-up of limescale can also decrease the effectiveness of water dispensers. They will require more electricity to dispense water and thus increase your energy bills. These problems are usually far worse if you live in a hard water supply area.
How Often Should You Descale Your Water Dispenser?
This is a common question, but it depends on your circumstance. There are two simple questions you should answer to determine how often to descale your dispenser:
- Do you live in a hard water area?
- How often do you use your hot water dispenser?
Hard water has a much higher mineral content due to interactions with mineral deposits like limestone, chalk, and gypsum. This results in a quicker build-up of limescale. Hard water causes far greater damage to kitchen appliances and plumbing in general.
If you are not sure of the quality of your water supply, you can get hard water test kits. If you live in an area with hard water, you should descale your water dispenser more frequently.
Next, consider how often you use your hot water dispenser. The more you use it, the more frequently you must descale it. Alternatively, if you only use it once every few weeks or months, you can wait longer before cleaning it.
As a general rule, if you live in a hard water area and use your dispenser regularly, you should descale it at least once per month.
How to Descale a Hot Water Dispenser – A Simple Guide
Now that you understand the importance of descaling hot water dispensers, we can look at a simple step-by-step process. In terms of effort, this cleaning process doesn’t take that much. However, it does take time as you have to leave the descaling mixture to soak for at least an hour.
We also advise looking at the manufacturer’s instructions regarding cleaning and maintenance. They may suggest that you use specific cleaning products or advise that you should descale the water dispenser at set intervals.
Step 1: Add Ordinary Vinegar or Citric Acid to Your Dispenser Tank
There is an array of different descaling products that work effectively. These include vinegar, critic acid, baking soda, and special descaling sachets. Vinegar or citric acid are the best options, as most people keep these in their homes due to their cleaning properties.
If using vinegar or white vinegar, start by adding one cup of regular fresh water to your water tank. Next, add one cup of vinegar to the water tank.
Alternatively, if you are using citric acid, fill a measuring jug with 25g of citric acid and 500 ml of regular water. Add this cleaning solution to the water tank.
This vinegar or citric acid solution will attack the limescale and cause it to dissolve/dislodge from the tank.
Please note that the same process generally applies regardless of what descaling product you use. As mentioned, you can also get descaling sachets. These should be used in a similar manner, but it is important to follow the instructions carefully.
Step 2: Allow the Descaling Solution to Sit For One Hour
Once you have filled the tank with one of the two solutions, you must let them soak for one hour.
You should let them soak for one-hour minimum, and you can leave them to soak for a few hours to improve the cleaning effect.
The longer the solution stays inside the hot water dispenser, the more effective it should be. The solution should work fully into the tank and dislodge any limescale during this time.
Step 3: Dispense the Remaining Solution Into a Cup
After the allotted time, it is time to drain the tank to remove the cleaning mixture.
First, place a cup onto the drip tray underneath the hot water dispenser spout. Next, press the start button to fill the cup with water. Wait for the water to settle, and then pour it back into the tank from the cup.
You should then repeat this process five times. Each time, use the water dispense function, fill the cup, and empty the water back into the tank.
By doing this, the cleaning mixture is filtered through the entire dispensing system. The vinegar or citric acid cleans the tank and cleans the connecting pipes and spout of the hot water dispenser.
Step 4: Remove the Water Tank and Clean Thoroughly
Once you have flushed the system using the descaling product, you must clean the water tank thoroughly. If you don’t, the next time you use it, the next time you use it, there will be a distinct taste and smell of either citric acid or vinegar!
Remove the tank and place it in a bowl of hot soapy water. Wipe the tank thoroughly using a damp cloth to remove any trace of the descaling product.
Step 5: Fill the Dispenser With Hot Water
Once the tank is properly cleaned, you must flush the system and water spout once more to remove any residual liquid.
Re-insert the tank into the hot water dispenser. Fill the tank to the max fill level with drinking water. Like before, place a cup underneath the water spout and press the start button. Fill the cup with clean water and repeat this process until the tank is empty.
This entire process should have removed any limescale and the trace of any descaling product.
Hot Water Dispenser FAQs
Are Hot Water Dispensers Worth It?
Yes! They are incredibly safe to use and cost-effective. For older people who have mobility issues, a water dispenser can save the need to carry a heavy kettle filled with boiling hot water.
How Long Should a Hot Water Dispenser Last?
This depends on how often you descale your hot water dispenser and how well you look after it! If you descale it regularly and clean it regularly, there is no reason why it cannot last for 5-10 years.
Is It Safe to Drink From a Water Dispenser With Limescale?
Technically yes. However, would you really want to do this? Limescale is generally not harmful (unless you have a strict diet and watch your mineral intake). But limescale discolours your water and can also give it a funny taste. As a result, regularly cleaning your dispenser is the preferred option!
Cleaning Your Hot Water Dispenser With Ease
We hope you have found this guide on how to descale a hot water dispenser useful! As you can see, this task is relatively easy once you have done it a few times.
The important thing is to keep on top of the cleaning. Make sure you clean and descale your water dispenser regularly. This helps improve the longevity of the appliance but also reduces the risk of any hygiene issues.