How to descale a kettle: an affordable method

Yulia PoteriankoLife
Food acids will help descale the kettle

The hard water that flows from most taps in Ukraine causes many problems. One of them is limescale in the kettle. It can damage the appliance itself and ruin the taste of tea or coffee. That's why you'll probably want to know how to clean the kettle from limescale.

Let's Drink Tea has collected cleaning tips for different types of kettles. However, all methods are based on food acids. They are the ones that destroy limescale. This can be vinegar (preferably white or distilled as it smells less and does not leave an aftertaste), citric acid, or fresh lemon juice.

What is bad about limescale in the kettle

Calcium bicarbonate, which is in the water, turns into an insoluble form under the influence of high temperature during its boiling and settles on the walls of the container in which the water is heated. On the one hand, it softens the liquid. On the other hand, the lime that settles on the heating elements of the electric kettle takes on some of the heat, so the appliance has to spend more energy to heat the water. And you pay for it. Limescale also accumulates on the kettle lid, which makes it difficult to close, which also slows down the boiling process. In an ordinary kettle, it can clog the whistle. It seems like nothing, but it's better to get rid of this problem. Otherwise, the scale looks unaesthetic.

In addition, the water boiled in a kettle with limescale can get an unpleasant salty or metallic flavor. And this has a bad effect on the quality of drinks.

How to clean an electric kettle

To dissolve limescale inside an electric kettle, simply boil an acidic liquid in it. First, drain all the water from the kettle and wash it inside with ordinary dishwashing detergent. Use a sponge to mechanically remove all the limescale that you can remove without difficulty. The less of it remains, the easier it will be to clean later. Next, fill the kettle with a 1:1 mixture of water and vinegar, open the lid and turn on the appliance. Let the water brew for a few minutes. You will notice how the limescale dissolves. When it is removed, pour off the cleaning mixture, wait for the kettle to cool down, and wash the inside again. The remaining limescale should be easily removed from the walls. If not all of it has been washed off, you can repeat the procedure, leaving the hot, acidic water to act for 30-40 minutes.

After cleaning, boil water in the kettle several times to get rid of the vinegar smell and taste. The exterior of the kettle can be cleaned of lime stains with the same mixture of water and vinegar. Alternatively, vinegar can be replaced with freshly squeezed lemon juice or a citric acid solution: the result will be the same. It's a good idea to do this once every 4-6 weeks.

How to clean a steel kettle

If you heat water on the stove in a stainless steel kettle, you can clean it in a similar way. Wash it from the inside, fill it with acidified water and boil it, and then scrub off the limescale.

You can also clean a steel kettle with baking soda. Pour about a glass of baking soda into the kettle and cover it with water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then remove from the heat and let it brew for at least 10 minutes. When the water has cooled, gently scrub the inside with the stiff side of a dish sponge or a brush. The coating should come off easily. Any remaining stains can be cleaned with baking soda paste. Simply mix dry baking soda with a little water to make a paste and rub it over the stains. To remove any residue, use a cloth dipped in vinegar.

How to remove limescale on a glass kettle

Glass kettles are not very popular because they quickly lose their appearance due to limescale. Nevertheless, they are the easiest to clean as limescale comes off very easily. Be sure to check the kettle's label before cleaning as not all glass can be cleaned with vinegar. In this case, use lemon juice or citric acid. Two large lemons should be enough for a standard kettle. The rest of the procedure is similar: fill the tank with acidified water and boil it. In the case of complex contamination, leave the mixture to act for a while. Then wash the kettle well.

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