How to Descale a Kettle – A Guide to Cleaning and Descaling the Kettle


Tips & Tricks on How to Descale a Kettle

Kettles are essential in your kitchen. After all, it’s your go-to for making tea or coffee. The problem is that unlike other appliances in the kitchen, the kettles are often ignored. This can be very problematic if you live in an area with hard water that leaves a lot of limescale behind. 

For you to get that perfect cup of coffee, untainted by limescale, you need to descale the kettle regularly. Not only will this protect your coffee (and possibly your health), but it can also prolong the life of your device.

Clean and Descale a Kettle with Vinegar

Acid is the best option to treat hard water, which is why you should descale kettle with vinegar solutions. Vinegar is good for over-the-stove kettles as well as for electric kettles. Here are the steps that you need to follow:

  • Measure two portions of water and white vinegar, enough to cover the affected area
  • Pour the solution into your kettle
  • Put the kettle to a boil and then turn it off 
  • Unplug the kettle and let the solution sit inside for 15-20 minutes
  • Take a toothbrush and start scrubbing, focusing on the edges (that’s where limescale hides)
  • Rinse the kettle several times
  • Boil some water to see if you need to repeat the process

You must remember that limescale tends to be more difficult to clean if not addressed on time. The greater the buildup, the more you will have to repeat the descaling process. If it’s been months since your last descale, the process may need to be repeated 2-3 times.

Clean and Descale a Kettle Using Water and Lemon

Lemon and water represent the preferred option for those who want a natural, non-toxic cleaning option. Lemon has not only descaling properties but also a mild bleaching effect and deodorizing properties. This will help brighten up the interior of the kettle and remove any unpleasant odors. 

Cleaning a kettle using water and lemon is fairly easy, and it requires the following steps:

Get the Juice from a Lemon

Cut one lemon into two halves, squeezing the juice inside the kettle. After that, take the drained halves and rub the interior. This will take care of the hard water stains. Cut the lemon into smaller bits and put it inside the kettle.

Add Water

Next, you have to create a mixture. You will need around 500 ml of water for this. There is no need to fill the kettle to the top; halfway is fine. Just make sure to cover the affected area. 

Set to Boil

For the limescale to loosen up, you need to boil the kettle with the lemon solution for about 15 minutes. After that, unplug the kettle from its power source and then leave it there for a couple of hours. The water needs to cool off.

Clean the Kettle

Use a soft sponge or a toothbrush to clean the kettle. You don’t have to take the lemon water out just yet. Make sure to scrub the harder-to-reach areas and the edges, as this is where the limescale prefers to accumulate the most. 

Rinse the Kettle

Once you have finished scrubbing, pour out the lemon mixture. Rinse it 3-4 times with water to make sure you remove any residue. Let the kettle dry before trying to use it again. If you want to remove the lemon taste, pour about 50o ml of water into the kettle and boil it for 15 minutes.

Clean and Descale a Kettle with Baking Soda

Baking soda is seen by many as the best way to descale a kettle. If you want to use this method, there are two options for you:


For the first method, put a teaspoon of baking soda in 500 ml water. Add the solution to the kettle, and then allow it to boil for about 15 minutes until the limescale loosens. Unplug the kettle and leave it for another 14 minutes before removing the solution. After that, you can rinse the inside of the kettle with cold water.


For the second method, mix one tablespoon of baking soda with a couple of drops of water. Make a homogenous paste and gently scrub with a toothbrush until the limescale is removed. Rinse with cold water, and you’re done.

Tips for Cleaning the Kettle

Now that you know how to clean your kettle, you can get down to business. That being said, each kettle is different and needs to be handled with care. Here are a couple of tips for you to keep in mind:

  • Always let the water cool before you try to clean the kettle. Not only may this burn you, but it also won’t leave the limescale enough time to loosen up.
  • Make sure to always turn off and unplug the kettle before you clean it.
  • Do not scrub the kettle’s heating elements. They have a protective coat that may be damaged if you try to scrub them.
  • Schedule regular cleaning for your kettle. The more you postpone the cleaning, the bigger the limescale layer will be.
  • If you live in an area where the water is hard, you may want to consider cleaning the kettle once a month. 
  • If you don’t plan on using the kettle, do not leave water in it. Depending on the materials, this can damage the elements or even make them rusty.

If everything else fails, you may use a professional kettle cleaner product. Remember that it may have chemical components, so you should try the methods we mentioned first.


How Long Do You Leave Vinegar in Kettle to Descale?

Ideally, you should leave the vinegar for about 10 minutes. Once the residue has loosened up, gently scrub it with a soft sponge.

What Household Products Can I Use to Descale a Kettle?

There are several household products that you may use to descale a kettle. These can include white vinegar, baking soda, or citric acid (lemon).

How Do You Descale a Stainless-Steel Kettle?

A stainless-steel kettle is best descaled with a mix of white vinegar and baking soda. If there isn’t that much limescale, you may use water instead of vinegar. Boil it in the kettle and let it sit for about an hour.

How Often Should You Descale Your Kettle?

Ideally, you should descale this device once every four to eight weeks. You should not let the limescale build-up, as it may become more difficult to remove.

Is Limescale in Kettle Harmful?

Drinking from a kettle with limescale is not harmful, as the quantity is too low to be dangerous for your health. That being said, it may affect the taste of the tea or coffee while leaving white chalk-like buildups in your cup.

The Bottom Line

Kettles need frequent care, and while a commercial kettle descaler is good, you should try some natural methods first. This will reduce the chances of any toxic compounds lingering on the interior.

In case you’re strapped for time or just want a professional touch when it comes to cleaning your home, call WISTL cleaning services! With our affordable domestic cleaning services, we serve the city of Chester and surrounding areas of Cheshire county. Learn more about domestic cleaning from our blog or give us a call today.