Your kettle is your friend – a friend without whom you cannot prepare the long-awaited cup of tea on a beautiful rainy afternoon. Yes, the day feels less grey with a cup of tea in hand and you can thank your kettle for that. However, like everything else, your kettle can get dirty. How does this happen and how to clean a kettle, so you don’t have to worry about the quality of your water?

Table of Contents:

This article is for you if you:

  • Own a kettle;
  • Have noticed tough deposits on the inside of the kettle;
  • Wish to keep your kettle clean.

What is limescale?

You will recognise limescale by the tough, milky deposits on the inside of your kettle. This is pure calcium carbonate and when left untreated, it can build-up to the point where it could clog up hard to clean spaces inside your kettle. 

Recent research has stated that over 60% of the water in Britain is hard, containing high amounts of minerals. So, when the water in your kettle boils and evaporates, it leaves miniature deposits of those minerals. Over time, they build up and solidify, making them difficult to remove. 

Scrubbing is not a good option to remove limescale, as it could damage the inside of the kettle. The good news is that mild acids are an effective option.

Tools you need

  • Distilled white vinegar;
  • Water;
  • Microfiber cloth.

How to clean a kettle with vinegar

Time needed: 15 minutes.

Now that you have your tools ready, it’s time to get to work. Here is a quick guide on how to clean limescale from a kettle like a pro.

  1. Pour vinegar and water into the kettle.

    If you’re wondering how to clean the inside of a kettle, this is the best way. Vinegar is an acid that can easily descale and remove hard water build-up. Mix equal parts water and vinegar inside the kettle. If the scaling on the inside is too harsh, you can add more vinegar than water.

  2. Bring the kettle to a boil.

    Place the kettle on the burner, or if it’s an electric kettle, switch it on. Let the water and vinegar boil in order to descale the inside.

  3. Let it soak.

    Once the water has boiled, switch the kettle off, or remove it from the burner, and let it sit for about 20 minutes. After that, pour the solution out and check the inside. There should be less scaling, and whatever is left should be easy to remove manually.

  4. Wipe with a microfibre cloth.

    Use a microfibre cloth or a non-metallic sponge to scrub the interior of the kettle. Do not scrub the heating element on the bottom of the electric kettle.

  5. Rinse.

    Rinse the kettle with water. It will take some time to completely remove the vinegar smell, so make sure to rinse multiple times. If you still can’t get rid of the smell, boil clean water inside and then dump it. This should do the trick.

Before you do anything, check the instruction manual from your kettle’s manufacturer. You might find important information about proper maintenance. If the manual says not to use vinegar for cleaning, you can use a single lemon instead. Just fill the kettle with water and squeeze a single lemon inside. Boil the water and let it soak for an hour. Unlike with vinegar, it’s not bad to have your kettle smelling lemony.

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How to clean the exterior of a kettle

The inside of an electric kettle gets the worst dirt build-up. However, just because we know how to clean limescale from a kettle doesn’t mean we should neglect the exterior of this important appliance. Here is what to do:

  1. Clean the exterior with dish soap. Use a microfibre cloth to rub dish soap on the exterior of the kettle to remove dirt, rust or fingerprints. Make sure to clean the kettle like this on a weekly basis. After you clean it, wipe it dry with a paper towel.
  2. Polish the exterior with olive oil. If you have a stainless steel kettle, you can polish it after the clean to keep it shiny like on the day you bought it. You can use olive oil for that, but you’ll get relatively the same result with baby oil or mineral oil. Just place some oil on a soft cloth and rub the exterior. Wipe it dry with a paper towel if you put too much on.

How to clean a burned kettle

It’s not uncommon to put the kettle on the burner and forget it there. The water would boil and evaporate. The moment there is no more fluid, the surface starts to burn. By the time you remember, you might be left with a damaged kettle. The truth is that kettles are designed to only hold a specific temperature for a specific amount of time. If the temperature passes their breaking point, they can lose their structural integrity.

It’s up to you to decide whether you dispose of the kettle after it’s been burned, or try to save it. Here are a few helpful tips on the matter.

  • Wait for the kettle to cool down. Never attempt to assess the damage if you just removed the kettle from the burner. Wait for it to cool down on its own.
  • Wash the kettle. Use general dish soap to thoroughly clean the exterior and interior of the kettle. Sponge away the caked ash and burn marks if there are any. 
  • Assess the situation. If your kettle withstood the wash, then you might have saved it in time. If your kettle is made of stainless steel, it’s most probably safe to use again, as long as the bottom is solid and the spout is straight.

Hire professional domestic cleaners

Now that you’ve learned how to clean a kettle and avoid unpleasant limescale build-up, you just have to pick a date when you’re free from work and do it. However, if you don’t want to spend your free time on something as tedious as cleaning, you can always rely on the domestic cleaners at Fantastic Services. Call us today and see how they can help you with your household chores!

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  • Limescale build-up is a common occurrence in kettles, especially if you live in an area with hard water;
  • You can easily clean a kettle from limescale with vinegar or lemon juice;
  • To keep your kettle clean and shiny, make sure to wipe it on a regular basis.


Have you cleaned your kettle by yourself before? Tell us how you did it in the comment section below!

Image source: Kulinenko.G/

Posted in Cleaning Guides

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