Scaling Down The Issue: How To Clean Limescale From A Kettle

Boiling water from white kettle being poured into a small black cup

Picture this – you’re just about to drink your morning cup of tea or coffee, only to be greeted with an unpleasant taste due to limescale buildup in your kettle. This is a common issue many people face, and due to limescale buildup, your taste buds and kettle functionality are affected.

It’s vital to maintain your kettle and remove limescale buildup regularly. To help people save money and learn how to care for their kettle, we have compiled this handy guide with our best tips on descaling a kettle.

So... what is limescale?

Limescale, also known as ‘calcium carbonate’ or ‘hard water deposits’, is a white chalky mineral buildup that forms in your kettle when water is heated or left standing. Over time, limescale in your kettle can reduce the water flow, affect the efficiency of heating and cause corrosion, so it’s essential to regularly clean and remove kettle limescale to improve the performance and longevity of your kettle.

buildup of limescale in a kettle

Gather these tools and materials:

To remove limescale from your kettle, there are many techniques you can use. We will dive more into these, but first, you should gather these supplies: 

Before removing the kettle limescale, unplug it and ensure it is cool before touching it. Safety always comes first!

How to descale a kettle

There are many methods to remove limescale from a kettle, from DIY descaling solutions using household products to commercial descalers. Below we have listed a step-by-step guide for each descaling method. 

Vinegar & Water Method

  1. Firstly gather your supplies: white vinegar, water, a measuring cup and a soft cloth or sponge. 
  2. Fill the kettle halfway with equal parts of water and white vinegar. We recommend using a measuring cup to measure a 1:1 ratio accurately.
  3. Bring the vinegar and water solution to a boil and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes – the acidic properties of vinegar will help dissolve the limescale buildup inside the kettle. 
  4. Once the kettle has cooled down, carefully pour out the vinegar-water solution and rinse the kettle thoroughly with clean water multiple times to remove the solution altogether.
  5. Wipe the kettle’s interior using a soft cloth or sponge to remove any remaining residue. – use a utensil to scrape away any loose limescale gently 
  6. After cleaning, fill the kettle with clean water and boil it once or twice to get rid of any lingering vinegar smell is removed.
Bottle of vinegar and spray bottle of water with blue sponge in the forefront

Lemon Juice & Baking Soda Paste

  1. Create a paste in a bowl by mixing lemon juice and baking soda. Ensure the mixture is thick enough to spread quickly and smooth enough. 
  2. Apply the paste directly onto the limescale inside the kettle. Using a soft brush and a sponge or cloth to spread the paste evenly. 
  3. Allow the lemon juice and baking soda mix to sit on the limescale for approx 15-20 minutes. – this gives the mixture time to break down the mineral deposits
  4. After waiting for the paste to set in, scrub using a soft brush to gently scrub the areas with the paste and loosen the limescale.
  5. Thoroughly rinse the kettle with clean water to remove all traces of paste and limescale. 
Jar of baking soda with lemon

Citric Acid & Water Solution

  1. Gather citric acid, water, a measuring cup and a soft brush. 
  2. Add one cup of water to your kettle.
  3. Measure 1-2 tablespoons of citric acid powder, add to the kettle and gently stir to help the citric acid dissolve.
  4. Boil the kettle, and let sit for 15-20 minutes.
  5. After waiting for the kettle to cool down, gently scrub the kettle’s interior with a soft brush.
  6. Empty the citric acid solution from the kettle and rinse thoroughly with water several times – we recommend boiling the kettle with water a few times to remove any remaining traces of citric acid. 
  7. Using a soft cloth, wipe the interior of the kettle.

Use A Commercial Descaler

If these DIY descaling methods don’t work for you or you’d prefer a ready-made solution, you can use many commercial descalers. There are many acid-based descalers that you can buy, from sizes ranging from 1L to 5L commercial descalers.

  1. Depending on the descaler, carefully read the product label for specific instructions
  2. Ensuring you are wearing gloves, dilute the commercial descaler with water, using a container to mix the solution. 
  3. Carefully put the prepared solution into the kettle, ensuring it covers the limescale
  4. Allow the descaler solution to sit for up to 30 minutes. 
  5. After waiting, use a soft brush to scrub the kettle’s interior. 
  6. Empty the solution and thoroughly rinse your kettle with clean water to remove all traces of the descaler. 

assortment on kitchen side with purple gloves, kettle, cleaner and sponges

How to prevent kettle limescale buildup

Preventing the buildup of limescale is essential for maintaining a limescale-free kettle. Below we have compiled a list of top tips on how to avoid the buildup of limescale. 

  1. Use filtered water: If possible, use filtered or softened water in your kettle. 
  2. Empty the kettle after every use: Standing water is one of the leading contributors to limescale buildup in your kettle. We also recommend emptying the kettle each night before bed.
  3. Regular descaling: Perform routine descaling to prevent the buildup of limescale 
  4. Regularly wipe the interior: After descaling, wipe the interior of your kettle with a soft cloth or sponge.
  5. Avoid overfilling: Avoid filling the kettle beyond the maximum capacity line, as limescale can build up near the spout

There you have it; that's how you remove limescale from a kettle!

In a world where simple pleasures like tea or coffee can be tainted by limescale buildup. It is essential to ensure you regularly descale your kettle using the above methods. 

As you bid farewell to that unpleasant taste from your boiled drinks, remember that a well-maintained kettle not only elevates your daily ritual but also contributes to prolonging the life of your kettle.

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