What Does Descale Mean?

If you have an issue with particular appliances such as coffee machines, or your heating system, you may need to descale it. Typically, the process involves removing scale from equipment like a heater and boiler.

What Does Descale Mean

Thick layers of oxides that have formed on metals are removed, which should then allow the appliance to work more efficiently than it did before.

In this article, we will be discussing what descale means and what it means to descale something.

What Is Descaling?

Descaling is the action of descaling something. This is the process of removing the build up of impurities and limescale that has formed over time and extended use.

If you don’t descale your boiler, water heater, coffee machine, or even kettle, you will find that the appliance does not work as effectively as it should.

The appliance may take longer to heat up and work. This can also affect the water that is being heated up as well.

This is due to all the appliances that we have mentioned above using water. It is the water, which contains impurities like calcium and magnesium, this is what causes limescale to occur. This is a really common issue for those households that suffer with hard water.

If you are a household that suffers with hard water, you need to make it a priority to descale certain appliances in your home.

This is because, if you don’t descale your appliances, the mineral build up won’t be removed and the life of your appliances will be cut shorter.

How To Descale?

There are a couple of appliances around the home that can be descaled. Essentially you are removing the buildup of sentiment and limescale from your coffee machines, kettles, boilers and water heaters.

Kettles and coffee machines use a simile method that takes around 15 minutes, by following instructions on the descaling solution. We will be discussing how you can descale your water heater and boiler.


When it comes to descaling a boiler, you need to start off by switching your boiler off and turning the ball valve off. This is to stop water from entering the boiler.

With that being said you need to make sure you empty the boiler, to drain it by opening all the taps until all the water has drained away.

Now that there is no water in your boiler, you can add the suggested amount of limescale remover to the empty water tank. Then fill the tank with water, until water reaches the feed connection.

You’ll then switch the system back on and wait around 4 hours for the descaling process to complete. Once this process is complete, you need to switch the hot taps on every 30 minutes.

To make sure that hot water has run through the entire system. You can do the same with the cold taps to make sure the whole system has been descaled.

In addition, if you have a combi boiler, then you will not have a water tank. Therefore, you will be descaling the heat exchanger.

Water Heater

The descaling process of a water heater is very similar to a boiler. You will turn off all the valves, and the hoses from the hot and cold water ports need to be removed.

For descaling, you will want to attach the descaler hose to the hot valve and the other end of the hose should be placed into a bucket.

For the cold valve, you will need to attach a descaler pump, and switch the cold and  water on. The pump should become submerged into water, and this is when you can turn the water off.

Then, in the bucket, you can add your descaling solution and switch on the secondary tap.

The pump should be left to run for an hour, and then you can turn it off, and remove the hoses. Switch the hot water valve on and let the water run. Finally, you can reattach the hoses and put your water heater back to how it was.

What Is A Descaling Solution Made Of? 

What Is A Descaling Solution Made Of 

When it comes to descaling, there are two main choices that people go with. This includes using  a descaling solution or using white vinegar. Although, a lot of people do prefer to use a descaling solution.

These solutions are typically made with various acids such as formic acid, glycolic acid, citric acid, phosphoric acid, hydrochloric acid, and sulfamic acid.

However, there are various homemade versions to create your own descaling solution at home.

These can include citric acid or lemon juice. It’s Up to you which one you decide to use, however, what distinguishes descaling solutions and homemade solutions is the price.

Generally, descaling solutions will have a higher price tag, compared to just using vinegar, which is much more available and cheaper.

How Often Do You Need To Descale?

It is worth considering how often you will need to descale. For coffee machines and boilers, it is recommended that you descale more than once every 1 to 2 months.

With a kettle, you should consider declaring it every 3 months. Yet water heaters, you only need to think about disclosing them once every 12 to 24 months.

If you notice that your appliance isn’t working properly, then this is a sign that you may need to descale it soon.


Descaling is a process that a lot of us do quite frequently, especially when it comes to appliances that deal with a lot of water.

It is the water, which contains calcium and magnesium ions, that cause sediment and limescale to build up. Hence, a descaling process has to occur, which will remove this build up.

Descaling is important as it helps prolong the life of your appliances and makes sure that they continue to work as they should. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand what declare means and why it is so important.

Mandy Anderson