The kettle is one of the most loved kitchen appliances around the world. In this hectic day and age when time is scarce, people often eat on the go. Luckily, kettles come to the rescue and make the start of a new day a lot easier and quicker. Noodles, soups, and cups of coffee are ready with a single push of a button.
If you use your kettle on a daily basis, you are already familiar with the salt-like scales floating around and limescale build-up. Water deposits piling up inside can negatively affect the performance of your kettle and shorten its lifespan. As a result, you’ll find that water takes much longer to boil and that your beverages don’t taste as good as they should.
To help you tackle this problem, here are a few tips on how to clean an electric kettle and get rid of limescale.
Use Commercial Descalers
Commercial descalers are incredibly powerful, albeit less eco-friendly than all-natural ones. You can find a variety of descalers at any grocery store at different prices. Although they might be a bit more expensive than homemade solutions, they are efficient and dissolve limescale swiftly.
QuickShine Descaler Bags
There is a wide range of drop-in descaler bags on the market for you to choose from. They work like magic and remove scales quickly and with ease. However, the majority of commercial descalers contain potentially toxic chemicals and acids.
QuickShine Descaler Bags, on the other hand, contain no toxic substances and are environmentally friendly. The strongest compound in this descaler is just concentrated lemon juice. The bags are perfectly safe to use in kettles, coffee machines, and other steam appliances.
Just boil some water in your kettle, pop a sachet in, and wait for it to fizz. In twenty-five minutes, your kettle will be as good as new. Rinse it thoroughly, and enjoy the “brand new” look.
Oust is another popular descaler. Its chemical formula is specifically designed to remove limescale from small household appliances quickly and effortlessly. With this super-fast descaling solution, your kettle will be restored and ready to use within ten minutes. Half-fill the kettle, bring it to boil, and add a bag of Oust. Let it sit for around ten minutes and rinse it thoroughly.
If you still notice scales, reheat the water, but don’t boil it. That should remove any leftover scales. Keep in mind that this is a powerful descaler, and it may cause skin and eye irritation. Handle it with care, and avoid skin contact.
Popular Liquid Descalers
Liquid descalers are another popular option for cleaning kitchen appliances. They provide a hassle-free descaling solution and decalcify appliances swiftly. Most of them work equally well with metal and plastic kettles and can be used for a variety of appliances. However, some are less eco-friendly than others, so choose wisely.
Durgol’s Universal Fast Decalcifier is one of the most popular descalers on the market. It works as well kettles as it does with shower heads. The large economy pack of Durgol Universal has powerful descaling properties and anti-corrosion agents to further protect your kettle. The odorless liquid is non-hazardous, food-safe, and it leaves no residue after rinsing. Read the back of the bottle for instructions, and enjoy the as-good-as-new shine of your kettle.
De’Longhi offers a more eco-friendly option. Its EcoDecalk descaling liquid is non-polluting, biodegradable, and completely natural. It’s intended for cleaning all types of coffee machines, but it works incredibly well with kettles, too. The best part is that the packaging is also eco-friendly and recyclable.
Use Natural Descalers
You can make your own mighty tool for fighting scales with a household staple — vinegar. Mix equal parts water and white vinegar, and fill about half of the kettle. Bring the liquid to boil, unplug the kettle, and leave it for at least half an hour. The longer you let the solution sit, the better the results. Afterward, discard it and rinse the inside of the kettle until there are no signs of scales.
You can use the rough side of a sponge to remove any stubborn spots. To prevent the strong odor of vinegar from lingering, fill the kettle with water, and bring it to boil once more.
If you don’t like the smell of vinegar and would rather avoid it, try lemon juice instead. The lemon’s acidity softens and dissolves limescale and leaves your kettle smelling fresh as ever. Simply add 30 ml of lemon juice to 500 ml of water, pour the solution in the kettle, and bring it to boil. Again, the longer you let it sit, the better.
Lastly, pour the juice out, gently scrub away any remaining lime, and rinse the kettle. There’s no need for any further boiling if you enjoy the zesty scent of lemons.
Bicarbonate of soda is not just used for baking. This natural and affordable powder can help you remove odors, grease, and stains, and clean just about anything. Baking soda will dissolve limescale from your kettle and bring back its shine.
Fill your kettle with water, add a few tablespoons of baking soda, and let it simmer. Unplug the kettle once the solution boils and let it sit for as long as you can. Finally, pour out the liquid and rinse the kettle thoroughly. Baking soda is odorless, so there’s no need to worry about any lingering smell.
To remove minor limescale stains, you can simply let a few tablespoons of baking soda sit at the bottom of a dry kettle for a few minutes. Then, use a smooth cloth to gently scrub the inside and remove any remaining scales.
Citric acid is another efficient descaling agent that helps remove water deposits. Moreover, it’s an all-natural, eco-friendly descaler you probably already have in your kitchen.
First, fill the tank halfway with water, and bring it to boil. Then, add two tablespoons of citric acid and let the mixture cool down. Finally, empty the kettle and wash it thoroughly.
Citric acid is not only safe but it removes bacteria and mold. Moreover, it smells much better than vinegar.
Coca Cola and Pepsi contain carbonic acid, which contributes to their seemingly miraculous cleaning powers. Some leftover, flat soda will give your kettle a complete makeover.
First, fill the kettle halfway with soda and boil away. Then, once it boils, leave it for at least half an hour. Soon enough, you’ll see the scales start to come off. Again, rinse with fresh water to remove any lingering scent.
Preventing Limescale Buildup
Don’t Leave Water in the Kettle
After making a cup of tea or some ramen, try not to leave any water in the kettle. The habit of leaving a full tank increases the number of mineral deposits building up. Instead, try boiling only the amount of water you need or pour away the rest.
Use Distilled Water
Distilled water is purified water made by boiling regular water and collecting the vapor. This process removes all deposits and leaves no minerals that can build up inside your kettle. Distilled water is ideal if you live in an area with particularly hard water. Also, it’s inexpensive and you can find it in any grocery store, or even make your own.
Use a Scale Collector
A scale collector is a stainless steel ball that you keep in your kettle while boiling water. The collector attracts minerals that would otherwise pile up inside the kettle.
That way, it prevents limescale from forming so you don’t need to worry about cleaning your kettle as often. For optimal results, wash the collector under a stream of cold water after every use.
Install a Water Softener
If you live in an area with particularly hard water, there’s little you can do to prevent limescale from forming. However, there are some alternatives to constantly cleaning your kettle and all other appliances. For example, water softeners are particularly popular in areas with hard water.
Most water softeners are easy to install and require little maintenance. They are energy efficient, demineralize water, and eliminate the chance of mineral deposits building up. They are not only beneficial for your kettle but also a great way to improve the overall quality of the water you’re consuming.
Regular maintenance and proper cleaning are key to preventing damage and extending the lifespan of your kettle. Whatever method you choose, it’s vital to clean your kettle according to the frequency of use and water quality in your area.
Usually, descaling the kettle every few months is enough. Still, if the water in your area is particularly hard and you use the kettle frequently, you should clean it every month.
Additionally, don’t forget to also clean the exterior of your kettle to keep it looking shiny and new. To polish a stainless steel kettle you’ll need only a cloth and some olive oil. Simply drip some oil on the cloth, and give the exterior a nice rub for a lovely shine. Repeat this weekly.
For plastic kettles, warm water and soap will do.
To sum up, proper maintenance is vital to keeping your kettle in good shape and your beverages and food tasting as good as ever. These tips on how to clean an electric kettle are here to help you prevent minerals from piling up and to get rid of them once they do. A clean kettle uses less energy, boils water much more quickly, and lasts longer. Choose the most convenient method for you, and you’ll never see a white scale floating around in your cup of coffee ever again.