How to Descale a Kettle: Tips for Beginners

How to Descale a Kettle

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Were you looking for a way to descale a kettle to keep your most-used kitchen appliance in its best condition? Then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’re sharing various methods on how to descale a kettle using ingredients that you probably already have lying around the house.

Some Important Notes Before You Begin Descaling

We get it; you’re eager to begin cleaning your home kettle. But there are some important things you need to consider first.

Remove Limescale

It’s common for kettles to have limescale build-up, but if you notice stubborn limescale spots in your kettle, we recommend that you use a scourer to remove the last few parts. Rinse well after you’ve completed this process. You may even want to use baking soda on a toothbrush to scrub away any limescale remaining.

Treat Stainless Steel

If you have a stainless-steel kettle, you’ll need to include a treatment to ensure durability and longevity. If your kettle has stainless steel on its exterior, add a teaspoon of olive oil to a soft cloth and wipe the surface using gentle, circular motions. For plastic models, you can wipe the exterior with warm, soapy water.

It’s important to clean and take care of your kettle, but you’ll need to put your safety first. And that involves unplugging the kettle from the outlet before you begin descaling.

Additionally, ensure that all electrical parts are completely dry when you’re finished before you plug in the kettle. For the safest results, we suggest leaving the kettle overnight before you use it again. You should also make sure that the appliance is cool before you begin descaling a kettle.

How to Descale a Kettle

There are several methods for descaling kettles, and we’ve included easy-to-follow guides below under each method.

Using White Vinegar

Fill the kettle to another 3/4 full with water and vinegar. Bring the kettle with vinegar to a boil, and switch it off. Leave the solution inside the kettle for up to one hour, and then pour away the mixture down the drain. Rinse the kettle with tap water and boil the kettle with water one to two times to remove the taste of vinegar.

For a stovetop tea kettle, you will need ¼ cup of vinegar and 2 cups of water to remove the mineral deposits inside.

Lemon Juice

Add 30ml of lemon juice and water to your kettle. Allow the solution to stand for a couple of hours, and then bring the solution to a boil. Pour the mixture away and rinse thoroughly. Boil the kettle again to remove any presence of lemon.

Baking Soda

Another excellent ingredient to use to descale your kettle is baking soda. Add one tablespoon of baking soda to a kettle full of cold water and allow to boil. Let it stand for 15–30 minutes, and pour away. Then, rinse the kettle with tap water and boil it one or two times with fresh water to make sure that there’s no aftertaste of bicarb.

Additionally, you can create a paste of bicarbonate soda with a couple of drops of water and use a toothbrush to remove limescale from the interior and exterior of your kettle.

Citric Acid

Make sure that your kettle is half full before you bring it to a boil. Once it’s boiled, add two tablespoons of citric acid to the water – this can come in powder form or sometimes a liquid. Let the mixture sit for up to 20 minutes and pour the hot water down the drain.

Then, add water to the kettle’s maximum line and let it reach a boiling point. You can repeat this a couple of times to ensure that there’s no citric acid remaining in the kettle for when you make another drink.

How to Prevent Limescale in a Kettle

kettle in the kitchen

Limescale is caused by calcium carbonate and magnesium minerals within hard water. Once rainwater falls through rocks, it picks up these hard minerals through its route, which can then create a bad taste in your kettle.

But not only that, limescale can damage your kettle. Now that you know how to descale a kettle, you can avoid this from disturbing your drinks’ taste. Or best yet, opt for a kettle with a filtering system built-in to stop minerals from building up in the first place.

Long-Term Limescale Prevention

We believe that prevention is better than cure, so let’s consider some ways to stop limescale from building up in your kettle in the first place. You can do this by purchasing a water softener for a convenient and effective solution to remove magnesium and calcium carbonate from the water. This solution can also improve the taste of your water since it’ll no longer have a metallic flavour.

Is Limescale Unsafe to Consume?

No. There haven’t been any released studies on the dangers of consuming limescale, but it’s not a nice thought to consume mineral deposits. Nor does it taste nice. Limescale can be a major contributor to metallic tastes.

How Often Should You Descale a Kettle?

The next thing to consider is how often you should descale your kettle. There’s no one answer to this question, as it depends on several factors, such as the type of water in your area.

In particular, if you live in an area with hard water, you’ll require to descale your kettle more often than those who have soft water. But, in a nutshell, it’s a good idea to indulge in kettle descaling every couple of months. Doing so will prevent a build-up of limescale and other mineral deposits in your kettle.

How to Properly Clean a Kettle

It’s equally as important that you keep your kettle clean and dirt-free on the exterior. With regular use and cooking in the kitchen, you might have to clean your kettle every few weeks to keep it in tip-top condition. You’re drinking from it, so don’t you want it to be clean and hygienic?

Firstly, ensure that your kettle is cool before you attempt to clean the outside of it. Using hot, soapy water, wipe it down with a microfibre cloth. If your kettle appears a little dull, you can add a shine to the appliance using a mixture of water and vinegar with a soft cloth.

Use gentle, circular motions to buff the electric kettle. You may also need to treat the kettle’s base using the same method to keep it free from limescale and avoid any damage.

Stubborn Watermarks

We’ve all seen stubborn watermarks on the exterior of a kettle before, and it can make the appliance look dirtier than it is. To get rid of these marks, soak white vinegar solution onto a cloth and apply it to the marked areas.

Allow the mixture to work its magic for several minutes before wiping with another fresh, clean cloth. If your kettle is made from stainless steel, you can apply bicarbonate of soda paste to the areas to remove any stubborn grease.

Finger Marks

Get rid of finger marks while cleaning a kettle by applying boiling oil onto a damp towel and rubbing the cloth onto the kettle’s exterior. Follow by wiping the appliance with a dry cloth to ensure that the kettle isn’t slippery and remains safe to use.


It’s common for a kettle to have a build-up of rust on its exterior, which you can clean at home. Since these appliances are exposed to water a lot, there’s often moisture left in the kettle, creating rust.

To avoid this from happening, we recommend that you wipe down your kettle each time you use it. You can scrub the rust marks with a wire brush for cast-iron kettles and rinse any residue with tap water.

You can purchase a rust solution for rust spots on the appliance to remove this and prevent it from returning permanently. Leave the solution to soak overnight and clean the kettle’s exterior fully with warm, soapy water the following day.

How Do You Clean Your Home Kettle?

Spend time caring for your kettle so that you don’t have to purchase a new one when it no longer works constantly. You may need to schedule a reminder in your diary to keep you from forgetting, but it’s important to indulge in kettle cleaning often for the best results.

What are some ways you care for your appliance? Do you have additional tips you’d like to add, especially for beginners? Let us know in the comments!

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