How to descale a kettle

If you know how to descale a kettle, you will have a kettle that will live longer and will work smoothly.

How to descale a kettle

Photo By Henna, via Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to cleaning calcium buildup in kettle, people will often overlook the fact that the electric kettle needs to be cleaned once in a while.

Like any other kitchen appliance, the electric kettle also needs its share of maintenance, because without the proper cleaning it can slow down the heating process.

These devices have mineral deposits and when hit with water especially hard water, can cause scaling and can severely damage the unit. Hard water is the name given to water that has a high mineral content, and these minerals create limescale.

Apart from damage, lack of cleaning can also accumulate gunk, which is often referred to as kettle furring. This type of harm can cause flakes in your morning coffee or tea, which can become very unpleasant especially if you end up drinking one or two of them. The furring can even spoil the coffee if left un-cleaned.

Specially made cleaning products are available that will remove limescale, but they can be expensive and littered with chemicals. Fortunately, there are a few homemade alternatives that get the job done just as efficiently.

How to descale a kettle

So, if you are planning to keep your electric kettle for a longer period of time, it is essential that you know how to clean this; otherwise, your kettle might not last for too long. If you are planning to clean this efficiently, here are some tips to make cleaning your kettle more productive.

How to Descale a Kettle effectively

Before you make a cup of coffee in the morning or a cup of tea, making sure that you clean it regularly is critical, in order to have good tasting coffee and tea. Be sure to follow this easy step-by-step guide how to clean a kettle with vinegar:

  • Step 1 – create a cleaning solution by filling up the kettle with equal parts of water and white vinegar, up to at least half or three quarters of the kettle.
  • Step 2 – After you have filled up the kettle, bring the cleaning solution to a boil, and leave boiling for about a minute.
  • Step 3 – After the solution has finished boiling, make sure to turn off the kettle first, then remove the power cord from the wall socket, to ensure that you do not get electrocuted or get into an accident.
  • Step 4 – Since the kettle is filled with boiled water and vinegar, let it sit in the kettle a little longer for at least 10 – 15 minutes. After you have done this, you may now throw the solution down the drain and rinse the equipment with hot water. Note that you have to thoroughly rinse this because sometimes there still can be traces of vinegar in the kettle. After you have done this, you will notice that you have already gotten rid of the chunks of scale that can be found on the kettle walls.
  • Step 5 – After descaling kettle with vinegar, wipe the inside of the kettle with a clean rag and leave the kettle to dry.
  • Step 6 – Once dried, you can now try to boil some water in the newly cleaned kettle. After the water has successfully been boiled, dispose of it in the sink, to remove all possibilities of remaining aftertaste of the vinegar after cleaning the kettle.

If you can still taste or smell the vinegar in the kettle, you can boil another batch of water a few times, till you get rid of the smell and taste.

If you also find that there are still some parts of scaling that needs to be removed from the kettle, you can use a stronger dose of vinegar solution in the kettle, and leave it for an hour or two, maybe even overnight if you feel the need to do so.

You can scrub the inside of the kettle if you feel that the vinegar is just not getting all of the scaling out, but make sure to use a non-metallic sponge pad, and avoid the heating element that is built into the bottom so that you do not damage the kettle itself.

Other tips and tricks

In some cases, there will be some manufacturers that strictly prohibit the use of vinegar to clean the kettles that they make, if your kettle says this on the label, you can use an alternative by squeezing a lemon into the kettle and put the slices of the same lemon that you squeezed into the kettle.

This idea will be more pleasant since you will be using lemons instead of vinegar.

You can follow the same procedure as you would with the vinegar by boiling the lemon water and leaving it in the kettle for an hour. Pour out the lemon water into the skin, and rinse the kettle thoroughly to get rid of any excess lemon.

When the kettle is cooled down, you can add a little baking soda to the bottom of the kettle, then wipe it clean with a clean cloth, then rinse it with very cold water.

The more advisable dosage of baking soda will be at least a teaspoon and a little water then boil it in the kettle to get rid of the accumulated or remaining scaling that can be found inside.


Cleaning your kettle should be a habit so that you can avoid any possibilities of it getting damaged. A healthy kettle means that you will get really good quality tea and coffee to start your day.

Follow the steps outlined above, and you will have a clean kettle in no time.

Do you know any other method how to clean a water kettle? Tell us in the comment section below. We will appreciate that.

Like and share this post for everyone to know why is important to clean the kettle.

Limescale builds up over time, and you want to know how to descale a kettle with vinegar. Well, vinegar is a go-to solution for descaling your kettle due to its strong acetic acid.

How to descale a kettle

You can descale a kettle with vinegar. Mix half vinegar and water, bring the mixture to a boil, and allow it to sit overnight. Pour out the solution from your kettle and rinse thoroughly to remove the vinegar taste.

After a while of boiling and storing water in your kettle, calcium, magnesium and other mineral deposits will build up. This changes the flavor of your brewed tea or boiled water for other foods.

To get rid of the metallic taste, you have to descale or clean your kettle periodically. How often you descale a kettle with vinegar depends on the water hardness and your water storing culture.

Does Vinegar Remove Limescale in Kettles?

Vinegar can remove limescale in your kettle, it contains acetic acid which dissolves the scales to give your electric kettle refreshed performance. Moreover, vinegar is an affordable kettle descaler. You only have to soak half mixture of vinegar and water to clean your kettle overnight.

What is Limescale in Your Kettle?

Limescale is calcium carbonate, a milky white and hard deposit that clogs your kettle filament. It can form when you heat your kettle until water evaporates and solidifies. Limescale in kettle appears as flakes and is unappetizing as it floats on your water. It also makes your boiled water taste slightly metallic.

Merely scrubbing your kettle does not remove limescale, you need an acidic solution like vinegar to dissolve it inside your kettle.

How to Descale a Kettle with Vinegar

Before you begin cleaning your water kettle, disconnect it from the electrical outlet. Allow the kettle to cool completely if you just finished boiling water with it.

Below are the steps to descale a kettle with vinegar:

Fill the kettle with water and vinegar

The measurement of water will depend on your kettle. However, you typically need half water and vinegar mixture.

First, fill the kettle with white vinegar up to the 0.25 L mark. If yours has no mark, fill the kettle with vinegar halfway. Add water up to the 0.75 L mark. If yours has no measurement mark, add the same amount of water as the vinegar.

According to the KitchenAid, you should fill your kettle with 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts water.

You want the mixture to fill halfway up the kettle. Do not fill the kettle with the vinegar-water mixture to prevent it from spilling at the boiling stage.

Bring it to boil

Connect your water kettle and allow it to heat to boil. When the vinegar solution now distilled is boiled, turn off the kettle and disconnect it from the power source. Allow the boiled water to sit overnight or at least 30 minutes.

It is preferable to allow the vinegar solution to sit in the kettle overnight to properly descale it.

Pour out the solution

After the vinegar solution becomes cool, pour it out. Scrub the kettle to get rid of residual limescale. Rinse it with cool water and pour it out.

Boil ordinary water in your kettle

Next, fill your kettle halfway up with ordinary water. Bring it to a boil. It takes up to 3 minutes for the water to boil depending on your kettle.

This will get rid of the vinegar taste from your kettle immediately so that it does not change your tea flavor or any food you prepare using your boiled water.

Rinse the kettle thoroughly

Pour out the water and rinse your kettle thoroughly for the final time. You can repeat the rinsing up to 4-5 times to be sure the scales and vinegar taste are completely dissolved and removed.

Clean the water filter

You should use this moment to clean your water filter. The kettle water filter could also have limescale, so you want to descale it too.

Remove the filter from your water kettle. You may have to refer to your product manual to know how to eject the water filter.

Rinse the water filter in warm water. You can use your running water if there is no provision for warm water.

If calcium deposits do not immediately go out of the filter, allow it to sit overnight in your white vinegar-water solution.

Clean the outside of your kettle

How to descale a kettle

The final step is to clean the exterior of the water kettle. Prevent any water drop from getting to the heating element. Use a damp cloth for the cleaning.

Do not use any scouring agent or abrasives to clean the outside of the water kettle.

What to Do When Descaling Kettle with Vinegar

  • Clean often. Cleaning your kettle often will get rid of water minerals. Nonetheless, you still have to descale your kettle once or twice a month.
  • Do not abandon the exterior. When cleaning the inside of your kettle, do the same for the exterior. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the body. Ensure not to wet the heating element. This can cause electric shocks when you connect the kettle or even damage the kettle.
  • Before cleaning. Before cleaning your kettle, allow it to cool inside out. Do not forget to disconnect it from the wall socket.


How much vinegar do you use to descale a kettle?

You need 1 part vinegar to descale a kettle. Mix it with 1-3 part water to total about 500ml. Bring your vinegar solution or descaler to boil, allow it to cool, and dissolve water minerals overnight before pouring it out.

How long do you leave vinegar in kettle to descale?

Bring your vinegar solution to a boil and allow it for up to 30 minutes or overnight to dissolve and descale your kettle.

Final Thoughts

Vinegar is a good solution for descaling your kettle. You could always clean your kettle regularly to reduce the buildup speed of minerals like calcium and magnesium.

Do not store water in your kettle, especially if you will not use it for a long time.

After descaling, do not forget to wipe both interior and exterior of the kettle with a damp cloth. Make sure to dry the heating element but it is best to keep it from being wet to avoid risking electric shocks. You can also remove your kettle limescale with lemon, a more acidic solution.

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About The Author

Suzan Logan

A passionate food writer and a photographer you will often find in the kitchen with recipes and kitchen gadgets. I also know what the contemporary kitchen needs.