Descale Your Kettle the Eco-Friendly Way

2013 Jan 08 |  Written by:  | Tags:


It’s teatime! You’ve got a sumptuous meal set out, the cutlery, crockery and linens are all in place, and all you have to do is boil water. But wait – what’s that whitish scud lining the inside of your kettle? Not only does it look disgusting, but if you try to use the kettle anyway, you’ll find white flakes floating in the hot water and nobody will want to drink that.

Fear not, you don’t have to run out to the nearest store to buy a new kettle. There’s always a way to deal with simple household crises, in this case by descaling your kettle.

That white stuff is a buildup of alkaline or lime scale that results from the frequent boiling of water with high calcium content. This can happen to any kettle that has been in use for quite some time, even if you take great pains to wash your kettle after every use. While this stuff isn’t actually a health hazard, it can clog the spout if you don’t do something, plus it can cause your kettle to burn out and subject it to more wear and tear.

How to descale a kettle?


There are commercial products that can do this job. But the more recommended methods, like those given here, are environment-friendly, make use use of ingredients that you can find in your own kitchen, and are a lot cheaper.

Both electric and traditional kettles can be descaled using vinegar or citric acid. These ingredients are highly acidic, which makes them ideal as cleaning agents because the build-up in kettles is mostly basic or alkaline, meaning vinegar and citric acid directly break this down. Vinegar is a common kitchen condiment. You can use lemon or lime juice for citric acid.

Using vinegar

  • Dilute around 500 ml of it in an equal ratio of water, 500 ml.
  • Adjust volumes according to the size of your kettle.
  • For electric kettles, leave the vinegar solution in the kettle for an hour without boiling it.
  • For stovetop kettles, bring the vinegar solution to a boil for 10-15 minutes.
  • Let the vinegar cool for a bit.
  • Pour the water out.
  • Rinse out the inside of either kettle 5-6 times in cold water.

Using citric acid

  • Combine the juice of 30 g of lemons or limes with 500 ml of water.
  • Pour the mixture into the kettle – this works for any type of kettle.
  • Bring the water to a boil then let it sit for 15 minutes.
  • Pour the water out and rinse the inside of the kettle 5-6 times in cold water.

Any bit of scales left can be wiped down with bicarbonate of soda on a damp cloth when the kettle has cooled down. Now, you can enjoy boiling water or brewing tea in a sparkling clean, scud-free kettle and continue enjoying your meal!

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    One Response to Descale Your Kettle the Eco-Friendly Way

    1. Alistair  says:

      Hi there, I really like your post and find your tips very useful, especially as I like to use eco-friendly products where ever possible. Limescale in my kettle is always a problem for me as I live in a hard water area, so will give these tips a try.

      Thanks. ‘A’

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