Kettles, both the electric and stove-top types, are prone to a buildup of limescale after continued use. This happens as a result of calcium carbonate deposits left by evaporated water. Due to this, figuring out how to descale a kettle is essential if the appliance is to remain effective and aesthetically pleasant. When left unchecked, having limescale in a kettle can interfere with the flavor of your tea and even make your appliance significantly inefficient.
A kettle can be easily descaled using commercial descaling products. While this is perfectly acceptable, numerous household products such as bicarbonate of soda and vinegar are also equally effective against limescale. So, how do you descale a kettle naturally?
How to descale a kettle with bicarbonate of soda
Bicarbonate of soda is certainly one of the most versatile household products. Can you use bicarbonate of soda to descale a kettle? The simple answer is yes.
Limescale is primarily made of calcium carbonate, a compound that is entirely insoluble in water. This attribute explains why it is near impossible to remove limescale in a kettle using water.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to remove limescale from a kettle using bicarbonate of soda.
- Fill the appliance with water.
- Add a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda to descale the kettle.
- Soften the limescale by bringing the water to a boil and then turning off the heat source.
- Let the water stand for half an hour before pouring it out.
- Add fresh cold water into the appliance and bring to a boil.
- Pour the water, add some fresh water and bring to a boil (this removes any lingering taste of the bicarbonate of soda).
When descaling a kettle with bicarbonate of soda, you could opt to start by making a thick paste that you apply onto the limescale-covered areas. Here is a breakdown of the steps involved.
- Mix bicarbonate of soda with a few teaspoons of water.
- Stir into a thick paste.
- Apply the paste onto the limescale and then scrub gently using a kitchen brush or unused toothbrush.
- Get rid of the bicarbonate smell by rinsing thoroughly with warm or cold water. Doing this also helps get rid of the limescale.
- Boil water in the kettle and pour it away (repeat this step thrice).
How to descale a kettle with Coke
Limescale-lined kettles can benefit from the world-renowned beverage whose pH ranges around 2.5. This acidic attribute makes it an excellent descaling compound since calcium deposits are naturally alkaline.
Here is a look at how to clean limescale from a kettle using Coke.
- Pour enough Coke into the kettle to cover the affected areas.
- Bring the Coke to a boil.
- Turn off the heat source and let the appliance sit for half an hour. If the kettle was extremely covered in limescale, let the Coke sit longer, possibly an hour.
- Pour out the Coke and use an unused toothbrush to scrub the appliance gently.
- Pour water into the appliance, bring to a boil, and then pour it out.
- Rinse the appliance using cold or warm water.
How to descale a kettle with vinegar
Limescale is easily removable using vinegar, another versatile household product. Besides its use in culinary processes, vinegar also comes in handy in descaling. This is due to its acidic nature.
Here is how to clean a kettle with vinegar.
- Fill the appliance with a mixture of one-part water and one-part vinegar.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and then turn off the heat source once it has boiled for a few seconds.
- Let the mixture sit for an hour.
- If the limescale is severe, let the water-vinegar mixture sit overnight.
- Pour out the mixture and use a kitchen brush to scrub off any remaining limescale deposit.
- If there are still stubborn limescale pieces, add a little white vinegar and scrub it off.
- Add fresh water, and bring to a boil, then pour it. Repeat this step thrice to get rid of the vinegar smell.
- If you find that the limescale is too stubborn, increase the vinegar-water ratio to make the cleaning solution more potent.
How to descale a kettle with lemon
If you are wondering how to get rid of limescale in a kettle in the most natural way, you cannot go wrong with using lemon. This popular citrus fruit has high acid content, making it ideal for descaling kitchen appliances.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get limescale out of a kettle using lemons.
- Fill the kettle with a water-lemon juice solution made in a 1:1 ratio.
- Bring the water-lemon juice solution to a boil.
- Let it sit for one hour, during which the limescale should dislodge from the appliance.
- Pour out the solution and rinse thoroughly with cold water.
- Keep in mind that you may have to repeat the above steps severally for kettles that have excessive limescale.
- Slice two lemons into thin pieces and place them in the kettle.
- Add cold water until it covers all the limescale-covered areas.
- To descale, boil the water and let the solution cool down for about an hour.
- Pour out the solution and rinse twice with cold water.
How do you descale an electric kettle?
Removing limescale from an electric kettle is as simple as cleaning a stovetop variant. This means that the methods outlined above will still work perfectly for an electric kettle. However, there are several factors to keep in mind.
- Never immerse an electric kettle in water. Doing this could easily damage the kettle's heating element.
- Do not touch the contents of the electric kettle while it is still connected to a power outlet.
- Use a kitchen sponge to clean the inside of the kettle in case there are stubborn limescale deposits.
Cleaning the water filter
For electric kettles with removable water filler cartridges, start by removing the cartridge following the guidelines outlined by the manufacturer. Most of the removable cartridges and filters can be easily cleaned using a solution of water-bicarbonate of soda, water-lemon juice, or vinegar-water.
Soak the filter or cartridge in your preferred cleaning solution, let it sit for ten minutes, then scrub it gently using the rough side of a cleaning sponge.
Figuring out how to descale a kettle is among the best ways to keep your appliance in optimum working condition. Unfortunately, for most people, the calcium deposits brought about by boiling hard water are impossible to avoid. Luckily, you can try any of the methods outlined in this guide to get rid of that annoying limescale buildup.
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