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How to Clean an Electric Kettle

Use these cleaning tips to descale and clean your kettle

Having an electric kettle and hard water means that you’re going to get build-up on your kettle once in a while. This is just a fact of life. But knowing how to clean your electric kettle and be able to descale your kettle regularly will prevent build-up. Giving your kettle a longer life.

What causes limescale in the kettle

Hard water naturally has excess minerals like calcium and magnesium in the water. This hard water is created from rainwater passing through the normal filtration process as it joins the water table passing through things like limestone and other hard minerals. These minerals, when boiled, can coat the bottom of your kettle where the heating element heats the water.

Luckily, removing hard water buildup in a kettle is really easy, and you can do it naturally in a few different ways.

descale electric kettle

How to clean your electric kettle with vinegar

The easiest way to remove calcium buildup in your kettle is by using a half-and-half mixture of vinegar and water. It’s a natural way to clean and descale an electric kettle, and it’s super easy to do. It’s a great thing to add to your kitchen cleaning checklist.

You can do this as many times as is needed. It’s an easy way to keep your kettle clean. We usually do this with our kettle once a month as we have it down on our home cleaning checklist. If your water is soft, you may only need to do it when you have to do your house deep cleaning or spring cleaning.  We also use this white vinegar method to descale our Keurig machine as well when the Keurig descale light won’t turn off. 


Here are the steps for cleaning a kettle with vinegar:

descale electric kettle

  1. Measure one cup of white vinegar and one cup of water and pour them both into your kettle. (White vinegar is a must-have on your home cleaning supplies list, there are so many uses for it!)
  2. Swish the mixture around in the electric kettle so that the water and vinegar properly mix. If you have been leaving water in your kettle and there is scale build-up on the sides of the kettle, add more of this mixture to cover the limescale.
  3. Next, turn the kettle on and bring it to a boil. Turn the kettle off and unplug it.
  4. Once the kettle is cooled down, roughly 15 minutes, you should be good to clean the outside of the tea kettle. Dip your cleaning cloth into the solution of vinegar and water and use it on the outside of the stainless steel kettle. Then dry it off with a towel.
  5. Next, you want to scrub the inside of the kettle. It’s likely that the buildup has occurred on the base of the kettle (which is where the and to reach it, you will need a soft scrub brush.
  6. Remove the filter and place it in a cup, pour some of the hot water and vinegar mixture into the cup, and cover the water filter.clean kettle filtersoak kettle filter vinegar
  7. If you need, scrub the water filter after letting it soak for a few minutes to remove any limescale build-up. Put the filter back into the kettle.
  8. Pour out the rest of the solution down the drain.
  9. Last, fill the kettle up with plain water and run it through two cycles with clean cold water to make sure that there is no vinegar left over in the tea kettle.
how to clean electric kettle

Limescale dissolved from the inside of the electric kettle!


How to clean a kettle with lemon juice

If you don’t like vinegar, or your house smelling like a chip truck, then you can use lemon juice to clean your electric kettle instead.

  1. Squeeze out a lemon and use two tablespoons of lemon juice along with 2 cups of water in a bowl and mix it. If you don’t have lemons, you can use lemon juice.
  2. Put the mixture in the kettle and boil it.
  3. Leave the solution in the kettle for an hour.
  4. After it is cooled and pour out the lemon and water mixture, grab a microfiber cloth and scrub the bottom of the kettle if needed.
  5. Lastly, fill the kettle up with plain water and run it through two cycles with clean cold water to make sure that there is no lemon juice left over in the kettle.


How to clean a kettle with citric acid

Another way to remove hard water buildup is to use citric acid.

citric acid tablespoon kettle

  1. Fill your kettle around the halfway point with tap water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Once boiled, add two tablespoons of citric acid to your kettle.
  3. Allow the kettle to sit with the mixture of water and citric acid for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Drain the kettle and put it through several plain water boils to make sure you have got rid of any leftover citric acid.


How to prevent scale buildup in your kettle

There are a few ways to prevent scale buildup in your kettle, the easiest of which is to make sure you empty your kettle of water. When you are done using it, standing water can leave the minerals in the water to settle, causing the scale to build up.

The other thing you can do is purchase a ball like this that will go in the bottom of your cattle as your water boils and moves around and helps remove and prevent scale buildup in the base of the kettle.


How do you remove limescale from outside of the kettle

This is one of our top cleaning tips. Limescale can be easily removed with vinegar; the problem is if you have scale buildup on areas outside your kettle, like the lip or. This trick helps us remove limescale and clean the outside of the kettle.

  1. Soak a paper towel in white vinegar and place it on the areas where you cannot normally rest liquid like the spout of the kettle or the mouth of the kettle.    
  2. Leave the soaked paper towel on it for 20 minutes and then wipe it clean. Repeat as needed.
  3. Wipe clean with and put through a few boiling cycles to remove any remaining vinegar.


clean electric kettle


Final thoughts on cleaning a kettle

If you have neglected your kettle, you will likely have some stubborn build-up on your kettle and need to repeat this a few times for the acid in the vinegar to dissolve the scale. This is an easy thing to do, and proper maintenance of your tea kettle will extend the life of your kettle.


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