How To Thoroughly Clean A Kettle

Kettles are a handy device in the kitchen as you can have hot water at no time. We use it to boil the water needed to prepare food and make your favourite cups of tea and coffee. However, over time,  whether you own an electric kettle or a stove-top one, you will have to face limescale. Those white bits look like chalk found on the bottom of your kettle and next floating in your tea.

Vintage style white kitchen with kettle

Limescale is an inevitable part of having a kettle, as the inside part of the kettle comes in contact with water which contains lots of minerals. The bad news is that whatever you do, you can’t get away from it. You’ll always need an excellent descaler to clean it. However, the good news is that you don’t have to run to the market and buy any cleaning products. With the natural ingredients you have in your cupboard, you can make your own powerful descalers to fight limescale. So, are you ready to find out how to thoroughly clean a kettle? Let’s get started. 

Where limescale develops

Limescale, also known as calcium carbonate, is one of the main problems someone has to deal with. It builds up in places where hot water has evaporated, like the dishwasher, washing machine, coffee machines and kettles. These are some household appliances that mostly come in contact with water. It’s a more common problem in some areas where the water has a high consistency of magnesium and calcium.

Moreover, plastic and metal kettles can develop scales on the inside base, appearing as white bits in the water. Hopefully, almost all kettles contain filters that stop these bits from being poured into your cuppa

Modern kettles don’t have the heating base exposed. It’s usually hidden behind the metal base. Don’t believe, though, that limescale won’t gunk up the heating element in such cases as well. 

How to clean your kettle

There are many cleaning hacks to get rid of limescale around your house. Some of them are the same as cleaning your kettle. Below we have tips on removing the mineral deposits from the outside and inside of the kettle

How to descale a kettle with lemon

Descaling shouldn’t trouble you at all since you have some potent ingredients in hand that can help you eliminate limescale. One of these ingredients is lemon, which contains high levels of citric acid. Let’s see what you need to descale your tea kettle:

half lemon boiling in a glass kettle

Needed materials:

  • Lemon juice
  • Water

Steps to follow:

  1. Fill a kettle with an equal amount of water and lemon juice.
  2. Let it stay for an hour, and then boil it. 
  3. Once it has boiled, let it sit for 30 minutes. While waiting, you’ll notice limescale to dislodge. 
  4. After the time has passed, pour the solution away and rinse the kettle with cold water very well. 
  5. Then, fill the kettle with clean, fresh water again and boil it. Repeat several times to remove any remaining aftertaste from the lemon. 

Note: In case you haven’t cleaned the kettle for a long time, you should repeat the process a few times to be sure that limescale build-up is completely removed. 

Extra tip: You can also add a teaspoon of baking soda to the juice solution for even better results.

How to descale a kettle with vinegar

Vinegar and water is one more inexpensive and effective way to clean your kettle from limescale. You don’t have to do much. Just boil water and vinegar. Then, let the vinegar do the rest. But let’s see what exactly you need and how it works.

pouring natural destilled acid white vinegar in electric kettle to remove boil away the limescale

Needed materials:

  • White vinegar
  • Water

Steps to follow:

  1. Fill the kettle with equal parts water and vinegar. Let it stay with the vinegar solution for an hour.
  2. After that, bring to a boil.
  3. Pour away the boiling water and rinse the kettle several times
  4. Fill the kettle again with fresh water and boil again. Repeat the same process for as long as needed until you eliminate any vinegary aftertaste.

Extra tip: If the chalky buildup remains, you can repeat the whole process by adding more vinegar and less water and leaving the solution to sit in the kettle overnight

Cleaning the outside of the kettle

A thorough cleaning of your kettle involves the outside as well. The kettle won’t be deeply cleaned if you don’t clean the outer part.  

The cleaning method depends on the material that the kettle is made of. However, A rule of thumb is to clean the outside of a kettle using dish soap and warm water.

woman wearing blue gloves cleaning the outer part of a kettle

Needed materials:

  • Dish soap
  • Warm water
  • A soft cloth

Steps to follow:

  1. Mix in a bowl a few drops of dish detergent and warm water. 
  2. Soak a soft cloth in the soapy water and wipe the kettle. 
  3. Wipe again with a damp cloth to remove soapy residues.

Cleaning the stainless steel kettle

To clean the stainless steel outer part, vinegar and baking soda are once more your best allies. Let’s see how to do it.

Needed materials:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Baby oil/ olive oil
  • Cotton balls
  • A sponge
  • A damp cloth

Then, follow the following steps:

  1. Create a paste mixing vinegar and bicarbonate of soda.
  2. Apply the paste to the kettle and scrub it with a sponge to eliminate grease and grime
  3. Get a slightly wet cloth and wipe away bicarb soda residue.
  4. Soak a cotton ball with baby oil and buff your appliance to give it a sparkling streak-free finish.

Important: Don’t soak the kettle in water as it can damage the heating system. 

Why is it important to have a clean kettle

Mineral deposits due to hard water lead to limescale buildup inside the kettle, known as furring Limescale develops in thin coatings around the heating elements.  Especially in hard water areas, the problem is even worse. Neglecting to clean your small appliance will lead to damage and higher electricity consumption because the kettle will need more time to boil water. What’s more, the chalky flakes will affect the water’s quality, plus that while drinking your cup of tea or coffee, you’ll also consume chalky bits, which by the way, don’t taste so great.

How often to clean the kettle

The exact frequency of cleaning your kettle is about four to eight weeks. The more you neglect cleaning it, the more difficult it would be to remove the water stains afterwards. Of course, it depends on the area you live in and how often you use it. 

However, the rule of thumb is to clean as soon as you notice limescale build-up inside the kettle and once a week to wipe outside the kettle to remove splatters and any other dirt. Before doing anything, you better check on the manufacturer’s guidelines.

pouring water from a modern electric kettle

It’s so difficult to clean your kettle thoroughly. The above cleaning hacks will help you keep it in a tiptop shape. You should remember, though, that leaving water sitting in the kettle after use will lead to faster and increased limescale buildup. For that reason, it would be best to empty the kettle’s water after every use. If you live in a hard water area, you should rethink using distilled water instead of tap water. It’ll save you the trouble of cleaning the kettle more often.

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