How to Clean a Tea Kettle

It is one of those annoying problems that we constantly face in the kitchen department. How to effectively clean the contents of the electric kettle, when the tap water has caused such a buildup of hard limescale. Though it is not harmful, it is not really ideal to have white floating particles swimming around in your cup of tea. 

So here are some cleaning tips to help you battle that pesky limescale problem once and for all. 

How do you get hard water build up out of an electric kettle?

How do you get hard water build up out of an electric kettle?

It is particularly common if you live in an area where the tap water is considered to be ‘hard’. As a result any appliance that needs water to function will end up with limescale remnants. This is due to the high levels of calcium and magnesium ions in the water. Once they come into contact with metal surfaces and the water has cooled down, limescale begins to form on the surface. This continuously builds up the more you use the appliance. 


In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency ensures that household water supplies have a pH level between 5.5 and 9. The pH scale determines the level of acidity and alkaline, which ranges from 1 to 14 on the scale. Despite these safe levels, limescale can still form on your electric kettle through frequent use. So each time you boil water in the kettle and it cools down, another layer of limescale forms, until it reaches the point where there is a considerably thick, white, chalky coating. 

How do I stop limescale build up in my kettle?


Though it is annoying, you cannot completely prevent a build up of limescale in your kettle, especially if you live in a hard water area. But there are things you can do to slow down how quickly the limescale forms.  


A short term solution would be to tip out any remaining water from the kettle each time you use it and pat dry, so water is not left in there to cause limescale. It is something that requires you to remember to do each time. So it could prove a little tedious. 


A more efficient long term solution would be to use a water softener prior to adding the water to the kettle. This would reduce the levels of calcium and magnesium that are present in the water, which would then prevent limescale from building up over time.   


How do you descale, a kettle?


There are a few ways in which you can descale your kettle, either using shop bought products or adopting a more natural approach. The most common method is to mix one part distilled vinegar with 1 part cold water. 

  • Fill your kettle up to the maximum level, bring it to the boil and leave unplugged overnight. 
  • The following day empty out the contents and rinse thoroughly with cold water. 
  • It will probably be best to bring to the boil and then discard before you make your first drink to ensure you get rid of any vinegary taste. 
  • If this is not enough, keep bringing to the boil and discarding the water until no vinegar smell remains. 

How do you clean an electric kettle without vinegar?


If the idea of using vinegar does not appeal you can always try a different option. All you need is a fresh lemon. 

  • Squeeze the juice and add to around 300ml (1.5 cups) of cold water and stir. 
  • Then cut up the lemon into large pieces and add these to the liquid. . 
  • Pour this mixture into the kettle and boil. 
  • Once boiled, allow to cool for at least an hour. 
  • Then rinse the kettle thoroughly until all the loose bits of limescale are removed. 
  • You might want to boil the kettle first before using it for tea. 


Is a descaling solution better than vinegar?


Shop bought, descaling products are just as good as using vinegar. They are particularly common for coffee machines which are more difficult to access the interiors of to clean. So you could certainly use one of these products in your kettle instead. 


The main difference will be that it will cost you more to purchase these products compared to a bottle of vinegar. You will need to thoroughly rinse the water after use, but it will still be safe for you to drink. There are a variety of descaling solutions available to buy with many offering more natural ingredients. It is advisable to avoid products which contain phosphorus, as high levels of this ingredient can be harmful. 


Can Coke remove limescale from the kettle?


Surprisingly Coca-cola can also be used as an effective way to treat limescale build up. There is an ingredient in the drink called phosphoric acid which proves effective at eating away at the limescale due its pH level of 2.8. 

  • To descale your kettle, fill up with 500ml, so half of an average size one. 
  • Bring to the boil, and then leave to cool for an hour.
  •  When you return, scrub away the contents with a sponge and then rinse the kettle thoroughly before using to make a hot drink. 


How Often Should I Clean My Kettle?

How Often Should I Clean My Kettle?


This will depend on how often you use your kettle and how hard the water is in your area. But you could clean it least every month and see how you get on. If this is sufficient then continue. 



Time for a hot beverage!

If you are thinking of the ideal hot beverage then look no further than  Red Rose Tea. We offer a wide variety of teas which have been hand picked and perfectly crafted to obtain the best flavour combinations. 

We provide a type of tea for every occasion, ranging from our popular black tea blend, indulgent (but calorie free!) sweet treats like lemon cake or caramel apple pie, herbal, decaf, fruity blends and many more. 

There is certainly a flavour for every tea lover out there!

April 05, 2021 — Alicia Avallone